Chain of Runes


Thorsson’s Runecaster’s Handbook says the normal order of the runes in 3 rows of 8 could be used as houses for readings. So if you lay down all 24 runes randomly in 3 rows of 8, you could read each rune as being in another rune’s house. For example, if I randomly placed Sowilo in the 7th spot on the 1st row, the house of Gebo, I will have happiness and openness (Sowilo) in my partnership (Gebo).

This type of houses reading, like astrological houses readings, never appealed to me because I feel like it makes a reading very disjointed. “This is your wealth. This is your health. This is your relationship. Blah. Blah.”

BUT yesterday I realized that you could read rune houses just like a Lenormand chain of houses! (Which I enjoyed playing with when I read about it in Rana George’s Essential Lenormand book.) Using a chain, well, links reading together and answers a question better than just reading all the houses through.

So this is how you do it.

Randomly lay out all 24 runes in 3 rows of 8.

Choose a rune that best relates to your question to start the chain. (For example, if I want to know about an upcoming trip, I’ll start with Raido.)

Read that rune in the house where it is laid. (If Raido is in the 3rd spot in the 2nd row, the house of Isa, my trip might have delays.)

Now here’s the chain part. We just read the house of Isa, so now we look for Isa in the random layout. And we read it with the house it’s in. (Isa is in the 4th spot in the 1st row, the house of Ansuz, so there will probably be delays in communication, too.)

And then continue the chain (look for Ansuz and read it with the house it’s in, etc.). The chain is done when you get back to a rune that you already came to in this chain. (Rana says you come back to the beginning card(rune), but I’ve also gotten end loops, where the last two runes are in each other’s houses. I guess you could come back to any rune in any place in the chain?)

The chains are of variable length. I have gotten the first rune in its own house, so a chain of 1 link. (Not too informative, but it might be telling you something, probably try again later!) If the chain takes you through almost all of the runes, it might be helpful to look at the ones NOT in the chain.

Obviously, before you start all this you need to know what the regular order is. I usually jot it down on paper before I start. Which helps me to learn the order so I won’t always have to do that. (But I’m still shaky on the order on the end of the 2nd row . . .)

It might help to come up with a list of simplified house meanings that aren’t so specific and nuanced as full rune meanings. Or not. It also might be helpful to practice reading runes in pairs. And think about how the two pairs might be different--Raido in Isa or Isa in Raido. Or not.

I’m still getting the hang of this, but I think it could really work for me. Let me know if you try it!

(I’m also trying out doing the same with tarot majors, laid out in 3 rows of 7 with 1 above. But reading pairs of majors might get too abstract. It might turn out to be a chain of fools! (Had to slip that in there!) I’ll keep you posted.)