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The Ancient Stones
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The Runes as Oracle
The Runes are stones inscribed with the letters of an ancient alphabet which developed in Scandinavia. They belong to the family of Germanic languages, but are also related to Latin and Greek. Examples have been found in all the regions once inhabited by Goths, from the Black Sea to the Baltic.

The runes have been found inscribed on grave stones and other monuments. The inscriptions themselves indicated that the runes were thought to offer magical protection. An example: "In exile shall he die by means of magic art who destroys this monument."

In 1984 Ralph Blum wrote the Book of Runes and sold ceramic tokens with the runes inscribed on them. The user "casts" a reading according to the type of reading desired, and then reads the selections relating to those runes. It is important to note that the runes must be related to each other and not taken separately, much as in the I-Ching the lines compose a hexagram and are not merely separate lines.

The use of runes to cast spells is not the same. In that case spells written in the runic alphabet are delivered to the object of the spell, there to do their work. Casting the runes as an oracle involves no such spell.