The book of runes : a handbook for the use of an ancient oracle, the viking runes

by Ralph Blum

Paper Book, 1987



Call number

BF1779 .R86B58 1987


New York : St. Martin's Press, c1987.


Pack contains a book of interpretation, 25 rune stones and a drawstring casting bag. You are holding something very special: an ancient Western Oracle made available to serve you in your life now. Use this book and the Viking Runes to gain insight into your present and future. Fully revised, this international best seller, Ralph Blum's classic work is now even more relevant as a tool for self-help. The three-rune spread is one of the many ways to cast the Runes. Selected ane read from right to left, the Runes describe the overview of the situation, the challenge you are facing, and the course of action called for. Use the Runes as an aid to meditation, a game for fun, or as a tool for practical decision-making. The Book of Runes is a treasure companion for everyone seeking inner guidance. Let the Runes illuminate your journey to self-discovery. Over 1 million copies sold worldwide.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member thorswitch
This is perhaps the worst book I've run across regarding the runes, and in my 20 years as a practising Heathen, I've run across quite a few.

There are numerous problems with this book, most notoriously the inclusion (or, more likely, the invention) of the "blank rune." No such thing exists in the
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Elder Futhark, the runic alphabet on which Mr. Blum's work is supposedly based. Additionally, he has rearranged the order of the runes in the Futhark, gives them new names and offers several tarot card-like layouts, something that wasn't used in runic readings. To top it off, in a chart showing the runes in several rows, he claims that the rows are to be read right-to-left, something else unconnected to actual runic practices.

He also includes a couple poem that laud Christ, and in one place when discussing an interpretation he refers to as "the Cross," he says "The Cross is the condition for wisdom. Christ on the Tree. Odin on the Tree." The runes, however, are wholly and thoroughly Heathen and pre-Christian in origin. References to Christ - and especially including him as part of an interpretation - makes no historical sense.

Even though the book comes with a set of runes (including the non-existent "blank" one,) and some have suggested that getting the book with the rune set is ok as a starting point, I must whole-heartedly disagree. Too much of what Blum writes is questionable to even consider it as an inexpensive introduction, and you can generally get a nice set of wood or bone runes - both of which are traditionally used materials - online at a decent price. As for books to learn how to use the Runes, I would recommend books by Freya Aswynn or Diana Paxson. While their books are a bit more involving than Blum's, both have done a good job with their research and are generally well respected in the Heathen community.
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LibraryThing member Loptsson
Pretty much junk. This book came out before common folk were taking a hard historical look at the runes and the religion of the Ases had truly gotten off the ground. Everybody back in the day I am sure had bought it lol but with knowledge and better historical books that are out there now, we all
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can throw this on the trash heap of history and continue on.
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LibraryThing member tenthrune
If you're really interested in the study of runes, this is one that you should skip. It was written before Mr. Blum had invloved himself in any actual study or history of the runes, and includes the infamous "blank rune" as well as reordering the Futhark. On the other hand, if you want a nice
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little handbook with good suggestions and eloquent, poetic (if somewhat inaccurate) interpretations, then by all means, go for it. I've spoken to the author on the phone several times, and he's a very sincere, intelligent, and inspired man.
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LibraryThing member Archonstone
Conjecture, poorly researched. Author's christian parochial viewpoint overshadows its theory on runes.
LibraryThing member gingergargoyle
The book which restarted the craze ... yes it is full of flaws as far as the 'experts' are concerned but still you can't beat it for the quinessential beginners book or for those looking for a book/rune set. Like tarot cards, runes can be used for insight into the 'future' or into matters you are
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concerned with. The nice thing about this book set is that it comes with a set of runestones - so it is perfect for the beginner. Personally i consider it a collectors item (at least sentimentally) since it did open a whole world of books and debate for this used-to-be overlooked end of the Craft.
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LibraryThing member RickSchad
This is a wonderfully clear and concise history, use, and interpretation of the Runes. A bag of Runes comes with this book.
LibraryThing member RuTemple
Decent with the basics for learning your beth, luis, fearn, and some oracle/divination work.
LibraryThing member aliaschase
This book has been absolutely indispensable to me as I began to learn runes and how to interpret their symbols. I still return to it constantly to offer guidance to my readings, and view it as a springboard from which to leap off of in my own individualized interpretations.
LibraryThing member jarvenpa
Yeah, I've had and used this book and the pretty bag o-runes for a number of years. With intuitive helps like runes, tarot, I Ching, etc...some suit one's mind and some just don't, really. Runes, for me, are in the "doesn't quite make it for me" category. That said, Blum's rendition is easy to
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follow and pretty lucid.
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Physical description

149 p.; 19 cm


0312007299 / 9780312007294


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