Ancient Runes

PerthroThis is the rune known as 'Perthro'. It is the rune of Mankind's eternal becoming, touching on the deepest stratum of our being. It shows each of us our internal reflection without flattery or pity; it is the key to understanding the process represented by the three Norns — ├śrlog — often called "fate" by the uninitiated, the growth or undoing in the timeless Now, the secret that these runes are all about. It is our privilege as students to explore this powerful tool. This rune of mystery has been selected to represent this course.


Ancient Runes is a single-term class consisting of four lessons and four homework assignments, plus a final term exam. To complete the course and to receive a Quill, the student must submit all four (4) of the four assignments, and pass the term exam. All work must be submitted on or before the listed deadlines. Late or unexcused submissions will not be counted toward the course completion requirements; points may be deducted in cases of flagrant disregard of course rules.

Homework assignments will not be visible online until the month in which they are due. Lessons, on the other hand, are all open for inspection at any time during the course. The final term exam will only become available online after the closing date of Assignment Four, and will only be accessible through Assignment Four.

Students for whom English is not their first or most fluent language will be given extra leniency in the matter of composition. If you show that you know the answer, how you manage to put it into writing is of little concern.

While on that topic, if you like (and if it is true of you) you may include the following note in the heading of your emailed assignment answers (cut and paste):

English is not my 'first language' {      }

How to find your lessons

Use the menu at the top of this page. The link to each lesson's assignment (homework) is included at the end of the lesson itself.

So what is this Runes business all about?

'Another antiquated alphabet, Mme. Lasagna's crystal ball,
or a magic (Faerie) key to otherwhen?'

...or perhaps all of the above, and then some?

Whenever we make a wider study of runes (by reading more than one book, for example), we can quickly discover an interesting divergence of attitude.

The first of these is the attitude that runes are nothing more than just another antiquated alphabet, without practical use (other than as decoration) and certainly without any "deeper" psychologicaL or spiritual significance. Runes can perhaps offer such individuals an interesting historical study, but little more. Many of those holding this attitude will declare absolutely that runes are useless in divination or 'telling fortunes', which are well-known frauds anyway. For these people, as well as for the rest of us, we have included as much neutral historical information as we could find, in a section labeled M-1. Please refer to the M-1 Section, below.

The second attitude is one of indecision; many individuals feel attracted to divination generally and perhaps rune-casting in particular, but are not clear how they 'feel about' such matters. They usually are eager to let someone 'read' for them, but are equally ready to reject the reading as 'just nonsense anyway' if it happens to displease them. These are the 'fence-sitters', with their mugs on one side and their wumps on the other. Each lesson includes material selected with the 'Mug-wumps' in mind, labeled M-2.

The third attitude is that of the open mind; often not merely open but a mind receptive to Magic, Miracles, and Other Ways of Knowing... a section for the Mages, either skilled or still in training. This section, labeled M-3, will approach runes with the premise that the universe is alive (all of it!), that everything is connected to everything else, and that all events can only happen now. Runes, we will discover, can truly serve as 'keys' to ourselves and to the matrix of Reality in which we have our being.


The origins, history, and other 'scholarly' information about runes will be presented here throughout the course.

M-2 (Mugwumps)

This section will begin the exploration of the important distinction between divination ('fortune-telling') and Oracles. Here we will also learn the rune figures, their names and sounds, and a brief summary of the qualities associated with them.

M-3 (Mages)

In this third section, we will expand our consideration of the runes themselves, the character and use of Oracles, as well as the major project of making one's own set of runes.