The Book of Runes: A Handbook for the Use of an Ancient Oracle: The Viking Runes with Stones
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The Book of Runes: A Handbook for the Use of an Ancient Oracle: The Viking Runes with Stones

3.49 of 5 stars 3.49  ·  rating details  ·  449 ratings  ·  36 reviews
You are holding something very special: a part of the ancient past and, perhaps, a part of your future.

Based on a tradition over one thousand years old, this contemporary Oracle has established itself as a remarkable aid in practical decision making. When first published in 1983, R. Buckminster Fuller said: "What a wonderful thing to have done-midwife the rebirth of an anc
Hardcover, 10th Anniversary Edition, 160 pages
Published August 15th 1993 by St. Martin's Press (first published 1982)
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Jason Koivu
I thought this was about how to decipher and read Nordic runes. It's not. Boy howdy am I glad I didn't spend much on this book, otherwise I would've tracked down Ralph Blum and shoved it up his ass.

Not only does The Book of Runes not teach you the real meaning behind the long mysterious letters, Blum randomly invented their meaning and turned an entire people's way of writing into a tea leaf reading game. The book originally came with a bag of tiles with one of 25 of the rune letters printed on...more
Pete daPixie
A King he was on a carven throne,
In many-pillared halls of stone
With golden roof and silver floor,
And runes of power upon the door.

When Herodotus traveled around the Black Sea, he encountered descendants of Scythian tribesmen who crawled under blankets, smoked themselves into a stupor, and then cast stones in the air and read them when they fell.
Runes, from the Gothic runa, meaning 'a secret thing, a mystery'. The Rune Masters of the Teutons and Vikings wore startling garb that made them easily...more
LOVED this book! It isn't a historical look at Runes but rather a medium for your egoic "self" to converse with your higher "Self" (as Blum puts it) to understand (not predict) a circumstance. If that sentence read as gibberish, then this book is not for you. But if you are looking for a very easy to digest way to explore spirituality, I found this a breath of fresh air. I had no idea about Norse mythology, runes, or using runes as a way of esoteric art- but loved the very non-occult approach Bl...more
Mar 07, 2007 genevieve rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
I keep my book of runes by my bedside. Each night, I pull one rune from the bag and read about it in the book. I would recommend it to anyone open to trying something new and potentially introspective. You'll be amazed at the connection between the rune you pulled and how it relates to your life at that moment (most importantly to those things plaguing your thoughts at the time you pulled it from the bag).

Without fail, the runes provide you with insight into your actions and thoughts, piece of...more
David Melbie
Dec 10, 2010 David Melbie rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Nobody touches my runes but me!
Recommended to David by: Picked myself, directed by Odin. . .
My first encounter with the Viking Runes was in 1985, about two years after this book was first published. I remember feeling the power in the glyphs, the way those little ceramic tiles felt as you sifted through the bag (and yes, a Crown Royal bag is my favorite). I was hooked.

And, because of the bad etching on my rose quartz set which made it hard to use as Viking Runes, I had been promising myself a new set. I think that Micah has my original set.

So, armed with a brand new set of Viking Runes...more
Jul 12, 2008 David added it
Shelves: back-shelf
Read enough about the runes and you'll be told this guy has basically invented all of this symbolism. My own studies make believe this is likely true. But if you believe in any form of divination, then you'll likely agree an internally consistent system can work without being connected to some historically accurate formula. That being said, I still found his interpretations fairly useless. But that rune set and drawstring bag is pretty swanky.
I loved this book! I read it back in the early 80s ... in fact, I did a reading that really perplexed me when things weren't going so well with my then-husband. So I wrote Ralph a letter. He actually called me, and we had a chat about it. Ralph really added a lot of magic to the world with his book.
Blum doesn't know what he's talking about. He doesn't even have the Aetts in the right order. He just makes things up as he goes along.
Fascinating. I had decided I wanted to learn a new alphabet (in addition to Hebrew and Greek) and was thinking--Russian--when runes kept coming up in various ways. Thus, The Book of Runes. I guess it's just the year of my Viking heritage. Now back to memorizing runes and learning how to use them for self-knowledge, which Blum does an excellent job of explaining.
Paola Paz
Un libro muy fácil de leer pero de analisis. Te explica la historia del autor del cómo se inició en el mundo de las runas y empieza a explicar distintas formas de "leerlas", posteriormente pasa al significado de cada runa.

El libro se puede leer rápido, pero el significado de cada runa, nunca acaba.
Lei en varios sitios de internet que no es una fuente confiable, que la información no es verídica, por lo que me hizo dudar. Recientemente me inicié en el mundo de las runas por lo que no supe saber...more
The blank rune is a joke. It was a Jewish invention of Ralph Blum. Don't bother with it. You generally get the blank rune if you buy Runes from Wicca/New Age shops. Please read the below...
May 22, 2012

For more on how bad this book is, read the 1 star reviews. Reviews of anything more than 1 star must be by people that are Wiccans/New Agers or people that have absolutely no knowledge of Runes, and reading this book an...more
Feb 21, 2012 William rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: no one
Monumentally inaccurate.

A majority of the authors' definitions and interpretations of the runes is based on personal meditation and guess work with little to no historical research what so ever.

The Rune rows are incorrectly arranged. the individual runes are based in part on J.R.R. Tolkien's "Dwarf Runes" which are, for the most part, fictitious.

The ONLY beneficial side is that this book usually includes a set of clay runes.
This was interesting but a disappointment. I was hoping for a book more about the sociocultural and historical perspectives on runes and how they were used, why they fell out of favor, etc. I think I was also hoping for more anthropological analysis - where they were used, why (e.g. placement on objects, etc). It had some gems of wisdom in it but not what I was hoping for.
Daily Word from the Runes

"I no longer try to change outer things. They are simply a reflection. I change my inner perception and the outer reveals the beauty so long obscured by my own attitude. I concentrate on my inner vision and find my outer view transformed. I find myself attuned to the grandeur of life and in unison with the perfect order of the universe".
Aaron Meyer
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 can throw this on the trash heap of history and continue on.
Fairly informative and nicely written prose and poems thrown in but I am not entirely sure that some of the information within is correct, it also has a very christian view point which would differ greatly from perhaps what pagans of all types saw in the runes. Still, I have learnt a bit and the meanings seem not far off from the little I already know.
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 follow and pretty lucid.
Robert Nielson
Great on history of the runes but I am not too fond of the interpretations of the individual runes. I feel relying on only one source for your interpretation of rune castings is severely limiting, so I have used this book supplemented with other information to acquire a broader base of knowledge.
Aug 15, 2008 Fancee rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who believes in this type of thing.
Recommended to Fancee by: My mom. She gave it to me as a gift.
And thus, a pegan was born . . .

I got my first copy of this book when I was very young (5th grade maybe), and it changed everything. I don't think that it had ever occurred to me that I could plug into the universe, and be completely in the know. For me, runes were the beginning.
Not sure which shelves this one should go on. Research for fantasy oracular systems; some good advice. Advocating self-rule and submission to a higher will - not sure what I think about the latter yet. But providence I am willing to admit exists.
Ilana Waters
This was my first introduction to the runes, read when I was fifteen. I love the author's gentle, informative tone, and the way he personalizes how to use runes on your spiritual journey. Also love the font of the 1993 edition!
Jacqueline Cioffa
The Book of Runes never lie. Self-discovery at its highest form. You may not get the answer you were looking for, but you get the one that is necessary. Willingness and openness are highly recommended when purchasing this book.
Very insightful in the descriptions of the runes. I loved the legends of the Viking gods, what they did, who they are. It's nice to have some history to the legends I've heard of.
Provides great background and how-to in regards to using Runes. Also includes "translations" of what the Runes mean. Good for anyone who's interested in this type of divination.
This is my favorite book on runes, their meaning and use. Ralph Blum wrote it beautifully, and I deeply resonate with his interpretation of the ancient Viking runes.
Adrian  Cain
My very first rune book, reading back years later it is a little simplistic.. Perfect for the beginner who doesn't want to be bogged down with esoterics and folklore.
I have the first edition. I've had this since I was 15 (that was only a FEW years ago ;-). I'm pretty much in there everyday reading something I never "got" before.
I like the picture in the beginning and I saved it for that reason only. He's too modern for my taste when he's talking about runes.
Heidi Domian
Studied it for a few days! Great book however need subject related material from this author to comprehend some questions/answers.
A very interesting read. It differentiates from some of the things I've learned, but I always enjoy learning new things.
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Ralph Blum (5/1932-) is a writer and cultural anthropologist who has been working with the Runes as a tool for self-counselling since 1977.

One of three children born to silent film star, Carmel Myers, during her second marriage to husband Ralph Henriques Blum, Sr. (1893-1950) (Her first marriage was to Isidore Kornblum, which ended in divorce in 1923). Ralph Blum (Jr.), was also the nephew of Holl...more
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