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

3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  678 Ratings  ·  55 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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(showing 1-30 of 1,323)
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Jason Koivu
Mar 22, 2013 Jason Koivu rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: most-hated
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
Dec 20, 2013 Sara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 it was amazing  ·  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
Pete daPixie
Apr 19, 2009 Pete daPixie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pixie-stuff
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
Aug 23, 2014 Roxie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: witchy-books
This book gets regularly blasted in online pagan/heathen communities for being incredibly inaccurate and misleading. Blum admits that he had no idea how to use the runes originally; instead of consulting the various Eddas and other historical sources, he used the I-Ching to come up with basically his own system of rune reading. Which I suppose is fine; learning to read divination systems your own way can lead to new understanding and insight. But from what I understand from my heathen friends, n ...more
David Melbie
Dec 10, 2010 David Melbie rated it it was amazing
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
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.
Mar 03, 2016 Kat rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I came upon this book while walking home from the store one day. I saw that our local library was still open late in the day, so I went in on a whim. Almost immediately, I saw this book on a cart of books for sale for $1 each. I'd been curious about runes since I watched a rune reading about a month ago, so that definitely piqued my interest!
It was an easy, short read. Some background is given on the runes and how hundreds of years ago, people used them almost like how people (still) commonly us
Sep 11, 2012 Marna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Oct 04, 2008 Jaime rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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".
Christopher Burlingham
Alright so first things first, I question the people who have posted negative comments as to if they've even read the book.
Secondly, I challenge them to continue their growth, and to then reread the book at a later date.

Last night was the first time I picked up the book in 12 years (cause this was my first rune book) And I will gladly/ gleefully admit that most of what was being talked about went VERY FAR over my youthful head, but last night... something clicked so hard I reread the entire boo
Feb 28, 2014 Victoria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT RUNES. Bits of this were mindblowing, other bits I struggled with a bit cos they were explained using Christian stuff and I've had bad experiences there, *but* just cos the way of saying it wasn't my bag didn't stop me from getting it, just had to do some reinterpreting really. I can't wait to get started with my runes.
Me'urramya Cederstrom
I wasn't a huge fan of this book. I did kind of like the rune casts, because it helped me understand how you can actually use the runes. I also like the addition of The Speech of the High One and I love that illustration of Odinn hanging from Yggdrassil, but I didn't like the interpretations. I don't like how he didn't keep the original order of the runes, and I don't like the "rune play" business. Not so sure the runes were meant to be used as a game. Someone likened this book to tea-leaf readi ...more
Ilana Waters
Apr 29, 2012 Ilana Waters rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
so much wisdom. reading it over and over; these lessons last a lifetime. i do notice he paraphrases quotes from kahlil gibran without citing and i'm guessing others --- but still, whatever, take in the wisdom. <3
Aug 27, 2014 Niki rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think this is a good start into my introduction to Runes and their workings. With this foundation I would certainly delve into the Old workings. But I do find this a good start.
Aug 28, 2014 Chad rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is simply a modern translation of how to interpret runes. It is not historical, but for those that need help with self introspection, this method might help.
Humberto Hernandez
It's a good introductory book, the runes and concepts should be further studied and contemplated.
Sarah Fairbairn
Interesting - Now to have a play.
Feb 11, 2016 Fishface rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: how-to, paranormal
Love this one! Comes with its own set of ceramic runes for divinatory use. Great little handbook gives a deep look into what each letter means, upright and reversed.
Sep 14, 2015 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have been told that this book is not entirely accurate historically, but for sheer beauty of language and thought, it can't be beat.
Paola Paz
Jul 19, 2013 Paola Paz rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: norse
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
Jan 23, 2014 N rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 20, 2015 Cydney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such fun and so interesting.
Nov 20, 2014 Kiirsten rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This needs a ZERO rating! What bull!
Jun 24, 2015 Rose rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is my first introduction to runes and how they work. It seems like a nice, short introduction, but it does also seem like the author uses a lot of his own personal interpretations that sometimes conflict with other sources that I find online as I do some reading. Perhaps such depth isn't required right away, but it would be nice to have more specific things sometimes.

Very interesting topic and a fairly short and easy read for anyone who might have an inclination to this sort of thing.
Feb 21, 2012 William rated it did not like it
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.
Jun 27, 2013 April rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
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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 about Ralph H. Blum...

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