As you can tell I like to create my rune spreads around figures and objects from Norse Mythology, and this spread is no different. The Midgard Serpent is a beast that is said to live in the ocean that surrounds the world and is so long that he is able to bite his own tail. In this layout we use the fact that the serpent is able to bite his own tail and it’s important in the reading that we are aware that if we’re not careful the results of this layout can pass us by.
You do not need to worry about placing the runes in the “flowing” pattern of the image above. The purpose of line in the image is to give you a feel that we are placing the runes to create a serpent. However the line also helps us to better understand the positions and their meanings. We pretend that we start at position one (the tail) and we “walk” along the line until we reach the head of the serpent at position seven. As we “walk” along the serpent we must make “uphill journeys” which represent obstacles or situations that we may need to overcome. The “downhill journeys,” for example moving from position two to position three, are times after we have conquered or overcome an obstacle. These are periods when we can relax a little and once again prepare ourselves for future hurdles that may come our way.
Now let’s take a look at the rune positions and their meanings.
1 – Represents our feelings in the distant past in relation to the situation we are asking the runes for help with.
2 – Represents the struggles with this situation as a result of our feelings from position one. Also the “hump” symbolizes the obstacles we may have overcome and we should be aware of how we handled the situation in the past because it may once again come back to us in the present time (position four).
3 – This point concerns our feelings about the situation during the present time. Physically it is the closest rune to us as we lay the runes down so it not only represents the present time, but also the close connection to our heart or feelings.
4 – Position four is when we start the journey towards our outcome. The obstacles we may have had in the past (at position two) may come back into play for us here. We also see that the “hump” here is a little steeper, which may mean that the obstacle is even more difficult to overcome. However, we do have our past experiences with this matter to help guide us along our path.
5 – At position five we reach the peek of our journey and we can see our goal clearly. This rune will tell us about our feelings and how they can begin to control us once we think we can achieve our goal. We cannot let our feelings get the better of us, rather we must learn to understand that we need these feelings to gain our goal but at the same time not let them control us.
6 – Position six reminds us that we still have to work towards our goal if we want to achieve it. Take this rune to heart. If it is telling you that you need hard work to get to your goal then you’ll need to listen. If it’s a rune about power and control, you may need to be strong and control your emotions in order to get to the goal.
7 – This spot represents the Midgard Serpent’s head. Most of the time this is our goal. However, according to Norse Mythology, the serpent is so large that is able to bite its own tail. If we are not watching what the other runes are saying to us so we can reach our goal we may find ourselves passing by our goal and beginning once again on the tail of the serpent.
This rune layout represents a sort of “timeline” to reach our goal. Position one starts us off at the tail of the serpent and we must work our way towards the serpent’s head at position seven. We must be aware that time, like the Midgard Serpent, can often be seen as a cycle. Time continues to move from one day to the next as the sun and moon rise and fall letting us know that a new day has come and gone. This cycle continues unbroken in our mind unless we form “breaking points” to split up this constantly moving cycle. With time we use “breaking points” like weekends or holidays to give us a rest from the busy workweek, which can have a monotony of it’s own. The “breaking point” for this layout can be seen as our goal for the situation we are asking the runes about. If we’re not careful we may pass up our goal because of our feelings of excitement to break this cycle. If that happens we may find that we may, in fact, not have reached our goal at all and instead have restarted our journey at the tail of the Midgard Serpent. Because of this we must learn to understand, control and make good use of our feelings as we try to achieve our goal.
If you wish to record your rune casts I’ve created a a printable recording sheet for the Midgard Serpent Layout rune cast.
File: Midgard Serpent Layout Record Sheet
Filesize: 127.05 kB
Before you begin casting there are a few things that you may want to do to get yourself in the correct frame of mind. In doing readings and castings the one thing that is necessary is that you are comfortable and prepared before you start. Nothing on these pages is absolutely necessary to do a rune reading (except, obviously, a rune set) so if you feel like you’d like to do something different than the way this page suggests, then please do so. You know yourself better than anyone else and what makes you comfortable will only help you in a reading. Okay with that said here are a few suggestions.
Some people say that castings should only be done during the day, outside, with the sun shining. Others will tell you that the proper time to get the best reading would be near midnight when the veil between this world and the “Other World” is at it’s thinnest, therefore getting help from spirits. I’ve even seen ways to calculate what time of the day to do a reading depending on the question you are asking. This is really all up to you. There is no hard evidence to say that one way is better than the other so try a few castings at different times and see which time works best for you.
I mentioned above about the shinning sun. Why would this be a better time than a calm day that’s slightly overcast? Well the reason is that the weather can affect our mood and the one thing that we want is to be in the best frame of mind. If you cast on a day when you’re not in a good mood this can affect the outcome. So you may want to hold off to do a casting until the weather and your mood is perfect.
Something that you may want to consider when you sit down to cast the runes is your surroundings. This can be important because of the surrounding energy fields. You don’t want to cast near power lines where the energy given off by the lines could some into conflict with your own power.
Another thing to look out for is the people around you. You don’t want to have people who are skeptical or doubt what the runes can do. If you have people around you doubting this can come into play with your own feelings about the runes. You may even start to doubt yourself and therefore get a poor or inaccurate reading.
If you are casting outside the set-up is simple. Face the sun, layout your casting cloth and pillow and take a seat on the pillow. On the opposite end of the casting cloth place your mearmots and the question written on a piece of paper, if you’d like. Gather up the runes, think about the question you are asking and then toss the runes in front of you.
If you are casting indoors there are a few possible set-ups that you can do. First find a room where you can layout your casting cloth where nothing will be in the way, and so it’s not bunched up against the sofa or anything like that. If it’s possible set up the cloth so that you can sit facing east or in the direction of the sun at that time of the day. If it’s at night then you can set the cloth up so that you are facing the moon, or to the east to “await” the rising sun. What happens if you can’t lay your casting cloth to face to the sun? Well you can just cast in whichever direction that the cloth fits in the room. Or you can try to layout the cloth so that the longest side of the cloth is parallel with the longest wall in the room. The choice is up to you.
You are now ready to start casting. You have your casting cloth laid out in the setting of your choice, you’re in a surrounding that makes you comfortable and everything is perfect. Now gather your runes and have a seat because it’s time to cast. Layout your runes face-up in front of you and make sure that they are all there. If you have a pouch that you use to carry your runes in place them back in the pouch and mix them up. If you have small rune tiles, or large hands, you can mix the runes up in your hands. Concentrate on your question and toss the runes down on the cloth in front of you. Now you’re going to need to choose the number of runes that you’ll need for the spread that you have chosen. To do this you are only going to use then runes that landed face-up. If, by chance, you do not have enough runes to fill the places in the spread you have chosen you can do a few things. You can re-cast the runes that have landed face down, cast the whole spread over, or leave the places in the spread blank. I suggest that you re-cast the remaining face down runes.
When the runes land on the cloth in front of you, how do you know which runes to pick up? There are a few ways to determine that. You could pick a single spot on the cloth before you cast the runes and then pick up the face-up rune closest to it to fill the first spot in the spread. You would then pick up the next closest rune to that spot for the second place, and so on until you’ve filled all the places in the spread.
Another way to do it is to draw an imaginary line down the center of your casting cloth and pick the rune that lands face-up and closest to the line. Start with the rune that is closest to the line first. If there are two that are about the same distance then pick the rune that is closest to you and the line. After you have filled all the places in your spread the next thing is to read them using the meanings of your runes. Which can be found in the Rune Meanings section.