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Bifrost Layout

Here again we have a rune cast that makes use of Norse Mythology. According to Norse Mythology, Bifröst is the bridge that connects two worlds together, the world of the gods and the world of the humans. Since Bifröst acts as a connection between the humans and the gods we get a sense with this layout that our answers and the help the runes give us are coming straight from the gods themselves.

The order for this layout is again a simple one. Bifröst is often said to be a rainbow bridge between two worlds so we make use of the basic colors of the rainbow for the position. You may have seen the “Roy G. Biv” trick taught to children to help them remember the colors of the rainbow. This is where we come up with the positions and names for this layout.

Bifrost Layout

Bifrost Layout


  1. Red: Attitude of the past
  2. Orange: Effects of the past
  3. Yellow: Attitude of the present
  4. Green: Effects of the present
  5. Blue: Attitude of the future
  6. Indigo: Effects of the future
  7. Violet: Overall outcome

Things to be aware of for this cast

This cast is pretty straightforward and there’s not too much you need to be aware of. You just want to make sure that you’re reading the correct runes for the position you place them in. It’s basically a “Past, Present, Future” layout with a few exceptions. More often than not in a “Past, Present, Future” layout we are only dealing with the effects of each and not the attitudes of those positions. The attitude portions of this cast help to give us insight into why the effects have taken place, are taking place or may take place. If you’re not sure what I mean by this let’s look at a simple example.

We’ll pretend that you’ve cast this layout to find out about a possible promotion at work. When you start to read your runes for this cast the first rune you select will be for the “Attitude of the past” – meaning your attitude about past promotions you may or may not have received. In the past, if you had been a hard worker with a positive outlook and have received a promotion, the runes may be able to let you know that it was, in fact, your outlook and work efforts that helped you get the promotion.

One other thing you need to be aware of is the last rune for this cast, “Violet: Overall Outcome.” For most “Past, Present, Future” rune readings you won’t have an overall outcome because the “future” position will usually represent the outcome. For this rune layout the overall outcome position is there to help provide a more in-depth look at the outcome. We still need to make sure that we look at the overall meaning to the cast by taking all the other runes into consideration, but we must not forget that there is also a rune to show us the overall outcome. Such a rune can be very helpful to us at times so we should not take it too lightly.

Recording Sheet

If you wish to record your rune casts I’ve created a a printable recording sheet for the Bifröst Layout rune cast.

File: Bifrost Layout Record Sheet
Version: 1.0
Downloads: 1918
Format: PDF
Filesize: 124.21 kB

Midgard Serpent Layout

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.

Midgard Serpent Layout

Midgard Serpent Layout

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.

Things to be aware of for this cast

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.

Recording Sheet

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
Version: 1.0
Downloads: 2214
Format: PDF
Filesize: 127.05 kB

Four Directions Layout

Since the runes have a solid base in Norse Mythology the names for each of these positions is named after each of the dwarfs that are said to hold up the sky, which (according to Snorri Sturluson) was the skull of the giant Ymir.

Four Directions Layout

Four Directions Layout

The idea for this layout is simple, just a North, South, East and West pattern to place your runes in. The meaning for each position is just as simple…

  1. Nordri (North): The past – Influences that have had an effect on the past in relation to the topic of the cast.
  2. Vestri (West): The present – things presently happening that have an effect on the present in relation to the topic of the cast.
  3. Austri (East): The future – possible obstacles to watch for that may hinder the outcome or goal you have set.
  4. Sudri (South): The possible outcome of the rune cast.

Things to be aware of for this cast

This cast is very similar to a three-rune layout because we have the past, present and future involved with it. However, be aware that the third rune (Austri) is not the one that “predicts” the future for you. Its mission is to try to make sure you’re aware of any obstacles that may come your way as you try to reach your goal. The last position (Sudri) takes on the role of the usual “future position” for a three-rune layout.

Another thing you should be aware of is that the outcome position is only one possible outcome. You may end up with a rune here that, by itself, makes little or no sense in relation to your topic. If this is the case you need to make sure that you look at the reading as a whole and see what it is the runes are trying to tell you.

Recording Sheet

If you wish to record your rune casts I’ve created a a printable recording sheet for the Four Directions Layout rune cast.

File: Four Directions Layout Record Sheet
Version: 1.0
Downloads: 2381
Format: PDF
Filesize: 122.92 kB

Runes in Mythology and Sagas

An important part of runic knowledge can be learned by examining the mythology, sagas, and folklore of the people of Northern Europe, Iceland and even Greenland. By doing so we start to get an understanding of where the runes may have come from, how there were used and even some of the mystery and magick behind them.

For this section I have broken down the stories or myths and have given my input on how the runes come into play in that story or myth. A good place to start is to take a look at how the runes are said to have come into existence in Norse mythology. After we examine the runes in mythology we can begin to learn and understand more about how the runes were used by the people in the saga tales.

Mythology

Odin Discovers the Runes
Runes of the Hávamál

Sagas of Iceland

Egil’s Saga
Saga of the People of Vatnsdal

Other Sagas

The Saga of the Volsungs

Miscellaneous

‘Casting Lots’ in Sagas