Ingeborg Svea Norden reviews Futhark: A Handbook of Rune Magic by Edred Thorsson in the Bkwyrm archive.

This book first came out in the late 1980’s, and many rune magicians still consider it a classic. Several later authors, including Gundarsson, have been inspired by Futhark to some extent.

Thorsson discusses the meanings and magical uses of each rune in detail, backing them with references from Norse pagan texts and Germanic folklore. He does occasionally allude to other esoteric traditions, but this doesn’t feel as intrusive as it does in some other books. (My only complaint here is the table of astrological and Tarot correspondences at the end of the book; the runes, in my opinion, should be able to stand on their own as a magical system.)

I would still recommend this book ten years after I first bought it, although Thorsson’s language may be too dry and academic for popular readers.

Find this book at Amazon, Abebooks, and Powell’s.