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.
Ingeborg Svea Norden reviews The Elements of the Runes by Bernard King in the Bkwyrm archive.
A straightforward, easy-to-read book on divination and rune magic. He may not have Gundarsson’s gift for vivid writing, but he does have some thought-provoking comments and enough good solid research to back them up.
Find this book at Amazon, Abebooks, or Powell’s
Ingeborg Svea Norden reviews At the Well of Wyrd by Edred Thorsson in the Bkrwyrm archive.
This is one of the best rune books for people who are interested strictly in divination. The style is a bit dry and academic–at least, the explanations for the individual runes are like that. Still, the book does describe several layouts and casting methods that I’ve found useful. It also gives detailed instructions on how to make your own runes (three different ways!)
Find it at Amazon, Abebooks, or Powell’s.