Follow up post in the spirit of another : Cosmological Contrivances and Magickal Mechanisms
After having given a quick workshop on the magic(K)al work discussed in my Cosmological Contrivances and Magickal Mechanisms post, I was asked by an attendee for a possible Rune working that accomplished the same goals; that being magic(K) on the fly without any tools but Runes (and a more Pagan rather than Hermetic working).
I’d been working on something like this for some time and had yet to finalize my notes into a coherent system that could be easily worked and understood. The difference between the Tarot and Runes is a fairly stark one. Modern Tarot is greatly influenced by Hermeticism and correspondences developed by the Golden Dawn that reflect a judeo-christian/Kabbalistic sensibility. Runes are a more tribal wisdom, and a more pagan/indo-european tool and esoteric paradigm. It’s important to be aware of these differences when trying to use either in the way we want to with this practice, as they each require a different approach and outlook.
Donald Tyson puts forward in his book Portable Magic a fast and quick system of magic(K) that utilizes only Tarot as it’s tool. Tarot is used to create the ceremonial area, to represent all the tools of the magician, and to enable complex workings to be simplified. The crux of the system is in the Tarot representing the universe by means of the astrological symbolism found within the Major Arcana. The Major Arcana become the Magicians circle, the Minor Arcana the things the Mage wants to bring into his life, the Aces the altar upon which the Mage works. Another key component of Tyson’s portable magic(K) is not only the physical working of the cards and their setup, but the Magician is also asked to create a life size Astral ritual area that correlates directly with the physical working so that both are working together.
Portable Rune Magic(K)
The ritual area: The circle is fundamental to Tyson’s system, but not necessarily so to the more Pagan version of his working that I wanted to recreate. To get an idea of the circle take a look at the picture provided. We are not trying to recreate the cosmos as Tyson does in his Ceremonial/Hermetic system but instead recreating the Multiverse and it’s many worlds as per Teutonic wisdom. The Magician sits within his circle, but also within the mandala of Yggdrasil and among the nine worlds. The horizontal access is represented by Niflheim in the north, Muspellheim in the south, Jotunheim in the east, and Vanaheim in the west. Asgard, Lossalfheim, Svartalfheim, and Hel should be thought of as vertical.
Midgard is within the circle where the Mage stands. Jera and Eiwhaz represent Midgard, Jera the turning of seasons and Eiwhaz the Axis upon which the world moves. Othal is the Magician herself standing upon Midgard in the center of the Worlds. The Altar is built using the Runes that embody the Aetts and their wisdom; Fehu, Hagal, and Tyr.
Example of a working
A working begins by laying out your Runes in the pattern described. Before beginning take a few breaths to reach a calm state of mind. Realize that you sit before a circle of stones, place the card that is meant to represent yourself upon Jera and Eiwhaz, you are now within that circle, upon Midgard.
Touch each card vocalizing or singing the Rune (exclude the Altar Runes for now), in your minds eye see it rise in light upon the stone. Once finished pause and reflect on the power of the Rune and their presence around you. Again touch the cards but this time name the world it represents. See the circle becoming a living presence, it may take on the resemblance of Yggrdasil – the living tree and holder of all worlds…or each world may take the place of the stones, or the stones may remain – however you mentally or astrally see this just be sure that you realize that the worlds are here and now and you stand among them and before them. If you are using the Rune Mandala for meditation or contemplation you can stay at this point, if you’re using this practice for magic(K)al reasons you can move on.
The Altar is utlized to realize the Magicians will. From the remaining Runes choose one (or more for compounding or clarifying the focus) that symbolizes your need or desire, you can also create your desire from paper or draw a picture, or use your imagination. Before placing the focus of your will (and the reason for the rite) upon the Rune altar touch each Rune of the altar and vocalize it’s name. In your minds eye ignite the stone altar to life, the Runes alight upon or within it as you sing or say them.
Once the altar is activated your object, card, or imagining will be placed on the altar. Your focus will be on that item alone, your will should be pushed toward the item with all the clarity you can muster. It’s important to note that the Magician’s power is not due to the circle or the power of the worlds; the power for this is generated from the knowledge gained by standing within the Multiverse, she is not a slave to their powers but an awakened participant in the Multiverse and it’s creative and pulsing existence. This is the power of the Runester.
Once you feel that you’ve saturated your desire with your will, cut your tie with the Altar and setp mentally back from the altar and what you’ve worked. Sit for a moment and gather your thoughts, come back fully into the present moment and where you sit. After a minute or two gather up the Runes in whatever way suits you. You should shuffle or toss the Runes together in order to diffuse the energy of the working and to further distance yourself from what you’ve worked as not to drain further energy.