Two Runes Together
In the last issue of PaganPagesOrg, we looked at the power of a single rune reading. As I learn the runes myself, slowly it has to be said, I love to look at the different ways the runes can be read together. Just as a single rune can give a fast, intuitive answer to a simple question or circumstance, two runes together could provide either more detail or perhaps two polarized viewpoints on the same situation.
Ways to Draw Two Runes
There are plenty of different ways to either draw runes yourself or get them drawn and explained by an experienced reader. You can purchase physical sets of runes from many places, and they can be made from so many different materials. I prefer wooden runes, but I had to dispose of my last set for personal reasons. I’m currently, therefore, using a set of carnelian gemstone runes which I had intended to sell, but am now glad that I kept!
Drawing runes yourself is a great way to attune yourself to the symbols and learn more about their meaning. I’ve been learning for some time now and still feel like an absolute beginner. I certainly learn something new each time I draw the same rune.
Get yourself into the right headspace for rune reading. You don’t want to be disturbed, and you shouldn’t have pressing matters preying on your mind. If you do, go deal with whatever it is you need to handle and come back to your divination efforts later.
There are a few different ways you can do a two-rune reading:
- Visualise a scenario or question then draw two runes and interpret their meaning together. The meaning of both runes will be relevant to your query.
- Concentrate on a possible choice, think about your first option and draw a rune, then imagine you choose the other option, and draw a rune. The first rune will indicate the possibilities if you choose one way, while the second rune is what could happen if you choose the alternative option.
- You can use the two runes to indicate the past and present, or the present and the future. Make sure you focus your intent sharply as you draw the runes if choosing this method. You could even allocate a rune to the past and the future, but it’s often good to get some insight into what’s happening now, to help move you past whatever’s in your way.
You can apply other divination techniques here too. You could ask two separate but connected questions, or draw a rune for each of two people connected to a problem you’re dealing with.
Digital Readings for Two Runes
If you don’t have a physical set of runes, you can use digital tools such as iFate or Rune-Readings.com. Full disclaimer: We’re not paid by any of these online divination providers, and use their free services as a simple demonstration of what’s possible. Several smartphones app stores have rune reading apps too, although they vary wildly in quality. Rune-Readings.com does not offer a two-rune reading but you could choose a single rune reading twice. There are plenty of other options available online.
iFate does offer a two-rune reading, called “Now and What Will Be” in other words, representing the present and the future, as outlined above.
Once you choose this “spread”, you see a mat with cast runes upon it. You can, at this point, untick the option to have inverted runes to ensure the results are as simple as possible. Click on the two runes that speak to you. For this example, I ask a work-related question; what’s in my way right now on a particular project, and what’s the likely outcome?
My two runes are Othala and Kenaz, inverted. I actually clicked to not include inverted runes but, hey ho, I guess my internet was glitching!
Othala (sometimes called Othila) can represent home and hearth, ancestral land, property, or inheritance. There’s a little information about Othala and its meaning in my Runic Prayer for Peace. iFate suggests that this rune is also tied to our personal identity, our communities, and can represent the greatness we aspire to. It’s also a reminder that our actions may survive us.
For me, I think this indicates that I’ve been working super hard to maintain home and hearth in the here and now, and that this in itself could be preventing me on working on the projects that bring me more joy. Sure, they pay less, but money isn’t the only aspect of a happy home.
The second rune, Kenaz, is the torch, and another rune in my Lokean prayer. In fact, both runes make up half of Loki’s name (transliterated), which I can’t help but feel is highly indicative of the God’s influence over this particular project. Kenaz can be a light shed on injustice or the unknown, or simply the flame of inspiration or transformation. However, in an inverted position, iFate suggests it could mean the dwindling of creative flames; a dream about to die. The impulse here is to work hard to not let that dream die, and to keep the torches of inspiration alive.
This makes total sense in my context. If things carry on the way they are, then yeah, I’ll lose the “dream” it mentions because I simply won’t have time to work on it. Also, day-job fatigue leads to creative burnout, an almost literal interpretation of the flames of Kenaz dwindling.
The alternative is that I take note of the first rune, adjust my attitude and work ethic accordingly, which could lead to a different outcome. Maybe if I do this same reading for the next issue with a three-rune spread, I’ll see a much different result!
Paid Readings: Is it Worth it for Just Two Runes?
This is entirely up to you. If you have a trusted reader, and you know they have good insight and a good understanding of the runes, then it’s your decision whether you want to spend your money (or trade goods should you have this relationship) on that service. Ultimately, only you know the worth of that to yourself. A two-rune reading could be as insightful as a reading with many more runes, and some readers may not charge as much for drawing fewer runes, so it could be a good investment.
As always, make sure you only pay for trusted practitioners. Be wary of hundreds of glowing online reviews, as these could indicate that someone has paid for reviews—sadly, a practice that’s becoming more common in the metaphysical community. Ask within your own trusted Pagan or Heathen communities and circles for recommendations rather than choosing a random person online. Of course, you could have a great experience with an unknown reader, but we urge you to exercise as much care as you would when shopping for any product or service online.
Did you find the demonstration of a two-rune reading useful? What’s your interpretations of these two runes when pulled together? Come tell us on our socials!
Recommended Rune Resources:
Recommended Norse/Heathen resources:
Books and columns by Morgan Daimler and Dagulf Loptson provide a good mix of tradition, lore, and modern practice.
*Always be mindful when reading rune interpretations online or even in popular books. Some runes and other Norse symbols have been co-opted by the alt-right and far-right, so use discernment and avoid sources based on fascist ideals.
About the Author:
Mabh Savage is a Pagan author, poet and musician, as well as a freelance journalist and content creator. She’s a nature-based witch, obsessed with Irish and British Paganism and Folklore, plus she’s a massive plant nerd. She’s also a long-time Hekate devotee and a newbie Lokean. She works extensively with the UK Pagan Federation, including editing their bi-annual children’s magazine. Mabh is a passionate environmentalist and an advocate for inclusiveness and positive social transformation.
Mabh is the author of A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors, Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways, and most recently, Practically Pagan: An Alternative Guide to Planet Friendly Living. Search “Mabh Savage” on Spotify and @Mabherick on all socials.