Divination Articles

Road to Runes

Road to Runes: Making a Rune Set

Runes have been used for divination for many years, and are often incorporated into Norse-inspired magic and spiritual practices. While there are many digital tools for drawing runes, it’s normal to want to have a physical set of your own if you want to use them regularly. That way, you can draw a rune wherever you are, even if you’re in the middle of the woods or high up a mountain—although perhaps don’t go as far as to try and use them while hanging from a tree!



One of the cheapest and most satisfying ways to get your own runes is to make them yourself. With a bit of imagination and effort, this is actually easier than you might imagine.


Wax Runes

Wax runes can be completely disposable or fairly hardy, depending on how you make them. You can simply use a candle and let the hot wax drip onto a piece of baking parchment in 24 approximate circles. Let the wax set and scratch a rune onto each circle, carefully, so as not to snap the wax. These can then be carefully placed in a bag or other container, and drawn or cast as needed. They won’t last long, but the mindful action of creating them could lend focus to your divination efforts.

You could also use small wax moulds and wax beads to create deeper, more permanent wax runes. With care, you could make an imprint of the shape of each rune in the wax as it sets. You could then carefully use darker or much brighter wax to fill this imprint, making beautiful runes that should last for several readings. Just keep them in a cool place—they will melt on a hot windowsill!


Paper Runes

Cutting circles or squares of paper and drawing a rune on each is a quick and easy way to create a fully functional set of runes. It also has the added benefit of helping you learn the Elder Futhark better, especially if you draw the runes from memory.

The stiffer the paper or card, the longer you can use these runes for. If they become smudged or collect grease or dust marks, consider replacing them.



If you’re able to get plain wooden tokens, you can use a pyrography tool to mark the wood with the runes. This is a really satisfying craft, and these runes will last many years if treated with care. You can varnish the runes when the pyrography is complete. A pyrography pen uses heat to scorch the wood, so take extra care and get advice from someone who has done this before!

If you’re not confident taking up pyrography, you could always simply paint the wood, or use a permanent marker or other type of pen to stain the wood appropriately.

You could also use pebbles from the beach or any other medium, as long as you’re able to mark each stone in a way that makes it clear what each rune is when cast.

People have been known to make runes out of just about anything—even bottlecaps! What matters is that you can keep them clean and undamaged, and that you put the right energy and intention into your crafting and use of the runes.

What would you make yours out of?


*Image credit: Photo by petr sidorov on Unsplash



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.