Bind Runes

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Bind runes have been used since the genesis of the runes, but they are nevertheless extremely rare to see in Scandinavian runic inscriptions from the Viking Age. Most of the bind rune inscriptions that have been uncovered stem from the earlier Proto-Norse and later Middle Ages.

Despite their ancient roots, the runes, and bind runes in particular, may be more commonplace than you think. Just think of the familiar Bluetooth symbol on your electronic devices – that’s an example of a bind rune, its design created by superimposing two rune symbols on top of each other.

There are two different runic alphabets, the most common being the Elder Futhark runes. The Younger Futhark, also called the Scandinavian rules, are a shortened version of the Elder Futhark. You can, of course, use either the Younger or Elder Futhark – or a combination of the two – in your rune magic.

So how do you create your own bind runes, and what purposes can you use them for? Keep reading to find out.

What are bind runes and what are they used for?

Bind runes are combinations of two or more runes in a way that also combines the individual meanings of the two runic symobls used. When the runes are combined into bind runes, they form a new constellation of meaning and significance.

Bind runes have been used for a great variety of purposes since their genesis, and can serve just as varied a number of purposes today. Love, prosperity and protection are just a few of the many purposes the bind runes can serve.

Divination

Divination is quite possibly the most common use of the runes. Long before there were Tarot cards, oracle cards, or mostly any other form of divination tool, there were the runes.

Rune readings bear many similarities to a reading with Tarot or Oracle cards, but is necessarily simpler, as there are only 24 rune stones in contrast to the 78 cards that make up a standard Tarot deck. How much of the Tarot is directly or indirectly inspired by the rune symbols is unclear, but several runes have parallel meanings to the 24 archetypes of the Tarot’s Major Arcana. In other words, those who have at least a passing knowledge of the Tarot cards is going to notice several parallels when learning the meanings of the runes.

The focus of most readings with runes is to predict future outcomes – or to seek guidance or solutions to specific questions or dilemmas. The topics and questions that can be addressed in rune readings are varied and complex, but typical themes revolve around love and relationships, wealth and abundance, success and accomplishment, healing and self-development.

Bind runes have a particular significance in divination – the meaning and interpretation of the reading are determined by the runes that appear. Let us for example say that you are casting a simple past, present, future reading using three runes. The three runes that come up mean something individually, but they also mean something very specific when viewed in combination with each other.

Runic magic

Both singlular runes and bind runes are used in runemagic – a form of magic which has both ancient roots and many varied applications.

Magic with runes can serve as many different purposes as the rune divination itself. Rune magic can be divided very roughly into two different kinds: The kind that attracts and the kind that repels.

Magic to attract draws desired outcomes, circumstances or energies to you and includes the attraction of love and romance, money and opportunities, fame, influence, good health and all manner of fortune and positive outcome. Magic to repel pushes undesirable and unwanted situations and energies away from you, and covers everything from magical shielding and protection to repelling specific people or influences from your life and warding off bad dreams or bad luck.

Magical uses for the runes include using the runes in rituals, spells, amulets, bind runes, sigils, meditation and vision work.

Amulets

Rune amulets are yet another manifestation of how the runes can be used for magical purposes. Rune amulets can consist of either single or bind runes.

A rune amulet can be as simple as a single rune slipped into your pocket on days where you feel you need a little extra positive energy – or even just a rune drawn on a piece of paper. A rune amulet can also be a rune worn as a necklace, or inscribed into a clay statue in your home or office.

Rune amulets can be permanent or can be changed and updated from day to day, week to week or month to month, depending on what you feel a particular circumstance or situation is calling for.

Typical purposes for rune amulets include protection (whether against stress, distractions, night terrors, other people or negative influences overall).

Bind runes

A bind rune combines single runes to create a new and specific meaning. Combining rune stones allows you to tailor-make the runic energy your need for your specific magical purpose.

When none of the existing 24 runes have the precise meaning or energy you want to use in an amulet or magical ritual, combining them enables you to craft your very own cocktail of metaphysical energy in one symbol.

Different types of bind runes

The rune stones can be combined in a number of different ways to create a bind rune. Let us explore them in a little more detail.

Linear

There are two different kinds of linear bind runes: Stacked and same stave.

A stacked bind rune is created by combining two, and sometimes three, runes that share the same axis. In other words, you are superimposing the symbols on top of each other in order to form just one. In spells, this type of bind rune is used to manifest a particular desired outcome.

The same stave rune is often found in Scandinavian rune inscriptions, and its function is to attack and help solve a particular problem or issue. A same stave rune is created by inscribing a particular combination of runes along a shared vertical axis.

Radial (Stave)

Radial (sometimes called stave) bind rune inscriptions have mainly been found in the Icelandic staves (Galdrastafir). What distinguishes them from other runes is that they radiate out from a shared centre point.

Radial rune sigils are often used in defensive spells, and make perfect designs for charms or talismans.

Different runes for different purposes

In order to make the most potent and effective bind rune possible, it helps to be familiar with the individual rune letters and their meanings. At the very least, it is a good idea to know what runic inscriptions are used for what purposes, so you don’t accidentally end up creating a bind rune that backfires or cancels itself out.

What is a love rune?

Some runic inscriptions lend themselves better to attracting specific circumstances into your life than others. Here are a few ideas of rune symbols that are suitable for love spells and talismans:

Perthro ᛈ is the rune of fate and destiny – it draws those things, circumstances and people to you that are meant to be.

Gebo ᚷ is another potent symbol of romantic promise. The Gebo rune symbolizes a gift, a blessing, partnership, joy and generosity.

Ingwaz ᛝ is the rune of fertility and symbolizes both virtue, harmony and balance in all human relationships, as well as in both physical and emotional processes.

What is a protection rune?

Thurisaz ᚦ is a fantastic choice when you want to create a powerful bind rune for protection. The Thurisaz rune symbolises Thor’s hammer (Thor being the Ancient Norse god of war and thunder). There can be no better defence than Thor’s hammer.

Another suitable rune is Algiz ᛉ, which means elk. The elk is a symbol of personal power and fortitude, but also of ancestral protection and guidance.

Nauthiz ᚾ, the rune representing needs and self-preservation, is one of the best for shielding and protection.

What is a prosperity rune?

A great example of a rune that is idea l for attracting prosperity is Fehu ᚠ, which means ‘cattle.’ Of course, to the ancient Vikings, cattle symbolized wealth and prosperity, as the people or families who owned cattle had the ability to wear warm clothes in winter, to drink the milk and eat the flesh of their cattle during times of famine, or to trade these things for other goods and means of survival.

Berkana ᛒ symbolizes a birch tree and can make a vital component in a bind rune for prosperity. The birch tree represents growth, fertility and fruitful endeavours. If you are creating a rune for your business, Berkana is a suitable symbol of its steady growth.

Jera ᛃ is the rune of harvest, and helps ensure that you become able to harvest and enjoy the fruits of your efforts and the hard work you have been putting in.

What is a suitable rune for luck?

Raidho ᚱ is a great rune for luck, as it encourages forward momentum, progress and fresh new perspectives. Raidho is also a good rune when you are feeling stuck or uninspired.

Sowilo ᛋ is the rune of the sun, and symbolises both victory, recovery and joy. It is a suitable rune for many purposes, and luck is surely one of them.

What is a healing rune?

Uruz ᚢ is a great rune for healing. The Uruz rune means ‘ox’ and its shape is akin to the silhouette of an ox. An ox is the ultimate symbol of health and strength.

Another suitable rune for healing is Dagaz ᛞ, the rune of dawn and renewal. Dagaz brings renewed hope, energy, optimism and positive outcomes.

How to make bind runes

So, how do you make bind runes? Here is the process – or the creation ritual – step by step. You can follow these steps to craft bind runes for any purpose you can imagine.

Choose a clear aim for your rune magic

Before creating your bind rune, it is important that you get clear and laser-focused on the desired outcome of your magic – how will you know when or if your bind rune is working if you haven’t clearly defined the purpose for creating it?

The runes may well have been created (or, if we are to believe the old Norse legends, discovered by Odin) well over a millennia ago, but because their essential meanings are built on universal and timeless principles, they are still as relevant today as they were in the dark Middle Ages.

Of course, the meaning of the runes has to be understood more metaphorically than literally these days, but in a way, this only broadens their scope.

Since their genesis, the runes have always been used to deal with the most fundamental of human concerns – and these are still the same today as they were then: Love, psychic shielding, wealth, abundance, family, creation, conquest etc. Just like a Viking who lived over a thousand years ago might have used a bind rune to attract prosperity and love, and to fend off accidents and malevolent forces, so you might create a bind rune for similar purposes, but adapted to suit your 21st Century life.

Examples of purposes for runic magic include: To attract a romantic partner, or improve your relationship with an existing partner, to attract more wealth into your life, whether in the form of a promotion, a new job or investment opportunity, inheritance or luck, or to repel negative influences, whether you experience them in the form of nagging relatives, a demanding boss or internet haters. Only your imagination places a limit on what you can use bind rune symbols for.

Make your selection of individual runes

Next, you want to select the runes you wish to combine into one bind rune. Make sure you opt for runes with complimentary meanings, so that you don’t end up cancelling out the power of your your runic spell even a little bit.

Combine runic symbolies that have complimentary meanings and that seem to you to work together for the purpose of your spell or for the intent you are aiming to manifest. For example, you don’t want to combine a runic symbol that attracts with one that shields – these two energies are not complimentary, but rather contradictory.

Design your first bind rune

You are bound not to get your bind rune perfect right away, so sketching it out on a piece of paper first is a good idea. This removes the pressure of having to nail the finished design in your first attempt.

Play around with the appearance of your magical rune until you find the most aesthetically pleasing version of it, or simply the version that clicks and feels right to you. Only when you have settled on the best version of your bind rune are you ready to transfer it to a more permanent material.

Select a suitable material

Now it is time to select a suitable material for your bind rune. Traditional materials include stone, seashells, wood, hide or bone, but at this point in history we have a much wider range of materials available to us, and there is no rule saying you cannot use them in the creation of bind runes.

A few examples of bind rune worthy materials include fabric, clay, plastic and glass. Skin is another option – rune tattoos are not that uncommon. If you have created a bind rune with a vibe and significance you would like to carry with you as you continue on the journey of life, getting inked with you own personal rune might be an idea.

It follows that you also need to select an appropriate tool for the engraving of the rune – this could be anything from fire, to a tattooing needle to a quill, depending on what material you have chosen to work with.

Craft the bind rune – the creation ritual

Pay attention to how your bind rune is created. To infuse it with extra power and magical potency, turn the creation process into an experience, a little bit of a one-man or one-woman spectacle.

A good ritual entrails a deliberate heightening of all of your senses. Your goal is to establish a liminal space, in which you are able to magically influence your circumstances and bend the universe ever so slightly to your will. To create this sense of heightened awareness and emotion, use ritualistic tools and implements of your choosing.

Incense is one of the most simple yet effective ways of setting a mood that is a little beyond the ordinary. Sage is a favourite for rune creation rituals, not only because of its renowned ability to clear and banish any negative influences from the space you are in, but also because sage is what the ancient Vikings would have used in their rituals. A great alternative to sage is dried lavender, rose petals or the moss or bark of a tree. In a pinch, an incense stick in a scent you like will also do the trick.

Music is another effective way of heightening the senses and the emotions, as well as conjuring up a particular mood.

As always when it comes to magical workings, use the magical implements – and construe the entire ritual – that appeal to you, and that preferably correspond to the vibe you are trying to imbue your bind rune with. For example, roses are traditionally associated with love and romance, so it makes sense to burn dried rose petals as incense if you are crafting a bind rune to attract a romantic partner. You can combine this traditional association with more subjective elements such as, for example, a piece of music that reminds you of the kind of relationship you want to have or of the particular man or woman you want to attract.

For an added dash of potency, engrave your runic letters in the light of the full moon or during the hour of Venus.

Put the bind rune to work

Finally, it is time to put your newly crafted runic talisman or object into action. How you put it into action is necessarily highly subjective – it depends on the purpose of your bind rune, as well as on the material you have chosen to engrave it on.

While some runic sigils may have a permanent use and place in your life, others are likely much more temporary and specific. A bind rune crafted for the express purpose of working as a psychic shield in a specific situation neither could or should be worn permanently. On the other hand, a bind rune inscribed over your door for good fortune and harmony can be left to simply wear off naturally over time – and when it fades, you can always refresh it. The same goes for a self-empowerment runic symbol tattooed on your skin.

One final question remains: How do you know if or when your runic talisman is working? The answer is up to you; it depends on what your magical rune was made for. If you crafted it with the assignment of protecting and shielding you while navigating a particularly difficult situation and you felt safe and reassured as you faced this situation head-on, the talisman worked.

Lucius Nothing

Lucius has been slinging tarot cards professionally since 2014. He’s taken the tarot to places most wouldn’t think of: His best-known patrons include Torture Garden, The Dark Circus Party, Handel & Hendrix, A Curious Invitation and The Candlelight Club, where he has been resident tarot reader for the past half-decade. His writing on divination, magic and creativity has been published in Sabbat Magazine and on Medium.

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