Pathwalking With Runes
excerpt from The Pathwalker's Guide
There are certain magical spells that can help you alter your pathworking experience for your own comfort. This goes rather more into sorcery than shamanic work, but the two have often blurred together. I learned the runes for divination over twenty years ago, and slowly discovered that they had magical uses as well, which falls under the general heading of galdr, or Norse magic-working. However, when I started walking between worlds, I discovered that the runes had a whole related set of uses that were specific to moving between worlds.
The runes are the best tools I've found for tweaking your experience magically during pathwalking. I use the Anglo-Saxon Futhorc rather than the Norse Futhark, because I'm one of those people who could never be happy with only 24 crayons in a box as a kid, and because the extra Futhorc runes work well with some of the Rokkr/Jotnir deities that I work with. However, if you prefer only to deal with Futhark runes, just ignore the ones in the forthcoming list that you don't recognize. Also, don't think that these are the only uses for the runes. They are a multi- purpose magical and spiritual toolbox, and different people have unearthed different uses for them. These are just the ones that I use. How much does it matter that they are drawn in the way that I specify? They'll work without it; these directions just seem to make their working more efficient and effective.
I am not listing the runes here in either the Futhark or Futhorc order. I'm listing them in the order that they are most useful to the pathwalker. I strongly suggest that you have some familiarity with the nature of each rune, from a divinatory and/or magical and/or spiritual perspective, before you work with them under these circumstances. There are many excellent books on runes out there; one of my particular favorites is Edred Thorsson's Runelore. You ought to be able to find suitable study material without trouble in any bookstore that has a decent occult/pagan section.
I've been asked: Does the stroke order and the visualized color really make much of a difference? The answer is that I've found them to help in the depth and permanence of the spell, but they are not necessary for it to work. Some people can't visualize runes in color anyway. Where did I get the colors? I messed around on other planes, pathwalking and trying them out, until by trial and error I found the ones that worked best. Some were obvious - Ken is red, Laguz is blue - duh. But use them or skip them as you will.
This is the single most important rune when pathwalking, because it's the one you'll use to make the topology of two worlds line up appropriately. When two worlds overlap, their gross natural features tend to pull together. This is because like attracts like - high places attract high places, valleys attract valleys, and roads attract roads. It's especially true for roads and paths, because these are highways of energy carved by the walking feet of many people. However, sometimes there's a road in one world that just doesn't exist in the other, and there's nothing for it to line up with.
You'll only be able to easily walk down an open way that exists in both worlds, where two roads have lined up together. If there's a path in the homeworld but none in the second world, you'll feel a sense of pulling, or dragging, or barrier, or severe discomfort when you try to walk it. If there's no path in this world, then of course you won't be physically able to drag your body through those trees or rocks or whatever. It does limit the ways that you can move, and can be frustrating when you're trying to find your way through wild or rough territory.
This is where Raido comes in. Raido, or Rad or Rade, or however you like to pronounce it - is the Rune of the Road. To use it for pathwalking, trace it in the air with your finger or thumb, and speak it aloud. As you do so, concentrate on the idea of the paths shifting together, until a clear way opens up before you. The rune Raido will temporarily force paths together, even if they're rather far apart, long enough for you to walk down them. Be warned that if your Raido- spell is forcing together two paths that are rather far apart, it may be a little uncomfortable to walk them. I tend to feel a sense of strain, as if one is holding together two things that want to spring apart, and sometimes it feels like the ground is tilted over to the side as I walk. It's still safe to walk, but get down it and off it as soon as you can.
You can do the Raido-spell repeatedly, if you don't like the way the paths shifted. However, sometimes certain things just don't line up in any way that you can get to them. Water is especially tricky: bodies of water, even small ones, usually won't line up with anything that isn't some kind of body of water. If you're living in, say, the middle of the desert, you will find it difficult to pathwalk a road to the Well of Wyrd if there's nothing wet for miles. The way to get around this is to build a water-anchor beforehand (see Laguz).
If there is a choice of landmarks - for example, three or four bodies of water - the topological feature that you're trying to get to will line up with the one most similar to its energy. When I was pathwalking on my own property and had to visit all three wells, both the Well of the Norns and Hvergelmir seemed happy to line up with the deepest part of the spring that gurgled under our little bridge. However, no matter how many times I used Raido, Mimir's well refused to line up with any water feature on our property. The road kept shifting away, and I finally ended up a quarter-mile away from my property at the local fishing pond. For some reason, its energy was more compatible with Mimirsbrunnr than my little spring. It also seems like the more spiritually "loaded" the place is, the pickier it is about lining up a counterpart landmark with compatible energy.
Raido is drawn with the thumb, with the vertical stroke upwards and the diagonal ones downwards. Its color is the dusty brown of the road.
Ehwaz, or Eh, is the Rune of the Horse, and is the traveler's other mainstay. It makes the road itself move faster under one's feet, which can be very useful when crossing long distances in other worlds.
When roads line up during pathwalking, they seem to line up by direction and general energy and not necessarily length. A road in one world might be much longer than the road in the other world that has locked onto it. This makes for weird sensations when you're trying to walk them - sometimes it seems like you're walking much longer than you ought to be to get somewhere that looks as if it's right over there, and sometimes the road seems to rush beneath you and you're there in much fewer steps than you expected. This is because one road has been "stretched" to match the other one, so to speak. It seems as if your pace tends to be somewhere between what it takes to walk each road.
While coming up on something too quickly is merely confusing, taking forever to reach it can be tiring and annoying, and it's here that you use Ehwaz. Draw it in the air over the road, or if it's a particularly long and tiresome road, draw it in the dust. It will speed up the second world's road in relation to the homeworld's road, and the second world's road will seem to move faster under your feet. I find that not looking down while you're walking under the influence of Ehwaz is advised, as it can look disorienting. As soon as you stop, the rune stops as well, and you have to restart it.
Ehwaz is drawn with the index and middle fingers together, from bottom left to bottom right. Its color is light grey.
Laguz, or Lagu, or Laeg, is the Rune of Water, and it can be used in pathwalking to find bodies of water (such as creeks, springs, or even large puddles), and to line them up together, much as Raido lines up paths. Another use for it is in preparation for pathwalking; if you know that you will be visiting a sacred body of water (such as Urdabrunnr or Mimirsbrunnr or Hvergelmir or the oceans surrounding Vanaheim or Midgard) and there is no actual water in the place where you've decided to do your pathwalking, you can create landmarks for it to line up with. You can use large pots or woks of water, or metal trash cans, or buckets, or even a garden hose with a few holes punched in it to leak water. Paint the Laguz rune on it, and that will serve as an anchor for the second-world water feature. You do have to differentiate between fresh and salt water; to anchor an ocean's shoreline you can try adding some salt and dried seaweed to the water, but the absolute best option is to pour in some actual seawater. If you don't live near the ocean, have some friends send you a bottle of it.
Laguz will also, in some cases, temporarily purify water in the second world and allow it to be drinkable. This is good if you have to get a drink from the River Slith, which is full of knives, or the blood river that runs through Myrkwood, or any other stream that you fear might be enchanted. It only works on a cupful at a time, so dip it out and then set the spell. It also does not work on the quality of the water in your homeworld; you'll have to resort to more physical technology with regard to Giardia and other parasites.
Laguz is drawn with the index finger, up on the long stroke, then down on the short one. Its color is blue.
Berkana, or Beorc, is the Rune of the Birch Tree, growth, and nourishment. It is Frigga's rune, and supposedly can be used to get her attention, although as with all things divine you take your chances there. On a pathwalking level, Berkana does for foodstuffs what Laguz will do for water: make it nourishing and nonpoisonous in the second world. It may not alleviate enchantment, though, as long as the enchantment won't directly affect your health. If it has botulism in this world, it's unlikely that Berkana will make it safely edible.
Berkana can also be used to anchor trees. It will work almost every time on a birch tree; for other species it's hit-or-miss. Berkana is drawn with the little finger in the same way as Raido. Her color is white.
Kaunaz, or Ken, is the Rune of Fire, and the Rune of Truth. Drawing it in someone's direction while they are talking may give you an intuitive feel for whether their words are true. Ken can also be used to anchor fires that you make yourself but need to leave for a moment (please don't leave fires completely unattended, have a support person monitor them!) or candles, or torches. It's a good all-purpose fire-starting spell as well. If you bring primitive fire-making equipment such as flint and steel, or a firebow or fire-twirl, mark them with Ken. For a firebow, add Nyth, for a fire-twirl, add Cweorth.
Ken is drawn with the middle finger from the top down. Its color is red.
Mannaz, or Mann, is the Rune of Humanity. It is a link to your physical body, and can help bring you back there. Although one doesn't technically separate from one's body during pathwalking, the fact that one is splitting it between two worlds can, in some cases, cause the soul to start to separate out. If you are skilled at journeying, and you are in a safe space, you can just lay down and fare forth. If it is important that you stay pathwalking and not faring forth, then Mannaz is the rune to use. Figure out where the separation is starting from, and draw it there on yourself. If you aren't sure, draw it over your navel. If you're worried about staying in your body, you can prepare by drawing a series of Mannaz runes on yourself - forehead, throat, heart, solar plexus, navel, genitals, hands, and feet. That will thoroughly anchor you, although it may make it difficult to be aware enough of the nonphysical planes to be very useful. It's best tried beforehand, in a less crucial space, so that you know how your physical and astral bodies react to the rune. When you're back from pathwalking, it's a good idea to use it on yourself in order to get yourself accustomed to being totally in your body again.
Mannaz is drawn with the middle finger. Draw the left vertical line from bottom to top, then cross over with the diagonal. Repeat the process with the right side. Its color is that of flesh.
The Rune of the Serpent, when drawn, will bring you to the border of Midgard, whichever part is closer. Since the border of Midgard means the Big Snake, that's who you'll see. It tends to land you on the shore closest to Jormundgand's rippling coils. Because of the nature of the rune, and the fast-moving Snake (most people don't realize that the Snake is constantly in motion, tearing around the world), you won't stop short. You'll hit the border and slide sideways for a bit, carried along by the Snake's motion. Don't be thrown off; let the momentum slow down and don't get dizzy.
Obviously, this rune only works if you're in Midgard (in which case you'll end up at the inside border) or one of the worlds adjacent to Midgard (in which case you'll end up at an external border). You can also use it to invoke the Snake, with a bit of poured seawater.
Ior is drawn with the index and middle fingers together. Draw up with the vertical stroke, then make the X with downward strokes. Its color is sea-green.
Gar, the Rune of Odin's Spear, is actually a kenning for the World Tree upon which Odin was hung. Gar is a difficult rune to use, and it may or may not respond to you. If it does respond, you'll feel an immediate sense of vertigo as you find yourself rushing up and down the World Tree as if in an invisible elevator. If you make it in the air in an upwards direction, you'll go up; making it downwards brings you down. The problem is getting control of it, because it doesn't just nicely stop at each floor. If you go down and you're not careful, you will land yourself in the Land of the Dead, and if you're not in the area where most non-employee mortals are allowed, you can get yourself in trouble. Going up too fast can be even worse, because you won't just land safely in Asgard. Nobody gets in or out of Asgard without permission. You might end up shooting up to the top of the tree, and then having to find your way down again. It's a rune to be used with care, and lots of practice. Make sure that the first time you try it, you have a backup plan to come back from wherever you might get stuck.
Gar is drawn with the index finger. Draw the diamond starting from the bottom and going deosil, and then make the X from the top down, left side and then right. It seems to have no color of its own.
Eihwaz, or Eoh, the Rune of the Ash Staff, is one of the two runes I use during pathwalking as protection. It makes a difference as to which direction you draw it. Starting at the bottom and moving to the top seems to create a more "offensive" kind of defense, while drawing it top to bottom is purely defensive. What it mostly seems to do is trip people up. You can cast it at a specific piece of ground in order to trip up someone who enters, or you can cast it right at someone. It won't actually hit them unless they make a move toward you, as it's not an offensive weapon like Tyr. Carving it into a tree, or making it several places in the same area, will make intruders stumble all over the place, until they eventually stumble out again. I've combined Eihwaz with Algiz for a really fine boundary spell, and with Tyr as a combined offense-defense weapon.
Eihwaz is drawn with the index and middle fingers together, bottom to top. Its color is black.
Algiz, or Eolx, is the other really kickass protection rune. Algiz says, "Who goes there?" and issues a challenge, and creates a boundary that an intruder will run up against. There are specific differences between the actions of Eihwaz and Algiz. Algiz isn't made to be used in a battle; it's to protect your territory and property while you aren't present, whereas Eihwaz can be used defensively in combat. Eihwaz is covert - they don't know it until they stumble and fall - while Algiz is in-your-face. Approaching an Algiz boundary will give the intruder a definite feeling of "this place is dangerous/guarded/generally not good for you go any further". It's not a subtle rune. The stag rears its head, the upraised hand lifts and says, "Hold!" and the approaching person has to decide whether to go on and risk whatever else you've put there, or retreat. It can be combined with Eihwaz for defending boundaries, or Tyr for a punishment should they cross the line, or with Othila to protect your home space.
Algiz is drawn with the index finger. Draw the line bottom to top, and then draw in the V from left to right. Its color is black.
Nauthiz, or Nyth, is the Rune of Need, and it is useful for protecting your necessary items when you have to put them down and come back for them. Nauthiz is a big NO over something, a Don't Touch. If you use the rune while thinking about something unpleasant, it can take on that energy as well. For instance, when I had to leave things in Alfheim while I went to my treehouse, I put a Nyth over them while imagining the scent and feel of cold iron. The enspelled place gave the energy of "Don't touch this, it's cold iron" and kept the small pixies at bay. It can also be combined with another rune, such as Fire or Ice or Thorn, to give the illusion that this would be hot or cold or otherwise unpleasant to touch.
Nauthiz is drawn with the index finger. Draw both lines from the top down, the vertical one first. Its color is black.
Tyr, or Teiwaz, is a weapon-spell, and no mistake. To use it, draw it in the air starting at the bottom of the spear-shaft and ending at the point, and then bring your hand back a little as if miming grasping the spear, and then make a throwing gesture, which can be subtle or dramatic depending on your circumstances. You can also use the Tyr-symbol as an arrow and mime shooting it, but that's a little more complicated. If it hits the target, the target will hurt. How much it will hurt - mosquito sting or knock-them-across-the-room - will depend on how strong and/or armored your target is, and how strong your own power is. This is very much an offensive rune; it's for whacking someone. Be careful not to use it frivolously, or on someone (or something) whom it will merely anger and not disable.
Tyr is drawn with the index finger. Draw the shaft from the bottom up, then the point in a V from left to right. Its color is red.
Thorn, or Thurisaz, is used to place painful obstructions in the path of someone who is following you. It's a nasty little rune, and only to be used in emergencies. It's especially good when laid on brambles, shrubs, trees placed thickly together, an area with stumps or roots sticking up, or any mass of plant matter. Its action makes the plants close in and attack anything that attempts to move through them. On bare ground, it's less effective, but it can still afflict the pursuer with sharp stones that find their way into their shoes.
Thorn is drawn with the little finger, and always behind you, never in front of you. Draw the shaft from top to bottom, and the thorn from bottom to top. Its color is the dark red of blood.
Ansuz, or Aesc, is the Rune of the Messenger, and it is used for speeding messages to others. You can draw it in the air, and then make a gesture as if releasing a bird to fly, at the same time that you mentally send a message to someone. You can also write the message on paper, burn it, and draw Ansuz in the rising smoke; this method is especially good when communicating with deities or spirits. Of course, on a purely pragmatic level, you can draw it on a note that you are leaving for someone, to make sure that it gets there. Ansuz is a good rune to use for a pathworking anchor for Asgard. It can pull you towards Asgard if you need to get there and you're lost, but remember that Asgard is one of the hardest worlds to enter without permission, and you may end up getting blocked.
Ansuz is drawn with the index finger, and always above the head. Draw the vertical line up from the bottom, and the wings downward. Its color is sky-blue.
Os, the Rune of the God-Mouth, is the bard's rune, and it helps with languages. It's both used to charm your own speech, so as to make your words more persuasive (an important tool for those of us who get into otherworldly beings' homes and cities by storytelling or singing), and to aid you in understanding the languages of other beings - sort of a "Babel fish" rune. For enchanting your own speech, you trace it directly on your tongue, as Iduna cut the runes into Bragi's tongue. For learning the languages of others, trace it in the air.
Os is drawn with the little finger. Draw the main stroke bottom to top, then the upper V outwards left to right, then the lower V inwards right to left. Its color is blue.
Fehu, or Feoh, the Rune of Cattle, symbolizes wealth. Anything you draw it on will take on a subtle glamour of wealth and value. You can draw it on yourself and you'll come across as wealthy and important, but be careful - in some areas, that's likely to incite a robbery attempt. You can draw it on gifts to make them seem more valuable, or on useless items to distract people from the really valuable stuff.
Fehu is drawn with the middle finger. All lines go bottom to top, starting with the vertical. Its color is green.
Chalc, the Rune of the Chalice, symbolizes the quest for the unattainable, or at least the difficult-to-attain. It has two magical uses, one quite useful and one only slightly unethical. The latter use is similar to Fehu, in that laying Chalc over an object lays a glamour of "this is the one thing that you want more than anything else, that you must have!" It can be a useful distraction to keep the eyes of others off of you, but be careful with it - if you're carrying that thing, people may try to take it from you. The other use is in finding something you're searching for, but it only works if you have a real emotional need to find it; i.e. if it's connected to your heartstrings in a big way. If you're casual about finding it, Chalc won't work well. Draw the rune in the air, "grasp" it with your hand, and see what direction it pulls you in. It will fade after a second, so pay attention.
Chalc is drawn with the index and middle finger together. Draw the cup first, then the center stroke from top to bottom. Its color is gold.
Gyfu, or Gebo, the Rune of the Gift, has several different uses. Its most direct pathwalking use is that it can be used to line up crossroads with each other, should you see a need. (To anchor a crossroad, use a bind rune of Raido and Gyfu.) It can also be used for its gift- meaning, to confer hamingja on a gift given. Adding Gyfu to any object that you are giving as a gift will pass a little of your own hamingja into it, and it will be that much more valuable to the receiver. It works well as a blessing on gifts. I've also invoked it by drawing it in the air while stating, "I give you this gift," when someone is reluctant to accept a gift freely given (generally because they don't believe that it's really freely given). This tends to make them much more comfortable and relaxed about accepting it. Of course, the gift has to be really freely given, and as far as I can tell if you do it while secretly hoping for some kind of obligation, it may inhibit any future gifts that you get. Gyfu needs to be invoked in this way only with an open heart.
Gyfu is best drawn with the index and middle finger together. It doesn't matter which side you start on, but draw each line top to bottom. Its color is rose or pink.
Isa, or Is, the Rune of the Icicle, is the classic stay-spell. You can use it to "glue" things that are precariously balanced in place, to "freeze" something to the ground (people will be able to pick it up, but they will feel extremely reluctant to do so), or if you're really good, to stop something or someone in its tracks. If you're using Gar and you're falling or shooting up too fast, Isa will temporarily stop you long enough to get your bearings and step off. Isa also retards rot and helps to keep things cool, so it is useful drawn onto containers of perishable material. Isa is also a good anchor for and magnet to Niflheim; you can use it to get there should you so desire it.
Isa is drawn with the thumb, from top to bottom. Its color is pale ice-blue, or white.
Hagalaz, or Haegl, is a rune used in pathworking to lay ill luck and chaos on a particular area. Its only ethical purpose is to evade pursuit by enemies who have no legitimate trouble with you. Laying it on an area can cause all sorts of problems, from bad weather to swarms of bugs to falling trees, and you don't necessarily know if that area is home to innocent creatures who don't deserve your meddling. Remember that what you do comes back to you when using this rune, as one of the ways in which it can go wrong is that it can attach itself to you rather than to an area, and then you'll be followed by a cloud of chaos and difficulty. It will make you harder to catch, but you won't enjoy it. If you must use it on an area, don't be in a hurry. Stop and ask the land- wight for permission, and if it seems unhappy with the idea, don't do it. If you're in that much of a hurry, try something else.
Hagalaz is drawn with the index finger. All strokes point downwards, starting with the verticals. Its color is dark grey.
Dagaz, or Daeg, is the Rune of Daybreak and the Summer Solstice. Its pathwalking use has to do with the cycles of time. Each of the Nine Worlds has its own set of seasons, which may be similar to or have nothing whatsoever to do with our own earthly seasons. I don't pretend to know the length of the year or the type of seasons in any of the Nine Worlds, but Dagaz does. Cast on a map, it will give you a vague intuitive idea of what season is going on in any given world. Since sometimes it's easier to anchor a world when the weather is similar to your own - Niflheim is a cinch to anchor in a cold northern winter, Muspellheim is simple in the southwestern desert, and so on - casting Dagaz into the air will automatically pull you towards whatever world is closest to your own climate and season. It won't pull you all the way there; it'll just give you a hard tug in the right direction so that you can have that information.
Dagaz is drawn with the index and middle fingers together, starting at the bottom left and going any direction. It seems to come in shades from orange to yellow.
Uruz, or Ur, is the Rune of the Wild Ox. It signifies strength, and can be added to anything that needs strengthening, including yourself. It's good for poles that need to not snap under heavy winds, or straps that need to hold up a heavy bag, or ropes that are stretched to the end of their tautness. If you need to apply it to yourself for physical strength, draw it on one or both biceps with your middle finger. For strength of heart, draw it on your heart chakra; for strength of will, your solar plexus. In both these cases, take a deep breath as you draw it, as if to draw its essence into you through the skin. Uruz is a very masculine rune, and very feminine people who have used it on themselves have complained that it tended to make them "walk more male", at least temporarily, so take that into account.
Uruz is drawn with the thumb, starting at the bottom of the higher vertical. Its color is dark grey.
Ac, the Rune of the Oak Tree, is also a strength rune, but it is less about active strength and more about endurance. Ac is a more feminine strength, although feminine is this case is never weak or retiring. It is Angrboda's rune, and as such has a "giantess" energy to it. Ac is useful on the long haul, when you think that you can't go one step further. Put it on your boots, or apply it magically to your legs and feet, or your back if you are doing hard labor.
Ac is drawn with the index finger, in the same way as an Os. Its color is brown.
Sowelu, or Sigil, is the Rune of Victory, and the Rune of the Sun. Although it can be used magically to lay potential victory on a warrior (in which case draw it onto the heart chakra), its most practical pathwalking usage is to bring the sun out from behind clouds. On the end of a stick, it can be used to dowse the direction of the sun under a thick cloud cover, thus showing time of day. Cast on a map, it will show the world where time is currently closest to noon, when the sun is highest.
Sowelu is drawn with the index finger from top to bottom. Its color is yellow or gold.
Ing is the Rune of Sacrifice, and as such it is used to mark offerings. Sometimes, just leaving something around can be deceptive; don't assume that the natives know what you're doing. To lay Ing on something, magically or otherwise, marks it clearly as a religious offering. It is especially appropriate for offerings given to gods, or laid on altars.
Ing is drawn with the index and middle fingers together. Draw from the bottom to the top as two sideways Vs, starting at the bottom left. Ing's color is gold.
Yr, the Rune of the Bow, has many small purposes. Draw it on your forehead to focus yourself when you are disoriented or your mind is wandering. Mark it on a bow and/or arrow for more accuracy. Since it is associated with craft work, mark it on your crafting tools in order to give them skill. With this association in mind, it can be used as an anchor for Nidavellir.
Yr is drawn with the thumb, like an Uruz, with the central stroke downwards and then the cross-stroke, if you use it. Its color is blue.
Jera, or Jer, the Rune of the Harvest, is purely and simply the best route to Vanaheim. It's a good anchor rune for that world, and it's useful if you're trying to get there and having a hard time. You can draw it in the air, or if you're completely disoriented, you can scratch it into the earth and stand on it, and draw Vanaheim in to you.
Jera is drawn with the thumb from the top down, as two Vs, or if you want to make the later version, do the vertical stroke from the bottom up and then add in the diamond starting at its top point. Jera's color is green.
Wunjo, or Wyn, is the Rune of Light. It can be a magical light in dark places, but remember that light attracts things, including dangerous things, so being able to see in the dark may be a better option. Wunjo is a good anchor for Ljossalfheim, and can be used to draw you there if you are having trouble finding it.
Wunjo is drawn with the index finger, the vertical stroke up, the diagonals down. Its color is white.
Perth, or Peorth, is the Rune of the Cave and the Dice Cup and the Mystery. It is linked to the Well of Wyrd, and can point you in that direction. You can use it to try and contact the Norns, or to find the Well. To anchor the Well itself, make sure that you have some kind of body of water, and use both Laguz and Perth.
Perth is drawn with the index and middle fingers together, starting at the top open corner. Its color is black.
Cweorth, the Rune of the Funeral Pyre, is Surt's rune, and as such is a good magnet and anchor for Muspellheim. Magically, it can also be used to accompany burnt sacrifices, and it can purify things that you need to ingest. It won't make them nourishing, like Berkana, but it can burn off enchantments. Things magicked with Cweorth are completely safe, but tend to taste burned or washed-out, so be careful.
Cweorth is drawn with the index and middle fingers together, like an Eihwaz but starting at the extra tails. Its color is dark red.
Ear, the Rune of the Grave, is a magnet and an anchor to Helheim, the Land of the Dead. When you use it, where you end up will depend on how important you are to Hela, whose realm it is. You might end up on the Helvegr, the Hel Road, and all you need to do is keep walking forward. (To deliberately get to the Hel Road, use Ear and Raido.) You might end up at the gates of Helheim, or possibly even inside, although the latter is unlikely unless you've already been to Helheim and have some kind of clearance. Ear can also be used in attempts to communicate with the Dead. It is Hel's rune, and if you use it in her territory, you will get her attention, so be careful that you are not frivolously bothering her dead folk.
Ear is drawn with the index finger. Draw the vertical up and the horizontal Vs from right to left. Ear's color is black.
Stan, the Rune of the Keystone, can be used in pathwalking as a neutral anchoring point. Use it to anchor something that isn't covered specifically by one of the other runes, or use it in combination with another rune as extra anchoring power. Sometimes it might be necessary to anchor a landmark and then walk away from it for a while; Stan can help make sure that it's still there when you come back, although it won't work for more than a day or two at best.
Stan is drawn with the thumb, starting at the lower right corner. Its color is grey.
Remember when Dorothy clicks her heels three times and says, "There's no place like home"? That's Othila, or Oethel, the Rune of the Homeland. Unless something is actively blocking you, this rune can often bring you home. It works best if you've set up some kind of anchor in your own world with an Othila on it, and if your physical body is actually on your own land, where you live. It can fail sometimes if you're doing your journeying in a place that is physically strange to you, such as a state forest or park that you are not familiar with, and not "at home" in. If you intend to use Othila to bring you home instead of, say, a link with the land- wight or your own implacable will, you should visit the place you will be journeying on a regular basis, and eat several meals in that spot. Play with the grass, rub on the trees, do whatever you need to do to make it feel like a safe, familiar place. Go there in your mind when you're home. This will give the rune something to grab onto. If you are physically journeying on land that you own, you can make a permanent installation, such as a number of stones in the shape of an Othila.
Othila is drawn with the little finger, starting at the lower left "leg". Its color is brown.