Back in 1998, my first boyfriend, Zech, stayed a few days. We were driving somewhere and I mentioned in passing that I was thinking about learning to read tarot. “Why don’t you learn runes instead,” he suggested. “They’re a lot easier.” As a result, I went to the bookstore and bought a set of runes with a well known but not very good (at least from a more traditional point of view) book. I read through the book in a day and started doing readings for myself and friends. I was amazed at how well I took to them. Little did I know the key role they’d play in the journey I was about to undertake.
A couple months later, Zech and I broke up and I lost at least one friend in the aftermath. As a result, my life was thrown into a sense of chaos. Around Halloween, I decided to do a massive rune reading for myself, one that involved twelve runes. That reading led me to search new spiritual paths, which brought me to the Pagan paths.
A couple years later, I started reading other books on runes, as i was still fascinating by them. I began to read sources that were more traditional, which was difficult. In time, I devoured books by Thorsson, Diana Paxson, Nigel Pennick, Freya Aswynn, Jan Fries, and a few other authors whose names escape me. In fact, it was my love of runes and the lore surrounding them that caused a trusted mentor to suggest that I should look into following the Norse gods. That’s how I ended up a devotee of Freyja.
I don’t use runes as much is my personal practice these days, though I still have a grand love for them. Also, it led me to teach a rune class — and developing a follow-up mini-class — on runes for my local Pagan store. I’ve also since learned tarot which I like as well. I’m not sure I agree with Zech that runes are actually easier. But they still have a special place in my heart and I probably have a bit of a preference for them.