My first introduction to runes was at the Jorvick centre in York as a child and they invoked a sense of mystery and magic, yet the pouch of runes I have had for the last 20 years have sat in my drawer unused. Unlike tarot cards which felt instinctive, I’ve never really connected with them and the booklet they came with was dry and hard to grasp. When I saw this book, I hoped it would allow me to learn about my runes in a constructive way. Scroll down to see if this was achieved.
Book Review: The Runes, Grounding in Northern Magic by James Flowerdew
Title: The Runes A Grounding in Northern Magic
Author: James Flowerdew
Publisher: The Magic Road
Genre: SPIRITUAL / MAGIC / MYTHOS
Release Date: 23rd September 2021
ISBN: 9780993227226 (PAPERBACK)
ISBN: 9781914090455 (EBOOK)
The runes are more than an ancient alphabet. They are a key to the wisdom of the ancient peoples that used them in both language and magic.
THE RUNES, A Grounding in Northern Magic by James Flowerdew aims to help you on your first steps to divining with The Runes and using the magic of these ancient peoples. Actual practical success and failure is also shared candidly in the hope that the reader can learn in a safe and steady manner. All combined into a neat guide to Runic practices and the inner workings of this ancient alphabet.
Full of direct references to ancient texts, as well as ripping yarns and poignant anecdotes, this book demonstrates Rune magic and the underlying principles and culture that inform it, as well as some general magical practices.
This guide helps make sure that the reader’s first steps into Runic mysticism are on solid ground and allows everyone who wishes to work with The Runes to make intelligent choices of their own.
First off, this book is beautiful with many illustrations which are a delight to look at and along with stories help make the information enclosed more accessible. The book goes beyond what each rune means, for very good reasons. Runes are complex items and not something to use lightly, as James Flowerdew discusses. He gives a balanced overview of the runes history, including their dark uses in the second world war and the far right, as well as where runes fit in magical systems and whether runes are right for you. There are then clear instructions on the runes’ uses and magic.
There is a lot of information to take in, but the tone and language takes a topic that from my experience can be dry and complicated into something understandable, interesting and highly readable. It has left me wanting to learn more.
This book maybe titled The Runes, but it offers so much more, including discussions on the Pagan ideas surrounding the runes and the different gods. This book has left me feeling more positive and less daunted about using my runes, especially now I know instead of them being an elitist tool, runes were for the everyday person.
Would I recommend?
Yes, if you are a beginner interested in runes and Northern magic or more experienced, this is a book to read. It went beyond my expectations and gave a balanced insight into not only the meanings of the runes but their history, connections to the gods, and their uses. With stunning illustrations, it was a joy to read and a book I know I’ll return to again and again.
With its connections to magic, the North and divination, this will be a hit with the visitors to The Enchanted Emporium’s bookshelf.
Discovering the runes in his early teens, James is an avid folklorist and historian with a particular focus on ancient pagan cultures.
He is a practising neo-pagan with an emphasis on the Northern Tradition, but likes to see that as part of a larger global discourse that spans back to Neolithic times and hopefully distantly into the future.
Trained as an artist and illustrator, James Flowerdew currently writes and paints in Edinburgh.
Thank you Random Thing Tours for inviting me to this tour and providing an advanced copy for me to review and give my honest and unbiased opinion.