Taking Up the Runes

Since its inception as a class workbook in 1989, Taking Up the Runes: A Complete Guide to Using Runes in Spells, Rituals, Divination, and Magic has been one of the rare, sought-after prizes of the heathen community, its publication limited to photocopied, comb-bound editions belonging to students who had taken Diana Paxson’s year-long runic study course.

Now, after sixteen years of development, several year-long classes and three overhauls of the source material, Taking Up the Runes is available to the general public as a trade paperback from Red
Wheel/Weiser.

The authors of this website would prefer you buy your books from your local occult bookstore, although we realise this isn’t possible for everyone. In the general Oakland/Berkeley area, The Sacred Well has been good to us and we recommend them. Alternately, you could always buy it directly from the publisher..

Book Description:

Although many of us first encountered runes in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, this sacred alphabet is by no means a fabrication for books or movies. Similar to Hebrew letters in the sense that each symbol contains a meaning that transcends its original function as a letter, the runes are practical, flexible, and effective symbols with a variety of uses.

Effective use of the runes requires both the old wisdom and the new. The student must not only consciously study the meanings ascribed to the runes by earlier scholars, but must internalize them.

Diana Paxson, from the Introduction

Today, the best-known application of rune lore is divination: chips or stones marked with the runes are drawn, cast, or laid out in patterns like tarot cards. In Taking Up the Runes, Paxson delves into the ancient historical meaning of each rune and explains their contemporary uses and meanings. We discover that the real power of runes comes from inside ourselves when we find the wisdom and power within each symbol and internalize them.

Taking Up the Runes is the ultimate workbook for using the runes on a psychic, spiritual, and magical level. Learn how to make your own rune set and how to use the runes in guided meditations and song.

Discover dozens of rituals and spells for all levels of ability.

What Others Are Saying

Here’s what some other notable heathens have had to say about Taking Up the Runes

“An important new synthesis of modern occult runelore. The fact that this material was generated out of Diana Paxson’s workshops over several years speaks to its great value as a teaching tool in the current runic rebirth.”
— Edred Thorsson, author of Futhark and Runelore, Yrmin-Drighten of the Rune Gild, and founder of the Troth.
“The long-awaited runic treasure trove written by Diana Paxson will be mandatory reading for my students.”
Freya Aswynn, author of Northern Mysteries and Magic (formerly Leaves of Yggdrasil) Principles of Runes, and Elder and former Redeswoman of The Troth
“This should become the standard text for teaching the runes, and that could be a very good thing for both the tradition and the lives of its practitioners.”
— William “Bill” Bainbridge, former Steersman, The Troth

Meet the Author

In addition to the speaking engagements featured on her primary site, Diana Paxson is also available for book signings, lectures, and workshops relating to the publication of Taking Up the Runes. Please contact us if you’d like more information, or to set up an engagement.