Customer Review

18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Personal Vision of Some Interest, July 2, 2012
This review is from: The Book of Runes, 25th Anniversary Edition (Hardcover)
I am not a rune scholar. In fact, this is only the third Rune book I have read; however, I have studied the tarot for several years, so I am familiar with that oracular system. There have been many reviews written about this book's place in the world of rune knowledge and information. I am going to stay away from that and treat this book on it's own merits.

The most important thing for you to know is that this book is one man's personal spiritual vision. It is not scholarship, and it is certainly not Norse scholarship. There are snip-its of poetry and prayers from many cultural sources - the eddas, a Japanese samurai, St. Francis, the bagavad gita, etc. In other words, this is a new age book that happens to talk about the runes. That can be enriching at times and distracting at others. Which predominates for you will depend on how the different "sources" happen to vibrate with what you like and know.

As far as the descriptions of the individual runes go, the main problem is that many are repetitive.

For example, mannaz is described as indicating, "A time of growth," Ansuz is said to focus on "the mechanism of self change," uruz is the "rune of new beginnings," ignuz is described also as a "rune of new beginnings" kano is a "rune of renewed clarity."

Another cluster of meanings gathers around another set runes: Othila "the proper action here is submission." Nauthiz "The necessity of learning how to deal with restraint." Eihwaz "consider that even delay and obstactle may prove beneficial." Etc.

So there are few basic themes: always be open to new growth. Don't be impatient. Etc. Fine, but then why the 25 different runes when there are only a few basic messages? This is a problem I have also seen in tarot books that are too much the product of an individual's "spiritual" vision. Each description begins to sounds like a slightly different echo about the authors basic attitude of his place in the world.

Oracular tools should be treated as more objective and versatile than this. They should be able to be applied to both the spiritual and the mundane, and they should leave the reader with more room to draw his or her own conclusions about "the big questions" when he or she wishes to.
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