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Sample of rune divination showing placement on a horoscope chart

When you reach the number 64, finish by "sealing" the talisman with the words "So mote it be," and drawing three crosses in the air with your right forefinger above the paper. (This is a very old method of sealing, or benediction, which was appropriated by the Christian church from their pagan forebears.) Now your square of Mercury will be charged and your deep mind fully attuned to the correct range of vibrations for the divination, which must be performed with the square kept either on your person or prominently displayed in your place of work.

Once you have made a square, whenever you wish to perform a divination, all that is necessary to do is to hold the square in your hands, and let your gaze fall upon the numbers one by one in their proper sequence, repeating your mantram at each number. No sealing is necessary at the end, however; you may begin the divination immediately. Keep your completed square in a new box or wrapped in a clean linen or silk cloth, as with your other magical artifacts; you will be constantly using it.

I shall now move on to a simple type of witch divination, which you as a beginner would be well advised to learn. The operation is known by the name of Casting the Runes.

Divination by rune sticks is one of the most ancient and celebrated witch methods of prognostication we have. The process dates back certainly to Druidic times and probably before. It is a very good example of a method of augury, that is, prediction or knowledge gained by signs and omens, as opposed to that of the inner vision as employed when scrying in a show stone or mirror.

Basically the rune sticks consist of four flat slats of fruit-wood—apple, pear, cherry, plum, hazel, rowan, or any other wood if you cannot obtain these. But they must be wood. They should be about five inches in length by about a quarter to a half inch in width. Finish off the rough edges and make the rods smooth and comfortable to the touch. Sprinkle them with salt and water and fumigate with a Mercurial incense within a properly cast circle. Now, using your brush and paint of art, make a large and obvious dot on one side of each of them, centrally located. When the paint has dried, turn the rods over and make two large dots on the other side of them, spaced so that the gaps between the dots themselves and the ends of the rod are all equal, in fact, so that the rods are marked into three equal segments by two dots.

These are your rune sticks. You should carry them about with you for a period of time before you use them to charge them with your magnetism, or witch power.

Now the method of their employment is this:

Provide yourself with some pieces of clean paper, your pen and ink of art, a good supply of Mercurial incense, your square of Mercury, a flat-surfaced table, your thurible and your cup of salt and water. Lock all the doors and means of access to your place of working, and if there is any chance of being overlooked through a window, make sure the drapes are drawn. Then purify the chamber with fire and water as you were taught in an earlier chapter, using your Mercurial incense.

Begin with the square of Mercury ritual to tune your deep mind to the correct level. At this point, write out your question on the paper provided with the pen of art. Then take the rune sticks in your right hand and cast them so they tumble away from you in parallel formation on the table. Say as you do so:

In thy name Herne Lord of the Crossroads, I take up the runes; From a word to a word let me be led to a word from a deed to another deed.

Throw the rods three more times in the same manner, repeating the spell, and note down all the figures formed by the rods on your paper underneath the question beginning at the right-hand comer and going left. Right to left, remember.

Now take the top dot or dots from the first (right) figure, note them down on the right-hand side underneath; then take the top dots or dot of the second figure to the left and note them down under your new set. The top dots or dot of the third figure to the left and those of the fourth complete the third and fourth line of your new figure. In effect, you will have skimmed off the top layer of dots of your four figures and made a new figure from them. Now do the same with your second, third, and bottom levels of dots belonging to your four primary figures (or mothers, as they are known). This will give you four new figures (known as daughters).

Now write out the eight figures again side by side, right to left beginning with the first mother and ending with the last daughter. We will now compose our last four figures, the Resultants. These are produced by adding the dots laterally of the first and second figures, the third to the fourth, the fifth to the sixth and so on across the eight.

Now the method of adding the dots is thus:

If the total number of dots is an odd number, you note down a single dot. On the other hand if the total number is an even one, we note down two dots. By this process the four resultants are manufactured, which along with the mothers and daughters, make twelve figures in all.

Now to the four resultants, you apply the same process again, laterally adding the dots of the ninth and tenth figures, then the eleventh and twelfth. This produces the two witnesses, figures 13 and 14, which are likewise added laterally to produce the judge, figure 15. Figure 15 is then added laterally to the first mother to produce the reconciler, figure 16.

This process appears vastly complicated on the surface, but in point of fact is extremely easy once you get the hang of the binary addition, which is, in fact, what the process is based on. After a minimal amount of practice you will be able to set up a chart in no time at all.

Now as to the interpretation of the figures:

Basically, the two witnesses symbolize either two main factors bearing upon the problem or a choice of two possible courses of action. The judge, being a synthesis of the whole, indicates the nature of the problem itself, and the reconciler indicates the nature of what will be the final long-term outcome. Now according to the way your question has been phrased, so will the answer be capable of interpretation. So it pays to be very specific about your question in the first place.

There are some modern witches who like to place the first twelve figures within the houses of a horoscope chart. For some people it can work quite well. I myself have never found it to be particularly satisfactory, however.

Anyway here is the method should you wish to try it:

The interpretations are according to the astrological ruling of the house. For instance, house 1 refers to the querent, house 2 to money matters, house 3 to news and journeys, and so on.

The following chart provides a simple and accessible interpretation of the runes and their meanings.

The actual symbols used in this divination system are also shared by that of the fifteenth-century wizard Cornelius Agrippa, geomancy, so-called. This involves the use of a tray of sand to construct the figures as opposed to a set of rods. The principle, however, remains the same, the idea of heaven leaving its impress upon the earth being implicit therein.

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