The Rune Vision Cards
by Sylvia Gainsford with Howard Rodway
Several thousand years ago, people of northern Europe utilized a unique sacred alphabet, in a language of divination and mysticism. This alphabet was used to communicate with their deities and with the spirit world. The letters of this ancient alphabet were often inscribed into pieces of wood, which were then "thrown," and interpreted for keen insight. These letters were called runes. The runes contained significant messages that became precise and direct as their meanings were intuited. Runes were turned to in making decisions, looking to the future, and in seeking wisdom. They were commonly used, and the knowledge they imparted was respected.
Today, many people of diverse faiths and backgrounds are creating a place for runes in their own spiritual practice, and in their quest for personal wholeness. The Rune Vision Cards are a valuable and beautiful addition to the growing number of rune sets and rune cards available to us now.
The Rune Vision Cards are visionary. Each card offers us a total, visual and artistic expression of the rune meaning, myth, and associated image, object, animal, deity, tree, and color. A story is told for every rune, that highlights its teaching, and brings us deeper into the runic mystery and past. Thus, every card, every rune, becomes to feel like an individual journey, and when explored in its entirety, the comprehensiveness of the rune system is apparent and enlightening.
This set truly held my interest, as it shared the history of the old gods and goddesses, spirits, and magickal beings of northern Europe; as well as the sacred places associated with the origin of the runes. The writing in the guidebook is quiet but strong. It shares wisdom with deep affection and love for the runes. Divinatory interpretations are brief but thorough. It needs to be understood that runes have a core meaning that seems to expand as the reader embraces it intuitively. The book also offers introductory information on reading cards for others, three useful spreads with ideas for designing your own and going further, and an interview with acclaimed psychic Jean Tighe. An adequate bibliography is provided, along with useful addresses for furthering personal work with the runes.
The cards themselves are beautiful, often stunningly executed in intricate, overlapping designs. Gods tower over mountains, embrace animals; goddesses curl into their environment, or become the earth from which grain grows. The deities in these cards meld with the landscape. Through this visual effect we see the vision of each deity or spiritual presence, and understand the runes more easily and more acutely.
Working with these rune cards can be for the modern reader all that the runes were for the ancient people who created them. There is a presence and a stillness to them, that creates magick, touches the gods, and resonates within.
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Card artwork by Sylvia Gainsford
All writing and photography © N Levine - Illumination Tarot, unless otherwise noted. 1999-2021