Rune layouts and spreads can help us figure out what the runes are saying. The runes tell us what they mean, however, we sometimes need help to determine what and where those meanings will have an impact in our lives. Using certain layouts and spreads can provide us with structure as well as the information we seek.
Choosing a spread is not a difficult thing. Depending on your question(s) it will or should make an impact on the spread you decide to use. If your looking for simple and yes or no answers then a spread of 1 or 2 may be in order. But, if you need a much more guided answer to your question then you will want to choose a bigger spread in order to give you more detailed answers and direction.
It’s also important to note that the spreads I have shown below are not the only ones used. There are numerous others out there and for that matter, you could make your own as well. The Rune Spreads listed below are just the ones I prefer to use, or have used when someone is doing it for me, and you should never read yourself!
One Rune Spread
This spread is really the most basic of rune spreads. Much Like any Rune Casting you can either cast them and pick one or just reach into your rune pouch or bag. This rune is the one that will give you the feelings and answers to the question you’re looking for. it’s also important to know that the way you feel at the time of the casting in general as well as about the question being asked will impact the results of the casting and rune given as an answer.
Two Rune Spread
The two rune spread is based on the idea of there being only times “that is” or “that will be”. It not the same as the oast present and the future would be which you can see in the next tab. The first rune you pick will represent “that which is” and the second rune will represent “that which will be”
1 – “That which is” – this can be things in the past as well as the present and how they can impact the question being asked.
2 – “That which will be” – this is how the events or the future, as well as the future in general, will impact the question being asked.
Past, Present and Future Spread
Because there are many people that disagree with the time-space concept of what is and what will be, here is a layout representing the past, present, and future. The way this one works is you have the past on the left, the present in the middle, and the future on the right.
1 – The past – Events and history that have affected the past in regards to that which is being asked.
2 – The present – This represents the things that are currently taking place and have an effect on the situation with regards to the question being asked.
3 – The future – This is the result of the question that was asked.
Runes have a solid foundation in Norse mythology and because of that, the names of each of the 4 positions were named after the 4 dwarves known to hold up the sky which is the skull of the giant Ymir. Again some of this is according to the mythology of the Norse. Thus otherwise known as the 4 corners spread.
Nordri (North): The past – Influences that have had an effect on the past in relation to the topic of the cast.
Vestri (West): The present – things presently happening that have an effect on the present in relation to the topic of the cast.
Austri (East): The future – possible obstacles to watch for that may hinder the outcome or goal you have set.
Sudri (South): The possible outcome of the rune cast.
Five Rune Cross
For this reading, you will form a cross sign with the 5 runes you cast. The first will be the bottom of the cross and represents the basic influences that underlie the question. The second one is placed to the left of the center position and represents the obstacle to overcome. The third rune is at the top and represents beneficial processes. The fourth is to the right of center and represents the outcome of the question. The last rune is placed at the center and shows all the future influences.
1 – Represents the basic influences that underlie the question.
2 – Represents any obstacles to overcome.
3 – Represents beneficial processes.
4 – Represents the possible outcome.
5 – Shows all future influences on the outcome.
The Midgard Serpent is a beast that is said to live in the ocean that surrounds the world and is so long that he is able to bite his own tail. In this spread, we use the fact that the serpent is able to bite his own tail and it’s important in the reading that we are aware that if we’re not careful the results of this layout can pass us by.
1 – Represents our feelings in the distant past in relation to the situation we are asking the runes for help with.
2 – Represents the struggles with this situation as a result of our feelings from position one. Also, the “hump” symbolizes the obstacles we may have overcome and we should be aware of how we handled the situation in the past because it may once again come back to us in the present time (position four).
3 – This point concerns our feelings about the situation during the present time. Physically it is the closest rune to us as we lay the runes down so it not only represents the present time but also the close connection to our heart or feelings.
4 – Position four is when we start the journey towards our outcome. The obstacles we may have had in the past (at position two) may come back into play for us here. We also see that the “hump” here is a little steeper, which may mean that the obstacle is even more difficult to overcome. However, we do have our past experiences with this matter to help guide us along our path.
5 – At position five we reach the peak of our journey and we can see our goal clearly. This rune will tell us about our feelings and how they can begin to control us once we think we can achieve our goal. We cannot let our feelings get the better of us, rather we must learn to understand that we need these feelings to gain our goal but at the same time not let them control us.
6 – Position six reminds us that we still have to work towards our goal if we want to achieve it. Take this rune to heart. If it is telling you that you need hard work to get to your goal then you’ll need to listen. If it’s a rune about power and control, you may need to be strong and control your emotions in order to get to the goal.
7 – This spot represents the Midgard Serpent’s head. Most of the time this is our goal. However, according to Norse Mythology, the serpent is so large that is able to bite its own tail. If we are not watching what the other runes are saying to us so we can reach our goal we may find ourselves passing by our goal and beginning once again on the tail of the serpent.
All rune spread images came from the Rune Site.