Galina Krasskova,
Runes: Theory & Practice
(New Page, 2009)

Krasskova's work, Runes: Theory & Practice, might better be titled "Runes: Introduction & Etiquette."

As a priestess of the Northern tradition and an Odin's woman, Krasskova gives her readers an understanding of who the runes are, rather than where they came from. The story of the runes' grand entrance into human knowledge through the torment of Odin is dealt with in detail, but apart from this readers are on their own concerning the mythology behind the runes. Instead, Krasskova includes each rune's signature word, its phonetic meaning and traditional poems.

The poems are true gems, as they are taken from the Danish, Anglo-Saxon and Icelandic traditions and are presented in their original language as well as in translation. A modern poem is also given for each rune. Krasskova adds to this by taking the reader through her own experience with each rune's power and personality. Thus, Krasskova effectively gives her audience the name, job and basic overview of each rune in both the Futhark and the Futhorc in a similar style to that of a friend preparing you to meet someone new.

After these basic introductions, readers are guided through the basic encounters with the runes, divination and magick. For Krasskova, the runes are live, powerful personalities, so her advice centers on approaching and befriending them, rather than how to use them. While a few divination spreads and general guidelines are given, Krasskova confines herself to instructing her readers on proper runic etiquette. The best ways to approach the runes, what to expect from different questions and how to treat them respectfully occupy much of these chapters. While all this information is potentially very helpful to both experienced and new believers in the runes, this book is far from containing the simple facts and rules that any newcomer ought to investigate.

With her strong voice and great knowledge of her subject, Krasskova fulfills the role of the mutual friend encouraging others to meet and get along well admirably, and her readers will go away intrigued. However, those seriously considering taking up the runes will need other books as well as the more supplemental Runes: Theory & Practice.

review by
Whitney Mallenby

12 June 2010

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