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Recommended Books 

I am frequently asked to recommend books on all aspects of runes, divination and associated subjects such as ley lines, trees, myths and legends.

I hope to add to this list as time goes on, but for now here are the  books that have helped me most in my studies.

The listings are not in any particular order. They show the title, author and current price (excluding packing and shipping) from Amazon.

The Complete Illustrated Guide to the Runes
Nigel Pennick     US$21.90
Comprehensive lavishly illustrated guide to all the major runic systems by a highly-respected UK rune expert, historian and broadcaster. This is my favourite general book on runes.

Northern Mysteries and Magick
Freya Aswynn     US$11.66
Advanced divination and magickal interpretation from the great runemistress.

The Power and Principles of the Runes    Buy Now
Freya Aswynn     GBP £10.95 (US$23 approx)
Not currently available through Amazon - buy directly from the publisher (linked above) and shipped from the UK.
A thorough intermediate work with  plenty of guidance for beginners.

The Rune Primer
Sweyn Plowright     US$16.95
Especially recommended for beginners. This book exposes a number of commonly-held beliefs as myth, it takes an objective look at the works of some of the most widely-read authors on the subject of runes, and it clearly explains how one should set about separating fact from fiction.

The Old Straight Track
Alfred Watkins     US$17.52
This is the original 1925 book about Ley Lines that started the whole thing off. The author even invented the term "Ley Lines".

Lines on the Landscape
Nigel Pennick  & Paul Devereux     US$29.59
Comprehensive treatment of the subject of Ley Lines.

Reading the Past: Runes
R I Page     US$13.95
Simplified archaeological study of  runic manuscripts, monuments and relics
(a precis of the next book)

An Introduction to English Runes
R I Page     US$16.47
The standard reference work in UK dealing with the archaeology of  runes.

A Handbook of the Old-Northern
Runic Monuments of Scandinavia and England

Dr George Stevens   US$130.73
Originally published in 1884, the first almanac of rune artefacts and monuments to be published in English, this is a Llanerch reprint edition. It's a little out of date now and Stevens' interpretations can be a bit iffy, but I have found it an invaluable reference for archaeological research. Particularly since many of the objects he draws and describes have now gone.

Tree Wisdom
Jacqueline Memory Paterson     US$18.68
Facts, legends and lore associated with trees and wood.

Edred Thorsson     US$13.22
History, magic, codes, divination and Odhinic lore. As I already mention elsewhere on this site I am not Thorsson's greatest fan, but this is a good primer on the subject if you skip the personal agenda.

Rune Power
Kenneth Meadows      US$7.95
Billed as "the secret knowledge of the wise ones", it is a rather personal
interpretation of the use of rune magic.

The Poetic Edda
translated by Carolyne Larrington     US$10.61
This is the best modern translation of the essential reference work
on the ancient Viking/Icelandic sagas.

by Snorri Sturtluson
translated by Anthony Faulkes     US$9.95
Again, I have found this version of the Prose Edda is the best modern translation of the 10th Century Icelandic collection of stories and legends. Essential reading for students of runelore.

translated by Michael Alexander     GB£ 5.59     US$11.29
This is again the best rendering of perhaps the most important piece of Anglo-Saxon literature surviving from the 8th Century. It is an epic poem of heroism and derring-do. It doesn't rhyme in modern English, but it's still stirring stuff.

Cassell Dictionary of Norse Myth and Legend
Andrew Orchard     US$14.70
This a workmanlike dictionary of Norse mythology and runelore. Great for quick reference.

Exploring the Northern Tradition
Swain Wodening and Galina Krasskova     US$10.64
This is a comprehensive guide to the gods, lore, rites, and celebrations of Norse, German, and Anglo-Saxon tradition. It's a bit heavily into Heathenism which is not to everyone's taste, but the content is well presented and thorough.

Discovering Runes
Bob Oswald
I suppose it's a bit cheeky to include my own book in a recommended list, but hey, it ain't bad!
The book is distributed by Bookmart in UK, Chartwell Books in USA and Canada, Regency House Publishing in the rest of the world. It is 256 glossy pages of 8x8 inches (200x200 mm) in a stiff-back cover with several hundred full colour illustrations ranging from 2x2 inch (50x50mm) diagrams to full page photos.

I have expanded considerably on the subjects discussed in Casting the Runes and augmented the rune meanings section to 112 pages allowing more thorough illustration and greater discussion of interpretation and associations for each rune. I have described the methods for several more rune spreads, and random casting methods. There is a new chapter on personal and practical bindrunes, their construction and empowerment.

Other new features include a chapter on dowsing, one about using a personal gandr and a chapter on transcribing and drawing runes.

More recommended books will be added as they come to hand.

You will also find recommendations of a rather more spiritual nature on Freya Aswynn's website at www.aswynn.com.



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