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
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
Advanced divination and magickal interpretation from the great runemistress.
The Power and Principles of the Runes
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
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 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 It's a little out of date now and Stevens' interpretations can be a bit iffy, but I have found it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
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.
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.
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
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
Other new features include a chapter on dowsing, one
about using a personal gandr and a chapter on transcribing and
More recommended books will be added as they come to hand.
will also find recommendations of a rather more spiritual nature on Freya Aswynn's website at