Freelance writer living on Brisbane's north side. Studied creative industries - currently studying library and information services.
Published December 4th 2011
As I mentioned in my article on the Gaia Oracle Cards, I have a few sets of different guidance cards and tarot cards. What drew me to this particular set, The Rune Vision Cards, is my keen interest in not only runes, but also the Gods and Goddesses of Norse Mythology.
The Rune Vision Cards
This deck was published in 2002 by Vega and was created by artist Sylvia Gainsford and author Howard Rodway. As well as 24 cards (25 if you count the blank rune) depicting different runes and deities of Norse Mythology, the deck also comes with a guidebook containing dedications, acknowledgements, the Song of Odin, author's note, foreword, introduction, the Runic Alphabet, a guide to reading the cards, types of 'spreads', meanings of the runes themselves, colour associations, bibliography, interview and of course the card interpretations.
Unlike the cards of the Gaia Oracle, the Rune Vision Cards are divided into three sections: Numbers 1-8 belonging to the goddess Freya/Frejya Numbers 9-16 belonging to the god Hagal Numbers 17-24 belonging to the god Tyr The blank rune number 25 exists on its own
Some of the deities featured in The Rune Vision Cards are:
• Loki – trickster, hearth fire, brother of Odin, unreliability, change.
• Odin – All-Father, family relationships, contact.
• Thor – son of Odin, fertility figure, warrior, protector, journey.
• The Valkyries – carriers of fallen warriors, bliss, joy, afterlife.
• Sif – wife of Thor, harvest, wheat, legal matters.
• Baldur – Sun god, gentle, mercy, wisdom.
• Frey/Freyr – fertility, peace, prosperity, brother of Freya, light.
• Freya/Frejya – lover/mistress, high priestess, witchcraft, beauty, fruitfulness.
Fehu - Freya
Each card includes the artist's depiction of a Norse deity, a runic symbol, the name of the rune and the name of the deity pictured. The cards sometimes feature the animals, colours and other things associated with the depicted deities, and the card interpretations in the guidebook include a detailed description of the artist's depiction, information on the deity depicted and the outlined meaning of the card.
For example, the card depicting Kaunaz and the goddess Skuld presents her hiding part of her face, with a pained expression showing on what part of her face that is visible. This connotes the meaning of Kaunaz: discomfort. A skull can be seen under the folds of her hood, which hints at her knowledge of the future. The flaming torch is the object associated with this particular rune as well as having the dual significance of expressing enlightenment with which Skadi is identified (and to express Skadi 'shedding light' on the future).
Kaunaz - Skuld
Also in the picture is an owl, the bird identified with Kaunaz and traditionally regarded as a symbol both of wisdom and death. The pine tree is Kaunaz's tree which explains the pine cone in the bottom right-hand corner. In the top right corner is the symbol for Kaunaz, which is shown in the rune's colour correspondence of blue.
As well as a description of the picture and information on Skuld, the section on Kaunaz contains this:
For a woman, good fortune. A gift from a man.
For a man, pleasure from giving.
Lust. Empathy. Enlightenment.
The possibility of health problems.
Physical or mental discomfort.
Loss. Ending. Resignation. Facing the inevitable.
Casting out the things of the past.
"The runic alphabet was created two thousand years ago by the Germanic peoples of northern Europe. It is steeped in magic and mysticism, encompassing this ancient culture's beliefs and traditions, from the everyday to their most sacred. The runic oracle was used to enlist the powerful influence of the Norse gods and goddesses that it represented" (The Rune Vision Cards, 2002, blurb).
So, even if you've never used cards like these before, they're easy to use and good fun. Go ahead, give them a go.
In this particular deck, the rune Ehwaz is presented with the Goddess Iduna. The main meaning of the symbol is shown as 'horse' but in a reading can mean: a home change brings improvement, progress, reliability. It's reversed meanings are: travel across water, traumatic changes, timing/when to act. In a reading, the rune Ehwaz strongly reinforces the meaning of other runes.
The Goddess Iduna was the goddess of eternal youth and would pick and distribute golden apples which grew on the Tree of Life.