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The Rune Primer: A Down-to-Earth Guide to the Runes [Paperback]

Sweyn Plowright
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
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Book Description

12 Nov 2006
Historical facts about the runes in plain English. This book looks at what we really know about them and how we know it. There is also a discussion of the popular authors of esoteric runology, and a chapter exposing the myths and misconceptions about runes perpetuated in many popular rune manuals. The Primer will provide you with a basic factual foundation of rune knowledge, and enable you to sort the useful gems from the rubbish in your future investigations.

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The Rune Primer: A Down-to-Earth Guide to the Runes + A Practical Guide to the Runes: Their Uses in Divination and Magick (Llewellyn's New Age) + Reading the Runes: A Beginner's Guide
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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher:; 2 edition (12 Nov 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847282466
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847282460
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 22.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 436,149 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sweyn Plowright has been an active student of the runes and the Northern Traditions since Reading Tolkien in 1972. He has a diverse education, having served in the British Army as an Engineer, studied linguistics at university, and achieved a black belt in a martial art. In 1990 he was asked by Edred Thorsson to lead the Rune Gild in the South Pacific region. After meeting Thorsson, and some of the other popular writers on runes in person, he became disillusioned with the pervasive charlatanry, invention of "tradition", and personality cults. He formally cut his ties with the Rune Gild and the "rune myth industry" in 2000.

He lives in Sydney Australia with his wife Kara. He is also a member of Mensa, and works as an Engineer in IT.

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From the Author

please put into category
Books > Mind, Body & Spirit > Divination > Runes

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Down-to-Earth Guide to the Runes 7 Dec 2006
This little gem of a book measures 13cm x 10cm with 8 Chapters but contains therein, a wealth of useful information about the fuŞark runes that is aimed at the rune novice. It contrasts strongly against many other popular New Ageist themed rune works but in doing so, "The Rune Primer" is different because it dares to directly challenge the many false and deliberately created myths surrounding the very fabric and nature of the runes. Written by an intelligent heathen author and attested with researched information, the author voices his opinions in an objective fashion as he attempts to put the record straight on so much of the misinformation existing out there today on these enigmatic symbols.

If you are caught up in the confusing dogma surrounding the runes or have no idea just why so much postmodernist nonsense came about on ancient runes and runic matters, than this book is certainly a very good starting place to separate the wheat from the chaff. A lot of misinformed ideas are given about the fuŞark runes from various sources and those who propagate such nonsense are clearly identified. This newer edition contains 175 pages of printed material, that's 90 more pages than the author's original submission "Runic Primer".

Furthermore the author benchmarks 1970s as a transitional period when the runes found a renewed interest, a sort of postmodernist renaissance of all things considered magical and in particular divinatory tools, the runes falling into this category. Key figures cited by the author in this chronology of runic contributors stemming from the 70s are JRR Tolkien, Michael Howard, Ralph Blum and off course Edred Thorsson is known as Dr. Stephen Edred Flowers. Freya Aswynn and Kveldulf Gundarsson are also discussed.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recomended 10 Nov 2007
This is perhaps the best book anyone who is interested in the subject could buy as a starting point for further study. It sets the record straight about some of the fantasist nonsense that has abounded in most publications about the runes. It further sets you on your guard against accepting all that you subsequently hear and read.
The book is not overly long. There is no useless padding here. in fact you can read it in a few hours. However you can actually feel that you have learned something when you have finished.
My only criticism is the part of the book's `Myth Busting ` section in which author deals with the Metagenetic theory of Steve McNallen. In justifying his (the author's) stance against the `Folkish' elements of Asatru the author states that `' Although all of my known ancestors were fair blue eyed northern Europeans, each generation further back I find double the number of ancestors (2 parents, 4 grandparents, 8 great-grandparent, etc). You do not have to go too far back before the number of ancestors is so huge that some are certain to have been from different regions of the world''. This statement implies that the amount of individual ancestors as individual people doubles every generation. By that calculation each person would have 30 generations back a total greater than 10 billion individual ancestors (approximately 3.3 billion more than the current world population). This thinking is obviously wrong. Modern populations and peoples have sprung from relatively few people and if you believe the theory of some geneticists most 'Europeans' are descended from only seven males who lived around 40,000 years ago.
Putting aside that fault (that in essence comes from the need to make statements to suit modern multi-cultural sensibilities) I wish this was the first book on the subject I had read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Indispensable Introduction to the Runes 23 Jun 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This excellent book, written by an author with long and extensive experience of esoteric runology, gives exactly what it promises: a sound, no-nonsense introduction to the Nordic runes. In the author's words: "It is intended as a starting point. Not a complete volume of everything, but a basic foundation from which anyone can begin their studies from an informed perspective."
Unlike some other writers, Sweyn Plowright does not make any unsubstantiated claims or indulge in unwarranted speculation regarding the interpretation of the runes. Everything in the book is based on primary sources (e.g. the Eddas and the Rune Poems) only. After a brief introduction and a chapter devoted to putting the runes in their historical and modern context, Plowright discusses the genuine, old sources with particular attention to the Old English, Old Norse and Old Icelandic Rune Poems. The translations of the Rune Poems deviate a little from some others that I have read; unfortunately, I do not have enough knowledge of Old English or Old Norse to judge which translations are more valid (learning these is high on my agenda!) He then goes on to describe the modern runic revival, dominant concepts in runology (ørlög, wyrd and hamingja), esoteric interpretations of the runes, resources (including a discussion of popular authors, many of whom Plowright has met in person) and closes with a chapter on `myth busting'.
So thorough is the author in debunking modern myths or at least placing them in their proper context that the reader may come away feeling like he or she has been deluged with copious amounts of cold water.
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