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on 9 January 2007
I have owned this book for eight years and have been using it for just as many. Never once have I found the interpretation of my readings to be immediately understood or shallow, like some ready-made recipe for idiots; it always presupposed some thinking on my behalf in order to locate my blind spots. What is more, it has always been eerily accurate, both for me and other people I have been doing readings for. It is a well written, easily understood first introduction to runes for beginners. I understand that Blum uses a different system than what many people consider usual or even valid. Thing is, it works. I have seen it and experienced it. If you are a scholar looking for an in-depth research on the history and interpretation of the runes and their relation to the Norse tradition, then this is not your book. But if you are looking for a day-to-day guide with the runes as a compass, grab it and run. There are four pages of selected bibliography at the end of the book with a lot of material for those who want to study more.
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on 25 May 2007
This book should be part of any collection for those interested in the recent (c 1980) revival of interest in the runes. It is still the highest selling rune book internationally, but also one of the least researched.

When it was first published, the academic sources were not very available to the public, although they would have been available to Blum had he made the effort. Instead, he created a simple divination system, based more on his own readings of the I Ching than the known historical sources of runic knowledge.

There is a wealth of information in the old rune poems, and in the original futhark ordering of the runes. Blum ignores both. However, at least Blum never claimed to be reconstructing an old system. On the other hand, unfortunately, most of his readers assume that there is some real historical content in the book.

For those who are looking for an esoteric book about runes based on, and respectful of, our real available historical cultural heritage, this is certainly not it.

I would recommend Pollington's "Rudiments of Runelore" to provide a minimum factual background, before wasting time on any of the New-Age manuals.
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on 27 May 2014
I have owned this set for over 25 years. The book is wonderful. Wise words, apt interpretations, and it gently encourages you to go deeper into the subject, and to be mindful in your dealings and relations. My only criticism is that after 25 years of use, 2 of my runes have actually broken..... so I'm looking to buy or preferably make a new set. I will be keeping the book and pouch though, and still use Blums' suggested spreads. A wonderful divination tool and this book is perfect for anyone looking to understand more about the subject.
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on 17 October 2013
I have this book myself and bought this copy to send to a friend of mine in NZ. There is much debate about who interprets the runes in the best way bit I have to tell you that having used this one for years I find it works for me!
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on 10 March 2014
I've read books on runes before and couldn't really make out what was being said.
This is refreshingly readable, very knowledgeable and above all, points the way to how to use runes for one's spiritual growth.

I might add, there is nothing 'anti-Christian' in this book.

I hadn't realised it came with runes, which was a great added bonus.
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on 7 July 2013
I bought it as a gift for a friend and she is absolutely thrilled . I t was the 25th Anniversary edition...I was gifted a set about 25 years ago so was delighed to gift them to somebody else and for her to learn about them...
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on 2 December 2002
Anyone familiar with the Elder Futhark and all other genuine Runic oracles that followed it will know that this book isn't worth the paper it's written on. The mere fact that there are suddenly 25 runes instead of 24 makes it clear that Blum is playing by his own rules that he's made up along the way and by so doing, shows complete disrespect for the Northern religion in general and runes in particular. He has invented a blank rune and named is for Odin, then taken the rune originally named for Odin and named it for Loki instead. If you're not familiar with Nordic mythology, this is akin to taking something meant solely for the king and giving it to the court jester. The runes are also supposed to be in three sets of eight, each in a particular order (among other things, they are representantive of various seasons so mixing them up mixes up the seasons). All this might not be quite so bad if the interpretations themselves weren't so completely lacking in any depth. This is a bestseller so obviously quite the little money spinner, but to my mind it is worthless, pointless and deeply insulting to the Runic Oracle.
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on 21 June 2015
This little book is a little treasure. Many will say the meanings are not correct, but they are actually quite close and quite good for a brief understanding. Just remember there are many aspects and layers to Runes. Your experience & understanding of them will go deeper the more you work with them over your lifetime.. respect and love them.
This book has a wonderful energy behind it X
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on 14 March 2014
I have always been interested in Runes, and for many years have used tarot. But I was drawn to this as it covered everything I needed to know on how to get me started using the runes. I was well impressed when it arrived, as it was how they described it on the site. The services was excellent, it arrived the next day, wrapped up well and undamaged. Would differently go to that site again to order from them. I am looking forward now to learning about runes.
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on 22 February 2010
It would be wrong not to concede that this was my first introduction to the runes and it certainly didn't put me off and was a great source of inspiration at the time. Ralph Blum has done a great service by providing a book that appealed to a main stream audience and so paved the way for many practitioners who would subsequently go on to discover more historicaly accurate sources that discuss the runes' actual cultural heritage. Anyone studying the runes would do well to read this book as it has impacted on the way many people understand and use the runes today, but please don't let it be the only book you read on the subject! (My preference would be Freya Aswynn's Principles of Runes as an introductory text).
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