The Rune Primer A Down-to-Earth Guide to Runes

Author: Sweyn Plowright
Publisher: Rune – Net
Published: 2006
ISBN: 9781847282460

Synopsis: 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.

Review: This book was a delight to read. Its aim is to discuss the runes in a brief and to the point style, to stick to known facts and established conventions taking into consideration the cultural and religious context. It fulfills those aims perfectly. The style of the writer is very simple and very readable. The simplicity is sometimes very deceptive because but the time you finish a chapter you’ve actually gotten quite a bit of information, but it was so simple it slipped into your mind with no effort.

The author gives you a very simple outline of the history of Runes, an explanation about where the names of the Elder Runes came from and how, and the different types of runes known. The book also provides the meanings for each rune and how the author got it, but what I loved the most were the chapters on known books and authors for runes and myth busting. I especially LOVED the myth busting chapter.

An excellent book to have if you are interested in Runes and it complements the book Runes by R.I. Page, because read together you get the maximum benefit with this book explaining simplistically the history in the Rune book.


Ogam: Weaving Word Wisdom

Author: Erynn Rowan Laurie

Publisher: Megalithica Books, Stafford, England

Copyright: 2007

ISBN: 9781905713028

Synopsis: With two decades of experience with the ogam and more than 30 years of working with divination, the author offers insights into the many profound meanings hidden in the ogam letters and their lore. She explains each letter in context and shows how to expand the system in new and innovative ways.

Review: I’m always weary when I look at books about Ogam.  For the longest time I’ve put off reading anything on them because of all the “Tree Ogam” books out there.  I’m one of these people who prefer history to mix with practice even if this practice is divination, which is by nature subject to the interpretation of the reader/diviner.  I found what I was looking for in this book.  

Erynn clearly states in the beginning of her book that this is her personal system based on certain reputable sources (yep I checked them out and one of them I’ve reviewed on this site already A Guide to Ogam) and her intuition.  So I knew up front what I was getting into.

She does a good job setting up the basics and where her point of view comes from.  I get all the history and reasonable reasons to use Ogam as a divination tool, as opposed to just an alphabet.  I also like that she gives her reasons as to why she would rather work with the word Ogams and meanings rather than tree, without telling people who do work with trees that they are wrong or right.  Her reason makes a lot of sense.  Simply put trees can change from one region or country to another but words and meanings can go anywhere.

She goes into how a beginner can start developing their own associations based on what is in the book, and in the sources she uses.  She talks about how to use the Ogam for divination and rituals, and how to make your own set of Ogams.

I was very impressed with the book as a whole.  It is one that a beginner in Ogam can feel comfortable with especially if they are like me and don’t like interpretations that don’t have a basis in identifiable sources.