The Corner Crone: The Modern Witchcraft Guide to Runes

The Corner Crone: The Modern Witchcraft Guide to Runes February 7, 2022

The Modern Witchcraft Guide to Runes: Your Complete Guide to the Divination Power of Runes by Judy Ann Nock is one of the newest titles in Simon & Schuster’s Modern Witchcraft series. Nock, the author of several books including The Modern Witchcraft Guide to Magickal Herbs, has appeared in feature articles in Refinery29 and the Village Voice, and excerpts from her books have appeared in Publishers Weekly, Bustle, and other publications.

As I have very scant knowledge about runes and runic divination, I did a little research via the World History Encyclopedia. I learned that “Runes are letters in the runic alphabets of Germanic-speaking peoples, written and read most prominently from at least c. 160 CE onwards in Scandinavia in the Elder Futhark script (until c. 700 CE) and the Younger Futhark – which illuminated the Viking Age (c. 790-1100 CE) – as well as in England and Frisia in the Anglo-Saxon Futhorc (also known as Anglo-Frisian Futhorc) writing system. In England, runes were in use from the 5th century CE until perhaps the turn of the 11th century CE, while in Scandinavia the use of runes extended well into the Middle Ages and beyond.” (Emma Groeneveld).

Nock’s book teaches about the history of runes, including how to use them in your divination and spellcraft. She writes about using runes as adornment:

“Just as you consecrate a candle using runes, you can apply this same technique to your physical person. If you want to inspire sexy confidence, you can use your favorite essential oil blend and write your desires in runes on your own body. These intentions will not be visible to anyone, but you will know they are there. Even a simple transliteral rune for “touch” or “kiss” traced with your fingertip up and down your arms and legs or “hold” on your hand will prepare your body and mind to welcome sensuality. If it is an outward expression you are thinking, a simple liquid eyeliner can prove to be a useful medium for adorning the body with runes. If visibility is not something you are ready for yet, or if you are simply less inclined to do formal anointing with essential oil blends on yourself, you can also use moisturizer or foundation to scribe your desires on your person. These invisible but powerful gestures then become a part of your physical makeup and add a layer of magick to your grooming.” (excerpt used by permission from the Publisher)

Public domain image by Aleksey Kutsar via Pixabay.

If you’re looking to boost love in your life, Nock offers this spell (excerpt used by permission of the Publisher):

Simple Love Spell with Runes

While some magickal workings are quite complex, others are simple yet can still yield results. Think of the investment of energy and time as commensurate with the result. If you perform a simple love spell, do not expect a marriage proposal, but certainly expect some positive and loving attention to be directed your way. A flirtatious glance or a welcomed text are all tangible results than can be brought about with the magickal use of runes. Here is a simple love spell you can do.

You Will Need

  • Railroad spike
  • Red taper candle approximately 6″ long
  • Match
  • Copal resin (readily available in most herb stores, particularly stores dedicated to magick)
  • Mortar and pestle
  • Attraction oil or an essential oil blend that is sensuous and appealing to you


  1. Decide on a rune system to use, either Elder Futhark or Ogham.
  2. Use the railroad spike to create the staves that will form a transliteration of what you desire vertically on one side of the candle. Make the impression by pressing the tapered end of the spike into one side of the wax candle. Some examples are love, lust, and union.
  3. On the other side of the candle, create a transliteration of the deity with which you have a strong connection and that is associated with love, such as Freya, Venus, or Eros. If it is a stable relationship you are seeking, use Hera. Names have power, and invoking a Goddess or God is customary for many witches. If this does not align with your practice or feels inauthentic or is not available to you, then just focus on what you want. The staves should be made with care but without hesitation. Study the forms so that you know what the stave should look like and remember if you are using Ogham, start from the bottom and work your way up.
  4. Take the match and use it to remove any stray bits of wax so that the staves are clear.
  5. Set the match and the candle aside and put a small amount of copal resin granules in your mortar and pestle and grind them up. As the larger pieces begin to break, think of communication barriers being broken. Whatever is keeping you from your desired experience can be changed. Allow your mind to envision any obstacles falling away; they are transmuted to dust by your magick and your will.
  6. Pick up the candle and hold it over your mortar and pestle. Take pinches of the copal resin, which should now resemble a fine powder, and gently work it into the carvings. This will make them more noticeable, as the light color of the copal will contrast with the saturated tone of the red. As you touch the candle, think about the way you would like to be touched and use that energy to guide your actions. Is it a playful touch or a gentle touch that you seek? Mirror your desire by how you approach this task.
  7. When the carvings are visible, take a drop of your chosen oil on your fingertip and use it to remove any excess dust from the copal that is lingering on the surface of the candle. Try to avoid getting the oil in the carvings, as the oil will cause the copal to darken and minimize the contrast. Your fingers will be pleasantly scented and sticky. Do not be afraid to get your hands dirty. Enjoy the scent, enjoy your craftwork, and when you are satisfied, use the match to light the candle and enjoy its seductive glow.

The Modern Witchcraft Guide to Runes is available through Barnes & Noble, Books a Million, IndieBound, and Simon & Schuster, or ask for it at your local metaphysical shop.

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