Psychic Anne Reith's Beginner's Guide to Reading Runes

Dr. Anne Reith has a Ph.D. in counseling psychology, but her passion is helping others connect to metaphysical realms—and one of the ways she does that is through reading runes.

Runes spilled out on table

(via Shutterstock)

We spoke with Anne to get a beginner's introduction to runes, so whether you've never heard of them or are curious to learn more, this information will put you on the path toward successful rune reading.

So, What Exactly Are Runes?

Runes are small stones marked with symbols from an ancient Germanic alphabet, and are used as a divination tool to receive spiritual guidance or predict the future.

"Divination tools, like tarot or angel cards or runes, are used to connect with spiritual sources of information," Anne tells Sweety High. "The goal is to have that information help us live happier and healthier lives."

Runes typically come in traditional sets of 24 runes or more modern sets including 25.

"The 25th rune is blank, with no symbol," she says. "It was added to represent the unknowable—the things you can't even begin to understand."


Why Runes?

Tarot and angel cards have imagery and sometimes text that make them quick and easy to interpret, so why use runes? In Anne's experience, runes have helped her access information that isn't so easily available through card readings.

"When I used to do professional readings, I would use tarot cards for earthly issues and problems, and angel cards for connecting with angelic realms and getting information about the person's spiritual development," she says. "Then I would use runes as a tool to help me understand the person's psychological challenges."

As a psychologist, runes are her favorite divination tool, though she does recommend using multiple tools together. Often, these messages can complement each other and give more insight than any one tool could have given alone—but not everyone loves runes.

"Runes are a unique tool," she says. "They're not for everyone. Many people don't enjoy using them because you have to basically memorize what the runes mean."

All 24 runes with symbols and names

(via Shutterstock)


Picking Out a Set of Runes

Runes can be relatively inexpensive or quite pricey, depending on what you're looking for, and they're available in stores and online. In Anne's shop in Santa Ana, California, called Impart Wisdom & Wellness Center, she sells handmade runes that she's personally empowered and blessed with Reiki energy.

Sometimes they can even be found at commercial bookstores like Barnes & Noble, often accompanied by an interpretation book. But the most important element of selecting your runes is all about energy.

"When selecting a set of runes, you should find runes that feel good to you," she says.

Before You Start…

Before you pull any runes yourself, Anne recommends reading up on the subject to know exactly what you're getting into. There are lots of websites about runes online, but Anne recommends Ralph Blum's The Book of Runes: A Handbook for the Use of an Ancient Oracle to start. It's the book she read when she fell in love with runes more than 30 years ago—plus it comes with a set of runes. The right book will include an interpretation for each of the runes, which should get you off to a good start.

Whenever you decide to pull runes, Anne says it's also very important to protect yourself.

"Before you start each time, always take a moment for protection," she says. "You don't have to say it out loud, but ask to be surrounded by white light and state that you only want to connect with energies from the light and that you are protected."


Odin's Rune

There are various methods for pulling runes, but the simplest and most common one involves simply plucking one from a bag holding the runes. This is called Odin's rune, and is great for quick spiritual guidance. Before you do that, however, it's important to set your intentions.

Start by asking an open-ended question, rather than one that can be answered with a simple yes or no.

"Instead of saying, 'Should I say yes to this job offer?' try something like, 'Show me what I need to know about my current job situation,'" Anne explains.

Once you've set that intention, you pull the rune out of the bag, and depending on the rune's meaning decide how that might apply to the situation at hand.

5 rune spread on table

(via Shutterstock)


Reversed Runes

Of the 25 runes, 16 of them also have an alternate interpretation if they appear upside-down.

"Sometimes a reversed rune's meaning is an opposite of the original rune and other times it's a separate, related meaning," Anne says.

For example, the ᚲ symbol represents opening and new beginnings, and the straightforward reversed symbol foretells closing and endings. On the other hand, ᚾ is a symbol of difficult situations one might encounter in life, but the reverse also represents difficulty.



If you have a complex question at hand, you might want to pull more than one rune for guidance. This is called a spread.

"Before you pull multiple runes, decide what each position will represent," Anne says.

Once you have your question in place, you can decide which meanings belong to each rune. Maybe the first rune can represent the situation overall, the second can symbolize a challenge you'll face and the third can be the action you might want to take. You can decide that the three runes will represent past, present and future. It's entirely up to you.

"Those are just a couple of many different types of spreads," Anne says. "There's no magic behind them. Many people think this is because of what they see in a book or in someone else's spread, but it's really about what you want to do."

As long as you set your intention ahead of time, pulling a spread isn't too different from pulling Odin's rune.



Runes should be cleansed periodically.

"You'll know it's time to cleanse when your runes stop giving you accurate information," Anne says.

There are a few different methods for cleansing runes, but Anne recommends simply leaving them in sunlight—even if it's indirect—for a couple of hours.

"That will cleanse and empower them," she says. "You may also want to cleanse them in moonlight if that's what you like."

She also says to be wary of cleansing your runes in water. While this is fine for some runes, others are made of certain kinds of stones that will dissolve in liquid.


Casting Runes

There's another method for reading runes called "casting" which Anne doesn't recommend for beginners. Instead of pulling single runes or a spread, the entire bag of 25 runes is poured onto a table.

"In this method, you read all of the runes that are face-up," Anne explains. "Of course, this means you could potentially be reading 20 runes, so I don't recommend that except for a very advanced reader."

Want to learn even more about yourself? Click HERE to found out how we got in touch with our power animals.