Runes for Transformation: Using Ancient Symbols to Change Your Life

Runes for Transformation: Using Ancient Symbols to Change Your Life

by Kaedrich Olsen

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Runes have long been used as vital tools for transformation. The Norse employed them as tools for communication, and the Vikings would use them as wisdom before embarking on a journey or entering battle. Runic scholar Kaedrich Olsen reclaims the transformative power of the runes for readers today as a key to unlocking our potential for personal growth and our life's vision. Runes for Transformation is unlike any other rune book on the market, with Olsen's unique techniques and applications for this ancient alphabet including affirmations, NLP, visualizations, and meditation, as well as the historical background essential to embarking on this path.

A highly respected teacher and transpersonal path worker, Kaedrich Olsen posits that the time for this "deeper working" of the runes has come and this will aid readers in both personal and collective evolution. Runes for Transformation is a rich resource and excellent guide for readers to take the steps to change their lives with a boldly modern approach to the ancient runes and for "change that really matters."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781609253011
Publisher: Red Wheel/Weiser
Publication date: 08/01/2008
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 557,868
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Kaedrich Olsen has studied the runes and Northern mysteries for over 20 years. He also studied spiritually based hypnotherapy and Shamanism in order to become a transpersonal hypnotherapist. Within this practice, he applies runic wisdom to develop powerful techniques his clients use to transform their lives. Kaedrich lives in Boulder, Colorado with his wife and two daughters, where he is an accomplished leader in the Nordic spiritual community.

Read an Excerpt



By Kaedrich Olsen

Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC

Copyright © 2008 Kaedrich Olsen
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-60925-301-1



Today there is a common perception that we are separate from and at the mercy of the reality around us. This is not so; we are our own reality. Many of the great spiritual systems of the world work to help us achieve two goals: they seek to connect us with the world around us and to free us from the illusion that we are separate from it.

Not only are you a part of the world around you, but in a very real sense, you also are the world around you. To complicate matters even more, so is everyone else in your world.

Are You "You"?

To focus on this principle, we will look at two aspects of you: you and You. The you is where your perception of self resides—that is, for want of a better word, your ego. Your name, occupation, body image, place in society—all of these things make up the you. This is where the perception of self ends for most people.

Also associated with you is You. This You is all of the elements in the world about you. This is not your occupation, but where you work and whom you work with. The You is also the house you live in, the car you drive, the town you live in, your friends and family. All of these things in "your world" are really a greater aspect of yourself. These are people, places, and things drawn to you and to which you are drawn. All of these aspects are deeply connected together by a higher state of your being.

This connectedness is difficult to perceive. There are many common roads and explanations for the origins of this universe we live. What seems to be evident is that we may all be part of a great experiment, but the details and purpose of this experiment are not clear yet. It is also evident that we all exist, as a whole, in a world that cannot be logically disproven. Conversely, the spiritual world, as we know it, cannot currently be logically proven.

Another aspect of our universe is the fact that we exist in a commonly agreed upon reality. This level of being is in conjunction with the You level of existence. In this world, we have all agreed upon a certain set of rules. While not readily evident, these unwritten rules exist at the collective unconscious level. These rules include gravity, laws of physics, and natural law. When we see a table, we all agree it is a table and agree to its physical properties. We cannot move through it; it has weight, texture, and color. We may not always agree upon its function, but we agree that it exists and on how it exists.

This commonly agreed upon reality is where all of our individual universes overlap. It gives us room to play around and experiment with all of the neat little things in our own personal universes. Where your You exists, so do the other Yous of other people. We call this "interaction." These interactions remind us of who we are at the you level. Take a look at all of the elements in your life. What are they, who are they, where are they? What do they all have in common, besides you? If you look long enough, patterns will emerge and start to make sense. Keep an open mind.

These patterns come from a simple universal principle: similarities attract and perpetuate. This principle means what you are you draw onto you. How you live your life is how your life is. Those people in your You world are simply reflections of you. If you guessed that You is a direct reflection of your you, you would be right! Tied in with that principle is the notion of spiritual attachment. It is an integral function of the evolution of the human soul that like minds be drawn together and attach to one another. If we were to witness this process from a faraway view, it would seem as if we were watching a great wave of minds, a wave that ebbs and flows outside of the effects of time and space. This wave exists in the medium of the collective unconscious.

Layers of Reality

The nature of reality presented so far is just the beginning of the layers of reality. These layers intermingle and intertwine. Quite often they are indistinguishable, but they are always there. I define these levels of reality as subjective, objective, spiritual, and Ginnic realities.

Subjective Reality

Subjective reality is the combination of you and You. This is the reality you perceive with all of your senses; you can think of it as your perceived reality. This level of reality is created by who you are and your growing understanding of the world around you. This level of reality is not exclusively yours. As we interact and mingle with other realities, other people's perceptions become ours as well. Can you think of a time when your understanding of something was changed by someone sharing his or her ideas? Other people's views of reality are often all that we need to change our subjective reality.

Objective Reality

Objective reality goes back to the concept of commonly agreed upon reality. In this level, all of our little universes overlap to form a larger body of the whole. The knitting together of all of our You realities creates the physical world. Objective reality is the place where our thoughts mingle in the form of language. This interaction through language is the means by which we collectively begin to subtly alter our own reality and the reality of others around us.

Within the subtle layers of the objective reality we find part of the collective unconscious. Though this part is just a tendril of our collective, universal nature poking through, it is an important part of the whole. It can be easily argued that the collective unconscious is within the spiritual realm. The collective unconscious is the amalgam of all of the sentient minds that exist within this physical universe, which in turn forms the very medium by which matter and spirit can exist. It exists in a place where the language medium is both with and without words, a place where we all unconsciously agree upon the rules of the physical universe we interact in. The laws and rules established here are not static.

Since we have this overlap of perception and agreed upon rules, objective reality can also be divided into two classifications: hard and soft-coded realities.

Hard-coded and Soft-coded Realities

Hard-coded realities are the physical and natural laws. These hard coded realities are not alterable. You can take a table and cut it in two. This action does not alter the hard-coded reality. Turing the table into a car or melting it with your will would. To change hard-coded reality, you must change the laws of nature and science. This is not necessarily impossible; it's just not within the scope of this book.

The scope of the work described in this book involves the alteration of soft-coded realities. Soft-coded realities are the elements of You that you have control of in the objective reality. They include your home, job, level of success, health, friends, and personal associations. These elements can be altered by making changes at the you level of subjective reality.

Soft-coded reality can be summed up in three statements:

• Your words reflect your thoughts.

• Your thoughts are your energy.

• Your reality is made up of your thoughts, words, and energy.

Simply stated, how you think and speak is how your life is. How you live your life determines how your reality is. If you change any of these small things—your words, thoughts, and energy—all of the bigger things change with it.

Spiritual Reality

The energy of your thoughts and being is that part of you that exists within the spiritual reality. Within the spiritual level of reality we find the true universal language. This language is made up of concepts and ideas. These concepts and ideas transmit from being to being in an instant. Within the spiritual reality, the meaning of concepts and ideas cannot be lost to personal interpretation.

We are never separate from this spiritual level of reality. We are all spiritual beings by nature, and we bring that nature with us into our everyday world. But we give these universal concepts and ideas words and identities in ways that suit our own perceptions. The many means of communication we have come to know in the physical world cannot describe spiritual concepts perfectly.

Because of this dichotomy of our spiritual and physical existences, we must explain concepts and ideas in ways we can communicate to others. These ways of communicating must be logical and fit within the agreed upon rules of hard-coded objective reality.

For example, we all agree that a beam of light that has a wavelength of 650 nm is called red. That wavelength is the light's hard-coded property, and we agree upon it. We also agree to communicate that property via the word red. And though we all seem to agree that the color red does not indicate calm or peace, we do not agree whether it means lust, anger, joy, or pain. This subjective interpretation of red is our spiritual connection to each other and the color.

When a medium perceives the color red in an aura or spirit, she does not actually see red light with a wavelength of 650 nm. Rather, a process within her brain has turned spiritual information into information that can be perceived and processed within the confines of human understanding—in this case, a color. This red that the medium sees is associated with an emotion. When she shares her perception of this red with others, then subjective reality begins. As the information is processed through others' imagination filters, each person interprets it differently. Some might imagine the "red" emotion to be anger, some might think it is lust, and others might think it is vivacity.

Spiritual information can be perceived not only as colors, but also as shapes, forms, or words. Although three people may receive the same spiritual information, each will perceive that information in a way that is real to him or her. One person will see red, another will feel a wave of heat, a third may hear the sound of fire. The difference is not in the spiritual information, but in the way each person's imagination filter works. Spiritual reality is also where the majority of the collective unconscious resides. In spiritual reality, all minds exist and overlap. Our perceptions and understandings mingle to create a collective whole. This is why communication in the spiritual realm is easy and complete. Within this pool of activity come the agreements about the nature of objective and spiritual realities.

Ginnic Reality

The final level of reality is Ginnic reality, the realm of existence that existed before there was anything else. Here, in this primal level of existence, there was nothing and everything all at once. This reality was the birthplace of ideas and concepts.

The ancient Norse people called this level of reality Ginnungagap and wrote epic poems and prose on the nature of gods within this place. Many ancient cultures have a very similar concept—a place of nothingness from whence all else was created. The Greeks called it Chaos; other beliefs called it darkness.

Ginn is an Old Norse word that means "ancient" and "universal." (It is used to form various other words, including Ginnregin, the term for the highest and most ancient of ruling gods [regin is "rulers"], and Ginnhelog, meaning "ancient holy" [helog is "holy"].) The Norse word unga means "young." Gap means just as it does in English. Therefore, Ginnungagap is the ancient/holy, younger gap.

It is within this gap that fire and ice mingled to create the building blocks of the universe. We do have a modern scientific understanding of these concepts. The fire, seen by the ancients, might be the fusion that takes place in stars. It may even be the Big Bang. The ice concept can be found in the notion of absolute zero. The various states of matter in the physical world exist between these extremes.

In the Prose Edda, Odin, in the guise of Harr, tells of the location of the hall of Gimle, a place of existence two levels above the realm of gods, mankind, and spirits:

So it is said, that another heaven is to the south and up from this heaven and it is called Andlang (extensive). A third heaven that is one up from there and it is called Vidhblainn (wide blue). And in that heaven we believe this place is there. It is the Light elves, we believe, that now live in that place.

These realms of existence—Andlang and Vidhblainn—represent the Ginnic level of reality. These are places where the understanding that takes place in the spiritual realm would be remedial. Physical and spiritual realities offer no way of understanding the beings or processes in these places. This level of existence is mentioned to give you an understanding of the nature of realities we live within and where we all come from.

"You" and the Layers of Reality

The matter in the physical world is made up of particles of light that are bonded together. This concept is the basis of quantum physics. We have learned that the atom, the most basic form of matter, is mostly empty space. Within this space we find electrons, protons, and neutrons. The building blocks of these smaller particles are quarks, darks, neutrinos, and many other subatomic particles. These nanoparticles are nothing more than blips of lights behaving in specific ways.

A good way of looking at spiritual reality is as a realm of light and energy. The beings that exist within this realm are beings of radiant light. You are a being of radiant light existing within a body made up of light particles. The light of the spiritual realm is that of concepts, ideas, and connectedness.

The Ginnic level of existence is made up of a substance unknown to all science. That substance condenses into the ideas and concepts of the light of the spiritual universe. These light sources then condense into the particles that become matter.

All of the layers of existence have a connection to you. The Ginnic existence condenses into the light of spiritual existence. That light of the spiritual existence condenses into the matter of physical existence. You are the ultimate condensation of all that is considered holy in the universe. This means that you are inherently a pure, divine spiritual being, capable of anything you set your mind to.

Language Is the Key

Since, by nature, we are conscious beings, the reality we exist in must be interpreted through means understandable to the conscious mind. Through the ages, we have developed a concise means of interpreting the reality we perceive. Our senses perceive reality with a nonconscious means. We have sensory memory that lasts only a few seconds. The moment our eyes sense a beam of light, that information is stored, for only a brief moment, in the eyes. That information is also passed, that same instant, to the occipital cortex of the brain. There, that information is nothing but blips of electricity being transmitted through synapses. The brain takes the full amount of electrical information in as a random and meaningless bundle. Then your conscious mind interprets that bundle of information as something relevant to its past experience, but only if it is aware that it received the information. Meanwhile, the subconscious is always aware of it and stores the information in a way it can interpret.

The relevance to past experience is the most important part of the reception of information. All of reality that we come in contact with is interpreted and stored based on perception. Studies being done today show that all memories may be false. This means information received by the senses is interpreted in a way that makes sense to the conscious and unconscious mind regardless of what really happened. This selective process of interpretation and storage comes from the past experiences and training that the person has gone through.

To gain this past experience, we rely on the physical form of information gathering offered to us from birth: language. The language we speak, the way we form sentences, and the words we use in those sentences precode the brain to receive information in a certain way. Once that information is received and stored, we have a subjective interpretation of objective reality.

This interpretation is also how we start defining what makes up you. Two people can see the exact same events, and their interpretation of the results can differ dramatically. This difference has a continuing effect on each of their psyches—an effect that could easily make their individual views of the world strikingly different. This difference has each of them living inside a completely different subjective reality within the same objective universe.

Excerpted from RUNES FOR TRANSFORMATION by Kaedrich Olsen. Copyright © 2008 Kaedrich Olsen. Excerpted by permission of Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents



CHAPTER 1: The Nature of Reality and How to Change It          

CHAPTER 2: The Nature of Runes          

CHAPTER 3: The Outer Runes          

CHAPTER 4: The Inner Runes.          

CHAPTER 5: Using the Runes          

CHAPTER 6: Galdrathula-Runic Mantra.          

CHAPTER 7: Additional Runic Techniques          

Conclusion: Summing It All Up.          

Appendix: A Few Core Practices at a Glance          


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Runes for Transformation: Using Ancient Symbols to Change Your Life 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
PardaMustang on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This has to be one of the easiest books to use in terms of learning not just the base or 'standard' meanings of the runes, but also in being guided to find personal meaning with them. As with any symbolic system, the runes may have slightly different personal meanings. As an example, Hagalaz is generally regarded as a rune of the impartial destruction of nature. The fury of the hailstorm. While I do regard this rune as a rune of destruction, I also regard it personally as a protective rune. This book gives an overview of one theory of reality and how we can use thought to transform our lives. Other chapters are devoted to helping one get to know the meanings of the runes to oneself, of learning how to see these runes in all things and of how to see them in yourself and lastly, various ways to utilize this new-found knowledge and use runic energies as a focus for transformation. I would recommend this book over many others for its ease of use and the presentation of materials. The author encourages personal development and the greater growth of one's own intuition as opposed to complete blind-faith in stock meanings. It is stressed over and over again that it is important for the seeker to find the meanings themselves.
biunicorn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Runes For TransformationUsing Ancient Symbols To Change Your Lifeby Kaedrich Olsen This 229 page darling real helped to open my eyes about yet another way I can use the deep and voluminous power of the Runes. It was quite simple actually, but I attribute that to the exceptional hands on style of this workbook. I was able to see and feel each stone as energy, the true power that each one holds and be able to apply it to different faucets of my everyday life. It wasn't just a matter of taking a stone out of the pouch and then reading the meaning, it was actually getting in there and understanding why this rune would be connected in a particular way. It is kinda funny, but I got to the place where I could actually say oh this rune energy fits here, or this influence is in my life and I can work through it in this way. There is so much beautiful and life changing throughout the pages of this patient teacher, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a more in depth path for their life. This one has definitely made it into my spiritual tool bag. Thanks Kaedrich, this knowledge will carry us a long way. Love & Light, Riki Frahmann
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