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Runes and Astrology

Symbol and Starcraft in the Northern Tradition

Published by Destiny Books
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

About The Book

Explores how runes relate to the cycles of time

• Looks at the meanings and temporal qualities of the 24 runes of the Elder Futhark and their rapport with ancient timekeeping and star-reading methods

• Examines the runes’ relationships with the planets, the stars, the seasons, and the precessional year

• Provides charts and calculations to discern which rune is the primary influence on a particular day, week, month, season, or year, as well as methods for calculating runic birth charts and runic horoscopes

Detailing the significance of natural time cycles in the Northern Tradition, Nigel Pennick explores how the stars, planets, seasons, months, and the precessional year relate to the runes.

The author explains how the runes are more than just an ancient European alphabet—they encapsulate particular spiritual and symbolic meanings to individually and collectively express deep eternal truths. Discussing the pagan wheel of the year, whose eightfold path later served the Church as the basis for the eight holy celebrations of its religious calendar, he looks at the meanings and temporal qualities of the 24 runes of the Elder Futhark and their rapport with ancient timekeeping and star-reading methods. He offers charts and calculations to discern which rune is the primary influence on a particular day, week, month, season, or year. He also examines runic elemental and color associations and their esoteric spatial roles, where they represent the four directions, the eight airts, and other cycles critical to understanding the sacred nature of the material world.

Exploring runic astrology, Pennick looks at the runes as they relate to the planets and their cycles. He then presents ways to use this knowledge for calculating runic birth charts and runic horoscopes. Revealing the importance of the patterns and cycles of time operating in our world, the author provides a means for reconnecting with these primal principles—which underlie our existence as beings in time—through the ancient wisdom of runes.

About The Author

Nigel Pennick is an authority on ancient belief systems, traditions, runes, and geomancy and has traveled and lectured extensively in Europe and the United States. He is the author and illustrator of more than 50 books, including The Pagan Book of Days. The founder of the Institute of Geomantic Research and the Library of the European Tradition, he lives near Cambridge, England.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Destiny Books (June 13, 2023)
  • Length: 288 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781644116012

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Raves and Reviews

“Nigel Pennick’s Runes and Astrology presents the runes in perhaps the most relatable and accessible way—through an intimate relationship with time and place. His gift of making the personal transform into mythic through the power of the runes shines.”

– S. Kelley Harrell, author of Runic Book of Days

“A few thousand years ago, ancient cultures lived in the context of a traditional worldview that was framed by the cycles of Sun, Moon, and planets and was expressed by multivalent symbols systematically organized. Examples of these include ancient Mesopotamia, India, China, and Mesoamerica. In Runes and Astrology, Nigel Pennick has worked a kind of reconstruction and updating of the Northern Tradition, the northern European culture north of the Alps that later served as the template on which the Roman Church built its own version of reality. We learn about the coherent sequence and multiple uses of the runes, ideas about fate and destiny, the power of the 8 directions that frame the seasonal cycle, and the astounding breakdown of time applied to the cycle of the day. While the Northern Tradition did not produce a horoscopic astrology, it did produce a complex map of time that the author argues is a lot more real than the conventions we live in today. In this sense, Runes and Astrology offers another path to a more holistic vision of nature and human life.”

– Bruce Scofield, author of The Nature of Astrology

"It’s difficult to assess the target audience for Runes and Astrology. Astrologers will find quite a few of the entries and historical overviews highly useful. People involved in Northern Tradition spirit work will find the annual time-keeping and naming ideas attractive. There’s a detailed discussion of the origin and messy implementation of the modern Gregorian calendar during the 16th-17th centuries. It’s one of the best and most complete descriptions of this monumental global calendrical shift I’ve ever read. Rune readers will discover much useful material in the first few chapters and descriptions of rune meanings, but divination methods are absent. It’s a lengthy and detailed text with a great deal of valuable information that’s rarely found in any kind of book in the esoteric genre. Eccentric polymaths will revel in this book if they’re not thrown off by the title. This is a book that cannot be judged by its cover! There’s far more to it than meets the eye."


"Runes and Astrology is a must for anyone interested in the Runes or in the Northern Tradition and I also highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in history, spirituality … or who just loves a good book!"

– June Kent, Indie Shaman Magazine

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