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Today's Runes for Neal Stephenson


The Cross spread is used to plot the arc of your life and the forces acting on it. It is the most popular spread, giving a very complete view of the situation. Stone Runes are most commonly used for questions about the natural world and things beyond human control.
The left rune represents an important element of the past. Ehwaz is the rune of the eight-legged horse that the god Odin rode into battle. Horses are symbolic of a number of things. Firstly, horses may symbolize vehicles such as cars, motorcycles, planes, or boats. Secondly, horses may symbolize not wealth, but status. Thirdly, horses may symbolize motion towards an objective. As such, this rune suggests a journey or a quest to achieve a goal or improve one's station in life. On a deeper level, the rune Ehwaz evokes the unique relationship of horse and rider as an inseparable team. To the modern eye this may be the relationship of master and underling, but to the Norse it was a total union. In fact, early representations of Odin are not of a man and a horse, but, of a centaur-like creature - the ultimate symbiosis of Man and Nature.
The middle rune represents a deciding element of the present. Gebo means gift, and like many gifts, the rune may be understood on many levels. Gifts are generally positive things, for both the giver and the recipient. In many cultures however, gifts and favors carry with them an obligation to respond in kind. It is for this reason that gifts, and hence the rune Gebo, are frequently symbolic of friendships, marriages, alliances, mergers, and other bonds between people or organizations. Gebo is a strong rune and the unions represented are strong as well. Moreover, Gebo is not reversible, as true friendships are not easily undone.
The top rune represents a force that works for you. Ken is the rune of light and knowledge, driving away darkness and ignorance and revealing hidden truth. This rune also brings forth images of friendship and comfort. Ken is the light of inspiration, the light of imagination, and a beacon in the darkest hours.
The bottom Rune represents a force that works against you. Raido means to ride. In this rune, the image is not so much the riding of a horse as in riding in a cart or as cargo. As such Raido may suggest a journey, but is much more indicative of communication. Alternate interpretations based on the use of Raido as a cognate in other words give it the meaning of council, judgment, and moral correctness. Therefore, this rune is the rune of wise advice and good leadership.
The right rune represents the critical element of the future, at the core of the final outcome. Isa is the rune symbolizing Ice - cold, stagnant, frozen, and unchanging. This rune suggests heat removed not just from anger or conflict, but from passion as well. Paradoxically, Isa conveys images of slippery slopes and unsure footing, but also of circumstances that have crystallized and become utterly immutable. Remember that in the cold north, ice is not just THE challenge to be overcome, but the very nature of the environment. Be courageous, for you work against this element every day. Will you fight alone or with others against this, our common foe? Is there much worse than lack of change?