For thousands of years, people have cast dice, dominoes, beans, and runes to divine the future. Collectively, these methods are known as cleromancy, prophecy by casting. In the Germanic tribes, runes were the method of choice.
The runic alphabets were used mainly in Scandinavia and the British Isles. This early writing system dates back to 150A.D, though was gradually replaced by the Christianized Latin alphabet beginning in 700 A.D. These runes persisted in Scandinavia and Sweden until the 20th century.
According to legend, a man named Kettil Runske stole three proven staffs from the All-Father, Odin. Through this, he learned the magic of the runes. The pagan Norse continued the practice of drawing lots of stones, commonly in groups of three. Since then, archaeologists have discovered Viking rings with apparently magical runic inscriptions.
Modern diviners use runes created on clay, polished stones, stone tiles, and even crystals. Today, authors like Freya Aswynn and Diana Paxson compare runic divination to the use of tarot cards. Today, “rune cards” have replaced tablets and tarot cards as the divination method of choice for some users.
Modern rune divination is alive and well, supported by authors like Stephen Flowers and Ralph Blum. Many authors have created books and “runology” courses to share the wisdom of the runes.