In all books about Rune Magic
you will read, you will also read that an essential element of Rune Magic is the sacrifice to hallow your runic charms. There are many variations of this sacrifice. The original method was often the rub your own blood upon the runes carved. Read Egil's Saga
, when he cuts runes into a poisioned horn, and cuts his own finger to hallow the runes for just one representation of this scene. Another, if you did not want to cut yourself, was to use the blood of an animal (obviously easy to get in Viking Age Scandinavia
) or to actually sacrifice an animal, or if very important, a human. Today such practices are (obviously) frowned upon, so all Rune Magicians must find their own method.
The one most commonly used in more Wiccan variations is the Coin Sacrifice, which you bless some coins with water you have blessed by symbolizing a rune over it, and then drop 9 runes into a pool of water or a stream, each one with a prayer to whatever Gods you want to hear your runic charm. This is probably the best for most people, unless you don't happen to live easily acessable to a lake or pond (unless you want City dwellers running around your local park to look at you funny).
So I thought of another variation. Bless the water (however you do so, in whatever tradition you are using, I just visualize the base rune of the charm I have created, and then trace it over the water while I have intensely focused upon the runic form) and then sprinkle it over a full stick of incense in the same pattern of the rune you used to bless the water. It is best to sprinkle it over an incense that symbolizes the element that is connected to the Nordic God you are invocating, with a prayer like this:
To Odin I bless this incense,
This sacrifice to hallow my runes
May my word-hoard be to his pleasue
Or something along those lines. After you do this, burn the incense fully, and as it burns meditate on the charm you have created. You will find that the smell of the incense seems different, for in fact everytime you smell it it will remind you of your charm. When it does, ruminate on the charm.
There is another method. This one I picked up from The Satanic Bible by Anton LaVey (ISBN: 0-380-01539-0) funnily enough. For if you need to create a Runic Ritual, a method to hallow the runes would be to create a ritual that creates the correct amount of emotion and Ritualized intensity that would then be released upon the carving of the runes. This sacrifice must be from the very deepness of your soul, and come out in the ritual. I would suggest writing this yourself, unless you come across a ritual in a book that you feel is particularly close. This is the method used by Edred Thorsson for his rituals. Of course I am not practiced enough to acuratly describe how to do this, so I suggest getting a serious book about Runic Rituals and Magic. There is a list below to start with.
Though the sacrifice in Rune Magic will probably never be as it was during the Viking Age, there are obvious substitutes. If you have any other forms of Sacrifice that I didn't cover here (and I'm sure there are) be sure to /msg me so I can add them here, credited to you.
Futhark by Edred Thorsson ISBN: 0-87728-548-9 (Very Occult/Older Magical, in the school of Crowley, etc. The most esoteric of these four books, but Thorsson knows what he's talking about, and does it more concisely than Aswynn, not as useful as Peterson's book for me, but good.)
The Enchanted Alphabet by Dr. James M. Peterson ISBN: 0-85030-765-1 (my favorite rune book, due to it's conciseness and ease of use, also it gives the best over-view of true Rune Magic use.)
Rune Magic by Donald Tyson ISBN: 0-87542-826-6 (A little too Wiccan for me, with an empathsis on Wiccan magic uses and morals, but still useful, might be best for Wiccans interested in Rune Magic.)
Northern Mysteries & Magick: Runes, Gods, and Feminine Powers by Freya Aswynn ISBN: 1567180477 (A very thought provocing book, gives some insight onto actual old rune magic practices, but a little long-winded and difficult to wade through as a result. Not a handbook to learn rune magic, it seems like it's for more advanced magicians.)