I’ve written a about a little book I came across second-hand, “Stones from the Muse – Runes for the Creative Journey”; it should have had a bag of ‘runes’ with it, which I guess were little stones with a symbol on each side, but they had gone astray and all I got was the book. The authors of the book weren’t using the traditional Scandinavian fuþark, which people these days often use for trying to foretell the future, or how they might deal with what the future holds. These ‘runes’ were symbols created by the authors and were  such things as a window representing vision, a gavel suggesting judgement and an amulet for honour.

The idea is to have objects which have a significance to aid creativity – you can pull out several from the bag, and use them together for inspiration, or ‘read’ them to help with such writing problems as getting stuck, having an empty head, being bored, feeling idle etc.

When my creative writing group met, I put together twenty items which we tried to decide what each might represent – and of course each of us had different ideas! A candle might represent inspiration or meditation or illumination… What was interesting to me was that each writer fastened on a particular it, one person on a pebble, one on a shell, one on a piece of tree bark.

Here are the first ten of my ‘runes’… ans some ideas what they perhaps might signify or mean to me… well, today at least!

  1. kaleidoscope – looking at things differently, seeing meaning in random things, beauty from broken pieces (the patterns in a kaleidoscope always look like bits of broken glass to me)
  2. broken pot – literally something broken, something old, something obsolete, disappointment maybe
  3. spoon – stirring, enabling (drinking hot soup with a spoon is easier than without, making batter is easier with a wooden spoon to beat it with)
  4. cup – empty space, a nothing which is useful (you can’t put tea in a full cup, but you can in an empty cup) containing/holding
  5. candle – illumination, ephemeral, temporary,
  6. rosemary – so many known associations, but maybe for me family – as I have two Rosemaries in my family, strong leaves take a long time to decompose so maybe endurance, cheerful little flowers, positive thoughts… maybe!
  7. olive leaf – again so many things already associated with it – peace, for example, but maybe a reminder of the fruit of an olive tree (or is that cheating?)
  8. boat – voyage, journey, travel, maybe actually, maybe mentally – a wooden sailing boat may have a different association from a powered boat
  9. dead flower – enduring beauty, a seed within, a reminder/memory
  10. seaglass – mystery! Whatever it was, it’s now not and impossible to say what it was , battered and smoothed by sea and sand

I think this may need more thinking about!

The next ten are:

  1. pebble
  2. shell
  3. small elephant
  4. chicken/cockerel
  5. foreign coin
  6. plastic peg
  7. key
  8. tree bark
  9. lichen
  10. plectrum

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