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Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Book Review: Wild Soul Runes by Lara Veleda Vesta


Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

This has probably been one of the best years so far for occult books. It is rare for me to thoroughly enjoy so many and add them to my must-have list, but here I am, yet again, adding another book to the list. There is a shift occurring in the occult book market; many publishers are moving away from traditionally Wiccan beginner-type books in favor of expanding their beginner and intermediate books to include a variety of magical and occult practices from around the world as well as introducing books on more advanced topics, such as runes, wildcrafting, and spirit work. I am all for this transition, as the beginner information is readily available in hundreds of books, blogs, and forums, while intermediate and advanced magic is few and far between. Wild Soul Runes: Reawakening the Ancestral Feminine by Lara Veleda Vesta is just another book in this trend toward more advanced topics.

Once again, I absolutely loved this book. Both sides of my family have roots that trace back to Nordic countries, so anything to do with their magical practices has always fascinated me. I made my own rune set several years ago, but I haven't really worked with the runes since making the set. I honestly feel bad about this, but I was never sure where to start. I feel a little more comfortable with tarot cards, but even then I prefer getting answers to my questions through hedge riding. After reading Wild Soul Runes, that is about to change. Vesta begins her book by breaking down the history of the runes, which she mentions is very limited. She pulls from a number of sources, including the original Poetic Edda, the contemporary Bruce Dickins translation, and her own translation. The fact that Vesta spent hours translating the Poetic Edda herself in order to build a better relationship with the runes is the mark of a true practitioner. If I am going to take rune advice from anyone, it's going to be her. She is truly an expert. I was utterly fascinated by the history of the runes and the sources Vesta pulled from, all of which are perfectly outlined in the bibliography.

The second half of the book is designed as a workbook to help you build a relationship with each rune. Vesta suggests working with each rune for at least one week before moving on to the next. She encouraged the reader to set up an altar dedicated to the rune and spend at least 10 minutes a day building on the relationship. She includes a set of "Inquiry" questions for each rune to journal about and provides the original Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem, Dickins Translation, and her own translation to work with and translate for yourself. The Elder Futhark runes also include an Icelandic rune poem and Norwegian rune poem complete with Dickin's and Vesta's translations for you to translate as well. Not only does she include the traditional Elder Futhark runes, but she also includes the Anglo-Northumbrian or Jotun Runes, which she feels cannot be separated from the Elder Futhark runes. Spread throughout the weeks, Vesta includes some reflections, moments for the reader to pause and think about their journey so far with the runes. I enjoyed each of these pauses and know they will make more sense once I start my rune journey in full.

Vesta ends the book with her experiences, saying "I feel that showing the process can sometimes support another's journey" and I couldn't agree more. This is why I started my blog in the first place; to share my journey to support others. If we were all a little more open about our practice, maybe we could help others grow as well. I will be honest, I skimmed over her experiences because I did not want them to influence my own journey that I plan to embark upon this week. I appreciated Vesta's openness to discuss her practice, including her failures while working with the runes. It allows the reader to connect to her writing and sets her apart from a number of other authors.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book and ordered some notebooks specifically for the purpose of starting my own 33-week rune journey. Hopefully, I come out with a deeper relationship with my runes and the desire to continue to use them for divinatory purposes. If you are looking to learn more about the runes, their history, and build a deeper relationship with them, this is the book for you. Wild Soul Runes: Reawakening the Ancestral Feminine by Lara Veleda Vesta is available now and I promise it will not leave you disappointed. 


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