reposted from Eira’s 4 Nov 2021 Kickstarter update
Dear wonderful backers and friends of the rune card project,
First, the good news: all backers should now have recieved all their rewards (let me know if you haven’t!).
I am writing today with upsetting news.
Some of the runes on cards in the project were sourced from influential mass-market rune books by author Nigel Pennick, who was recommended to me by people I trust. Pennick is responsible for the runic half-months, the ‘reconstruction’ of runic astrology, and his books are the source of probably 95% of the bind-rune art sold on Etsy. Unfortunately, his 1970s-early1980s writing turns out to (at best) uncritically propogate information from pre-WW2 German ‘rune scholars’ or (at worst) knowingly rebrand Nazi mysticism for a modern audience (link is a tumblr post from the evening of Oct 22nd; getting my hands on his out-of-print books wasn’t trivial, almost as if they’d been buried on purpose). His ‘Erda’ rune appears to be Odal with the serial numbers filed off — and Odal (from the Nazi Armanen Runes, essentially Othala with added lines that look like serifs) is commonly used these days as a fascist/neo-Nazi dog whistle. Now, it’s still possible that Pennick was quoting pre-Nazi sources and ‘Erda’, like so much else, was stolen and repurposed by the Nazis — but I can no longer trust that’s the case, so the “among runes misused by Nazi Germany & extremists” at the base of the card is no longer sufficient.
SO. I am mortified that I included Pennick as a trusted source (and to be clear, this error is mine alone, my writing partner Lee wasn’t involved), and you all have my abject apologies.
Last week, I postponed the small monthly rune study group I’ve been running so I could get to the bottom of this (and make sure none of the “modern divination keywords” column in the booklet is suspect), and put off finalizing the planned lesson plans for teens yet again (I now believe they’ll need external experts’ help to vet before I can even release them for testing). This morning, I have withdrawn the remaining card decks from circulation via Etsy (and this afternoon I’ll go grab the handful of decks at local retailers, which fortunately have not sold). I am going to give the free PDF booklet a rewrite. I will look at the math and see if I have any wiggle room from this at-cost pilot-project offering to provide you with some kind of refund. And I’ll confer with my gothi to see if there’s anything else I might do to make this error right.
If you choose to keep your deck, please remove and destroy the following cards, as their source is now considered highly suspect. (All remaining cards came from academic runology sources and should be okay to continue using, but I may need to further update their associated divination keywords.)
Bind Rune: Erda, Bind Rune: Ziu, Bind Rune: Sol, Wan, Wendhorn (all cards with coral highlighting).
Bind Rune: L-A-NG, Bind Rune: M-A, Bind Rune: R-U, Bind Rune: T-O-R, Bind Rune: Stan-knot,
Bind Rune: J-O-G (all cards with green highlighting)
Of the remaining green-highlighted bind rune cards, Gibu Auja and stacked Tiwaz (so-called Tyr’s Spears) are attested as inscriptions in those forms, and A-L-U is (IIRC) only inscribed as a series of letters.
McLeod & Mees discuss all three in their book on runic insciptions that appear to have had magic intent to their users. Depending on how you feel about bind runes, you may keep or remove those from your decks.
I’d like to express my gratitude to my friend Avelix, who handed along the deservedly-harsh feedback of the users of Ocean Keltoi’s discord server, and to my fellow Tumblr users Obligate-Rebel and Thorraborrin who’ve been journeying down the rabbit-hole of 1970s rune divination with me and helping to uncover how deeply warped the dawn of modern rune divination was, and to all of you for supporting me on this journey.
I hope that by being as transparent as possible, and continuing to work diligently on the free resources that came out of this project, I can re-earn your trust in my judgment. Again, my deepest apologies.