However for a really strong esoteric understanding of Runes, it is also important to have a working knowledge of the themes behind Indo-European cultures in general, so you can see the overall cultural context of Runology and Rune Magick at least similarly to the way that the great Rune-Masters of the past saw them. People who fail to understand Indo-European cultural phenomena, usually end up using or interpreting Runes in ways totally contrary to their authentic meanings - especially many of the more eclectic New Age authors. This is why you see so many people who want to be "pagans" eventually getting confused and giving up - because pseudo-pagan New Age authors have no standards - they copy from piles of unrelated, non-Indo-European traditions, stick completely off-the-wall meanings onto Runes, and invent fake rituals - when in fact there is plenty of writing on real Indo-European rituals and cultural mythos by people like Guido von List, Peryt Shou, Georges Dumézil and even more accessible authors like Edred Thorsson.
If you have at least a basic grounding in Indo-European concepts of time, karma, the supernatural, the hero's journey, the tri-phase reincarnation cycle, the concepts of perpetual improvement (Asha), blood-memory and farmer-cultural ethics, then you will be far less likely to make silly mistakes or "stumble around in the dark" to paraphrase Master Egil.
Sometimes I will quote from these books and authors, to give a gist of the general flavor of Indo-European Ur-culture and its archetypes and ethics that underpin all true Rune-Magick, especially of the Armanen variety, but just as applicable to the other runic systems if you are so inclined. But if you want your Rune-Magick to be truly effective in real life, at least a few of these books are must-read items.
Keep in mind that many of the books on this list, I do not see eye-to-eye with. These are for background material on various Indo-European cultures, which tend to overlap in areas relating to the primordial Ur-culture of the proto-Aryans. Many of these authors have different viewpoints, with some of the authors' theories and side commentaries even being antithetical to true Indo-European cultural archetypes. So it is important to read multiple authors to get a balanced view of things. Some of the rarer German books have not been translated so at least a basic understanding of German is required for those.
- The Bundahishn
|1888||Carnuntum. Historischer Roman aus dem 4. Jahr-hundert (two volumes)||Berlin|
|1892||Tauf-, Hochzeits- und Bestattungs-Gebräuche und deren Ursprung||Salzburg|
|1893||Litteraria sodalitas Danubiana||Vienna|
|1894||Jung Diether's Heimkehr. Eine Sonnwend-Geschichte aus dem Jahre 488 n. Chr.||Brno|
|1894||Der Wala Erweckung||Vienna|
|1895||Walküren-Weihe. Epische Dichtung||Brno|
|1895||Pipara. Die Germanin im Cäsarenpurpur (two volumes)||Leipzig|
|1898||Der Unbesiegbare. Ein Grundzug germanischer Weltanschaaung||Vienna|
|1899||König Vannius. Ein deutsches Königsdrama||Brno|
|1900||Der Wiederaufbau von Carnuntum||Vienna|
|1901||Sommer-Sonnwend-Feuerzauber. Skaldisches Weihespiel||Vienna|
|1903||Alraunen-Mären. Kulturhistorische Novellen und Dichtungen aus germanischer Vorzeit||Vienna|
|1903||Das Goldstück. Ein Liebesdrama in fünf Aufzügen||Vienna|
|1908||Das Geheimnis der Runen||Gross-Lichterfelde|
|1908||Die Armanenschaft der Ario-Germanen||Leipzig and Vienna|
|1908||Die Rita der Ario-Germanen||Leipzig and Vienna|
|1909||Die Namen der Völkerstämme Germaniens und deren Deutung||Leipzig and Vienna|
|1909/10||Die Religion der Ario-Germanen im ihrer Esoterik und Exoterik||Zurich|
|1910||Der Bilderschrift der Ario-Germanen (Ario-Germanische Hieroglyphik)||Leipzig and Vienna|
|1911||Die Armanenschaft der Ario-Germanen. Zweiter Teil||Leipzig and Vienna|
|1911||Der Übergang vom Wuotanstum zum Christensum||Zurich|
|1913||Die Armanenschaft der Ario-Germanen. Erster Teil (second edition)||Vienna|
|1913||Deutsch-Mythologische Landschaftsbilder (second edition)||Vienna|
|1914||Die Ursprache der Ario-Germanen und ihre Mysteriensprache|
*Die Edda. Übertragen von Rudolf John Gorsleben. (Gorsleben's German translation of the Poetic and Prose Eddas, each in its own volume). Die Heimkehr (W. Simon, Buchdr. u. Verlag), Pasing 1920.
*Die Edda, ihre Bedeutung fur Gegenwart und Zukunft (Pasing, 1923).
Peryt Shou: another very influential though largely forgotten Armanist; he was a great expert in Indo-European esoteric Lore and many lost occult Aryan traditions. He is believed to have been part of a secret family Runic tradition, like his contemporary Tarnhari (Ernst Lauterer). All his books are out of print, though a few have been reprinted. If you can find any of them past the first two, you are fortunate.
*The Edda as Keys to the Coming Age
*The Mystery of the Central Sun: from the Scientific and Metaphysical Viewpoints
*Zeiten-Wende: Not, Transformation und Erwachen
Edred Thorsson/Stephen Flowers: Like him or hate him, a very important author in the Runic Revival - he is famous for his rune books, less famous for his cultural books (see below), and infamous for his deep involvement with Satanism/Setianism. That said, if you can ignore his hermetic syncretism and Pavlovian insertions, he can be a useful author for locating primary sources and artifacts through his work.
*An Introduction to the Germanic Tradition, Rûna-Raven Press, 1994
*The Northern Dawn - A History of the Reawakening of the Germanic Spirit, Volume 1: From the Twilight of the Gods to the Sun at Midnight, Rûna-Raven Press, 2006 (preface 2003). Second edition, Arcana Europa Media LLC, October 30, 2017.
*The Mysteries of the Goths, Rûna-Raven Press, 2007
*The Good Religion: The Occidental Temple of the Wise Lord, Lodestar, March 20, 2014
*The Mazdan Way: Essays on the Good Religion for the West, Lodestar , October 14, 2017
*Original Magic: The Rituals and Initiations of the Persian Magi, Inner Traditions, November 16, 2017
Ernst Radusch: a long-forgotten and obscure author on esoteric Runology in both a Germanic and pan-Aryan context. Good luck if you can find a copy of his sole surviving book:
*Ich las eine Rune. Ein Ruf an das junge Deutschland. Breslau, F. Hirt, 1933.