Some time ago, Lois Elsden shared an idea she had for her creative writing group, of creating personal ‘runes’ to aid creativity and offer inspiration. here is what she wrote:

I’ve written a couple of times about a little book I came across in a charity shop, “Stones from the Muse – Runes for the Creative Journey” by Emily Herman and Jennifer Richard Jacobson; it should have had a bag of rune stones 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 ‘runes’ 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 yesterday, I put together twenty items and we looked at them, trying 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 ‘rune’, one person on a pebble, one on a shell, one on a piece of tree bark and so on.

Their topic for next time is to do some writing using ‘runes’ – their own, mine, those from the book! I wonder what they will come up with!

Here are the items I offered:

  1. kaleidoscope
  2. broken pot
  3. spoon
  4. cup
  5. candle
  6. rosemary
  7. olive leaf
  8. boat
  9. dead flower
  10. seaglass
  11. pebble
  12. shell
  13. small elephant
  14. chicken/cockerel
  15. foreign coin
  16. plastic peg
  17. key
  18. tree bark
  19. lichen
  20. plectrum



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