The meaning of this rune has been left a question mark because in modern times, we have no way of knowing its exact nature. It has been described variously as an apple, a chess piece, a dice cup, a tune, a hearth, and even a penis. This lack of clear meaning is proper, as Perth signifies something unresolved in life, something hidden away that is about to surface. The appearance of Perth may represent a secret; something one may feel secretive about. This can be a hint to the person doing the reading. When Perth shows up, it can signify that someone is not being entirely forthright or honest about the question being posed for the reading or runecast, and is in fact asking about something else.
As a rule, this rune has fairly positive associations, implying that the secret about to be revealed will be helpful or pleasant to the person being read in the runecast. It can signify that matters of the heart, which the person being read may have been unsure of, will be resolved to their advantage – and surprise. It can also denote an unexpected inheritance. In addition, this rune has associations with gambling, although the route by which this meaning is reached is somewhat uncertain. However, on this basis, Perth can mean that it is a good time to undertake some financial undertaking that might seem to be somewhat risky.
In reverse, Perth suggests that what is about to be revealed will be none too pleasant. If there are any dark secrets, a reversed Perth signifies that they are certain to be exposed. On the other hand, when reversed, this rune may show that someone is involved, either personally or in business, with someone who cannot be trusted and that the evidence for this will soon appear. In either case, one must be armed for disclosures of a discomforting nature.
When consulting the Runes, situations will occasionally arise when one’s “need-to-know” goes beyond the authority of a single stone or the Three Rune Spread. The Five Rune Spread can help to identify the distinctive components of a situation that might otherwise overwhelm with its complexity.
Begin by clearly formulating the issue. Draw five Runes from the bag, one at a time, and place them one below the other. In descending order, the Runes stand for:
- Overview of the Situation
- Course of Action Called for
- New Situation Evolving
The Five Rune Spread is absolutely personal and specific. If five Runes are drawn from the bag and placed down on the field, the odds against drawing this particular spread are 607,614 to 1. If however, a Rune is drawn, written down, returned to the bag making the next selection from a full bag of Runes, the odds against drawing this particular spread are now 312,500,500 to 1.
The fourth position, “Sacrifice” is intended as recognition that life offers choices and options that are often mutually exclusive. The concept of sacrifice has, over time, come to be associated with pain and loss. The application of sacrifice in the Five Rune Spread refers to that which has peeled away, shed or discarded, as is called for in the Rune Othila. Othila portends the emergence of new wholeness. Originally a boding of two Latin words, sacrificium and facere, one of the core meanings of sacrifice is “surrender to God.”
A Sample Reading
From my Rune Journal I will again make reference to the successful business I owned with my ex-partner. I was the creative impulse of the idea, and the slogging hard work of getting the company on its feet. The company was “my baby.” When it came time to allow a competitor to acquire the company, the competitor wanted my participation, but not my partner’s. All my fears regarding loyalty, abandonment, the risk to the long-term relationship with my partner and his self-esteem were brought to the surface by this situation. I decided to do a Five Rune Spread which is the spread used above.
Perth, the Rune of Initiation as the overview of the situation, immediately shifted my focus away from both my relationship with my partner and the business. “Nothing external matters here, except as it shows you its inner reflection” – these words were key for me. I realized this was another crossroad on the path of self-change.
Uruz, the Rune of Strength Reversed, indicated the need to respond consciously to “the demands of such a creative time.” It was clear the correct decision would encourage my growth at all levels – corporate as well as personal.
Wunjo reversed speaks of the process of birth being long and arduous as well as the fears which arise for the safety of the child within. The Runes were reminding me that I was going through a test.
Nauthiz, the Rune of Constraint Reversed, in the Sacrifice position conveyed the great teacher in the guise of pain and limitation. I was able to more clearly see that it was time to take a new kind of responsibility for what I had created, to own and honor it and to do what was right for the company.
Dagaz, the Rune of Breakthrough addressed the New Situation Evolving. This Rune offers the assurance that, “because the timing is right, the outcome is assured, although not, from the present vantage point, predictable.” My partner went on to become a success with his considerable talent with a prescription drug company.