Reviewed by Galina Krasskova
I have been awaiting the release of this book for over a year with great anticipation and for once, I was not disappointed. Paxson’s “Taking Up the Runes” is a thorough, ingenious, and most of all refreshingly practical guide to exploring and understanding this key element of Northern magico-religious practice. I would place this book at the forefront of modern runic literature. Not only does it hold its own in the company of such well-respected works such as Aswynn’s “Northern Magic and Mysteries” and Thorsson’s “Futhark” but in many ways, it surpasses them.
Paxson’s book is actually worth it for the introduction alone, not something that can be said of many works. Here she discusses the possible origins of the runes, drawing on current scholarship, including, various intriguing theories that posit links between the runic alphabet and the Etruscan culture by way of the ancient Germanic Marcomanni and Herulian tribes (p. 5). She draws consistent parallels between Northern practice and its possible Indo-European roots exploring the early history of the runes from as early as 2nd century C.E.