The use of Bind Runes is ancient, probably arising almost simultaneously with the use of the Runes as an alphabet. Essentially, a Bind Rune is a symbol composed of several Runes, overlaid, one upon another, to form a single character. This is believed to concentrate the power of the individual Runes into a more potent force.  It is not necessary to translate the word or spell from which the Bind Rune is to be derived into Old Norse, or even into German.

    Simply rendering an English word, name, spell, etc., into Runes phonetically, then combining the Runes to make a single image is enough to effectively concentrate the force inherent in the word or spell. When doing the phonetic rendering, however, care must be utilized. A straight transliteration (switching each individual character with a corresponding Rune) is not always proper. For example, the two letters “TH” should be represented by the single Rune, Thurisaz, not with the letters Tiwaz and Hagalaz. Other examples of this are the combinations “PH,” which corresponds with the Rune Fehu, and “NG,” which corresponds with Ingwaz.

    Care should be taken with the vowels, also (see pronunciation guide to the vowels under the category of Runes for Healing.) Some flexibility is allowed in the drawing of the Runes, with the individual characters slightly reshaped to make the combined symbol more esthetic. The Runes also were often shown in mirror image, especially if there were to be two of the same character.

    They might be directly superimposed over one another, so that a single character would represent two or more of the same character. Sometimes, when it seemed important to indicate that a given letter appeared more than once (especially if it began each of two separate words) it was common to show them either at angles to one another, or with one slightly raised above the other.

    Two of the most important elements of the design are that the Bind Rune should be esthetically pleasing and relatively simple. The esthetic aspect of the design may have little to do with its magical power, but a lot to do with its appreciation. Simplicity, however, is a way of concentrating the power. Symmetry is also a useful element to incorporate into a Bind Rune. Part of the effectiveness of a Bind Rune is to be meditated on, and a symmetrical, relatively simple shape is easy to remember and to visualize even when no physical representation of the symbol is at hand. 

    An example of the way Bind Runes are constructed could be the development of a Bind Rune for Strength. Note that the English word has eight letters, but it is best rendered phonetically with six runes. (Both the “ng” and “th” sounds are single Runes, so the letter grouping would be: S - T - R - E - NG - TH In the drawing below, note how the slightly modified characters are redrawn so that all lines are either vertical or at 45 to the vertical. With all angles equal, it is then possible to draw the characters superimposed over one another without having the end result look overly “busy” or messy. One of the possible bind runes which could be made from the combination of these shapes is shown below:



     Notice that the design at the left contains the shapes of all the characters above and is both simple and symmetrical. This same principal can be used for any word or name, and even for long and complex spells. The more letters in the spell, obviously, the greater the challenge in making the Bind Rune simple and symmetrical. One’s Magickal name makes a particularly meaningful Bind Rune, as does the name of a particular group, family, coven, etc.