David H. Keith
on Nov. 2, 2012 :
I salute Ms. Sanders for writing this book. It could have been a valuable addition to the beginning Wiccan's library. Could have been. Unfortunately, it falls short on several points, the most egregious of which I shall mention here.
First, and while this may seem a minor point, it actually matters quite a great deal. Remember, she allegedly wrote this to help those who had little or no knowledge of the runes understand and learn of them. That would behoove her to make sure her grammar and word usage is dead on correct. To begin with, she says at the beginning of chapter 1 that "An aettir (aett is plural)..." That is, according to www.sunnyway.com (and based upon my own knowledge of Germanic languages), incorrect. The word "aett" is actually the singular form of the noun and "aettir" is the plural. Most Germanic languages of which I am familiar will use a single sound ("aett," "haus," for example) for the singular, with a multisyllabic plural ("aettir," hausen.") I suspect Sanders is aware of this as she goes on in the rest of the book to use "aett" in the singular sense.
Next, I think it would have been most helpful were she to include graphics actually showing each rune. What, exactly, does feoh look like? The (English) letter "f"? Which one: upper or lower case? From my knowledge of the Elder Futhark, the first letter looks nothing at all like either one. I fear Sanders has done a grave disservice to those who would actually benefit from her book by omitting the graphics.
One final point. From where did she get the rune names, descriptions, and other data she gives for each one? You really need to cite your sources if you wish to be taken seriously by other scholars.
As to the names she gives, neither www.omniglot.com or www.sunnyway.com agree with her. What she calls "feoh," for instance, is known as "fehu" on both sites. Her "thorn" is "Thurisaz" on the Sunnyway site and "Þurisaz" at Omniglot. I'm not debunking Ms. Sanders' names so much as asking her her source.
This was a good idea of hers, and it can yet be a valuable resource for beginning Pagans or those who are simply interested in the Elder Futhark runes. I strongly recommend she go back and finish the book.
David H. Keith
(review of free book)