Nudges from the Universe: 21st Century Runes of Consciousness and Creation by Kristin Kopp
Review by Diane Wilkes

Because of my passion for imagery and art, Runes have never really held a strong place in my affections. I appreciate their tactile quality, as well as their "straight to the point" approach, but despite having many beautiful stone and card sets, the depth, structure, and magic of tarot holds me in its sway, and my rune sets tend to molder on the shelves.

Kristin Kopp's new Rune card set is a quite charming one. It is modernized and accessible and utterly transportable--they are on shiny, business-card sized cardboard. Each rune glyph or "letter" appears on a nave-styled picture. I believe these were originally drawn with colored pencils. The letter is translated from its Futhark form to its English equivalent, hence, Jera becomes "J" and Mannaz transforms to "M" Other translations are less seamless--V for Thurisaz and Z for Eihaz, for example. A prescriptive affirmation sits atop the card. Then the English letter, its title (:J: Justice, again for Jera), and a paragraph-long interpretation. Lastly, a more personal affirmation seals the message.

The equivalencies are as follows:

English Letter/Traditional Rune Letter    Title/Keyword

A/Ansuz                                               Awareness
B/Berkano                                           Becoming
C/K/Kenaz                                          Catalyze
D/Dagaz                                              Dawning
E/Ehwaz                                              Aligning
F/Fehu                                                 Fortune
G/Gebo                                               Giving
H/Hagalaz                                           Whole
I/Isa                                                     Stillness
J/Jera                                                   Justice
K - See "C"
L/Lagaz                                               Liquid
M/Mannaz                                           Human
N/Nauthiz                                            Need
O/Othala                                             Own
P/Perthro                                             Psychic
Q/Wyrd (blank rune)                           Quantum
R/Raidho                                             Rider
S/Sowilo                                             Spirit
T/Tiwaz                                               Triumphant
U/Uruz                                                Umph
V(th)/Thurisaz                                      Thorny
W/Wunjo                                            Wonder
X(ng)/Ingwaz                                       Doing
Y/Eihwaz                                             Yield
Z/Eihaz                                                Zone

Finally, there is a "joker" card called "Nudges." It is not a rune and is demarcated accordingly. The backs are in black and white and are a bit too perky and non-meditative for my taste. The cards come in a little white box. Included is a short, typed page that gives a short history. Kopp refers to Odin as  "a Scandinavian shaman," lists the Elder Futhark, and provides other abbreviated information. I particularly liked her section on Rune Yoga, wherein you physically form the Runic letters to integrate that rune's energy. I didn't like some statements on this sheet, such as "Runes make things happen everyday, whether we notice them or not." I don't think she meant this in the disempowering way it comes across, but it still bothered me.

As a purist, I normally turn up my nose at extreme deviation from tradition, because the words "dumbed down" are often applicable to such variants. But I find these cards endearing in their simple charm. They offer an immediacy and accessibility that I haven't observed in any other rune set, cards or stones. More to the point, each time I have used them I have found the message to be both appropriate and profound.

I recommend this set for rune enthusiasts who want a reasonably-priced "fun" set of cards, or for beginners seeking a modernized rune set.  I can also see mixing media, having a querent pull one of these cards after a reading. The positive emphasis provides the querent with an uplifting ending.

You can visit the author/artist's website and order this deck here.

Images 2002 Kristin Kopp
Review and page 2003 Diane Wilkes