Building a Harrow for Rune Work

In an earlier article I looked at the construction of a Vé and described the consecration of the space so it can be used for rune work. Although it is not essential, a Harrow or altar placed in the center of your Vé will provide a workbench for numerous rites and magickal workings.

As with the Vé, there are no hard and fast rules about the construction of a Harrow. It can be as simple or as ornate as you wish. The only criterion is your own appreciation of it. The more you like your finished Harrow, the more confident you will be and therefore the more effective your rune work will be.

As mentioned in earlier articles, the best place for a Vé is outdoors, in the woods and on the earth itself. If you are fortunate enough to have a Vé in that situation, your Harrow will also be in contact with the earth, and that is the best possible situation. If you are forced to work indoors, the foot of your Harrow should be placed as close as possible to the ground and, if possible, connected to it in some way by stone or concrete. There is a school of thought that discounts concrete as a man-made substance, but since it is made of naturally occurring materials - water, stone and lime - I see no problem with placing the Harrow on a concrete surface. In principle, the closer the foot of the Harrow is to the ground the better.

The simplest Harrow will be a workbench about waist high with two supports, one at each end. Stone is the ideal material for the workbench, but wood will suffice. it doesn't have to be as thick as shown in my drawing, but do the best you can.

The supports should always be of wood and 4-6 inches in width. The positioning of the supports should be towards the front of the workbench, as in the plan on the right. You can fix them with iron nails screws or dowels.

Position the Harrow in the centre of the Vé facing north. Make a permanent place on the surface for a sacred flame in the form of a candle-burner or a brazier. Other implements may be kept on the surface depending on what rune work you intend to do. I will discuss tools used for rune magick in a future article.

The work surface should be plain and reasonably smooth, though most users will adorn it with an altar cloth of their own making. The use of runes and other fortuitous symbolism is quite appropriate. The pillars may be colorfully decorated, and here again your own choice of runes and symbols carved, painted or burned in the wood will all add to the overall impression.
Author Bob Oswald
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