F. B. Marby’s First Runic Exercise (the Passive “Is” Rune)

One of the best introductions to the basic techniques of Runic Exercises is Marby’s Is-rune exercise. It can be performed anywhere and at any time, and should be done as often as possible when one is still trying to familiarize themselves with these types of exercises.

The purpose of the exercise (besides the training aspect) is the general strengthening of the body and of the attention, resulting in an all-around rejuvenation. It can be performed in a standing position (which is preferred) as well as walking and even sitting.

• If standing, then you take the “Basic Military Position”: body erect, eyes focused straight ahead, chin down, chest out, with your feet touching at the heels.
• If walking, keep your feet straight, your elbows slightly bent, and your palms facing forward in a slightly cupped position.
• The sitting form of the exercise is one where you sit straight in a chair, knees together, with your palms on your knees, and the arms held to the body.
The only thought that you should have is “I am here”. Practice often and in any location.


Marby’s Instructions for the First Rune Exercise

The following introductions for the technique of runic gymnastics was outlined by Marby in the first volume of his Marby-Runen-Bücherei (1931).

1. Inhale for a duration of five seconds, then exhale for five seconds (equivalent to the time it takes to walk 7 normal steps). Maintain a rhythm of breath that is comfortable and make it a regular, then start to expand the duration of the inhalation & exhalation (but always equal). Practice as often as you can and in as many different places as you can.

2. Softly vocalize the vowel “I” (pronounced like ‘tree’, but without the ‘tr’). Do this in a tone and pitch most comfortable and natural for yourself. Practice daily in conjunction with the Is-rune posture.

3. Once this comfortable and natural tone has been mastered, practice raising the pitch of the note as high as you can (without pausing while raising the pitch).

4. Next try expanding the length of the initial “I”-sound to ten seconds. Continue to expand this time to your limits. Practice several times daily.

5. As you raise the tone from your lowest point to its highest level, visualize or sense the energy rising from below your feet out through the top of your head. Each time you repeat the exercise feel the energy of the tone rise from below upward throughout the length of your whole body. Then on the next inhalation begin high and spiral the sound down to the lowest level. Spiral the sound up and down your body with each breath. The overall effect of the sound will be something like a siren. The time period of the actual transition from the highest to the lowest tone is relatively short, usually about four seconds, with the end tone being held for however long is comfortable for you at that stage. Practice several times daily.

6. This step is very similar to the previous one, except here you repeatedly jump from the lowest to the highest tone (of which you are capable without strain and without cracking your voice). Practice daily and often.

7. Again, this is the same as the one above, except you similarly jump from the highest to the lowest tone you are used to making. Practice daily and often.

8. Return to the pattern of step six and jump from the low tone to the high tone. In the performance of exercises six through eight, the duration of each of the tones will be about four to five seconds.

To follow Marby’s instructions correctly, one would always go through the steps in the specified order, mastering the first step before going on to the second, etc. Each subsequent step is added only after the previous one has been practiced for at least seven days. According to this schedule it should take at least 54 days to complete the program. When the program is complete, one will have a solid foundation for the art and practice of runic gymnastics and rune-song.

One can also add basic affirmations to the routine. For the Is-rune, the basic affirmation is the contemplation of the fact that your whole body is an antenna or a magnetic conductor of currents from all five zones of “The Lodge of World Space” (the Cosmos/Universe). All of these currents flow to and through you, and all are running parallel to your own currents. You guide them (see yourself in the midst of the whole cosmos) with the great distances of outer space and inner space above and below you.

According to Marby, the actual results of this program of exercises should be:

• a feeling of overall vitality and strength,
• a feeling of lightness of being and rejuvenation of the soul, and
• a feeling of being effective in action in all that you do (with clearer thoughts and quieter emotions).
Additionally, you should be able to increase your ability to attract people to yourself and to be able to settle strife between people in your immediate environment. You will become calm and vital, and will emit this quality into your surroundings.

-Paraphrase from Friedrich Bernhard Marby’s Rune-Library [Runen-Bücherei] (1931-1935)


S. A. Kummer’s Explanation of Runic Exercises and their Purpose

Within us lies the great experience of God and of nature: high cosmic connectedness. Through rune exercises and rune dancing, the student will get to the point where this great experience breaks through again and awakens in their Spirit. This will allow us to experience the all-connectedness and to gain the deepest knowledge of God.

In the past, rune exercises and dances belonged to the highest mysteries, which were considered necessary in order to bring the initiate to the greatest development and to elevate them to the state of the God-Man. Rune positions and dances were the main form of education for priests and led to the development of the highest seers and prophets.

Dear brother or sister, the need of the hour calls you to this work. Always strive to educate yourself in the love of the All-Father, in nobility, beauty and goodness. You can do this because the core of these things lies in your Spirit. As such, you will be able to satisfy the requirements of the future culture and be victorious over beastly humanity. Let us now begin with the exercises…

-Paraphrase from Holy Runic-Power [Heilige Runenmacht] (1932)


Kummer’s First Runic Exercise (the Passive “I” or “Is” Rune)

“With the body taut, face the north,
Your spirit gives you the commanding words.
Remain icy calm.
So many secrets are kept within.”

Above all, the student must learn to fully master their body, so they do the following exercise every morning after washing:

Stand in the middle of the room in a firm posture, with heels together (in the basic military position), facing north in the I-rune position. One’s body is now ready for commands, so one says loudly and energetically:

“I am your supervisor, you have to obey me fully and completely. All muscle twitches are eliminated starting today. You have to submit to me. Now I want you to stand in front of your superior, your Spirit [Ich*].”

Now the student tries to envision the image of a high God-Man, immersing themselves in this picture so much that they completely forget their body. They must wish to see the mental image ever more clearly, more vividly and more tangibly. This exercise should take 10-20 minutes.

Above all, the student must gain peace, patience and perseverance, which is absolutely necessary in order to penetrate into the rune mysteries. The practitioner should avoid meat & alcohol consumption and stop smoking one hour before and after the exercises; but it would be more advantageous if they abstain entirely. Their body has to obey them completely. The student makes sure that their stomach, abdomen and intestines are in order. Special value must be placed on regular bowel movements.

Also, the student should not forget that, in the I-rune position, they consciously projects themselves as a living antenna into a sea of currents (or waves) that give spiritual power. Therefore, besides the exercises, he must also develop a straight posture; nervousness and unnecessary hand movements also hinder the inflow of the Universal-forces.

-Paraphrase from Holy Runic-Power [Heilige Runenmacht] (1932)

* Note: The German word ‘Ich’ means “self, one’s person, ego, part of a person which distinguishes itself from others, the ‘I’ part of the psyche”. However, in this context, it is referring to the true Self, which we call “the Being” or “Inner Being” in Gnosis. We have used the term ‘Spirit’ to refer to the Being, the Intimate or Intimus.


Kummer’s Complementary Breathing Exercise and Affirmation

Full and deep breathing through the nose is a primary requirement for all rune exercises, and every student has to make it to the point that they practice only full and deep breathing: this must become their daily practice. The initiate of occultism will already be familiar with breathing techniques. The beginner must understand that proper breathing is crucial for lasting health, not only for prolonging one’s life, but also for significantly strengthening resilience and life-force.

Willpower contains radioactive energy, which the pupil consciously exudes when breathing. If you are nervous, you are wasting this power. But those who consciously breathe store it up in their bodies. In superficial breathing we withdraw the normal supply of radioactive energy from the willpower. All the high inspirations, the magical abilities and the medial powers of the ancient hierophants are largely based on the use of radioactive energy through conscious breathing.

Exercise: The student stands in front of an open window, taking up the previously mentioned I-rune position, one pushes out the chest and slightly raises the head. Now, with one’s mouth closed, one breathes deeply through the nose, internally counting to 7. Then breath out slowly through the nose for the duration of a count to 7. The student does this exercise three times.

Then one breathes rhythmically through the nose for 7 seconds, filling all parts of the lung to the utmost, and rhythmically exhales for 7 seconds. Then repeat the first exercise three more times.

When inhaling, the student visualizes that he absorbs very strong energy, and while exhaling he focuses on expelling all the spent and bad substances of the body. Through these breathing exercises, which are carried out daily in the morning and evening, a strong sense of calm and harmony is achieved. If the student is in an agitated or serious exchange with someone, he performs one of the exercises given above, which immediately gives him peace and he radiates this to the other person.

Every day, the student sits down at an open window or, when it is cold, at a closed window in a well-ventilated room. One completely relaxes the body, does the breathing exercise already mentioned, directs one’s eyes into the distance with a calm view (if possible to the north or east), and does not let oneself be distracted by things or objects that are within one’s sight. One should turn off all thoughts and remain for 15 minutes in the most complete tranquility.

The practitioner spends his evening hours reading Esoteric, Occult and Religious works. Before going to bed, the student practices the previously mentioned breathing exercise and then, while still in the I-rune posture one says:

“My Spirit [Ich] is awakening. I am a child of the All-Father, I serve Him with my higher development through which I acquire magical abilities. I am consciously walking the path toward you, All-Father and that is why I always have your protection & your blessing.

I love humanity and I am kind to the people. I will defeat all weaknesses in me as I ever create for myself a better, healthier body. I want to become wise and noble like the ancient hierophants.

I openly fight (with all my strength) all the bad, low and evil, which hinders my spiritual development. I live in harmony and send out only noble, good thoughts. So I come, through you, All-Father, to the luminous goal!”

Now the student goes to bed and sends out good thoughts and wishes. One will wake up healthy, happy and well-balanced. In the morning, after washing, one performs the morning exercises and then goes to work. The exercises given so far are to be practiced for 7 days, but their practice can also be extended to 14 days.

-Paraphrase from Holy Runic-Power [Heilige Runenmacht] (1932)



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