Pictish Rune Magic

The Picts of northern Britain and Scotland developed the method of creating totemic contracts with nature spirits long before the Celtic, Roman, and Saxon invasions of the isles. This spell  developed out of the Picts' traditional tribal practice of drawing pictures of animals on themselves to gain the abilities of those animals in battle.

Historical records describe the ancient Picts, as "the blue people," a people who adorned their bodies with blue tattoos and blue body art. Mid first century BC Roman manuscripts report, "All the Britons dye their bodies with woad, which produces a blue colour, and this gives them a more terrifying appearance in battle." Culturally and mystically significant, terrifying in battle, exotically fierce, evocatively primal, both men and women decorated their bodies with Woad body art, bringing into magical manifestation access to deep sexual power in all areas of Celtic life. The Celts left in the minds of the classical peoples of ancient times an admiration for and terror of the spirited heroism possessed by the Celts. Ancient historians wrote of their respect of the Picts for their quick intellect and imagination, and these traits, coupled with the raw primal power at their disposal, made the Picts a fearsome people in the ancient world.


The basic idea of Pictish Runes is to decorate your body with designs which seem appropriate to the Totemic spirit to be called, then summon the spirit and make a deal with it to augment or protect you. These designs are called runes. The "appropriate" part is important. The rune chosen does not have to have deep mystical significance, but for the spell to work, the rune does need to "feel right" to you.  Once the runes are drawn, they will act as a focus for the spell. A Pictish Totemic spirit is then called, and once it arrives, you must cut a deal with it. You ask the spirit to provide you with what extra abilities or protections that you want, and in return, you offer to perform some sort of sacrifice for it. This process is the creating of a totemic alliance between you and the spirit.

In clans and covens where rune magic exists, rune diviners are not solitary but instead take an active hand in the affairs of clan and coven workings. They function as advisors or wisdom keepers and a rune witch with the right runes could become a very effective leader. Others become shamans and religious leaders, channeling the power of their gods through the runes. Pictish Rune witches are accorded high respect by most people because they use the tools of the gods, and a person who does so is not one to trifle with.

As with any kind of totemic magic, in using the Pictish Runes,  the witch may only cast the spells on themselves, and the effects of the spells are limited to augmentation and protection of the witch's own material and astral body. The perk is that the power of the totemic alliance is limited only by the size of the spirit called, not by the caster's personal power

To successfully cast any Pictish Rune spell, you must first perform the following procedures:

Cast the spell "Create Pictish Woad" (a Nature, Herbal Remedies spell), or get someone else to make it for you.
Cast the spell "Summon Totemic Spirit" (you have to do this one yourself).

Spell Formula Standards

The runes used should be of Pictish or Celtic origins, knotwork and zoomorphic designs are best. To chose a rune or design that is appropriate, think of the spirit you are calling, and what qualities you wish it to lend you. The Totemic spirits called should ususally, but not necessarily, be related to the animals and plants of the British Isles. The sacrifice offered needs to be something that the animal or plant the spirit is representing would like.