Carved Viking stone with runes. Those who used runes for magic took the supernatural powers of the runes seriously. As one Viking poet put it, "Let no man carve runes to cast a spell, save first he learns to read them well." While many in the upper classes could read and write runes, the Vikings called in a specialist when dealing with the talismanic properties of their alphabet. These experts, called Rune Masters, were specially trained to bring runes into play for divination and sorcery.