The magic of the runes was largely the province of men, although it is likely that some women, at least, knew something of the runes. Certainly the sagas record instances of seið-witches cutting runes in wood in order to work a spell:
When they reached the shore, she hobbled on by the sea as if directed to a spot where lay a great stump of a tree as large as a man could bear on his shoulder. She looked at it and bade them turn it over before her; the other side looked as if it had been burned and smoothed. She had a small flat surface cut on its smooth side; then she took a knife, cut runes upon it, reddened them with her blood and muttered some spells over it. After that she walked backwards against the sun around it and spoke many potent words. Then she made them push the tree into the sea, and said that it should go to Drangey and that Grettir should suffer hurt from it.
–Grettis saga Ásmundarsonar, ch. 79