Hiya Torch, i liked to answer you earlier, but at the moment i am on a roll with so many things ;)
I believe both systems are within there own cycle the 18 and 24 system. I myself prefer the 24 as i find it suitable to place each one of the 24 rune within the zodiac starting at east with aries where the sun rises and daytime begins.
Each sign of the zodiac having 2 runes; one for each hour the sun is passing that sign as it takes the sun 2 hours to pass a sign before going into the next one.
To me the 18 runes when placed within the zodiac starting at sunrise ( aries )..they stop at dec 21. This is a cycle of 9 months and could indicate the gestation period of life being born ( think of a baby ) The missing 6 you are pointing out within my sense of things are the missing elements we are born with...so we are meant to look for these missing 6 in matter while being incarnated to complete our being towards enlightenment or so to say..to find the philosophers stone ;)
I will leave it at this as i feel i gave answer to your wonders of my thoughts on this matter.
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