Elder Futhark

July 1, 2010 § 1 Comment

mannazThe whole idea that letters know their own physical existence is, philosophically speaking, alarming. Wouldn’t it be the same as our noses, ears, legs, bottoms, … running around in the world all by themselves?

The use of the runes as alphabetical system came into practice a long time after the runes themselves appeared. The alphabet just tries to impose order and hide secret meanings.

The runes of the Elder futhark are commonly divided into three families:

Freya’s Eight – third aett

fehufehu f Cattle Cattle were the livelihood of the tribe, that is why this rune stands for wealth, prosperity and possessions won or earned.
uruzuruz u Aurochs Survival, primal strength and speed. Sometimes referred to as the warrior rune, as it took great skill to hunt these large now extinct bison-like animals; Primal forming force, origin and destiny of all things, patterning and formulating force, unmanifested source of the ordering principles, primal fertilizing essence.
thurisazthurisaz th Thorn or Giant Protection or obstacles. This is also known as the troll rune; Enemy of unfriendly forces, directed cosmic force of destruction and defense, lightning and thunder, cosmic phallic power.
ansuzansuz a God or Mouth Communication. It is sometimes seen as ‘blessings’ in the form of spiritual communication; Odin, the gifts ond – breath, spirit, animating life principle – and od – mental activity, inspiration, the receiver-container/transformer-expresser of spiritual power and knowledge.
raidhoraidho r Riding or Cartwheel The wheel of life with everything moving in cycles. It represents change and action. Can also represent travel; Solar wagon, the cosmic law of archetypal order in the multiverse, mystery of divine law, manifested in both the multiverse and in humanity, spiral development, channeling of force according to natural laws.
kenazkenaz k/c Torch The torch is the bringer of light and therefore stands for enlightenment and illumination. This is the fire rune; Controlled fire, internal fire, mystery of regeneration, hearth, forge, the ability and will to generate and create when opposites are bound in beauty and the results of that union manifest.
gebogebo g Gift Spiritual gifts and generosity (i.e. the gift of giving). It’s keyword could be thought of as exchanges. Unconscious magical force present in Ginnungagap (magically charged void) before the formation of the worlds.
wunjowunjo w Perfection or Happiness The happy rune representing balance and harmony, in tarot it could probably be referred to as the wish card.

Hagall’s Eight – second aett

hagalazhagalaz h Hail Known as the weather rune this covers challenges or uncontrolled forces both inner and outer.
naudhiznaudhiz n Need This isn’t needy as such, it is pointing out that the things you need you probably already have (near). They only have to be worked at. Self preservation is another keyword.
isaisa i Ice A period of inaction, reaching a standstill or emotional cooling. ~ Personally I prefer to think of it as a quality or opportunity that is still to thaw.
jerajera j Year or Harvest The reaping of rewards for past efforts. It can be seen as the end of something and the start of something new.
eihwazeihwaz y Yew The yew tree is an ancient wisdom keeper and the gateway to the otherworld. Hence this rune is known as the shaman rune (representing the ability of the shaman to control/mould the unshaped energy of the otherworld), for motivation and transformation.
perthroperthro p Dice Cup Cups were often used for divination and gambling, and why this rune can be seen as Fate. It is said to urge people to make their own choices and take charge of their own destiny.
elhazelhaz z Elk This rune is said to be a pictorial representation of an elk. Elk have massive antlers making it easy to assign significance of it being a protection rune.
sowilosowilo s Sun The sun with its life-giving light and warmth can be seen as the life force. Its meaning could easily be good fortune, health and happiness.

Tyr’s Eight – first aett

tiwaztiwaz t Tyr Warrior God Tyr sacrificed his sword arm to save the other gods and therefore associates with sacrifice for a long term goal. This is the battle rune that includes heroism and victory in it’s meaning.
berkanoberkano b Birch Magical Godess Due to the birch’s ability to survive fire and regenerate quickly this rune is associated with rebirth, new beginnings and purification. It also covers fertility.
ehwazehwaz e Horse One of man’s closest allies in the animal kingdom, horse stands for co-operation and progress. It has also been referred to as the goddess stone (i.e. the white mare).
mannazmannaz m Man Mankind in it’s more general sense, but it can also apply to the individual relating to personal destiny or status.
laguzlaguz l Water Emotions and emotional balance. Water is also linked to intuition and psychic matters (For example see Dr. Masuro Emoto’s work)
ingwazingwaz ng Ing Fertility God This refers to Ing the fertility god so it’s primary meaning is fertility, though it’s meaning can be used in a more general sense covering fertility of all kinds e.g. fertile ideas, creativity, etc …
othalaothala o Possession Rune of the homestead for all domestic issues. Can also signify ancestors and inheritance.
dagazdagaz d Day(light) Daylight brings about clarity, awakening and enlightenment. Associations could be be planning and embarking on new projects, but also taking things at face value (which may not be such a good idea).
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