Runes

The Runes - History and Meaning

Les Runes - Histoire et Signification
EACH RUNE BEARS A TEACHING (A TRADITION) THAT YOU NEED TO DISCOVER. THE ORDER OF THE RUNES IS NOT DUE TO CHANCE, IT REFLECTS A COMPLETE SPIRITUAL EVOLUTION. THIS IS WHY RUNES SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS SIMPLE LETTERS OF THE ALPHABET! RUNES ARE MUCH MORE THAN THAT, AND WE'RE GOING TO SEE IT IN THIS ARTICLE.

IN THIS ARTICLE WE WILL TALK EXCLUSIVELY ABOUT THE RUNES OF THE ANCIENT FUTHARK WITH 24 CHARACTERS. BUT OTHER RUNE ALPHABETS EXIST, MORE RECENT AND WITH A DIFFERENT NUMBER OF RUNES, DEPENDING ON TIMES AND SOMETIMES DEPENDING ON GEOGRAPHICAL REGIONS.
THE WORD FUTHARK COMES FROM THE CONTRACTION OF THE FIRST SIX LETTERS OF THE RUNE ALPHABET:
F EHU – U RUZ – TH URISAZ – A NSUZ – R AIDHO – K ENAZ
FU TH ARK

– The origin and meaning of the runes –

The word " Rune " means, "secret", "mystery", "whisper" . It derives from the ancient Norse root “ rùn” , which means “secret”, “secret teaching”, “wisdom” or “magical sign”.


Each rune has a name and a sound which designate an object, an animal or a quality. Each rune name therefore carries a concept and this reflects the symbolism of this rune and its correspondences.
A rune therefore carries a teaching, which you must know how to discover. Moreover, the order of the runes is not due to chance, it reflects a complete spiritual evolution. This is why we should not consider runes as simple letters of the alphabet as many people think today. Runes are mysteries, ideographic symbols of esoteric concepts. Moreover, runes are not limited to the Futhark runes, they are also included under the term rune in the broad sense in what we call runoglyphs . Runoglyphs are ideographic symbols which do not enter into the Futhark and which nevertheless represent many mysteries such as the hammer of Þórr (Thor), the sun wheel or even the Swastika.
Each rune therefore has three levels of analysis:
  • its shape (geometric and phonetic)
  • its concept (its symbolism)
  • its number (which links it to the other runes and makes it dynamic).
The origin of runes as men know them comes from Odin, who hanged himself by the Odin hanged in Yggdrasil feet to the Yggdrasil for nine days and nine nights without drinking or eating, wounded by his own spear, in order to reach a state of trance during which the runes were revealed to him. It was Odin who, after discovering them during this shamanic rite, taught them to men. Through this teaching, Odin brought magic, inspiration, wisdom and poetry to men in all worlds.
But on the historical origin of the runes, several serious hypotheses clash.
Among these serious hypotheses, four have really marked research into the origins of the Futhark:
  • the Latin hypothesis
  • the Greek hypothesis
  • the North-Italic hypothesis (Etruscan)
  • the indigenous hypothesis
No hypothesis can be completely confirmed, but looking closely, it seems that the runes do not come from a system, but from a mixture between ideograms, indigenous (Germanic) symbols and writing systems. Mediterranean.

– Elder Futhark-


This alphabet made up of 24 runes, also called Common Germanic Futhark , is the oldest runic alphabet in the true sense, and the most widespread.
The oldest attested runes date from around 50 CE, and were discovered on the Meldorf Spit (photo below)
Meldorf brooch
The ancient Futhark experienced four historical periods:
  • 1st to 8th century CE (Elder Futhark, beginning of appearance of the Frisian Futhark)
  • 8th century to 1100 CE (later Futhark)
  • 1100 to 1600 CE (Period when the tradition of runes is gradually lost)
  • 1600 CE (a period of revival)
Although the runic tradition has persisted since 1100 CE in remote areas of Scandinavia, this has come at the cost of its integrity. What has survived is a very damaged remnant of the original tradition.
Today there remain around three hundred inscriptions in ancient Futhark , many having been lost because they were engraved on wood or bone, which are perishable materials. The ones that remain are on metal or on stones.
This Futhark was engraved on two types of objects:

Moving objects:

  • weapons (swords, spear and arrow heads, axe, shields)
  • pins
  • amulets
  • tools
  • comb
  • drinking horns
  • statuettes
  • wooden boxes
  • jewelry
  • ship
Fixed Objects:
  • Rock walls
  • bauta stones (which mark a burial, a place of worship or assembly)
The Futhark is divided into three groups of eight runes called aettir ( aett in the singular), which means “eight runes, eight directions” .
Each of these three groups is governed by a god and a goddess:
  • The first aett is ruled by Freyr and Freyja who symbolize fertility.
  • The second aett is ruled by Heimdallr and Mordgud who are the guardians of the bridges between worlds.
  • The third aett is governed by Tire and Zisa (goddess of the Germanic pantheon) who symbolize law and justice.
This Futhark has a particularity, namely that the runes have a very precise and fixed order. There are nevertheless two existing orders or the thirteenth and the fourteenth, as well as the last two can be changed.
Here is the complete sequence with the two possible orders for the last two runes:
futhark
The first order is considered by several rune specialists to be the most logical given the meaning of these last two runes.

-FUTHARK MORE RECENT-

The runes were an evolving system, not fixed by institutions, unlike our current alphabet.
In the middle of the 5th century CE (around 450), in Friesland, four runes were added to the old Futhark, giving rise to a Futhark of 28 runes (called Futhark Frison) , which was exported to England where one more rune was added, which gave rise to the Anglo-Saxon Futhark.
These two Futharks are then put together, but while the Anglo-Saxon Futhark is complete, and little focused on magic, the Frisian Futhark is only fragmentary and mainly focused on the esoteric aspect.

This more recent Futhark has experienced two historical periods:

  • 450 to 650 CE: traffic is important and occurs mainly along pagan routes
  • 650 to 1100 CE: Christianization slows down exchanges and causes the disappearance of visible and complete rune magic practices.
The Anglo-Saxon Futhark was found on around sixty mobile objects divided into three types of objects:
smp_futhorc
Moving objects:
  • weapons
  • box
  • bone or wood
Fixed objects:
  • Memorial runestone
  • stone cross (Christian)
Manuscripts:
  • Abbreviations or means of encryption
Some runes (such as Wunjo) took on a rounded shape due to the use of the quill instead of the chisel. This rounded shape was transmitted to Germany and then to Scandinavia.
Here is the complete sequence of the Anglo-Saxon Futhark (also called The futhorc):
futharkanglo
The Frisian Futhark , only found on 16 remains of runic inscriptions, prevents us from having the complete sequence because it is often engraved on wooden or bone objects which have been preserved in the damp soils of the marsh embankments. Futhark Frisian existed in a strong pagan context, with Friesland having resisted Christianity, thanks to its valiant kings until the end of the 7th century.
 

– EVOLUTION –

In the year 800, in the North of England (present-day Southern Scotland), 4 Runes were added to the Anglo Saxon Futhark , which resulted in the creation of the Northumbrian Futhark .
This Northumbrian Futhark is divided, not into three, but into four and of eight runes plus a central rune (Gar) . Runes were therefore used as writing in England, until Alfred the Great established Roman education.
In the 13th century the Scandinavian runes were standardized,
Around 1200 this system gave birth to the system of pointed runes, consisting of a sequence of 25 runes whose order is close to that of the Roman alphabet. This system was used to write the Swedish Codex Runicus in the 13th Century.
Runes also served as an encryption system for the Scandinavian military during the Hundred Years' War.
Irish druirs used runes for a time.

In the 20th Century, a renewed interest in runes began.
From 1902, Guido Von List created his own runic system called the “Armanist System” , made up of 18 runes. The 18 Armanist Runes are all based on the six-pointed star shape of the Hagalaz rune.
In the 1920s/1930s runes were used as a seal for architects, carpenters and certain craftsmen.
During the Second World War, certain runes such as Sowilo or Svatiaka were recovered by the Nazis in their pan-Germanic design. This recovery will give the runes a bad reputation which will slow down research to restore the initial runic tradition.
All the modifications that we have seen above will lead to a use far from that of the original and a general misunderstanding of the runes.

– The use of Runes –

The main use of runes were initially only for esoteric purposes. For this, runes were used either as a divination tool, as amulets, or used in rituals in the form of symbols traced on the ground.
As a divination tool, runes are used like tarot cards or oracles: they are drawn like cards or thrown on a cloth and their interpretation depends on the other runes drawn.
As an amulet, the runes are engraved on pebbles or pieces of metal alone or linked to reinforce their power. But the best is to engrave them on living things (wood).
In the table below, the divination meaning given is a general meaning but the runes can have multiple meanings. These hidden meanings are specific to each person who draws the runes. To know which rune to use depending on the case, we will give the laws of analogy of each rune on several levels.

If you use several runes, you must choose a major one which will be larger and the others will be engraved in smaller size at the bottom right of the major rune

FEHU
DEITY: FREY, GOD OF FERTILITY

Phonetic :
 F of Fire
Symbolism of this rune:
Fehu is the rune associated with fire, this is why fehu indicates a movement, it announces a change of situation, a new life, a state which is transformed by action. Sentimentally, it indicates reciprocal feelings and the possibility of establishing a couple.
Divinatory value:
Fehu symbolizes strength, health and prosperity. It can also designate a project in progress, a beginning, a beginning.
Word of wisdom:
Fehu invites us to discover and explore the fundamental source of energy that exists within us in order to better understand our deep desires and thus release our potential.

URUZ
– DEITY: THOR

Phonetic :
Or Ursa
Symbolism of this rune:
It also designates the aurochs and the bison, powerful with vast horns. A mass of moving muscles. It is a rune of primordial force, which goes straight ahead without ever deviating from its path. Sentimentally, it indicates a torrid romantic relationship.
Divinatory value:
This rune evokes the idea of ​​gestation, which prepares for a new birth. Uruz can mean any form of help that comes to us, active protection. It also evokes the positive circumstances which make our lives healthier and which make us rediscover health and balance.
Word of wisdom:
Uruz teaches us individuality and the search for personal enlightenment on our own.

THURISAZ
DEITY: THOR

Phonetic :
Like the “th” in thing
Symbolism of this rune:
Thurisaz represents the strong and powerful giant. We can see Thor's hammer which fights the giants, it also evokes the thorn of the branch. It warns you in time of an ignored or underestimated danger. Sentimentally, it indicates a progressive relationship where each person defines their territory a little.
Divinatory value:
This rune evokes our attack and defense potential, as well as our ability to overcome and fight against small trials in life.
Word of wisdom:
Our being experiences its evolution through confrontation with awakening experiences. We must not give up in the face of an obstacle, but face it by mobilizing all our energy in the face of the fight!

ANSUZ
DEITY: ODIN

Phonetic :
A tree
Symbolism of this rune:
Ansuz is the rune of the Aesir, and more especially the rune of Odin father of all things. With her, you have the floor. Linked to knowledge and wisdom, it foreshadows a test from which you will benefit. Sentimentally, it indicates that feelings must come first and foremost through communication.
Divinatory value:
Ansuz symbolizes intelligence, knowledge, mental skills. But also inspiration, wisdom and magic
Word of wisdom:
Ansuz shows that it is necessary to open the mind and broaden the horizons. It also indicates that it is desirable to return to the sources of consciousness to find one's goal.

RAIDHO
DEITY: NERTHUS (GODDESS – MOTHER OF THE FAMILY)

Phonetic :
R of Queen
Symbolism of this rune:
Raidho represents a cart, a path, a wheel. This rune is that of travel. Inner journey or journey on earth. It signifies dynamic evolution, energy in motion, maturation, growth and change. Sentimentally, it indicates a new love story, an unexpected renewal.
Divinatory value:
The overlap gives rise to the idea of ​​a path, a route, a trail or a journey.
Word of wisdom:
Lived experiences will only have value if they are acquired and transformed into rules of life, and followed every day. It therefore appears necessary to find our personal rhythm and the values ​​that are specific to us.

KENAZ
DEITY: HEIMDAL

Phonetic :
K of Creativity
Symbolism of this rune:
Kenaz represents the torch or controlled fire unlike fehu which is uncontrolled fire. It represents movement, momentum, light which diffuses all around its source. Sentimentally, it indicates love at first sight, a fiery love that can also be temporary.
Divinatory value:
Kenaz can designate great abilities to manipulate energies on several levels.
Word of wisdom:
Kenaz indicates that it becomes necessary to develop one's skills through concrete achievements.

GEBO
DEITY: GEFN

Phonetic :
G of cake
Symbolism of this rune:
Gebo represents the interaction of two forces, the meeting point of two different energies. Rune of exchange, of support, it is the rune of selfless affection. Sentimentally, this rune is the rune of love.
Divinatory value:
Gebo designates a situation in which we encounter love, exchange or sharing. It also suggests the idea of ​​creating a relationship.
Word of wisdom:
Gebo reminds human beings that they can learn to share the fruits of their creativity.

WUNJO
DEITY: FRIGG

Phonetic :
the W of cotton wool
Symbolism of this rune:
Wunjo symbolizes harmony after giving. This rune exalts feelings, including in the area of ​​social relationships. Note: this rune indicates a lasting period. Sentimentally, it indicates the end of a period of solitude or sadness.
Divinatory value:
Wunjo indicates a feeling of joy, and happiness. It designates a family or a fraternity.
Word of wisdom:
Wunjo says it is necessary to know our family, whatever the connotation of that word. Wunjo finally indicates, in the broadest sense, that we must learn to know others.

HAGALAZ
DEITY: URD

Phonetic :
the H of Harche
Symbolism of this rune:
Hagalaz symbolizes the hailstone. A hailstone is water which transformed into a solid can destroy crops or homes. She is therefore the danger but also the victory. Because the hailstone transforms back into water and becomes beneficial for everyone. Emotionally, it indicates a difficult period, a destabilizing relationship, or even a breakup.
Divinatory value:
Hagalaz announces unpleasant surprises, difficulties which will disappear as quickly as they came, but which will bring positive changes.
Word of wisdom:
Hagalaz teaches us patience and to keep our cool to discover the essential structure on which we will build our lives.

NAUDHIZ
DEITY: SKULD

Phonetic :
N of Nothing
Symbolism of this rune:
Naudhiz is associated with the fire of sacrifice, it symbolizes the crises, trials and changes of direction that mark our lives and allow us to evolve. Sentimentally, it indicates a blockage.
Divinatory value:
Naudhiz announces the obstacles encountered on our path, and the process of resistance that we all try.
Word of wisdom:
Naudhiz indicates that sometimes we have to make sacrifices in order to clean up our lives. Take on the challenges and obstacles, while letting go.

ISA
DEITY: VERDANDI

Phonetic :
I of Isolation
Symbolism of this rune:
Isa is a powerful ice rune. This ice which signifies the dangers of winter, crystallization. It therefore symbolizes a return to the earth, to the physical world and to focusing again on ourselves to find our unity. Emotionally, relationships between couples are cold. The situation is conducive to separation.
Divinatory value:
Isa announces that we must re-focus on ourselves, and regain independence from others.
Word of wisdom:
Isa teaches us that after having dispersed we must channel our energies into a harmonious whole.

JERA
DEITY: FREYR

Phonetic :
J pronounced in German like the Y in Yogurt (Jera=Yera)
Symbolism of this rune:
Jera symbolizes the summer harvest, a reward obtained after the efforts made. It symbolizes a deserved reward after so much effort in our lives. Very positive, it announces success, joys, happiness. Emotionally, the time for reconciliation has finally arrived for couples in difficulty. A marriage or a child is in sight.
Divinatory value:
Jera is linked to Freyr and Freyja, the twin god and goddess, which explains why she symbolizes the union between the earth and the cosmos. She indicates that we must not rush, every effort made will soon be reaped.
Word of wisdom:
Isa teaches us that we must know how to adapt to change and that we must keep our childish spirit in order to see each new thing with wonder.

EIHWAZ
DEITY: VALI

Phonetic :
EI is pronounced like “Eille”
Symbolism of this rune:
Eihwaz is associated with the symbol of the sacred tree which is life but also death because its bark, roots, leaves, fruits and resin are toxic. This is the hidden influences, the mysterious realm of the occult. It is a protective rune. Changes are imminent and will work to your advantage. Emotionally, now is the time to consider what suits you best. A choice has to be made.
Divinatory value:
Eihwaz indicates challenges, reversals of situations or transformations to come.
Word of wisdom:
Eihwaz teaches us that to discover new horizons, we must agree to leave and leave what we have.

PERTHRO
DEITY: FRIGG

Phonetic :
P of past
Symbolism of this rune:
Perthro symbolizes chance and destiny as well as divination. It designates the pawns or pieces of a game, all of which revolves around the same symbol that of the chances of life. Emotionally, the period is favorable for announcements. You will finally discover your true feelings.
Divinatory value:
Perthro indicates that we must know our Destiny in order to be able to assume it and achieve it.
Word of wisdom:
Perthro teaches us that we must go deep within ourselves, and question ourselves honestly.

ELHAZ
DEITY: HEIMDALL

Phonetic :
Z
Symbolism of this rune:
Elhaz means “the Elk”, the nourishing animal of the Nordics for millennia, it is naturally associated with the horns of this animal. This rune is a protective force. It is linked to Yggdrasil, the tree of life. Elhaz is linked to the Valkyries, these protective spirits of warriors, daughters of Odin who welcome the souls of warriors who died in battle to Valhalla. It was often engraved on spears, swords and shields to ensure victory and protect the warrior. Sentimentally it shows an openness to your relationships.
Divinatory value:
Elhaz indicates the presence of natural protection (guardian angel or other depending on your vision of things), but also our need for elevation on all levels.
Word of wisdom:
Elhaz teaches us that the true destiny of man is his elevation to the higher worlds.

SOWILO
DEITY: BALDER

Phonetic :
S of Sun
Symbolism of this rune:
Sowilo means the Sun, it is the major symbol with the solar wheel, but it also symbolizes lightning through its geometric shape. Sowilo is the fountain of light, strength, joy and prosperity. It gives us the strength to work on ourselves and it strengthens our spirit. She brings light to our dark path. Emotionally, your relationships will be in good shape.
Divinatory value:
Sowilo symbolizes the accomplishment of an important step, a victory, a milestone reached.
Word of wisdom:
Sowilo teaches us that we must clean up our living conditions, purify and clear the air so that understanding or enlightenment can manifest.

TIWAZ
DEITY: TYR

Phonetic :
T of Temple
Symbolism of this rune:
Tiwaz is the rune of the god Tyr, god of war, order and justice. Everything pushes you to move forward and take responsibility. You fight with all your strength because you know that success is at the end of the road. Tiwaz was used to curry favor with Tire in order to win a battle, this rune gives physical and mental endurance in all competitions. Emotionally, your relationships will be intense. enjoy it.
Divinatory value:
Tiwaz symbolizes taking responsibility, but also a victory nobly obtained, justice rendered or a restoration of balance.
Word of wisdom:
Tiwaz teaches us that we must be ready to make sacrifices to get what we want.

BERKANO
DEITY: NERTHUS

Phonetic :
B of Birch
Symbolism of this rune:
Berkano means “Birch” and is the symbol of this tree and its goddess, who is none other than the mother goddess linked to birth. Berkano is the rune of those who never give up, no matter what, and who gain love and respect from everyone. Sentimentally it announces a strengthening in projects and new meetings.
Divinatory value:
Berkano symbolizes a birth, or the beginning of a cycle of rebirth.
Word of wisdom:
Berkano teaches us that it is wise to accept that things change between life and death. We must accept that everything is just a passage, a transformation, a transition.

EHWAZ
DEITY: FREY

Phonetic :
Eh like Elephant.
Symbolism of this rune:
Ehwaz means “Horse”, and it is the symbol of this animal. This rune also symbolizes mobility, movement. It indicates adventure and discovery such as Odin's shamanic journey with Sleipnir his horse. Sentimentally it indicates new projects to undertake.
Divinatory value:
Ehwaz symbolizes travel, departure, movement or instability
Word of wisdom:
Ehwaz teaches us that we must recognize the duality that is in each of us and use it as a source of movement and evolution.

MANNAZ
DEITY: FRIGG

Phonetic :
M of Maturity
Symbolism of this rune:
Mannaz means humanity as a whole. More precisely, that men need each other. Help will be provided to you, which will allow you to resolve a certain number of your problems. Sentimentally, it announces a new relationship, a new friendship.
Divinatory value:
Mannaz symbolizes harmony and balance in everyone. But also positive feelings such as fraternity, solidarity and humanity.
Word of wisdom:
Mannaz teaches us that it is wise to keep in mind, in this fast-paced world, that there is one person who is there for you.

LAGUZ
DEITY: NJÖRD

Phonetic :
L de Lac
Symbolism of this rune:
Laguz symbolizes the water of life in all its forms, sea, lake, river. It brings positive energies and good health. This rune means that your intuition will allow you to act correctly when the time comes. Emotionally your relationships will be unstable like water.
Divinatory value:
Laguz indicates a phase of growth and evolution, things are moving. She announces a cure.
Word of wisdom:
Laguz teaches us to surrender to the vital flow to reveal our creativity. It pushes us to get in touch with our unconscious to move forward on our path.

INGWAZ
DEITY: FREYR

Phonetic :
ING of BeING
Symbolism of this rune:
Ingwaz is the rune of the god Yngvi linked to Freyr, god of fecundity, nature and fertility through his sister Freyja. Ingwaz is therefore the rune of creativity, of a new project, love, meeting. Emotionally, arguments give way to a great connection.
Divinatory value:
Ingwaz announces a period of concentration, of withdrawal into oneself. Whatever things are organized, construction is underway.
Word of wisdom:
Ingwas teaches us that to grow and develop one must refocus on oneself, like a gestation period necessary for the act of creation to manifest.

OTHALAZ
DEITY: FREYR

Phonetic :
O of Odin
Symbolism of this rune:
Othalaz symbolizes the heritage of our ancestors, the spiritual heritage that they bequeathed to us. It is the sacred place of the family, a shelter where one can find peace and calm. Emotionally, an installation for two is possible.
Divinatory value:
Othalaz announces the discovery of his roots, or his true family. We are going to receive something that is owed to us.
Word of wisdom:
Othalaz teaches us that we must find our true family, find the bonds that unite us all.

DAGAZ
DEITY: HEIMDALL

Phonetic :
D of Duality
Symbolism of this rune:
Dagaz is the rune of the day, of the birth of the day. It symbolizes accomplishment and achievement, it is the rune of dawn, daybreak, light and awakening. Dagaz was once engraved on doors, shutters and windows to prevent harmful spirits from entering. Sentimentally a birth is coming.
 
Divinatory value:
Dagaz announces a clarification, an understanding of a problem that has remained obscure. It also indicates a questioning or awareness.
Word of wisdom:
Dagaz teaches us that everything is accomplished, that the past is behind us and that a new world awaits us. Look straight ahead, never look back

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