Runes are a form of writing that dates to little over two thousand years ago. Scandinavian and Germanic tribes used this alphabet better known as Futhark and it was spread from England to Europe to Scandinavia. There is some evidence of it in Istanbul, Greenland, Iceland, the British Isles and even in pre-1500 North America as well.
Each one is made by hand as per which letter you want. Any Letter of any alphabet is possible.
The first one that I’ve made was a Fehu rune, which represents wealth. The English word “Fee” is derived from it. The pendant is ~2.5 cm tall and has a wood texture to it. I finished it in platinum. It is one of my signature pieces. Custom Rune pendants are available in various precious metals and sizes from 1 to 4 cm tall.
Elder Futhark Rune Meanings
And Their Divinatory Meanings
By: Rosaleen Dawn Bellchamber
Fehu: pron. “fay-hoo”. “Cattle”. As a bright stave (well aspected) this rune signifies wealth, transaction, gold, prosperity; and the fiery spark than can initiate a productive enterprise. Creativity, energy, generosity and incentive are also indicated in this rune. As a murk stave, however; greed, duplicity, slavery, materialism and dishonesty (especially in financial matters) can be indicated….Think how families often behave at will readings – wolves lurking in the forest indeed! Examine your ethics; and reconsider what true prosperity is.
Uruz: pron. “ooooor-ruuuuz”. “Auroch”. Where Fehu is ‘the domestic’, cow Uruz is the wild and primordial ‘bull/ox’. Primal strength and persistence is indicated in this bright stave. Energy, tenacity, the survival instinct at its most potent is characterized by this rune: raw energy for health and resilience, desire, drive and potency! As a murk stave this rune indicates stubbornness, machismo, bullying, brutality or even waning strength; the fragile ego that acts out. Reconsider what strength, honour and potency mean to you.
Thurisaz: pron. “thur-iz-zaz”. “Thorn” and/or “Giant”. As a bright stave this rune can indicate willingness and drive to protect oneself in battle, a directed and defensive force, as well as a manifestation of the primal will – especially when challenged. Thurisaz is not a tame rune, however; as it signifies the primordial, sublime (and rather chaotic) powers of the Giants. As a murk stave Thurisaz indicates violence, mental disturbance, painful labor/cramps for women; and even sexual predation or assault. Advice? Be under the auspices of Thor when dealing with or using this rune! This will emphasis the aspects of defense and righteous anger. Check your needs and your motives. Do you require extra strength and will at this time? Are your anger and drives in check?
Ansuz: pron. “ahn-suz”. A “God” (Odin in particular). As a bright stave this is the rune of inspiration, oration, communication and ‘divine breath’ or “ond”. Wisdom is being revealed, and one must heed the advice of the divine. Gifted speech is also indicated here, as is poetry. As a murk stave you are being warned that your ear and/or will is turned against divine council. Manipulation lies and/or a ‘cult of personality’ may be at work. Can you distinguish between Wisdom and ego?
Raido: pron. “ride-tho”. “The Ride”. As bright stave, Raido indicates movement, propulsion, one’s vehicle (or mode of travel) and change directed by will. Raido is also the journey itself (the means as opposed the end), as well as an energetic, magical or inspirational boost. The discipline needed to make a right change. As a murk stave, Raido can be forced change, chaos, a ‘swimming upstream’. Are you driving the chariot, or are you getting dragged behind the cart?
Kenaz: pron. ken-ahz”. “Torch”. As a bright stave Kenaz is a beacon, a spark of creativity; and a light in the darkness. Kenaz is fire-power and energy when it’s needed. Kenaz is also creativity and technology used in its most productive way. A bright idea, or a ‘deity touchdown’, a flash of inspiration! As a murk stave, Kenaz can be pain, inflammation, exposure and weakness. The torch is handed to you; and it will either be a source of illumination – to light your way or seering pain as you set yourself on fire. The fire must be channeled in one form or another; there is no escaping it.
Gebo: pron. “geh-boh”. “Gift”. The laws of reciprocity demand that we be generous; and in return our fellows will look to our needs when called to do so. As a bright stave the rune indicates generosity and a sacrifice willingly made out of love and loyalty. When it appears as ‘murk’ stinginess is apparent, or someone is using hospitality or charity to polish their self image. Just as a gift repays a gift, miserliness and selfishness will ultimately be re-paid in kind. Do you give from the heart – or out of a sense of obligation?
Wunjo: pron. “woon-yoh”. “Joy”. As a bright stave, Wunjo indicates joy, bliss, happiness; and especially a sense of belonging with our fellow loved ones. Contentment, support and achievement are indicated here, as is ‘following your bliss’. Murk forms of Wunjo are very rare, but as a murk stave, Wunjo can indicate depression, alienation, or even berserker rage! Wunjo reinforces a sense of community – we are a social species after all; and we need our loved ones (both living and dead) behind us! Who are you thankful for? Who could you not do without?
Hagalaz: pron. “hag-ah-lahz”. “Hail”. Hagalaz is difficult to describe in “bright” as it emulates Tennyson’s “nature red in tooth and claw.” Storms and raging forces outside of our control are indicated by this rune. Hagalaz can be our own darkness, suppressed rage or even untapped ecstasy. Hagalaz is primordial, destructive; and yet it also contains the seed of potential for the next stage of creation. In readings, look to the shadow! Hagalaz as ‘murk’ can also indicate that which festers and broods below the surface. Is there a need to mourn, or even to rage? Is there untreated illness? Hagalaz unrecognized will surface in potentially catastrophic ways, so embrace your own primordial essence, strap on the battle gear and prepare for the storms to come.
Nauthiz: pron. “now-thees”. “Need”. What doesn’t kill us will make us stronger. Nauthiz is the survival instinct rising to the surface to recognize the needs of the body. Nauthiz is strife and strain. Absolute resilience is needed now, so pace yourself and focus on what needs to be done. Nauthiz is also want, both in the survival sense, but also as in desire. This desire can be sexual (which can easily manifest as frustration if the need is not met), or it can also indicate the ‘desire’ spoken of by the Buddhists: the unhealthy attachments that lead to ‘the dark side of the force’. Murk-wise, this rune can indicate poverty on any level, as well as health concerns and can also be viewed as the opposite of Wunjo.
Isa: pron. “eees-sa”. “Ice”. Isa is stasis, for good or ill. Isa can be frustrating, blocking, or even indicate a physical or mental immobility. Seen ‘brightly’ this rune can indicate a much-needed pause; and reinforce any runes it comes in contact with (notice that there is an ‘Isa’ in every rune!). Isa may thwart or negate the influence of other more dynamic runes. Murk-wise this rune can indicate blockage, illness, or self-loathing; and even laziness or lethargy. Do you need extra discipline or energy to break through a wall? Do you need to rest for a while and gather strength? Are you crippled by indecision?
Jera: pron. “year-ah”. “Year”. Jera reminds us that all things happen in their proper season. As a bright stave Jera reassures us that our harvest will be fruitful; and one’s efforts are not in vain. You may enjoy the fruits of your labours! Jera is very much about the natural cycle of things; and in this sense is very transpersonal. In hard times, Jera reminds us that “this too shall pass”. As a murk stave Jera will indicate that we have not invested our efforts as well as we should have; and that the consequences of orlog that we are living now is not in our favour (a poor harvest). Jera, like Wunjo, tends toward the celebratory; and generally brings good tidings – especially to those whose concerns lie within the realm of fertility. A gentle, gradual change, Jera cannot be rushed.
Eiwaz: pron. “eye-vahz”. “Yew”. The Yew is both the tree of death and the mysteries of life. As a bright stave, Eiwaz is a ‘spine’: it is strength, reliability, and a driving force that re-affirms our purpose. Eiwaz can facilitate communion with one’s ancestors and guide us toward Wisdom. Eiwaz is also mysticism, clairvoyance, visions and otherworldliness. Eiwaz can also be a rather severe form of defense (especially from ‘unseen’ sources). As a murk stave, Eiwaz is associated with death. One always walks the razor’s edge with Eiwaz. Caution in all things is advised.
Perthro: pron. “pear-throw”. “Lot cup”. Perthro is Wyrd! There is never any use for the “blank rune”, as Perthro contains the mysteries of ‘Fate’ within itself. Perthro is another very transpersonal rune. Its appearance indicates that the forces of Wyrd and our personal or inherited orlog are at play. There is not much one can do about the appearance of Perthro, but realize that its presence is “Karmic”. Perthro is the secret well that knows all fates – but does not tell! Perthro can indicate a birth, pregnancy, or major life altering decisions. Perthro governs your “Luck” and as a bright stave, one might be very glad to see it. As a murk stave Perthro may indicate ‘karmic’ (or ‘Wyrdic’) repercussions. Also, as murk, Perthro can indicate an addiction to gambling (or gambling type behavior), or a fatalistic view of things.
Elhaz: pron. “el-haz”. “Elk”. Elhaz is the might of the Elk’s horns, and represents protection. As a bright stave Elhaz reinforces the sanctity of things and operates as a shield. Elhaz indicates a guardian spirit protecting your might – perhaps a familiar, a ‘fetch’, an ancestor or perhaps even a patron deity. Elhaz signifies the might of the Valkyrie! Someone, somewhere, is looking out for you. Elhaz also symbolizes the things that we hold sacred or dear. As a murk stave, Elhaz may warn that one of these things is in danger and needs shielding; and also warns against unseen dangers or evil influences that we may not recognize. Take stock.
Sowilo: pron. “so-veeeel-oh”. “The Sun”. Sowilo is the rune of the sun and it is victorious! As a bright stave Sowilo indicates health, success, the life force, radiance; and a cleansing ‘fire’ or fire-bolt that can be called in to facilitate a positive change. Sowilo is antithetical to Ice and Hail. As a murk stave, however; Sowilo can indicate arrogance, mis-use of power, a ‘god-complex’; and distorted judgment. Sowilo, approached with a balanced mind-set can be a rune of the hero! Victory for the worthy!
Tiwaz: pron. “tee-hvaz”. “Tyr”. Tyr is a sky God; and a god of Justice, righteous anger – and even warfare. Tyr, however; is never petty and will not favour the cause of the devious. Tiwaz is “straight-shooting” – the long and narrow – the path to the bull’s eye! Tiwaz indicates victory, but only when the victory will bring about order and balance. As a bright stave Tiwaz indicates one’s “polestar” or centre, and can facilitate staying on track and disciplined. Tiwaz may also warn when one is too easily distracted or tempted by “evil”, and may even show up in the form of brutal honesty that stings. As a murk stave, Tiwaz can indicate over-sacrifice, tunnel vision, inflexibility, loss and an imbalance of powerful forces. Tiwaz hates to ‘teeter’, so rage and frustration may be present when it is ill-aspected. Stay on the straight and narrow!
Berkano: pron. “ber-kahn-oh”. “Birch”. Berkano, or “Berchta” is the Birch Goddess. She brings light, renewal, illumination, fertility and birth. She is the power of Iduna’s apples, the return of Eostra, the compassion of Frigga and the fiery Brisingamene around Freyja’s shining neck. Berkano is love – or love’s promise; and a fertile womb. If Berkano shows up in a reading for someone who does not desire children, precautions should be taken! Berkano is also magic – of a ‘feminine’ nature. Berkano favors children; and offers them protection (sometimes in the form of guardian female ancestors). Berkano is a rune of renewal, and can be salve after a period of chaos. As a murk stave, Berkano can indicate problems conceiving, negative or confused attitudes regarding women, or domestic trouble, or excessive brooding. Is everything okay at home? Murk-wise, Berkano can indicate an unwillingness to ‘renew’ or remake things when the time is right to do so.
Ehwaz: pron. “ay-vahz”. “Horse”. Ehwaz is travel, speed, and much like Raido can literally indicate one’s vehicle! More to the point, Ehwaz indicates what ‘powers us’. As a bright stave, Ehwaz indicates fruitful partnerships and mutual respect; and a helping hand when needed. Ehwaz is the natural companion to Berkano, and can indicate a raw sexual energy. Loyalty is the keyword for Ehwaz. As a murk stave, Ehwaz may indicate jealousy, unequal exchange, or indicate a need to better care for those things that help us (like our cars, our business partners/employees…and even spouses!). Bring home roses. Strife between partners are indicated when Ehwaz arrives in an ill-aspected form.
Mannaz: pron. “mah-nahz”. “Human”. Mannaz is the rune of humanity; as well as the individual. Mannaz is aware of the ‘human condition’ – both positive and negative. As a bright stave, Mannaz indicates love, friendships, manners, and generally positive attitudes toward our fellow humans. Mannaz is the balance of our ‘feminine’ and ‘masculine’ natures. As a murk stave, Mannaz can indicate depression, loneliness, sociopathic behavior, difficulties with intimacy and lack of help. Mannaz as murk stave can also indicate problems with the opposite sex both within and without. Try to project a more secure self-image to others. There may be issues surrounding domination/submission in relationships. Check the balance of power, and remember that we are a social animals.
Laguz: pron. “la-gooz”. “Water/Lake”. Laguz refers to the primordial waters of life. It carries the powers of fertility and renewal. Laguz is like ‘primordial soup, as it is seminal and amniotic in nature; and connotes virility! Laguz can also magnify psychic vision, trance states, fantasies and dreams. Laguz tends to bring success along with it. As a murk stave, however, Laguz is the abyssmal waters where our deep rooted hopes and fears lie. Laguz can indicate subtle manipulation, hypnosis, paranoia, psychic or mental instability and poor decision-making – as well as avoidance of responsibilities.
Ingwaz: pron. “ing-vahz”. “Seed/Frey”. Ingwaz is also ‘seminal’ in nature, it is the ‘seed’. Fertility and germination are both indicated by this rune. This is the rune of the earth god “Frey”, who presides over peace, prosperity and passion. Ingwaz is also a sacred enclosure; and as such it can be ‘womb-like’ (think of high reaching garden walls…). Ingwaz is the gathering of friends and family in a sacred space or warm home. It is also the place where creativity and productivity flourish – so look to the place of employment and the home. It is hard to speak in ‘murk terms’ with Ingwaz, but it may indicate someone who is unwilling to leave the nest; and assume responsibilities that may be intimidating at the on-set. The protectiveness of Ingwaz will not automatically leave you because you choose to “think outside the box”. And like Berkano, if you do not desire offspring at this time, play safe!
Othala: pron. “oh-tha-lah”. “Ancestral Inheritance”. Othala refers to all the ‘stuff’ that you have inherited. This includes property, physical traits, hereditary illness and strengths, cultural roots and family dynamics. Othala is the ‘home’ in the greater sense; the family: immediate, ancestral and extended. Othala is where we ‘belong’. Othala can also indicate inherited wyrd (yes, you can actually pass on this stuff!). As a murk stave, Othala can manifest as ‘clannishness’, elitism; and ethnocentrism. One must know the difference between pride and arrogance. Othala can also indicate our responsibilities and anything we are ‘bound to’, including oaths that can transcend one lifetime. Do not make oaths lightly. Othala can also indicate long-term familial issues, and/or revisiting one’s roots through travel, study, cuisine or language.
Dagaz: pron. “daw-gahz”. “Day”. Dagaz is the ‘dawning’, the light of day, the stream of light that chases away darkness. As a bright stave, Dagaz indicates illumination, enlightenment, balance and the union of opposites. Dagaz can be an indicator of hope when one feels blind. Dagaz is ‘awakening’ is the gnostic sense. Murkiness is not part of Dagaz’s nature, but may bear the warning that truth, enlightenment, or awakening can be painful or upsetting. With Dagaz there is no turning back! Of all the Runes, Dagaz may be the most ‘subtle’. It is the place where opposites meet; and as such it is “no where” at all. Dagaz can cause one to become (or feel) invisible; as an enlightened state is not particularly ‘social’. One may need to be reminded to “chop wood and carry water” or to reintegrate oneself or become grounded in the temporal world again. Unlight Sowilo, Dagaz is more ‘twilight’ rather than the full light of the sun, and therefore represents that which is liminal, or even marginal. One must balance the wisdom of Dagaz with responsibility and a joy for life.