In this article I will be sharing some knowledge of the Norse runes. The reason I like runes is that they are very physical. You can hold them for long periods, carry them in your pocket, and 'feed' them with energy and oils, or magickal powders. Some people even feed them with their own blood.
The Norse runes are divided into three groups of eight runes, derived from Nordic glyphs around 2000 yrs ago. These are 'Freya's eight', 'Heimdall's Eight' and 'Tir's Eight'. They were magickal symbols which later developed into an alphabet, known as 'Futhark', based on it's six first letters. As letters, they can loosely correspond to English letters.
Runes are used for divination, meditation and spell craft. It is a good idea, if you wish for a set, to make your own. Different cultures and traditions pronounce the names differently, so do your research and take your pick. There are also traditions which dictate the order in which the runes should be created, and some belief of connection with numerology.
In this article, it will help if you have access to an image of the rune, as obviously I can't type it, and description may not be sufficient. Try Google images.
First in Freya's eight is 'Fehu' (google the image). It corresponds to the letter F. This is the rune of prosperity and manifestation. It represents fire in it's primal uncontrolled state, and in magickal workings it is used to send energy on it's way.
If this rune were to come up in a spread I would expect to see the beginning of a plan, venture or project, one that is bound to succeed. I would expect energy and direction.
Making an image of the rune with sticks or straw to be burned during ritual would be a good way of finalizing a spell, wafting the smoke and keeping the ashes in a jar or bag or suchlike.
Fehu as a rune stone would act as a good luck symbol at the beginning of ventures when kept in the pocket or around the neck in a bag. Additionally the symbol can be drawn on papers or items involved in such a venture.
Our second rune of Freya's Eight is Uruz, corresponding with the letters U and V, and with the Wild Ox. Find the image on Google.
In readings, Uruz is a masculine symbol of positive change, or creating such change. It is of life, health and vitality, potential freedom and courage, understanding and wisdom. To me it is like the coming of age in a male, his surge of energy with the stamina to apply wisdom to his actions, very much on the brink of a full, new, life.
In magickal workings it is an energy boost. In Wiccan/pagan work this would be appropriate in a spring festival like oestara or beltane and could be worn during such a rite.
The Ox is a symbol of endurance and strength, which, to me, really is what this rune is about, - an Ox running free with strength and amazing potential.
Carry this rune to induce change, to improve all areas of health, and to keep energized. In keeping with the spring rites, this is also a sexual rune.
In readings, runes do have reverse meanings, for example, sexual potency turns to problem lust. These I will leave for now, as this is an introduction. However, the reverse meanings work much in the same method as reverse Tarots. A reverse rune is called a Merkstave rune.
If you wish to begin readings, a simple three rune spread will suffice, representing past, influences of the present, and possible outcomes depending on these.
The third rune of Freya's eight is 'Thurisaz', corresponding to the sound 'Th', and to the Giants.
Thurisaz is another masculine Rune, only this one is more like a more mature energy, and one more inclined towards force. It is another rune of energy, but a more catalytic kind, - cleansing and cathartic but in a forceful way. This could, for example, represent hospital treatment, - you get the gist.
This rune represents Thorr, the thunder god. Enormous force, emotionally and physically, absolutely demanding change. If I saw this rune in a reading I would be alerted that the client must make serious changes, or else be subjected to them.
In pagan religions, Thurisaz is considered a fertility rune, and might be used to bring about conducive weather conditions for crops, or for fertility rites.
Additionally, this is not a rune to be feared. It also represents patriarchal protection, and the opening of new gateways. An excellent rune for warriors.
The fourth of Freya's Eight, is 'Ansus'. This rune corresponds to the letter A, and to the Ancestral god, Odin.
I like to think of this rune as similar to the astrological sign of Gemini, although it is not the only rune that corresponds as well as this. The key words for Ansuz are communication, wisdom and clarity. This could be in the form of great insight, or an important message.
Ansuz in a spread suggests work and success with speaking and with the written word, - a time when communications will lead to sharp insights. Harmony, truth and wisdom, - a great time to give or receive advice. The client is in a time, or on the verge of a time, of everything falling into place and making sense.
This rune means a time of good fortune and blessings. The client should be listening hard, and speaking her truth clearly.
With Ansuz, one can attract others to their magickal workings, increasing magickal energy. The symbol of Ansuz can be worked into other forms of divination. This is very much a time to be clear, truthful and attentive, - resulting wisdom, clarity and insight will reap excellent rewards.
This is also a good rune for those working in clairvoyance or clairaudience, or for writers or public speakers. Basically, anything to do with communication. Be clear, be truthful and pay attention.
The fifth Rune in Freya's Eight is 'Radio' or 'Raidho'. This corresponds with the letter 'R', and with the wagon, or chariot.
The key word for Radio is Movement. That is travel and relocation, lack of stagnation, evolution, and changing of perspective.
Movement is also in the form of rhythm, - the rhythms and cycles of life, of ourselves, the seasons, and all of the universe. Radio is like a drum, beating out time, traveling through it, and creating a bigger picture.
This Rune might be carried on the person to ensure safe travel. In a spread it would suggest that a situation needs a prod to get it flowing again. It would suggest that the client takes a step back from a situation to see the greater scheme of events. Or, it could simply signify a journey, being literal or spiritual.
It could be used to input further energy into an existing magickal working that has lost momentum, or used in a ritual to 'get things going' in ones life. It is the Rune of the Dance of Life.
Number six in Freya's Eight is 'Kenaz'. This corresponds with the letter K and with the Beacon or Torch.
I may be a little biased, but to me this is really the Rune of the Matriarch. It represents the hearth, the heart of the home. The power to create your own life and strength. It is about transformational creativity, and technical ability, as well as love and healing. Sums up motherhood quite well to me :D
In a reading, this is the time to open up and excel with capability and passion. Success will follow. This is the time to make your dreams a reality. A time of positive transformation.
This is an excellent time to enter a new relationship, be it of lovers, parents, work relationships or friendships.
Kenaz would make an excellent luck symbol in any new creative endeavor, and would help in any creative magickal working.
Number seven of Freya's eight is 'Gebo', drawn as an 'X', and corresponding to the letter G. It stands mainly for the concept of gifts, being given or received, or as a talent or attribute, and, because of this is supposed to be the origin of 'lucky seven'.
Gebo corresponds to the Zodiac sign of Pisces, and has a strong affinity with the nature of integrations. This might be an intergration of sexual energies, magickal energies, or types of relationships. As in Pisces, the integrations also indicates balance.
To the ancients, a gift always called for another in return, so that recept places one in obligation to the giver, be they the gods, destiny or another person.
In a reading, Gebo would suggest the uncovering of a natural talent, or the unfolding of a loving relationship. Also, it could literally refer to a gift, or, the need to balance out the act the act of reciprocation. For example, a talented musician might take to teaching, to 'put back' what he has been given into the universe. It is about balance of giving and receiving. The fish in Pisces swim both upstream and downstream.
In magickal workings, Gebo would be great for work carried out by more than one practitioner, as well as for workings involving luck and relationships. It is also a powerful Rune for forgiveness.
Gebo is still in use as the sign for a kiss !
The Eighth and final of Freya's Eight is 'Wunjo'. Drawn like a 'P', and corresponding to our letters 'W' and 'V'.
I personally love this rune. It is the rune of joy, of the delicious satisfaction from a job well done. It is about the realization of a dream that has been worked on well, and carefully, for along time.
Wunjo corresponds to the Zodiac sign Leo, - the sign of pride and glory. If Wunjo comes up in your reading you can be very happy with yourself. It represents success, based on a firm foundation. Wunjo really is the icing on the cake of life.
The only thing to be wary of with this rune, is the possibility of getting carried away, that is, going over the top.
In a nutshell, Wunjo is your dreams come true. It teaches that with a firm and honest foundation, and with hard work, all you desire can be realized.
In magick I would use this extravagantly to court success. I would recommend wearing it, above all others, (my view), if you aim to succeed.
So ends Freya's Eight.
Reference: "Discovering Runes" by Bob Oswald; sunnyway.com