Runes are usually synonymous with 'sigils', so most people say that there are many forms of runes. The ones I will talk about are the Norse alphabet and can be used for divination, talismans, or just as an alphabet to write in, along with many other things. The three most common Rune sets are the Elder, the Younger and the Anglo-Saxon Futharks. I'm going to be talking about the Elder Futhark because that?s the one I use, and I may write about the other ones later on.
In Norse mythology, Odin discovered the Runes during a self-sacrificing ritual, depriving himself of food and water while hanging off his spear, Gungir, from Yggdrassil (the world tree). After nine nights, he saw the Runes, grasped them, and then falls from the tree.
in the Havamal, Odin said "I know that I hung on a high windy tree, for nine long nights; pierced by a spear, given myself to myself, No one can tell about that tree, from what deep roots it rises; They brought me no bread, no horn to drink from, I gazed toward the ground. Crying aloud, I caught up the runes; and finally I fell"
Now that we have a little background information, let?s get started. From my experience, and several others I?ve discussed with, The Runes have three basic steps for making. All three are crucial, and all three are sacred. They recreate what Odin and his brothers Vili and Ve did to give life to the first two trees, which, we later were created from. These steps should not be altered or averted. If you take Odin, Vili or Ve from the tree equation, the trees would be dead, Just as your rune will be. Also, the order in which the steps are in are up to you. I just find it convenient in this order, since you?ll have to wait less time for the blood to dry.
You can use whatever material you want for your rune, but I suggest wood or stone. If you have any ritual/prayer/whatever for cleansing, consecrating, or whatever-ing the things you will use, do it now, between each step, after or whenever. However, it?s optional.
The first step is to carve the symbol into the material. This is a fairly simple step and doesn't need much explaining. It recreates Odin?s part in giving the trees life - giving them their shape.
Step two is also fairly simple, give the rune blood. But if you feel uncomfortable using blood, they also used sweat, tears, sperm, or other bodily fluids. This recreates Vili?s role - giving them blood.
The third step is called Galdr, or the 'singing of spells'. Basically it's chanting each pronounced letter in a Rune, for example: Fehu would be ''f-f-f-fe-fe-fe-fe-feh-feh-feh-fehu-fehu-fehu''. I generally go until I run out of breath. This recreates Ve giving the trees breath.
After doing this, wait for the blood to dry -if it hasn't already- and your rune(s) are ready to be used!
Now I should go into the runes themselves. The elder Futhark Runes are split into three sets of eight (called aetts). The three aetts are Frejya/Freyrs aett, Heimdalrs aett, and Tyrs aett.
Frejya/Freyrs aett consists of Fehu, Uruz, Thurisaz, Ansuz, Raidho, Kenaz, Gebo and Wunjo
Heimdalrs aett has Hagalaz, Nauthiz, Isa, jera, Eihwaz, Pethro, Algiz, And Sowilo.
Tyrs aett has Tiwaz, Berkano, Ehwaz, Mannaz, Laguz, Ingwaz, Dagaz, and Othala
(Cattle, money and wealth) ''Fee''
Possessions, money, property, good luck, financial stability and growth.
Merkstave: A person to avoid, Failure, loss of possessions, greed.
Happiness, fortune, potential, physical peak of strength and health.
Merkstave: Illness, bad luck, brutality, weakness.
(Ing: Earth God)
Male fertility, growth and learning, love, warmth.
Merkstave: Toil, conflict in work, overbearing labor.
( Day/ dawn)
Awakening or awareness, light, clarification, plans, transformation, hope.
Merkstave: Limitations, blindness, hopelessness, defeat.
Inherited things, things important to the heart, groups, heritage.
Merkstave: Totalitarianism, slavery and poverty, homelessness.
The blank Rune: the blank rune is an invention of Ralph Blume in the 70/80s (sources differ) and shouldnt be used in a reading. Although if you bought your set and it came with it don?t throw it out. Save it in case you need to replace it.
*meanings taken with permission from http://bonekindred.weebly.com/index.html*
Additional runes that makes the Anglo-Saxon Futhorc. This Aett has been/is viewed as an Aett of the Rokkr or Jotnar.
Like the Tarot card Death, this rune shows us that an inevitable change will come. Death or an ending to some thing will come, and from this death life is born. The change is slow and gradual. How you react depends determines and hard or easy the change; painful or not so much. When used in Galdr it is a good rune to use when doing a spell to let go and move on.
(Oak Tree, Angrboda)
Endurance. Stand strong and endure the blows you take. "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger." Can be used as a brindrune drawn on areas of the body that need strength and endurance.
Boundaries. This a rune to set boundaries around your self. Another aspect of the boundary is to take on both sides of polarity. Don't be on one side and look down upon the other. You need to accept both sides of the story - per se - before you can get a clear picture. In Galdr Ior can be used with or as a bindrune with Eihwaz for defence or Algiz for protection.
(Archer, Hand, Artisan, Wayland, Aurvandil)
Focus. Bring focus into your life. You have been scattered for far too long, and it's time to discipline your self with focus and awareness.
This rune is represented by multiple deities, such as Loki, Odin, and Bragi. It is the rune of divine truth spoken by the mouth. Much like how Loki speaks, this could be the speaking that is persuasive, or one which questions that which is wrong that should not have been noticed, let alone be questioned. This rune tells us to use our words to speak from deep within what must be said and heard as long as the message is not compromised in the process. Use in Galdr for fine speech and communication.
(Funeral-Pyre, Muspellheimr, Surtr)
Purification and destruction. This is another Death rune. But unlike Ear, this rune demands you to strip your self of excesses and destroy them to go on, lest you be horribly burned for not doing so. Use in Galdr to help get through "burning times," and rid of things that needs to go.
"It is interesting to note that the two Death runes correspond to the two sorts of body disposal in Norse times; the upper warrior classes, associated with the Aesir, burned their dead, while the 'straw death' folks who went to Helheim buried theirs."
The standing stone in the centre/core. What lies as the central point? This rune asks such questiond. It asks to reaffirm or abolish. To draw this rune you must ask your self such things, as it is the central touchstone of the issue; taking note of the rune drawn directly before and after as the keystones to the matter. It may show the real source of conflict whether it be known, unknown, mistaken as another, or even ignored. It can be an indicator to a divine message. Use in Galdr (or as a bindrune) to protect some thing crucial.
Pronounced "Khalk," with gutteral H.
This is the Holy Grail of the individual. The "Holy Grail" is the goal that wanted to be reached, whatever it may be. To draw this rune means that your Holy Grail might not be reached, but you will suffer greatly (your life won't mean much) if you don't try to reach your goal, even if it's out of reach. Uses in Galdr - use to find what you spiritually are searching for; apply to an object to get people to desire that object beyond true value.
Gar is in relation to the blank rune (more like the vice versa, to be more accurate). This rune is a stand-alone rune, meaning it is not part of any of the Aetts. Its meaning is said to be "Mystery." When drawn this rune shows you are not meant to know the answer; yet. Wait and watch. Don't second-guess the intentions of the universe; for in time wisdom will come.
Perhaps the Anglo-Saxons were a bit more accepting of broad views of the beings of the North. I like that about them. Anglo-Saxon heathenry and theodism was always interesting to me. I've worked a bit with the Futhorc and I sometimes have the urge to call the gods by their Saxon names lol. The Anglo-Saxon runes and beliefs really should get more attention. They are important and many heathens brush over them quickly in their studies.
Personally, I find it difficult not to include the Anglo-Saxon additions into my work. Once I got into them, learning them, and working with them it has been a trying matter to not continue doing so. Just taking into account their meanings was enough to draw me to them. Their uses in magick and divination are quite outstanding.