Pagan News and Views Since 1998

An Introduction to the Elder Futhark Runes Part 2

By, Chris Blaney

Ok, so in the first section we discussed some things about the Elder Futhark as being the oldest runic alphabet, a few basic ideas on creating your own set, cleansing them and making them ready to use, as well as two basic layouts for rune casting.
This section I will go a little more into details about the first Aett or Freya's Aett. We'll take a look at each of the first 8 Runes and their meanings, as well as a brief idea of how they can be interpreted in a reading from the position.
As well as I will explain more about the 6 Rune casting for the Runic or Celtic Cross layout. First off, dependent on how the Rune is drawn either upright or "merkstave" (inverted or upside down) will determine the meaning or how it is interpreted in the reading. But also, the way the Rune feels to you in that position will have an effect on its definition.
If it doesn't feel particularly negative to you, then it doesn't have to be. Let your Runes speak to you and communicate with them.


1. Fehu

Fehu represents cattle as back in those days owning cattle was considered a source of wealth, and a movable one. So in turn Fehu means transferable wealth and prosperity. This does not always have to mean money specifically though as you can be emotionally rich having a good family life, or significant other, or you may have a job that you enjoy or something else that makes you feel and understand the worth of something.

Merkstave: If Fehu is drawn merkstave it can mean having a jealous or wanting nature for material things or the loss of them. Whether its just in general, or if you are specifically experiencing greed out of want of something someone else has. This can bring negative thoughts or energies to you that would make you less socially acceptable or an outcast if these feelings begin to show.

An example if you are getting Fehu in say a present position for a situation concerning the loss of a friend, or something of that nature Fehu would remind you to look at that which you have and find what is really important to you. Feeling the worth of your friends and family ect.
Or if it was say pulled in a future position for a casting about a possible new employment would mean that there is a good chance that you will get the position, as well as it being a profitable venture for you.

2. Uruz

Uruz is the rune of the auroch which is an ancient species of wild ox which is now extinct. Uruz symbolizes stability, strength, being territorial of your surroundings to keep them safe, and protection. It can mean being stable in a point of things changing for the better or being able to stand your ground.

Merkstave: If Uruz is pulled inverted it can mean a time of instability or shakeyness in your life or a certain situation. Having a loss of control of how things are going, or being put in a state where you are more vulnerable and able to be harmed. When drawn this way you should think of how you can protect yourself, as well as taking a look at the big picture in order to plan accordingly.

Uruz, say in a past position when dealing with say a casting for spiritual guidance could mean that your ideals in past times or morals brought on by your beliefs were at a point where you felt watched over, or had a guardian to protect you.
Where as if you were to get it as say a personal challenge from a Runic Cross layout it might be telling you that in order to overcome the problem your asking the runes about, that a more stable and well thought out approach may be needed to make progress.

3. Thurisaz

Thurisaz is the Rune of the thorn, or of defense. Not so much protection like in Uruz, but Thurisaz shows a need to be weary of anything that would harm you or render you helpless and to act accordingly. It also is a reminder to sheild the things that you hold dearly to you to avoid losing them or damaging them. This can also be taken to an emotional thought as far as defending a loved one, family member, coworker ect.

Merkstave: If Thurisaz is drawn merkstave it can mean being in a place where you feel defenseless and may be more easily subjected to betrayal, or negative things to happen to you from an outside force. Whether its a person, situation, ect. If it is drawn this way it may be a time to draw from your inner strengths in order to bring yourself out of this helpless state.

Thurisaz brought up in a reading for lets just say a mental ability progression reading like we discussed in the last blog, might state that you will have to be on top in social situations because of your morals or beliefs, or you may have to defend them against others who may not be as open-minded as you are.

4. Ansuz

Ansuz is the Rune of Odin. It means inspiration, new ideas and wisdom and the understanding of them. Creativity, creation, and communication are also relevant to this Rune. Taking good advice from someone or getting proper guidance in order to progress in life.

Merkstave: When Ansuz is pulled merkstave it means confusion or the inability to understand or communicate properly. Perhaps something in the instruction or guidance was lost due either to the confusion or not paying attention to it and following it.

If we pull Ansuz in a future position for a reading for a situation, it tells us that we must be ready to have an open mind and be willing to communicate whether it be in a social setting, speaking to the gods and goddesses, ect. Understanding the path is just as important as taking the steps in order to wind up at the destination.

5. Raido

Raido is the Rune of the cart. Or of travel. It symbolizes the path that must be taken both in physically traveling, or in just changing what is going on in your life. Raido tells us to appreciate the journey when we try to get to the place of completion or our destination. If you don't enjoy the steps it takes in order to get where your going, then arriving there will never seem as sweet.

Merkstave: Drawing Raido merkstave can mean being at a point of stasis or stagnation. Your unable to move the situation in the direction that you would like, or are feeling like your stuck where your at. At times like this it is useful to look at the reasons why you feel unable to progress. There is most likely something that you can either do to fix this problem or detour yourself around this obstacle.

Raido in a reading in a past position for example would indicate that you were at a point and time in your life where things seemed to be shifting for you in the possible direction that you intended them too. And in doing so brought you to being where you are today. Whether it was physically moving your home to a different location, or a spiritual path, living out creative ideas, ect.

6. Kenaz

Kenaz (or Kano) is the Rune of the torch, or hearth fire. It symbolizes being a beacon in order to bring that which is in the darkness to light and uncovering that which was not known or seen, as well as the idea of a hearth fire being someplace safe and comforting. Warmth and light bring things into creation, new ideas and concepts. So Kenaz is very much a Rune of comfort or "feeling at home", as well as creative intuition. Seeing things for what they are.

Merkstave: Kenaz drawn merkstave can mean you are in the dark about a situation or don't know what you need to know in order to progress. It can also mean being in an uncomfortable place or somewhere where you don't feel particularly safe.

In a reading Kenaz in a future position may speak to you in the manner of letting you know that everything will be fine and comforting in the end, or that at last you will see the things that you have wanted to know about or experience them.

7. Gebo

Gebo is the Rune of gifts, and partnership. Whether it is a gift given freely or through means of sacrifice it deals very much with the exchange of things. Emotionally it can be tied to relationships (whether friendly or intimate) and giving of yourself for support or the giving of love to another person.

Merkstave: As Gebo can't be drawn merkstave as it is the same either way it is possible for it to have a negative feeling when in a casting. This would be connecting to feelings of greed, hording, or the inability to open ones self in order to let someone else experience it.

Gebo as a personal challenge for say a relationship reading could mean that your at a time where you are protective of your feelings and may not be letting people into your space or life. In order to change that you must learn to open yourself up and express your feelings in a way that will bring others into your space to express themselves as well in a loving or positive way.

8. Wunjo

Wunjo is associated with joy and happiness. It is a rune based on enjoyment and tasting the fruits of ones success. When allowed to be frivolous it is possible to experience an excess of joy in which it's possible to lose yourself in, but when attention is paid to it, it helps you realize the worth of the good things that have come about around you.

Merkstave: Drawing Wunjo merkstave means times of sorrow, feeling alone, disoriented and unhappy with your surroundings. Very much a reminder that you should look around you and find a new path that will lead you back to success and feeling on the right track.

Wunjo for an example being pulled as a final result of a Runic Cross casting would promote that the situation will be completed in an acceptable manner that you will be happy with in the end. That whatever the outcome will be a joyous and positive one. Just be able to truly appreciate it for all that it is without letting your mind wander too far off to what it is not.

Now we have gone over the first Aett or Freya's Aett. More will come soon enough, but for now let us look at another type of rune casting the Runic Cross or Celtic Cross:


[3] [2] [1]



1.This is the past concerning the question or situation
2. This is the present concerning the question or situation
3. This is the future of this situation as it stands now
4. This represents the root, or cause of the problem or situation
5. This represents the personal challenge or what must be done to bring about the final or wanted outcome
6. This represents the final outcome only if the personal challenge is completed

This particular reading can be very useful in problem solving or personal exploration of yourself if there are things that you would like to change in your life. Take note of the Runes that you draw in your casting and in what positions of the casting they come up. Some will feel more influencial on others in the reading and so forth.

Well that just about does it for Part 2 of this blog series. Next time I will go into the second Aett or Heimdall's Aett much as I have in this one giving a brief description of each Rune's meaning and how it can be applyed in a reading. I'll also go over a 12 month Rune casting that can be useful for personal guidance for those inquiring minds who want to know...
Best Blessings

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Comment by LadyLo on July 14, 2011 at 7:24pm
This is great! Thanks for posting it!


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