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Runes and their meanings

Rune Stones: are used as a system of divination, decision making and communication.  They are the magical alphabet of the North of central and Northern Europe."  Below is a table containing a full set of 24 rune (alphabet) symbols, placed within their Aett or set.  To find the divinatory meaning of each rune please click on the link below each symbol. More information about the origins of the runes and how to cast them can be found beneath the following rune meaning table. here.

For more types of divination see also: Chinese signs, chiromancy, tarot cards, tarot meanings and the zodiac.

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The First Aett FUThARKGW (Freyr's Aett) Keywords: Love, Fertility, Life Force & Increase

Rune Meanings - Frey
FREY
FEHU
FEOH(f)
FORTUNE

Rune Meanings - Uruz
URUZ
URZ
UR (U)
POWER

Rune Meanings - Thorn
THORN (TH)
THURISAZ
THOR
THORN BUSH 

Rune Meanings - Ansuz
ANSUZ
AS (A)
ODIN

Rune Meanings - Raido
RAIDO
RAD (R)
WHEEL

Rune Meanings - Kaunaz
KAUNAZ
KEN (K)
FIRE

Rune Meanings - Gebo
GEBO
GYTU (G)
GIFT

Rune Meanings - Wunjo
WUNJO
WYN (W)
JOY

The Second Aett  HNIJEiYPZS (Hagal's Aett) "The watcher Heindall keeper of the Rainbow bridge to the Heavens; the icy bridge to the Underworld. Keywords: Limitation, Fate, The Inner Journey

Rune Meanings - Hagalaz
HAGALAZ
HAGAL (h)
HAIL

Rune Meanings - Nauthiz
NAUTHIZ
NYO (N)
NEED

Rune Meanings - ISA
ISA
IS (I)
ICE

Rune Meanings - Jera
JERA
GER (J)
YEAR

Rune Meanings - Eihwaz
EIHWAZ
YR or EOH (el)
YEW

Rune Meanings - Pertho
PERTHO
PEORTH (P)
HEARTH

Rune Meanings - Algiz
ALGIZ
EOIH or AQUIZI (Z)
PROTECTION

Rune Meanings - Sowulu
SOWULU
SIGEL (S)
SUN

The Third Aett TBEMLNgOD (Tyr's Aett) "Tyr sky god and war-leader of the heavenly pantheon." Keywords: Synthesis, Connection to the Spirit and Others, Integration

Rune Meanings - Teiwaz
TEIWAZ
TYR (t)
TRY (God of War)

Rune Meanings - Berkana
BERKANA
BEORC (B)
BIRTH

Rune Meanings - Ehwaz
EHWAZ
EH (e)
HORSE

Rune Meanings - Mannaz
MANNAZ
MAN (M)

Rune Meanings - Laguz
LAGUZ
LAGU (L)
WATER

Rune Meanings - Inguz
INGUZ
ING (ng)
FERTILITY (The God Ing)

Rune Meanings - Dagaz
DAGAZ
DAEG (d)
DAY

Rune Meanings - Othila
OTHILA
ODAL (O)
ANCESTRAL PROPERTY


WYRD
THE BLANK STONE
ODIN or WYRD - The unknowable - the beginning and the end
(FATE)


The Origins of Rune Stones:
According to the "Illustrated Encyclopedia of Divination" the word "rune" means "whisper" or "secret".  Indeed runes are thought by some to be a way of interacting with both the spirit and the living world.  The system of divination by runes can be attributed to two tribes who came together and produced a combination of symbols and old signs which were found on a variety of paintings, ritual and domestic items in the North from as early as Paleolithic times.  However there are other myths surrounding the origins of the runes including the Volsungr, a Northern ancestral tribe who crossed into Europe before the Ice Age.  

There is also a myth relating to Odin a God of wisdom, divination and the Horde of the Dead".  After hanging down on the "World Tree for nine days", he realised or "saw" at the end of his "shamanistic journey":

"How the magical and systematic power of signs - and of the mind - could be put together.  He took up the runes"

As well as their use as an alphabet; it was their use as a divining tool and their supposed power to call up deities' influence over fertility, crops, tides, love, healing and curses, which led to people as late as 1700 being burned at the stake for using them.

Today the use of the runes seems to be enjoying a modern day revival with collections becoming more widely available and instruction sheets on how to use them.  

As the runes spread throughout Europe by the Anglo Saxons, the runic alphabet which was quite varied in number depending upon geographical location, finally became settled into a basic alphabet of 24 Runes called the FuThark.

The word FUThARK originates from the sounds of the six letters.  The 24 Runic signs are arranged into three families comprising 8 runes each.  These individual families are called Aett (singular) or Aettir (plural)  Each family or Aett is ruled over by its own particular spirit or Norse God.  Respectively these entities are:

Freya & Frey - Goddess and God of fertility and increase

Heindall - The watcher and the keeper of the Rainbow Bridge to the Heavens

Tyr - War leader and spirit of the just

The sequence of signs in each Aett has meaning as does each rune within it.  Each individual rune is thought to be a "symbolic storehouse" and a "magical talisman" having its own unique set of meanings connecting a variety of things including: feelings, experiences, spirits, objects, creatures and archetypal processes.

Almost like the makeup of an inner reality their movements in any given situation are said to be indicative of how "Wynd" or fate is operating in an individual's affairs.  The meanings of the runes are however quite fluid. Although old texts do give sets of associations for the signs there is still quite an amount that is left up to the interpretation and intuition of the individual using them.

How to Cast Runes
Runes are cast ideally on an East-West axis or facing the sun.  A white cloth is laid down and used to determine the shoat or direction of the casting.  From here the focus should lie with the pressing question.  The runes should then be drawn or cast from either a box or leather pouch where they should normally be kept.  After casting the stones onto the cloth the ones which have fallen the right side up are read and depending upon whether the rune is reversed or not will have a bearing upon its meaning and the reading as a whole.


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FREY
FEHU
FEOH(f)
FORTUNE
Rune Stone Meanings - Frey

A Rune sacred to Freya, Goddess of fecundity and love.

Right Side

A fulfillment rune of good fortune, material stability, security, wealth.  FEOH feeds and nourishes on both the spiritual and material planes.  An indication of something earned or won.  "The primal cow, the sow, the fertile originating animals, our common beginning."  It is essential to share good fortune with others.  This rune also indicates fertility and harmony.

Reversed
At a standstill, lack of balance and possibly some form of loss.


URUZ
URZ
UR (U)
POWER
Rune Stone Meanings - Uruz

A Rune sacred to Thor, God of thunder and strength.

Right Side
A rune of creativity and sexual energy.  UR also represents the death of a cycle, out with the old wild ox and in with the new.  May indicate a dark period with material loss or the loss of a person but new opportunities will arise from this.  It is indicative of an unpredictable power, tests and greed.  Opportunities, sexuality and good luck are the keywords for this rune.

Reversed
Opportunities that have passed by, possible health problems and a lack of progress in certain areas.


THORN (TH)
THURISAZ
THOR
THORN BUSH
Rune Stone Meanings - Thorn 

A Rune sacred to Loki, trickster and shape changer.

Right Side
A rune of negative change, contemplation and conflict.  Synonymous with the hammer of Thor, this rune represents: trolls, demons, giants and male power.  Strength may be found by observing the past and future.  As Thor was the Norse God of strength other key meanings of this rune are: security, protection and possibly good news.

Reversed
Thorn (th) as a thorn bush can indicate dangers of a smaller less significant kind.  However reversed this rune can indicate unfavourable news or a sense of feeling vulnerable.


ANSUZ
AS (A)
ODIN
Rune Stone Meanings - Ansuz

A Rune sacred to Odin, God of Wind and Spirit.

Right Side
A rune of God's blessing and joy.  A time to expect the unexpected, new beginnings and communications, messengers, signals and gifts.  A guarantee of harmony and order.  A warning to fortify oneself before attempting to come to the aid of others.  "The divine breath, the sacred ash and the world tree."  As this rune is also representative of Odin himself other meanings associated with this rune are: wisdom, psychic power and aid from someone older.

Reversed
This rune reversed serves as a warning against trickery or pranks, this is even more true if it involves an older person.  A warning against an older person causing trouble or playing tricks and games.  Think carefully before accepting any advice.


RAIDO
RAD (R)
WHEEL
Rune Stone Meanings - Raido

A Rune sacred to Thor and thunder.

Right Side
A rune of personal development and transformation.  This rune is indicative of journeys and travel.  The journeys may be of a physical or spiritual nature, but either way will bring about some positive developments.  It is also a time of choice and of making the right move to ensure all effort and energy is channeled in the right direction.

Reversed
This rune reversed is indicative of delays and possibly difficult journeys.  It can also mean that there are important lessons that need to be learned.


KAUNAZ
KEN (K)
FIRE
Rune Stone Meanings - Kaunaz

A Rune sacred to Heimdall, the underworld watcher.

Right Side
A rune of renewed light after a period of darkness or confusion.  It is also a warning of a danger to health, possibly in the form of: fever, abscesses, ulcers, physical or mental problems.  As a torch this rune also represents creative fire and artistic impulse.  it is a shining beacon of hope in the dark.

Reversed
This rune reversed is indicative of a block on creativity.


GEBO
GYTU (G)
GIFT
Rune Stone Meanings - Gebo

A Rune of a sacred mark dedicated to the Gods.

Right Side
A rune of generosity and the giving and receiving of gifts; and with the help of the Gods, kindness and aid to others.  It is a gift and a greeting of peace.  Partnerships and relationships are blessed.  People unite and relationships move to a deeper level.  "The lovers kiss; the bountiful Goddess abundance."  This rune also represents sacrifice and the balance of opposing factions or elements.  A remnant of Gyfu gis still sent today to mark the passing of another year.

Reversed
This rune reversed is indicative of harm to friendship, separations and self centred behaviour.


WUNJO
WYN (W)
JOY
Rune Stone Meanings - Wunjo

A Rune sacred to Odin.

Right Side
A rune of material and emotional gain, through diligence.  It also indicates comfort and renewed energy.  Situations will change for the better.  Peace balance and harmony are the keywords with the possibility that wishes will be fulfilled.  A time to re-evaluate one's plans and goals as darkness has given way to light.

Reversed
This rune reversed is indicative of conflicts and changes that are not positive.  It is a warning to anticipate strife in certain situations.


HAGALAZ
HAGAL (h)
HAIL
Rune Stone Meanings - Hagalaz

A rune sacred to Heindall the watcher and Mordgud, keeper of the icy bridge to the underworld.

Right Side
A rune that warns of illness.  Hagal means hail and is symbolic of uncontrolled and destructive forces.  It is a time of upheaval, discord and disruption and general bad luck.  There will be setbacks and problems all which need to be endured in order to come through on the other side.

Reversed
This rune reversed is indicative of uncontrollable events leading to delays.


NAUTHIZ
NYO (N)
NEED
Rune Stone Meanings - Nauthiz

A Rune sacred to Norns, weavers of fate and Nort, Goddess of night who gives birth to day.

Right Side
A rune of limit, limitation and patience.  Keywords include: necessity, need, absence, sadness, tiredness.  It is indicative of the hardship of existing on less than enough.  Much hard work and patience is needed to work through the pain and strife, but the experience must be treated as a period of learning in order to overcome difficulty rather than becoming bitter.  There is a warning against greed and desire as this will only prove destructive.

Reversed
This rune reversed warns against hasty decisions and careful thought about any pending commitment.


ISA
IS (I)
ICE
Rune Stone Meanings - Isa

A Rune sacred to intensity, it intensifies any other rune associated with it.

Right Side
The rune of obstacles and mental blocks.  It is a barrier stopping or preventing, while warning against proceeding.  As a beacon it is a "shining light", but stillness, patience and sacrifice of the "I" may win the prize.  Other meanings include: coldness between people, lethargy, death end, termination, strong hidden forces and blocks to thought and deed.  This rune intensifies the meaning of any other runes associated with it.

Reversed
This rune reversed is indicative of a coldness which gives rise to conflict and arguments.  only by acting positively can the ice be melted.


JERA
GER (J)
YEAR
Rune Stone Meanings - Jera

A Rune sacred to Freya and Frey the bountiful couple.

Right Side
The rune of harvest, fertility and the turning wheel.  This rune is symbolic of success, an abundant year and the cycles of nature and life.  Projects will succeed although plans cannot be rushed and patience must be observed.  Effort reaps its reward.  Other meanings include: the sacred marriage between heaven and earth, thriving crops, generosity of kings and prosperity.  "When the harvest comes - celebrate!".

Reversed
This rune reversed symbolises a block in nature.  Matters come to a head.


EIHWAZ
YR or EOH (el)
YEW
Rune Stone Meanings - eihwaz

A Rune sacred to Odin, who gathered the dead souls for their journey to Valhalla or the underworld.

Right Side
As with the 13th card of death in the tarot deck, this rune is also symbolic of death, but death in the sense of a cycle of life.  It highlights the importance of death in human life as in death, regeneration and rebirth.  This rune is symbolic of the gate to the underworld.  Patience is needed to work through a period of stagnation.  Old ways will pass giving rise to the new.

Reversed
This rune reversed symbolises nostalgia and a hankering for the past.  It can also represent emotional problems linked to the death of a loved one.


PERTHO
PEORTH (P)
HEARTH
Rune Stone Meanings - Pertho

A Rune sacred to Frigg, the "All Mother".

Right Side
This is a rune of mystery and things not being quite what they seem.  It is a time to experience the unexpected and live for the now.  Other meanings include: womb, female fertility.  A game that is played between "desire and destiny".  A rune of revelation.

Reversed
This rune reversed is symbolic of hidden things that are revealed and cast out into the open.


ALGIZ
EOIH or AQUIZI (Z)
PROTECTION
Rune Stone Meanings - Algiz

A Rune sacred to Heimdall, the watcher.

Right Side
A Rune symbolic of protection and shelter.  Temptation may be put in the way of an individual, but this is to be resisted.  Emotions must be contained and pain and strife overcome in order to move forward.  Other meanings include: new beginnings, protect what has been worked for, the hand sign to ward off evil, divine aspirations, elk-sedge a plant which hurts anyone who touches it and a strong symbol of protection.

Reversed
This rune reversed warns of avoiding danger which may be caused by another person.


SOWULU
SIGEL (S)
SUN
Rune Stone Meanings - Sowulu

A Rune sacred to Balder, the beautiful God and the Solar Wheel.

Right Side
A rune of health, wealth and happiness and contact with one's higher self.  Now is the time to use the sun's energy for regeneration and reveal secrets that are hidden.  Other meanings include: creativity, guidance particularly of sailors, spiritual power to "resist disintegration", the light of the world and positive beneficial magic.

Reversed
This rune reversed warns of the possibility of carelessness or recklessness leading to ill health or danger.


TEIWAZ
TYR (t)
TRY (God of War)
Rune Stone Meanings - Teiwaz

A Rune sacred to Tyr, Lord of the Heavens and war leader.

Right Side
A rune of bravery and steadfastness in the face of any adversity.  New partnerships will produce great things.  This is a rune of energy, contentment and passion and it is a much used talisman.  Other meanings include: a brave and noble death, self knowledge, faith, victory and success in law and war.

Reversed
This rune reversed is symbolic of frustrations and quarrels that sap the strength.


BERKANA
BEORC (B)
BIRTH
Rune Stone Meanings - Berkana

A Rune sacred to the Earth Goddess.

Right Side
This is a rune of new birth and new beginnings.  Although it can be indicative of an actual birth or marriage it can also refer to personal growth and development and the prosperity of an enterprise.  It can indicate the start of something special and to facilitate this, doubts must cleansed before moving forward.  Other meanings include: fertility in the bodily sense, beauty and the breasts of the Earth Goddess.

Reversed
This rune reversed is symbolic of hurdles or problems getting in the way of the birth or start of something.  This rune reversed warns of stagnation.


EHWAZ
EH (e)
HORSE
Rune Stone Meanings - Ehwaz

A Rune sacred to Frey, Summer sun and the erect penis.

Right Side
This is a rune of travel and change, possibly of job, career, residence or maybe all three.  This rune brings a message from the Gods and rank, pride, happiness and an aid to the restless.  It may also indicate spiritual journeys and faith in one's destiny.

Reversed
This rune reversed warns of a restlessness and a desire to escape by traveling or moving away from the problem - a passage away from pain.


MANNAZ
MAN (M)
Rune Stone Meanings - Mannaz

A Rune sacred to Odin, the "All Father" and Heimdall, the watcher.

Right Side
This is the rune of mankind and all of the attributes which set humans apart.  it suggests that the middle path should be sought and followed and it also refers to family matters.  Other meanings include: a connection to others, mutual joy intelligence, memory and culture.  Also a desire for change.

Reversed
This rune reversed symbolises a lack of of common sense.  A need for solace and isolation, particularly form family.


LAGUZ
LAGU (L)
WATER
Rune Stone Meanings - Laguz

A Rune sacred to Njord, God of the wealth of the sea.

Right Side
This is the rune of unconscious intuition and mystery.  It can be indicative of some levels of psychic ability and the courage to trust in hunches.  It can mean success in travel, also gains made at the expense of loss.  Other meanings include: the ebb and the flow of the tides, waves, seas and lakes and the power of green growth bursting through the soil.

Reversed
This rune reversed symbolises stormy waters and emotional turmoil.


INGUZ
ING (ng)
FERTILITY (The God Ing)
Rune Stone Meanings - Inguz

A Rune sacred to Frey, Summer sun and consort of Freya.

Right Side
This is a rune of peace and prosperity, also fertility especially male potency.  It is symbolic of the erect phallus and fertilising power.  Projects, ideas and even people reach their full potential.  Matters come to a head and problems are resolved.  The hearth and home are protected.

Reversed
This rune reversed warns of the need to be more diligent and that progress is being blocked.


DAGAZ
DAEG (d)
DAY
Rune Stone Meanings - Dagaz

A Rune sacred to Heimdall, the watcher.

Right Side
This is a rune of harmonious unexpected success.  It is a balance between light and darkness; as night gives way to dawn, this gives way to day and so on.  It is a beacon of light bringing forth clarity, success and abundance in life.  The time is right to embark upon a new project, but be cautious in the journey forward.

Reversed
This rune reversed warns of treading carefully and conserving energy.


OTHILA
ODAL (O)
ANCESTRAL PROPERTY
Rune Stone Meanings - Othila

A Rune sacred to heritage.

Right Side
This is a rune of inheritance and the discarding of traditional well worn ways in order to move forward.  It symbolises mental and spiritual heritage, property and old traditions and family values.  Other meanings associated with this rune are: the freeing of an individual from a group or clan, fundamental ideas and spiritual values.  Although something may have to be given up or lost in order to acquire property or an estate, the wise use of resources is indicated here.

Reversed
This rune reversed is symbolic of family disputes and break ups, problems with parents and possibly arguments or problems with any inheritances.


THE BLANK STONE
WYRD
ODIN or WYRD - The unknowable - the beginning and the end
(FATE)

This rune stone is blank and symbolises something that cannot be known or cannot be controlled and as such fate will decide the outcome.


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Sources: Information for this topic: 
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Divination - Stephen Karcher - Element Books Ltd. Shaftesbury, Dorset, SP7 8BP - ISBN: 1-85230-876-1


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