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
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
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
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
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.
A Rune sacred to Freya, Goddess of
fecundity and love.
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
At a standstill, lack of balance and possibly some form of loss.
A Rune sacred to Thor, God of thunder
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
Opportunities that have passed by, possible health problems and a
lack of progress in certain areas.
Rune sacred to Loki, trickster and shape changer.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Rune sacred to Heimdall, the underworld watcher.
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
This rune reversed is indicative of a block on creativity.
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.
This rune reversed is indicative of harm to friendship, separations
and self centred behaviour.
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
This rune reversed is indicative of conflicts and changes that are
not positive. It is a warning to anticipate strife in certain
rune sacred to Heindall the watcher and Mordgud, keeper of the icy
bridge to the underworld.
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.
This rune reversed is indicative of uncontrollable events leading to
Rune sacred to Norns, weavers of fate and Nort, Goddess of night who
gives birth to day.
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
This rune reversed warns against hasty decisions and careful thought
about any pending commitment.
Rune sacred to intensity, it intensifies any other rune associated
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.
This rune reversed is indicative of a coldness which gives rise to
conflict and arguments. only by acting positively can the ice
Rune sacred to Freya and Frey the bountiful couple.
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!".
This rune reversed symbolises a block in nature. Matters come
to a head.
Rune sacred to Odin, who gathered the dead souls for their journey
to Valhalla or the underworld.
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.
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.
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.
This rune reversed is symbolic of hidden things that are revealed
and cast out into the open.
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.
This rune reversed warns of avoiding danger which may be caused by
Rune sacred to Balder, the beautiful God and the Solar Wheel.
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.
This rune reversed warns of the possibility of carelessness or
recklessness leading to ill health or danger.
Rune sacred to Tyr, Lord of the Heavens and war leader.
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.
This rune reversed is symbolic of frustrations and quarrels that sap
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.
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.
Rune sacred to Frey, Summer sun and the erect penis.
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
This rune reversed warns of a restlessness and a desire to escape by
traveling or moving away from the problem - a passage away from
Rune sacred to Odin, the "All Father" and Heimdall, the
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.
This rune reversed symbolises a lack of of common sense. A
need for solace and isolation, particularly form family.
Rune sacred to Njord, God of the wealth of the sea.
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
Rune sacred to Frey, Summer sun and consort of Freya.
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.
This rune reversed warns of the need to be more diligent and that
progress is being blocked.
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
This rune reversed warns of treading carefully and conserving
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.
This rune reversed is symbolic of family disputes and break ups,
problems with parents and possibly arguments or problems with any