Individual Rune Meanings
Copyright © August 1992-2010 by DenElder
All Rights Reserved.

I don't pretend this is the only way, as I see others do in their writings... I'm just sharing with those who ask after the tradition in which  *I*  was taught and what else, I might have learned about Rune staves. I’m using what is called the Elder Futhark. Below, each stave is given a brief meaning first, because the larger picture must be inspired from within. Try looking at each stave depiction... picture the picture brought to the mind of those people who created such... what was the metaphor meant by the depiction?

I will then expand on my thoughts and what I was taught, with what others believe and say. I'm using the Germanic spelling, for the main capitalized names because this works for me. You will have to decide not only which Rune alphabets you want to work with, but which name, spelling, meaning, and how it's drawn, etc.

What I learned was kept very simple as you will see and did not go into all this lavish pairing up with Tarot Cards, crystals, colors, Hebrew letters, etc. etc. etc. as now seems to be the fad. But I'll try to hunt all those up too for those who are interested.


Which set of Runes should you use?

The one which speaks to Self!
    
I firmly believe that our past-life memories not only pull us to this tool, but too, will dictate which particular Rune Alphabet we are meant to use. So just go with your instincts, feelings and hunches on this.
     I also believe that each stave carries within it, an inherent energy that has been developed over the ancient time-span of usage... an energy of which we can tap into for our use. Almost like, an ancient memory which comes to mind when we rist the stave. Which set we feel drawn to, I believe, carries that energy which our Inner Self recognizes even if the Conscious Self does not. Like, our Intuition takes over on the subject.
     Let me further elaborate on something I feel is extremely important. If you are of Adept status as a Magick Worker (Witch, Magician, etc.) then you have a responsibility to know something of most of the common divinatory tools... Tarot, I Ching, Runes, Astrology, Numerology, etc.. However, no matter who you are, you should strive to be Adept and Expert with working with at least one tool, rather than be a jack-of-all-trades. I consciously chose not to be Adept with Runes because I was working with two other tools, most notably Tarot whose Voice spoke to me louder than the Runic Voice did.
     In the beginning, one must experiment with all kinds of interests to try and see what appeals most to Self, but once something such as Runes speaks to you. Stop! Go no further for now. Self has spoken, so indulge it completely. Immerse yourself in the study at hand. Devote yourself to it... its history, its use. Everything about the tool Self chose should be explored and poured over with great Persistence, Practice, and much Patience.
    
Be worthy of your tool! Be fit to handle it with expertise... and your tool will reward you more than I can explain. The higher your expertise, the higher your award and the deeper your understanding of the deeper meanings of it.

 

Which order should I use?

Actually, I never use any specific order myself.
     I used my staves for divinatory purposes and not once in many years, did I ever order my set. Same for Magickal exercises, I'd pull the one or two I wanted for the use at hand, but there was never a need to put them in order (ordering).
     However, recognizing that many who read here, will want an Ordering, let me offer up these common and better known lists for your inspection and as you can see, except for minor spelling differences, most of these are the same...
     Freya Aswynn in Leaves of Yggdrasil uses this order: Fehu, Uruz, Thurisaz, Ansuz, Raido, Kenaz, Gebo, Wunjo, Hagalaz, Nauthiz, Isa, Jera, Eiwaz, Pertho, Algiz, Sowulo, Teiwaz, Berkana, Ehwaz, Mannuz, Laguz, Ingwuz, Othila, Dagas, no Blank.
     Edred Thorsson in his books uses this order: Fehu, Uruz, Thurisaz, Ansuz, Raidho, Kenaz, Gebo, Wunjo, Hagalaz, Naudhiz, Isa, Jera, Eihwaz, Perdhro, Elhaz, Sowilo, Tiwaz, Berkana, Ehwaz, Mannaz, Laguz, Ingwaz, Dagaz, Othala, no Blank.
     Donald Tyson: Fehu, Uruz, Thurisaz, Ansuz, Raido, Kenaz, Gebo, Wunjo, Hagalaz, Nauthiz, Isa, Jera, Eihwaz, Perth, Algiz, Sowelu, Teiwaz, Berkana, Ehwaz, Mannaz, Laguz, Inguz, Dagaz, Othila, no Blank.
..... Also note that Mr. Tyson has/had a very nice deck of Rune cards which I recommend.

 

What about when different names and meanings are given? Which one is right?

I use those staves and their names and their meanings, which best connect with my own Self.
    
I've got many of these kind of notes collected up, of these various names, spellings, and meanings and hope to also add those to these pages when I get to it. It does make for fascinating study and argument as one wonders at how these changes came to be, etc.
     First though, I want to compare various notes and make sure it won't appear I am taking another's work; like if it is very distinctively different from what everybody else says... in that case, I'll try to link to, or give the book name, etc. of such distinctive thoughts.
     Then second, figure out how to display that data in these pages... alone in their own section or with the Individual Runes below, because I've already given the various names already in that part? I will wait to hear from others what they think on this.

 

Are Runes danger to use?

I will not issue a blanket condemnation of their use, obviously from the extent of this section of my web-site. However there can be dangers, as with any tool used in negative manner or with   foolish recklessness.
    
First, one must remember the age from which the first Runes were created... those ol' Viking boys were a rough lot, in a rough land. Thus their writings reflect that roughness and the staves will reflect that life as well. A Runestone telling us, "Here lies my husband and son killed in war." ...is not fluff & light! And the tool applied (rune writing) is not birthed in fluff & light either... nor the energies associated with them.
     When one is dealing with this pseudo-Tarot practice of laying runes out in patterning layouts then indeed, there is no danger at all and little in-depth insights either, as you are now falling outside of established history and accompanying energy patterns of such historic and repetitive exercises.
     Second, too often these mere chips are taken for as a game, lacking seriousness to them. I've never quite figured why this should be so but people who show respect for a wand or a Tarot key, will often fool around with a Rune.
     Yet take the same runes and cast them to singing and High Ritual... you are now into some real serious Magicking efforts and such is not for gamesters. You'd want proper procedures, and correct vocalizations and intoning with the throws, etc. as you would for any in-depth ritual experience. This is especially true if you are attempting to make a change, same as you would if casting a spell. Proper care would, at this higher level of expertise, be essential not only for the practitioner's safety but the safety of all around them. Frankly, if I was in the presence of the greater majority of people attempting such... I'd be running and ducking my butt! For think whom you are dealing with... the likes of Odin and Tyr.


The Elder Futhark Staves
     I have tried to distinguish the more original names thusly ...fe... in the individual entries following. But I would caution you from going with anybody who says such are the original names, for in truth... these are so ancient as to have lost their names. All have been re-constructed by historians, as best they could and even these studied persons, admit they aren't entirely sure.

FIRST STAVE OF FIRST AETT... Freya's Aett.
     Freya is a love Goddess, willing to have sexual relations with all the other Deity, She is thus an ultimate symbol of sexuality. She also was addressed with love poetry and is related to earth fertility as well. She is the leader of the War Maidens called, Valkyries; and She picks the choice slain warriors off the battle grounds but is neither fearsome nor feared by them. Amber is Her crystal/mineral which She sheds in place of tears. The Cat is her animal and pulls Her chariot.

01. FEHU, fe, feoh... animals, cattle
Having cattle meant having wealth... mundane riches.
'f' sounding as in fall.

No matter the changes in look or name, this stave associates with property which means wealth. But let's think about cattle ownership for a moment. And who is the Goddess, Freya?
     When you own cattle, you have a fluctuating source of capital... some will die, some will be born, and you charge for the services of you best bulls (males) to other cattlemen, who only have cows (females). You have a storm which can kill many or they fall off a cliff or robbers steal them... thus these riches, are not stable. So do not lust after them! They are not secure. Do not take things (ownership) for granted.

 

02. URAZ, ur, urox, urax, uruR... auroch (a wild ox species)
The now extinct aurochs, was hunted in Manhood Rituals. Validation.
'oo', or long 'u' sound as in you... which is a slight difference and some say a 'v' sound, too.

     Pretend to be watching an old western movie where they have those Long Horned Cattle, then throw a bunch of long wild hair on them like a Musk Ox... and you kinda of have an idea what a Auroch looked like. It is big, and it is strong, and it is formidable! It wasn't something you messed with lightly!
     I've been asked if this connects to Audhumla of myths. I was not taught so, nor see it as creativity in the way. The myth-cow created in connection the Ymir giant. However, like the Musk Oxen circle to protect themselves, with calves in the center and horns outward, I do see this symbol as being a strong protective strength. Even of a matronly protection. I must add, I've always seen this stave within my Mind's eye as the depiction to the right here, with the head shown as horns. While the one above, as missing the head... with what we see being the side-view of the animal with front legs and back legs being seen.

 

03. THURISAZ, Thurs, thorn, Thuith, thurisaR... devil (actually a giant)
The evil giant stands for wickedness. Willful negativity.
The 'th' sound of 'thorn'.

See? he stands with one arm on his hip, staring at us. Dares us? Represents a challenge to us.
     Now I've been asked about the connection to thorns, such as a thorny fence? My elders once used such brambles as fences, and even once a wood or stone fence was built, often planted brambles, too. Use to wreck havoc on the horses, who would get into it. Thus we can have the meaning of a sticky situation, too with this stave if you are so inclined.
     This is also associated by many with the God Thor and as such, have a meaning of godly protection and lightning fast changes and upheavals. However, the name Thorn is not Thor! but a whole separate entity... so be careful of not making this mistake... for in fact, Thor (a good god) is the enemy of Thorn (a bad giant).  And several sources say the root word is turs, which is not a giant but a troll.

 

04. ANSUZ, ass, as, os, ans, ansus, ansur, ansuR... God
Odin, the Almighty... blessings of the God.
The soft 'a' sound... as in bad, glad, or mad.

Look at the figure... he has arms outward and the motion is downward as he bows before his Patron God.
     If we look at some of the different meanings represented as the name of this stave, we see them ranging from a kind of Family God such as the Strega Witches honor, to a river's mouth. Now this last meaning becomes quite interesting if you study geology. For the mouth of a river, more correctly called an estuary, drains the river out to an ocean or sea. The fast water flow, its velocity, which had been carrying sediments suddenly is slowed down as the river spews out its load into the larger water body. So?
     So! it forms what is called a Dendritic Pattern. Which is?
     Which is the drainage pattern, that the river and its tributaries forms as the silt builds up... and the pattern is that of branches of a tree. A Sacred Tree, from which Odin can hang to gain Runic knowledge. Indeed, Blessings from a God! Even taken as a message from the Gods.
     As a final comment, let me point out that this is a very complicated word in how it changed sounds of pronunciation... beginning with a long aa sound, to ar sounding, to o'ss... with a later ng thrown in for good measure! For me, if anybody cares... I say as : on suz.

 

05. RAIDO, reid, reidh, raidho, raidha, rad, radh, raidu, roel... riding and/or wagon ride.
Cross-country journeying. Akin to the Australian walkabout.
An 'r' sound.

     Most of the time, you will see a connection made somehow to sky chariots of the Deities, or even one of mind-flight, such as is induced by drugs or ecstatic states of mind. Some will connect this stave, with the turning of the Great Wheel of Life or the Astrological movement of the stars, etc.
     For me, it is sexual ecstasy or arousal to some degree... see he stands there, arm on hip, displayed (shall we say, to keep the censors from closing me down). Riding, is obvious then what he rides. And the Vikings were very feared by women for their reputation at rape, to leave behind their bloodlines.
     So if you take these thoughts in mind, we can get a bigger picture of journeying and traveling, in order to share yourself with others. Certainly not the raping , robbing, and pillaging of a by-gone era (though one must wonder when watching the evening news!)... but more of a reaching out to others, such as I do with sharing my works on this web-page, or a lecturer goes out to speak to people, that kind of thing. Or perhaps simply to reach your open hand over the yard-fence to say, "Hidey Ho, neighbor! How ya doin' this fine day?"

 

06. CENAZ, ken, keno, kenaz, kaun, kauna, kaunaz, cen, ken, keen... torch
Generated light, enlightenment, of ideas and/or spirituality.
The 'c' or 'k' sound.

     You know, I've never been able to see a torch with this stave. It does speak of action and forward movement to me but taking the above meaning, it would be action of the mental realms of Self. However, I can see symbolism from the Tarot key, Hermit... who wanders with a robe about him, holding a lamp (torch), sometimes it's hidden, other times he is shown revealing the guiding light, depending on who the artist was. Thus looking at Cenaz, *I* can see the arm crooked to hold the lantern, hold the guiding light for Hermit's function is - enlightenment!
     However less known about this stave's name is that kaun actually means... an infected, running sore! If one was to take that meaning instead of enlightenment... then you are in a whole other ballpark!

 

07. GEBO, gebu, gyfu, gift... gift
Sign of the Open Hand... open your palm & look!
Makes a soft 'g' sound.

     This is a gift from the Gods... Life, nourishment (food), & honor. Men shakes hands in sign of peace & treaty... thus speaking of inter-relationships between people.

 

08. WUNJO, wunju, wynn, wyn, wynn, win, winja... glory
Sign of the Closed Hand... upraised in defiance and victory.
Has 'w' sound, as in 'waffle'.

I am not beaten until *I* say I am. I am not defeated until *I* do not get up again of mine own, free-will.
     Conscious thought, divine breath giving Life, the willing sacrifice or gift... and then the form/direction these three attributes take.
     I do not take the meaning such as 'happy, happy, joy, joy'... which some put to this stave. Nor the weather-vane meaning somebody else asked me about. No, my thought of meanings run more to... perseverance against the odds. With the inner-strength such needs, coming from the Divine, powers that be. Actually when my health was at its worst, this particular stave meant a lot to me and was used extensively for me to meditate over... I was not beaten because I would not say I was!

LAST STAVE OF FIRST AETT.

 

FIRST STAVE OF SECOND AETT... Hagal's Aett.
     This puzzles me, for Hagal would seem to refer to the hail of the 9th stave coming up next. Yet people assume it refers to the guardian God & Goddess, Heimdall & Mo(r)dgud. This is kinda stupid because if this aett was to be named after Them, surely they'd have been named Heimdall's Aett or Modgud's Aett, right? And more than a few people have asked, "Who the heck is Modgud?" Well, Modgud guards the Gjoell Bridge which is the bridge over to Hel, which is the Land of the Dead... and also another Goddess.
     Nor would one think they are naming this aett after the minor character, Hagal who is Helgi's father in the... Saga of Helgi Hundingsbani. Several people whom I respect, have talked about these being worked up from the phonetics of the staves within the aett. However I, like many old-timers, point out that the modern Wiccan movement tends to make everything into a God/Goddess relationship! Whether it was meant to be, or not.

09. HAGALAZ, hagl, haegl, hagal, hagel, hagall, hagalaR... hail (as in frozen rain), hailstone
That which destroys; chaos; tears down; (divorce).
An 'h' sound.

     Destruction which comes from an unseen source. The seeds which provide no nourishment. All the various names, point to a meaning of the precipitation, we call hail. I think of it as the Tarot key card, Tower... which has a base of meaning of the old must fall, to make room for the new. I admit though, that the stave brings no visual meaning to me or to mind, other than 'H' is for Hail.

My Lady-Sister WhiteOak who shares my love of runes,  told that Heilege is the third word in "Silent Night" when sung in its original German. The word means "holy" and thus -- "Hagalaz could be a corruption from that, since the Norse and Germanic languages are relatively close. Thus drawing Hagalzaz could portend a closer relationship with the divine (and hopefully more than just the quick expletives that erupt when there is some kind of destructive incident or accident!)"

Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht,
Alles schläft; einsam wacht
Nur das traute hochheilige Paar.
Holder Knabe im lockigen Haar,
Schlaf in himmlischer Ruh!
Schlaf in himmlischer Ruh!

===========================================================

 

10. NAUTHIZ, naud, naudh, naudiR, naudhr, nauths, need, nyd... need
See the woman beckoning with her out-stretched arms. A truly needy situation. Lost.
Sound is soft 'n' as in 'no'.

     If we place this rune in time, we find women still much subjected to man. No women's lib, back then... thus a begging woman is an ultimate sign of distress and of a needy situation. The arms are thrown wide, and thus are empty. I've read many writers connect this stave to various situations of love and lust. I can understand this, but do not use such meaning myself... other than one desperate for love. For if we go to the base word of naud, what you have is a term for the lowest of the lowest slave... again, tying into a truly needy individual!

 

11. ISA, isaR, iss, is, ice eis, eic... ice
That which will not bend... will break, as ice cracks!
Sounds as a long 'e'...

ISA is interesting in it changes so much... in the Younger it has 3 sounds... long 'e' and 'i', but also 'ah'. Add a spot as in the Dotted-style alphabets and you change the 'i' sound to the 'e' sound.
    
An uncompromising situation or person. A great, stillness of the spirit-soul.
     This rune of the Element's, carries great power just as snow, ice, and great glaciers carried great weight amongst the northern tribes of Europe. There is no room for pity in such a savage landscape, where carelessness could mean your death. No compromise here! And yet, compromise is what is needed... ingenuity, sharp wits. We must change in the face of that which will not!
     This person stands straight up, arms down along their sides, head slight back, eyes closed... we look at them straight on so all we see an a straight line of their body. And they stand their in their will power and strength... or bull headed and uncompromising. And the thinking of this in my Mind's Eye, sees... the great towering glaciers, as seen on the "news", as huge chunks break off into the sea to become icebergs. Such breaking away, leaves great icy ragged cliffs with shear fronts, rather than the graduated creep of inland glaciers as they slowly move under their own weight, down mountain valleys... such as we might see in Alaska USA.  And this breaking away of ice and the human body standing straight... is the same.

 

12. JERA, ar, jahR, jer, ger, year... harvest
The Wheel of Life ever turning... reaping & harvesting, that which was sowed. (Karma)
Letter 'j' but has a 'yuh' sound.

     Although I use the stave as depicted above, I also like it when depicted as two half-circles, too. For what we have here, is the revolving seasons and the passing of time... which to me, carry a more rounded connotation than the arrow-points of above. Note that the word jahR, means year.
     This stave carries soft, gentle connotations. Some even see a woman's breasts in the above, which again works better with the rounded version of this stave (see to right)... nurturing. It speaks of a full-stomach to sleep on, a full larder with famine kept well away. And if you keep away famine, you keep away fever, keep away the dreaded diseases and ills which first takes the children... thus the mentioned breasts image.

 

13. EIHWAZ, eihwas, ewaz, iwaR, iwaz, yr, eoh, eow, yogh, yow... yew
An arrow with point fore & the shaft aft.
Sounds either 'e' or 'i', depending on source. I use 'eh' as in 'bed'.

     The Yew-wood bow was a powerful sender of the messenger of Death & Destruction. A person/situation ready to fight if need be. Endurance. Preparedness. Being ready for the situation. It makes me think of a Native American warrior or hunter.
     Others connect more cosmic meaning to this stave with association to the World Tree, Yggdrasil. As such Life and Death are again the subject, however on a more spiritual level. As such, one could then meditate with this stave on such topics as reincarnation, precognition, and prediction.
     Some say it is not Yew but Mountain Ash, instead... however I believe it was indeed, the Yew tree used for bows. While the European Mountain Ash / Sorbus aucupari, is said to be as renown for its bark having healing properties, both internal & external... as the Ash / Xanthoxylum species are. I do not know this, as my training is mostly in what we can find here in North America, which includes the Xan. species.

Careful not to confuse eihwaz with ehwaz!

Please note that I used #13 Eihwaz & #14 Perth. Many people will reverse these two stave's order because of the order depicted on the relics from Kylver.

 

 

14. PERTH, perthro, perthu, peord, perd, peordh, perdhro, parthro, pairthro... an apple
The unfinished apple picture.
Has 'p' as in 'please' sound.

     Here we have a partially eaten apple with meaning that... too much of any good thing, turns into a bad thing. And anybody who has ever eaten too many apples, knows what that particular bad thing is. <grin> But this stave speaks of excesses and a warning to guard against such. Though I wonder if it really is an apple and not rather some other fruit of the Northern European regions?
     Some put different meaning to this stave... usually various terms of gambling games... thus with a connotation of the luck of the dice... indeed my meaning can work here too, for we know what happens when one becomes addicted to gambling! I've seen others refer to this as the Vitki Rune... which to me is rather a scary thought if the Vitki is an Adept and is being linked to a stave of gambling! Such brings to my mind, some poor guy throwing his runes and hoping he guesses the right answer, with a mentality of... you're right - you live / you're wrong - you die! Of course, maybe it's the gambling that you will bite into the apple and not hit a worm!

 

15. ALGIZ, algiR (later yr' ), elhaz, eihaz, eiwaz, eolh, elk... defense
Talons of a hunting bird (hawk/eagle) picture.
This is the 'zz' sound of a 'buzzing' bee.

     This is the leg and out-stretched talons of a hunting bird-of-prey... eagle, falcon, hawk. I was told this represents a weapon made of a warclub with the talons attached, on the end. When striking with such, it can rip open your victim quite effectively. Which explains those people, who relate this stave to a sword.
     Also called the Stag's Antler... see how the buck's head is up and alert for danger? Warding off danger or evil, by fierce readiness. Being alert. Thus whatever meaning or symbolism we put here... most will associate with a state of preparedness against outside negativity, such as an attack. One should note that the word elk is actually of English derivation and we should think of the animal known in America as the Moose.

 

16. SOWELU, sowilo, sowilu (later sol' ), sun, saugil, sigil, sigl, sig... sun
The lightning symbol... message from Thor.
The 's' sound of yes.

     "Stop sitting there doing nothing & move your bloody a**!"  Though most others put a different meaning to this stave, such as enlightenment, transformation, and other more spiritual changes... much along the lines of the Tarot key Sun.

LAST STAVE OF SECOND AETT.

 

FIRST STAVE OF THIRD AETT... Tyr's Aett.
     Tyr is a God of Legalities, not of War as some seem to think in their writings. Some also include the Goddess, Zisa of legal matters and justice... but again, this appears to be a modern Wiccan-type of imposing of God/Goddess beliefs.

17. TEIWAZ, Tiwaz, Tyr, Tir, Teiw, Tiw, tiwaR (which became Tyr )Teu... the God of this name.
The spear of this God, which protects honesty & justice.
The soft 't' sound.

     We see the God's war-arrow (some prefer "spear") with meaning of... standing up for your rights in honest manner. Note, not just an arrow, but a war-arrow... this is serious situations then! This is a weapon that protects honesty and justice.... but not in a blind rage and a senseless blood-bath. You don't fight for justice over trivial matters! This isn't two people talking to each other but standing up and coming to blows for just causes... and the bad guy getting his light's punched out. Self-defense. Courage in the face of adversity. Legal Justice. I have further thought of a... prosecuting attorney, who goes after all the villains despite the hard work, etc. Yes, it can be physically violent... but honor plays an important factor here.
     But most importantly... it is the moving of man's stance of  --  defending for himself, to working together in a civilized and cooperative manner for the betterment of all... as opposed to the betterment of the guy, with the most strength and biggest sword.

 

18. BERKANA, berkano, bjarkan, beorc, Birch (a Goddess)... birch tree branch!
The Birch is the first tree to turn green in the Spring. A woman's breasts are featured on this stave.
The soft 'b' sound.

     Fertility; fecundity; new things. Creation bursting forth. It is much along the line of thought of the Lord & Lady throughout the year, where He impregnates Her, grows to strength, then dies only to be reborn again of his wife/mother... a never-ending circle of Life, as the song goes. So here we have a fertile Mother-Goddess type of symbolism... her breasts at the top and bulging tummy beneath.
     It is also said that Birch was/are planted in front of a home's front door as a protection. I thought this interesting so went hunting up my notes on this, the Betula species. Birch leaves can affect and even nullify medications, which means they can interfere with needed nutrient's absorption by the ingesting body, such as the minerals and vitamins the body needs. But too, it can also help to neutralize poisons and toxins, as well. Betula is also found on many Poison Control Center lists because the sap can cause minor skin irritation right up thru more serious rashes. Ingestion of Betula sap can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. All this from a tree considered a good-luck token for the home.

 

Careful not to confuse eihwaz with ehwaz!

19. EHWAZ... a war-horse /// EH... a team of horses
............ ehwaR, ehwas, ihwas, awas, aiwas, iwas, eh, ih, ior... or change the 's' to 'z'.
......Ease of travel/progress. Forward movement. Cooperation.
      The 'eh' sound.

     Here we see... the saddled horse. If we look at either a war horse or a team of horses, we see training and discipline. Think of the famed Lipizzaner Stallions! The driver/rider and the animal(s) work together as a team and partnership. To do otherwise can result in fatal consequences! For if the war horse looses courage under fire, the man is likely to be slain; if the team runs away with its driver, the wagon can wreck and he can be killed.
     Thus understand this is not a passive stave, but one with serious consequences and outcomes counting on the trust and strength of this partnership. But let's take this a step further... in astrology we see Chiron the Centaur giving his influences... part of him human but the other part is animal. Ehwaz is like this too! For we can take this partnership to be the thinking, humanity of a person in partnership with their animal instincts. Reminds me of the Red Skelton character of the Bad Little Boy who says... "If I dewd it, I get a whippin'. I DEWED IT!" Thus we see that temptation can play a part here too when we try to interpret the appearance of our war-horse stave.

 

20. MANNAZ, Mannus, Madhr, madr, Mann, Manna, mannaR... the Adam man
Mannaz was like Adam of the Garden of Eden fame.
The 'm' sound.

     See? His arms are crossed on his chest as he stands facing us. Intelligent fore-thought and guided design. Plans. Methodology. And these attributes mean then not just a man, but men! The cooperation within family, tribe, and town which is needed for the betterment of all. Even today, the Swedish term for "men" is "mannar". Although many will say this stave's meaning includes both sexes, I do not see it that way.

 

21. LAGUZ, lagu, laguR, laukaz, lagus, logr, leek, lake... water
Water... always moving, always changing.
The 'l' sound as in 'la'.

     Even as a lake is gradually filling, so it is gradually draining. Water is the Spirit and the Dreams. The Life Force. Whether it be wishing wells or the great ocean wombs of life; water is held sacred as a rejuvenating emblem. It is the Subconscious and the Dream World. It is mysticism and psychic occurrences. It is the flow of Life itself. By the time this stave has changed over from the laguR to the logr... it also changed meaning from such as lake water to boiling water... which makes me think of either torture or cooking. Tis a puzzlement! The mind picture for me is a fountain... the water shoots up to empty the basin which fills from the water falling down... endlessly. Of course there are other fountains one might consider too.

 

22. INGUZ, Ing, IngwaR, Ingwaz, Ingwuz... the fertility deity, Ing.
The opening leading to the womb.
An 'ng' sound.

SHE controls the inner ways... see Othila #24 --->
     This is the family card with a woman's opening pictured. In this place, the male plants his seed and from which is harvested a child. It is the Family Circle! It is HOME!
     Others see wheels related to this stave. Of meanings of inner contentment, of inner growth, even. But for me to see such, would I see the relaxation after the climax. The peaceful calm, after the storm has passed. However for those who see a God instead of a Goddess... I can not view this stave in such a way. For hollowed holes are always the Goddess. Thus this is pure female, as far as I am concerned... the Yoni, the Creative Force.

 

Please note that I use #23 Dagaz then, #24 Othila. Many people will reverse these two stave's order because of the order depicted on the relics from Kylver.

23. DAGAZ, dagaR, daeg... days
Associated with the morning Dawn, just as the sun creeps over the horizon.
Although the letter 'd', it sounds like 'th'.

     Pictured is a man pulling apart. Enlightenment, either of thought or a spiritual enlightenment. Look at this stave and see the "two hands wresting apart a closed door", pulling the doors apart from the middle... outwards! Expanding! Opening!
     We often see this stave keyworded to Breakthrough, Dawn, even fertility, prosperity, and fruitfulness which thought reminds me of the fecundity of the Tarot Empress key. Anyway, take that thought and you leave behind a dualism of day, to get to... day breaking over the horizon. Thus not a connection to the Sun nor Moon, but of these when they first appear on the horizon.
     What would daybreak mean? The terrible, scary darkness of night is over.
     But what can night be? Certainly the daily darkness we experience but take it further... it can be darkness of mind; ignorance; think... enlightening!
     What happens before fertility of any kind can occur? (NO! not THAT!) But more that something has been removed as an obstacle... you got the money for that grand project, for instance. And thus perhaps your mind will latch onto a matching symbolism, much as a Tarot key comes to mean a certain something to its person.

 

24. OTHILA, othala, othil, othal, odal, odhal, os's, ethel... homeland
Manhood.
A long 'o' sound.

     Just as a woman was shown to symbolize the Home, a man's penis is upraised to show his possession of the Land. HE controls the outer ways... see Inguz #22.
     Ironically, this is seen as the symbol of a man plowing with a team of oxen but what most people miss is that he is plowing alright, but not exactly a field! He is staking his claim... his ownership of that which is his... be it of a recent ownership or that handed down to him through the generations. He is saying - MINE!
     I should also add that meaning of this stave include inherited family-land from the various othal terms and also delta when changed over to the oss word.

LAST STAVE OF SECOND AETT.


The Younger Futhark changes name's and includes 16 staves from the Elder Futhark, usually in this order... 1. fe, 2. ur, 3. thurs, 4. ass, 5. reidh, 6. kaun, 9. hagall, 10. naudhr, 11. iss, 12. ar, 16. sol, 17. Tyr, 18. bjarkan, 20. madhr, 21. logr, 13. yr.

 

Anglo-Saxon Futhark then is a more expanded alphabet version which includes all of the 24 staves of the Elder Futhark with these name changes... feoh, ur, thorn, os, rad, cen, gyfu, wynn, haegl, nyd, is, ger, eoh, peordh, eolh, sigil, tir, beorc, eh, mann, lagu, Ing, daeg, ethel.
     At first they just added 4 more staves to the Elder alphabet, for a 28 stave set...

25. Ac - the Sacred Oak Tree. I often have wondered if this shouldn't be Elm.
Sounds like a soft  'uk'... related to the word to be 'oak'. This would be feminine. Thus I take the meaning as the basic Feminine of all things... mother, nurturing, birthing. Ac is our biblical "Eve" mother of all of us. She is the receptive and the  receiver.

Ash & Elm (Ask & Embla) : were the man and women made from two trees by Bor. Bor's son Odin then gave them their Spirits and the life force. Son Vili, gave them discernment and understanding with the ability to move. And then son Ve' gave them names and clothing. From these people came all those humans to live in the land of Midgard.

26. Aesc - Ash tree... primal human material..
Sounds like a short 'a'. This would be masculine. I make him equal partner of Ac, thus he is the basic Masuline of all things... father, protecting, hunter and our "Adam", father of all of us. He is the projective and the sender.

 

27. Yr - gold decorations... primal Being.
Sounds like 'un'.
Related to Freyja... Goddess of fertility who cries gold tears.
As the Primal Being, Yr is a combination of man and woman, neither one or the other but both at the same time. Some would argue that the "gold decorations" equate to wings and/or halo, and thus a symbol of a "Supreme Being" above mere human-kind. I will say this, for myself and my own experimentations... Yr comes up when my Spirit Guide is most trying to send me a message. As well as when a major psychic impression is about to hit me.

 

28. Ior - serpent... Jörmungandr, the Midgard-snake (serpent, dragon).
Sounds like 'io'.
Now the children of god Loki and giantess Angrboša (Angerboda), were the Fenris Wolf (male) and the Midgard-snake (female). The Midgard-snake rests on the ocean floor where Odin banished her to, so huge that she encircles the whole world. Prediction has it that Jörmungandr will kill Thor at the end of the world battle (Ragnarök).
     For me then, this stave predicts of a "not nice" woman, or not nice women traits such as slanderous gossip. A woman who will stab you in the back while smiling to your face. The depiction reminds me not of a "star" but of a disapproving woman's tight, pursed lips.
 

The alphabet then goes on to add the following 5 staves one-at-a-time, for an eventual total of a 33 English/Scottish-region stave set... The Northumbrian Futhark.

 

29. Ear - earth grave... ritual burial.
Sounds like either 'ao' or 'eo'.
Related to Eir... Healing Goddess of Medicine.
Earth : grounding and steady; stable and nurturing. Sometimes we have to "go hermit" and find a quiet place to sort out our thoughts and feelings. This stave tells us it is time for this "retreat".

 

30. Cweorth - fire twirls... ritual bonfire.
Sounds like 'ao' or 'oe' sounds.
Fire : cleans away; soothes and relaxes your mind and cares. Who hasn't stared into a fire or flame, and felt their cares drop away? But this stave warns us that we can't jsut sit down and relax... we have to burn away the old and make room for the new. Cweaorth tells us, destroy the old completely and leave it in ashes beofre you build fresh.

 

31. Calc - chalk or cup... ritual container.
Sounds like a 'k' sound.
Water : life sustaining and life giving; intuition; cleansing of both body and spirit. First you bless the water either in the cup or before filling the cup, then drinking it. So you are taking into your body something that is blessed. This stave is about that spiritual filling of Self... it doesn't just happen by itself, you have to take an action like "drinking", to take it into you.

 

32. Stan - stone... altar stone.
Sounds like 'st'.
Faith : life is worthless in my opinion, without faith in a  Supreme Being. After-all, we live only because of our divine spark from a  Supreme Being, however we might see such. Stan is a time of prayer and meditation to that  Supreme Being. It is about going before your Divine and kneeling; about supplicating yourself before the Supreme Being that you worship.

 

33. Gar - spear... Odin's spear.
Sounds like 'g'.
We are speaking of a weapon of the supreme being in Norse mythology; thus do we have what I consider the greatest weapon of "God". Our Conscious!  I believe that we have a spark of the divine from a Supreme Being and that it takes the form of our Conscious and we hear it via the still, small voice that tells us right from wrong. Thus Gar, for me, is that niggling feeling to do or not do soemthing... that little voice within that guides us when we listen.

 

The alphabet then goes even further...  in adding more staves to the Northumbrian Futhark. (Unless you are of the belief that these are actually older, more original staves.) Usually you see mention of these amongst users rather than in books. These are come from later Germanic influences.

 

34. Wolfsangel : the "wolf hook" originated in Germany and is also called a "Doppelhaken" or "Donnerkeil". Used upright it is a "thunderbolt" but laid on its side it is a "werewolf". It is a protective stave meant to ward off the "unnatural".
     Sources say there is question about it being a Mason's mark but it is also found in heraldic use. Unfortunately, it is this symbol adjusted and used to represent the Nazi Swastika.  The Wolfsangel was influenced by stave  #13. Eihwaz... the Yew-wood bow, sender of the messenger of Death & Destruction. A person/situation ready prepared to fight if they have to.

 

35. Erda (earth) : a garden, the Earth Mother. This stave obviously comes from stave #24. Othila, a man's upright penis. Thus here we see a man in an "entered" position of the woman. Fertility and sexuality taking place. While some see this a uniting of people after a quarrel, I see it as people connecting with the fertility of the Earth and Pagan spring rituals. It is the promise of the good things to come.

 

36. Ul : a turning point, change.  It came out of stave #2. Uraz, the wild Auroch (type of wild ox). The information I finally found on this stave was that it is a "turning point" in one's personal fortunes. For me then, the pointed down-head of Uraz who is ready to charge you, is now turning aside from attacking you. It is a moment of opportunity if you have the courage to "seize the moment".

 

37. Ziu : the thunderbolt of  #17. Tiawaz, Tyr, or as spelled here, Ziu. Whereaas Tiawz is a spear or arrow, Ziu is a thunderbolt with the same purpose... to protect honesty and justice. You are looking at the "police force" of society with these two staves.

 

38. Sol : this Sun Disc entity is the Goddess Sol!
      This is the benevolence of a warm sun on the earth to grow crops well. It is also the laying out in the sun, in peaceful thought or healing power.  Where at #11. Isa, the ice "that which will not bend - will break", cracks! Now we see that bending at Sol, "warmth". We can even see inference of Spring after Winter ice breaks up and this might even include Spring fertility, then.
      On the other hand if you are like me as a child loving to blow bubbles, you recognize this shape as a little "bubble wand"... as such, experimentation with this stave often gives me an interpretation that -- "when you least expect it, the topic at hand will "pop" and be gone in an instant." Thus this is a good example of how the individual can influence a stave's interpretation to their own experiences.

 

I was not going to include this even later addition but feel I must to balance #38. Sol --

#39. Wendhorn, the phases of the Moon. While several staves could be its source, I believe it came from #10 Nauthiz, the needy woman with her arms outstretched. Where Nauthiz speaks of a very desperate situation, Wendhorn is pure Lady Moon, Feminine Magick. Her powers come and go as the moon itself waxes and wanes. The tides come in and go out at Her whim. She is change. She tells us when to plant our crops. Of course, you may prefer the male Moon or even switch sexes of both 38 & 39 to modern Sun God & Moon Goddess, however these symbols come to work best for you.

 

Finally we get to that modern addition that really bothers me, The Blank Rune --

Blank, Wan (emptiness), Odin, Unknowable, Void, Wyrd.

     Use of a blank rune is quite controversial with many of us seeing this new addition as a catch for that person who began touting it. That is, something to make his sets appear unique. Actually it worked, because then others came along to copy the idea and thus we come to the "Wyrd Rune", also called the "Blank Rune". It does seem to be a dumb idea, for after-all if one is meant to get a blank meaning, one would simply have their runes turn up their backs when one made a casting of them. I've seen several conversations where the people seemed to feel this was just Tarot, trespassing into Rune usage... something I don't quite see but who knows?
     Depending on who you read, this empty stave stands for... the great unknown. The unknowable Void. A time when caution should be exercised and care taken as we step carefully into the future. Fate.
     Or an empty to use, when the dog eats one of your other pieces!


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