On the Gothic monument stone known as the Kylver Stone we find the oldest complete rune-row. The runes of the Gothic rune-row were used mainly for religious dedications. Unfortunately not a whole lot is known about their meanings because unlike other rune sets there is no Gothic Rune Poem.
Around the middle of the 4th century Bishop Ulfila created a new alphabet, based on the Elder Futhark, to write Christian material in the Gothic language. For the names of the runes below I have listed the name Ulfila had given the runes as well as the Gothic name for the rune.
Stands for: Well being
Casting meaning: This is a rune of prosperity, well-being, and fruitfulness. It represents the Mother Goddess as preserver and nurturer as well as the mythical cow Audhumla. It symbolizes the abundance gained through power, as well as the power itself.
Stands for: Strength
Casting meaning: The rune Urus represents Urd, one of the three Norns, or fates, in Norse mythology. It denotes primal strength and the power of creativity.
Stands for: Thorn
Casting meaning: Thauris is a rune of defense, like the thorn it can resist an attack without a fight. The rune Thyth represents the power of enclosure and has the strength to breakdown disorder and chaos.
Sound: “a” as in “car”
Stands for: Human decent from divine beings
Casting meaning: Ansus is a god rune showing us that humans are descendents of the gods. Aza is a rune that calls upon the divine beings and holds the power of creativity.
Stands for: Motion
Casting meaning: Raida simply means motion and it’s Gothic representation Reda adds to it the feminine power of the Mother Goddess.
Sound: “k”, “c” as in “cake”
Stands for: Knowledge
Casting meaning: The rune Kusma symbolizes insight, learning, knowledge, wisdom and enlightenment. Chosma shows us the duality between things such as the thin border between madness and genius.
Sound: “g” as in “gift”
Stands for: The act of giving
Casting meaning: Giba and Gewa, like the Elder Futhark rune Gebo, stands for the gift given between two people as well as the act of giving and the bond that such a gift creates.
Stands for: Joy
Casting meaning: The last rune of the first ætt represents joy, harmony and a peaceful state of mind in a chaotic world.
Stands for: Hailstone
Casting meaning: Like a hailstone, the rune Hagl/Haal represents restrictions and restraints. But like a hailstone melting, Hagl/Haal allows for the transformation form something so restricting to something more fluid and easy going.
Stands for: Need
Casting meaning: This rune denotes the absence or scarcity of something as well as symbolizing a necessity or need. The Gothic rune of Noics also signifies the letter of justice.
Sound: “i” as in “piece”
Stands for: Icicle
Casting meaning: his rune represents an icicle symbolizing unchanging existence.
Sound: “y”, “j” as in “Frejya”
Stands for: Season (or Year)
Casting meaning: Like the changing from season to season or from one year to the next, this rune represents the characters of the cycles found in nature. It is a completion at the proper time with the chance for new beginnings.
Sound: “e” as in “egg”
Stands for: Staff cut from a Yew Tree
Casting meaning: Aihs represents a double-ended staff of life and death cut from a yew tree. Waer symbolizes sacrifice.
Stands for: A Pot (or a Womb)
Casting meaning: The rune Pairthra represents a pot which in turn symbolizes a womb. The Gothic representation of this rune stands for an unexpected resolution to difficult situations.
Stands for: Power (of the elk)
Casting meaning: The rune Algs represents the power that is found in an elk. The Gothic rune of Ezec represents the fifteen starts of traditional European astronomy.
Sound: “ss” as in “kiss”
Stands for: Light overtaking darkness
Casting meaning: The runes of Saúil and Sugil stand for the power of the sun overtaking darkness. The Greek roots of Saúil referring to both the sun and the moon.
Stands for: Victory
Casting meaning: This rune symbolizes victory, goals attained, and earthly strength though male power.
Stands for: Birth (or Regeneration)
Casting meaning: This rune represents the power of woman, birth and regeneration. It also represents the birch tree (or twig) which is the favored wood used for runic divination because it is considered pure and absent of harmful influences.
Sound: “e” as in “egg”
Stands for: Horse
Casting meaning: Egeis represents the power and status of a horse. It was said that the gods used horses in divination, shamanism and royal pageantries. The rune Eyz signifies the aether, the medium prevading cosmos.
Stands for: Basic human qualities
Casting meaning: This rune represents the basic qualities that are found in all humans such as support, social abilities, happiness and cooperation.
Stands for: Water
Casting meaning: As water stimulates the growth of plant life the Lagus/Laaz rune stimulates growth in all of us. It also represents the fluidity and easygoing nature that we all strive to obtain.
Sound: “ng” as in “song”
Stands for: Generative power
Casting meaning: This rune symbolizes the potential power that we must learn to channel before we unleash it on the world. A generative power that is released in a single burst.
Stands for: Day
Casting meaning: The rune that stands for “day” is one that can be used for the protection of entrances. In a reading you may take this rune to mean a protection from new people or situations that enter your life or your present situation.
Sound: “o” as in “cold”
Stands for: Inherited land/property
Casting meaning: Like similar runes that represent land in its many forms this rune is one of a wealth that is passed on to us from our family. Like family knowledge or a family secret it is something we should carefully watch and guard over.
Sound: “qu” as in “quick”
Stands for: Flames of a fire
Casting meaning: Although it is part of the third Gothic ætt the rune Quairtra encapsulates all the other runes in this set. It symbolically represents the flames of a fire as the transform things from one form to another cleansing them as it changes their form.
If you’ve had time to look at the different type of rune sets then you may be curious about is just what those runes stand for. As the runes were developed and as they transformed over time they came to stand for more than just sounds. They held magickal properties to people who used the runes for casting. They were still being used for writing so they held a phonetic sound as well. The name of each rune held a certain meaning and could stand for an item or an idea. For each different set below you will get to see an image of each rune, the phonetic value, what the rune stood for and also it’s meaning for casting purposes.
Anglo-Saxon and Frisian Runes – consists of the Elder Futhark Runes plus 5 more runes
Armanen Runes – similar to other runes in Scandinavia but were created by Guido List (1848-1919)
Elder Futhark Runes – sometimes called the German or Viking Futhark
Gothic Runes – the type of runes that are found on the Kylver Stone
Medieval Runes of Healing and Magick – 8 runes that were not used for writing but for magickal and healing purposes during the Middle Ages
Northumbrian Runes – consists of the Anglo-Saxon Runes plus 4 more runes
Younger Futhork Runes – includes the Danish and Swedish-Norse Futhark
It’s important to note that the names of the runes that you will find on other sites and in books may be different than the ones that you see on the pages for this site. For example the Elder Futhark rune “Kenaz” has at least five different names (or spellings) that I can think of off the top of my head. What I have done here is to use the names which I have used in my runic journal since I started it. You may also find that the images in a few books or other sites may be a little different as well. I took the most common images that I found in all of my rune books and used those in hopes that if you further your study on the runes that you may encounter the images I have used.
Sets in bold will be covered here when I get the time.