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Gothic Runes – Rune Meanings

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.

Faihu/Fe

Faihu/Fe

Sound: “f”
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.


Urus/Uruz

Urus/Uruz

Sound: “u”
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.


Thauris/Thyth

Thauris/Thyth

Sound: “th”
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.


Ansus/Aza

Ansus/Aza

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.


Raida/Reda

Raida/Reda

Sound: “r”
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.


Kusma/Chosma

Kusma/Chosma

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.


Giba/Gewa

Giba/Gewa

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.


Winja/Winne

Winja/Winne

Sound: “w”
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.


Hagl/Haal

Hagl/Haal

Sound: “h”
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.


Nauths/Noics

Nauths/Noics

Sound: “n”
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.


Eis/Iiz

Eis/Iiz

Sound: “i” as in “piece”
Stands for: Icicle
Casting meaning: his rune represents an icicle symbolizing unchanging existence.


Jer/Gaar

Jer/Gaar

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.


Aihs/Waer

Aihs/Waer

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.


Pairthra/Pertra

Pairthra/Pertra

Sound: “p”
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.


Algs/Ezec

Algs/Ezec

Sound: “z”
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.


Saúil/Sugil

Saúil/Sugil

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.


Teiws/Tyz

Teiws/Tyz

Sound: “t”
Stands for: Victory
Casting meaning: This rune symbolizes victory, goals attained, and earthly strength though male power.


Baírkana/Bern

Baírkana/Bern

Sound: “b”
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.


Egeis/Eyz

Egeis/Eyz

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.


Mannaz/Manna

Mannaz/Manna

Sound: “m”
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.


Lagus/Laaz

Lagus/Laaz

Sound: “l”
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.


Iggws/Enguz

Iggws/Enguz

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.


Dags/Daz

Dags/Daz

Sound: “d”
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.


Othal/Utal

Othal/Utal

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.


Quairtra

Quairtra

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.


Northumbrian Runes – Rune Meanings

The Northumbrian runes are an extension of the Anglo-Saxon runes, which in turn are an extension of the Elder Futhark rune set. The Northumbrian runes add 4 more runes to the Anglo-Saxon set making the total of 33 runes. Again due to the set up of the Anglo-Saxon runes, you may see this set also being referred to as the Northumbrian Futhork.

Cweorth

Cweorth

Sound: “q”
Stands for: Flames of a fire
Casting meaning: This rune represents a process of transformation through fire. The spirit of a body from a person on a funeral pyre is liberated by fire. Cweorth refers to the sacredness of the hearth and ritual cleansing by fire.


Calc

Calc

Sound: “k”
Stands for: Offering Cup
Casting meaning: Calc denotes the death of the individual, however it is not seen as a death rune. Like Ear, Calc indicates the natural ending or conclusion of a process. Do not view this ending as a termination, but as the end of an old era resulting in a spiritual transformation.


Stan

Stan

Sound: “st”
Stands for: Stone
Casting meaning: Stan represents an obstruction in our path, like a boulder at the entrance to a cave. It also represents the stone playing pieces used in board games. Symbolically it represents a link between heavenly bodies and earthly beings. This rune can be used to obstruct and turn back any opposition in our lives.


Gar

Gar

Sound: “g” as in “gap”
Stands for: Spear (specifically Gungnir – Odin’s Spear)
Casting meaning: The Gar rune is a special one. Unlike the previous 32 runes in the Northumbrian set, Gar does not belong to an ætt. However, this rune is said to be the center point of all the other runes in this set. It is also said to contain all the other runes in itself, making it a powerful and useful rune.


Runes of the Hávamál

I’m no longer sure where I found the information that I’m about to present to you. It was a while back when I found it on some web page and took a closer look at the information for myself. In the Hávamál, found in the Elder Edda (or Poetic Edda) there is a section where Odin talks about the runes that he has discovered and their uses. The information below talks about the eighteen charms, their intent and the primary and supporting runes of the elder futhark in relation to that story. We can’t say for certain if the material below is accurate or not, but it is interesting enough that I think it’s worth putting on this site.

First Charm

I know spells – no king’s wife can say – and no man has mastered; – one is called “Help” – because it can comfort – the sick and careworn, – relieve all sorrows.

Intent: Help in sorrow or distress
Primary rune: Fehu
Supporting runes: Inguz, Laguz

Second Charm

I know another – which all men need – who hope to be healers.

Intent: Healing
Primary rune: Uruz
Supporting runes: Jera, Sowulo

Third Charm

I know a third – if I should need – to fetter any foe; – it blunts the edge – of my enemy’s sword, – neither wiles nor weapons work.

Intent: Fettering foes
Primary rune: Thurisaz
Supporting runes: Isa, Naudhiz

Fourth Charm

I know a fourth: – if I should find myself – fettered hand and foot, – I shout the spell – that sets me free, – bonds break from my feet, – nothing holds my hands.

Intent: Release fetters
Primary rune: Ansuz
Supporting runes: Fehu, Inguz

Fifth Charm

I know a fifth: – in battle’s fury – if someone flings a spear, – it speeds not so fast – but that I can stop it – I only have to see it.

Intent: Ability to stop a dart (spear)
Primary rune: Raidho
Supporting runes: Isa, Kenaz

Sixth Charm

I know a sixth: – if someone would harm me – by writing runes on a tree root, – the man who wished – I would not come to woe – will meet misfortune, not I.

Intent: Return curse to sender
Primary rune: Hagalaz
Supporting runes: Jera, Raidho

Seventh Charm

I know a seventh: – if I see flames – high around a hall, – no matter how far – the fire has spread – my spell can stop it.

Intent: To put out a fire
Primary rune: Isa
Supporting runes: Laguz, Naudhiz

Eighth Charm

I know an eighth – which no one on earth – could fail to find useful: – when hatred waxes – among warriors – the spell will soothe them.

Intent: Ability to bring about reconciliation
Primary rune: Gebo
Supporting runes: Mannaz, Wunjo

Ninth Charm

I know a ninth: – if I ever need – to save my ship in a storm, – it will quiet the wind – and calm the waves, – soothing the sea.

Intent: Control sea winds
Primary rune: Gebo
Supporting runes: Ansuz, Raidho

Tenth Charm

I know a tenth: – any time I see – witches sailing the sky – the spell I sing – sends them off their course; – when they lose their skins – they fail to find their homes.

Intent: To confuse a spell sender
Primary rune: Dagaz
Supporting runes: Ehwaz, Laguz

Eleventh Charm

I know an eleventh: – if I lead to war – good and faithful friends, – under a shield I shout – the spell that speeds them – well they fare in the fight, – well they fare from the fight, – wherever they go they fare well.

Intent: Protecting friends in battle
Primary rune: Sowulo
Supporting runes: Elhaz, Ansuz

Twelfth Charm

I know a twelfth: – if up in a tree – I see a corpse hanging high, – the mighty runes – I write and color – make the man come down – to talk with me.

Intent: Necromancy
Primary rune: Hagalaz
Supporting runes: Teiwaz, Kenaz

Thirteenth Charm

I know a thirteenth: – if I pour water – over a youth, – he will not fall – in any fight, – swords will not slay him.

Intent: Protecting a young warrior with water
Primary rune: Gebo
Supporting runes: Inguz, Laguz, Elhaz

Fourteenth Charm

I know a fourteenth, Рas men will find Рwhen I tell them the tales of the gods: РI know all about Рthe elves and the ̠sir Рfew fools can say as much.

Intent: Knowledge of all Gods and elves
Primary rune: Eihwaz
Supporting runes: Ansuz, Mannaz

Fifteenth Charm

I know a fifteenth – that the dwarf Thjodrorir – chanted at Delling’s door: – power to the Æsir, – triumph to the elves, – understanding to Odin.

Intent: Gives power to the Æsir, prowess to the elves and foresight to Odin
Primary rune: Sowulo
Supporting runes: Raidho, Kenaz

Sixteenth Charm

I know a sixteenth: – if I say that spell – any girl soon grants my desires; – I win the heart – of the white-armed maiden, – turn her thoughts where I will.

Intent: To attract a lover
Primary rune: Kenaz
Supporting runes: Jera, Inguz

Seventeenth Charm

I know a seventeenth, – and with that spell – no maiden will forsake me.

Intent: To keep romance in a marriage
Primary rune: Gebo
Supporting runes: Inguz, Ehwaz

Eighteenth Charm

I know and eighteenth – which I never tell – a maiden or any man’s wife – the best of charms – if you can chant it; – this is the last of my lay – unless to a lady – who lies in my arms, – or I’ll sing it to my sister.

Intent: Union of male and female
Primary rune: To be discovered by the reader
Supporting runes: To be discovered by the reader

Egil’s Saga

In Egil’s Saga we come across quite a few references to the runes and even some references that could possibly be the use of the runes for casting lots. While it’s not positive that the casting of lots was done with runes I have chosen to include such passages so that those viewing this site can find these references in the work and decide for themselves. In all actuality the casting of lots was probably done with sticks or other materials notched with lines or numbers but you can decide that for yourselves when you read the passages.

When reading Egil’s Saga we come to find that Egil Skallagrimsson was not only a powerful warrior, poet and farmer but also very accomplished in the use of runes. At one point he was told about a young woman who had been confined to bed due to a serious sickness. When Egil is brought to this woman he comes to find a whalebone with runes carved on them in her bed. The runes on this whalebone were carved as healing runes by someone not trained properly in rune carving and thus was the reason that the young woman was not getting well but becoming more sick day-by-day. Egil steps in and cuts new runes that help the woman start on her road to recovery. There are other great encounters of the runes in this story so let’s take a look at them so we can better understand the uses and usefulness of the runes.

Chapter 44

Egil took out his knife and stabbed the palm of his hand with it, then took the drinking-horn, carved runes on it and smeared them with blood. He spoke a verse:

I carve runes on this horn,
redden words with my blood,
I choose words for the trees1
of the wild beast’s ear-roots;2
drink as we wish this mead
brought by merry servants,
let us find out how we fare
from the ale that Bard blessed.

We cannot say for sure which runes were carved on Egil’s drinking-horn because we do not know which set of runes Egil was familiar with. If it were the elder futhark we might assume that “trees” might mean Elhaz which refers to the elk and whose runic shape appears to look like the elk’s horns. Or we might even assume that it could be the rune Uruz, which stands for the auroch (wild ox) whose large horn may even have been the source for such a drinking horn. However the spread and shape of the elk’s horns would look more like a tree than the horns of an auroch. Also the line that contains “the wild beast’s ear-roots” is more likely to refer to Uruz and we would probably not see a double reference to the same rune in two lines of Egil’s verse. So assuming that the elder futhark runes were used by Egil, it would be safe to say that both Elhaz and Uruz would have been carved on the drinking horn to protect Egil from any sort of poison.

The reason we see Egil cut his own hand and cover the runes he had just carved with blood was a way thought to invoke the power of the runes. Because of this we also see why many runes are colored or associated with red. Red paint, ink or other material would represent blood and help release the power and magick of the runes that we are using.

Chapter 58

Then he thrust the pole into a cleft in the rock and left it to stand there. He turned the head towards the land and carved the whole invocation in runes on the pole.

The head on the pole in this case is the head of a horse. Egil had an encounter with Prince Rognvald, son of King Erik and Queen Gunnhild, as he and his men were approaching Herdla. Prince Rognvald and his crew went to spy on Egil, but when Egil spotted the warship that Prince Rognvald and his twelve crew members were in he steered his ship and rammed the warship. Jumping on board Egil told his crew not to let anyone escape alive and Prince Rognvald and his twelve crew members were killed. After the battle Egil and his companions raided Herdla plundering all the valuables they could find. They then prepared to set sail to make their escape, but before they could Egil ran back inland took a hazel pole and a horse head and cursed King Erik and Queen Gunnhild.

The idea here is that Egil was going to use the power and magick of the runes to make sure that his curse on the king and queen would work. An oral curse is one thing but to add the intensity of the runes would make this curse visible and known to all that did not hear him when he said it.

Chapter 73

‘We had some runes carved,’ said Thorfinn. ‘The son of a farmer who lives close by did it, and since she’s been much worse. Do you know any remedy, Egil?’
Egil said, ‘It might not do any harm if I try something.’

When Egil had eaten his fill he went to where the woman was lying and spoke to her. He ordered them to lift her out of bed and place clean sheets underneath her, and this was done. Then he examined the bed she had been lying in, and found a whalebone with runes carved on it. After reading the runes, Egil shaved them off and scraped them into the fire. He burned the whalebone and had her bedclothes aired. Then Egil spoke a verse:

No man should carve runes
unless he can read them well;
many a man go astray
around those dark letters.
On the whalebone I saw
ten secret letters carved,
from them the linden tree3
took her long harm.

Egil cut some runes and placed them under the pillow of the bed where she was lying. She felt as if she were waking from a deep sleep, and she said she was well again, but still very weak.

Here we see a situation of misused runes. Thorfinn’s daughter, Helga, had been sick and some farmer’s son had carved, what he thought, were healing runes on a whalebone to help her get well. However when Egil inspected the runes carved on the bone he noticed that they were causing her more harm than good. To get rid of the old runes Egil scrapes them off into the fire and burns the rest of the bone. He then cuts the proper new runes and places them under Helga’s pillow in her bed.

Scraping off the runes on the whalebone was a necessary start to help Helga get better. The reason that Egil burns them was to make sure that the power of the runes was no longer there. If he had simply scraped the runes off the chips of the bone would still be in the room. Burning the bone converts the bone into another material – from a solid to a gas if you will. This releases the power of the bad healing runes allowing Egil to cut the proper healing runes. Egil also speaks about how no man should carve runes unless he can read (understand) them well. This is a general warning that if the correct runes are not used in a certain situation that they can have a different result than what we intended.

Chapter 77

The man who had carved the runes for Helga lived close by. It transpired that he had asked for her hand in marriage, but Thorfinn had refused him. Then the farmer’s son had tried to seduce her, but she did not want him. After that he pretended to carve love runes to her, but did not know how to, and what he carved had caused sickness instead.

This is the chapter where we find out why Helga, Thorfinn’s daughter, became sick in the first place. The farmer’s son was in love with Helga and when all other ways had failed him he resorted to carving runes in order to make her fall in love with him. However since he was not skilled in the runes he ended up carving runes that made her ill.

Chapter 79

Then Thorgerd said, ‘What will we do now? Our plan has failed. Now I want us to stay alive, father, long enough for you to compose a poem in Bodvar’s memory and I will carve it on a rune-stick. Then we can die if we want to.

In this chapter we see Egil’s daughter, Thorgerd, trying to get Egil’s spirits up. Egil’s son, Bovar, had died and Egil had retreated to his bedchambers in hopes that his life would not continue much longer. However, Thorgerd comes to his room and tells him that she hopes that Egil will make a verse in Bodvar’s memory so that she can carve it into a rune-stick. The thought of doing such a thing was enough to pull Egil out of bed and get him back on his feet. He proceeds to write twenty-five stanza verse in memory of his son.

In this saga this is the one time we see the use of the runes simply as a writing system. The runes in all the other chapters are used as powerful symbols for magick or curses. The reference to the runes in chapter 58 might possibly have been used in the same manner, but it’s not clear. The reason I say that is because the curse that Egil sets on King Erik and Queen Gunnhild is rather long and if Egil and his crew were trying to escape odds are that he would not take the time to carve the whole curse on the pole. More likely he would have carved a few runes that would set such a curse making sure that there are enough runes carved to make it clear, to anyone who saw the pole, just what the curse was intended to do.

Casting Lots

I had mentioned that Egil’s Saga had also contained the act of casting lots. The following chapters and quotes are where this is mentioned. Feel free to have a look at them and decide for yourselves if these “lots” might have been runic symbols or not. I will not explain the situations in which the quotes take place in the story since that has no bearing on whether or not the “lots” could be runic symbols or not.

Chapter 7 – According to custom they cast lots every evening to decide which pairs would sit together and share the drinking horns.

Chapter 48 – Before the time came to put away the tables, the earl said that they should cast lots to pair off the men and women who would drink together, as far as numbers allowed, and the remainder would drink by themselves. They all cast their lots into a cloth and the earl picked them out.

As you can see the casting of the lots could or could not be rune symbols. On the one hand they could simply be dice as they would not be too uncommon at such a time. However in chapter 48 we see that they cast these lots onto a cloth, a practice that would not make sense for throwing dice, but would make sense for casting the runes. There is a third possibility that the lots were neither dice nor runes but some other form that would allow you to pair a lager group of people up.

Elder Futhark – Rune Meanings

The Elder Futhark consists of 24 runes divided into three groups of eight, known as an ætt (singular of ættir), which are said to be ruled over by both a god and goddess. The first ætt is ruled over by Frey and Freyja, the deities of fertility. The second ætt is ruled over by Heimdall and Mordgud, and the third and final ætt is ruled over by Tîwaz and Zisa.

I have added to this page the color associations for each rune. The first color will be the color that I have assigned to the rune and the one in parentheses is the color assigned by the author D. Jason Cooper in his book Esoteric Rune Magic. If there is are no parentheses for a second color that simply means that my color choice is the same as Mr. Cooper’s.

Fehu

Fehu

Sound: “f”
Stands for: Cattle
Color: Green (Brown)
Casting meaning: Fehu is a rune of power and control. It represents new beginnings and “movable” wealth such as money and credit. It is a rune that gives us the power we need to obtain wealth as well as the power we need to hold on to it.


Uruz

Uruz

Sound: “oo”
Stands for: Auroch (like a wild ox)
Color: Orange (Dark Green)
Casting meaning: Uruz is also a rune of power, but unlike Fehu, it’s a power that we can neither own nor control. In a casting it can mean that personal success is near. For charms and talismans use Uruz for its healing powers.


Thurisaz

Thurisaz

Sound: “th”
Stands for: Thorn (or Giant)
Color: White
Casting meaning: This rune represents the ability we have to resist unwanted conflicts in a passive manner. It is a rune of protection and can tell us of a possible change that would have otherwise come without warning. You can use the protection aspect of Thurisaz as a defense against adversaries.


Ansuz

Ansuz

Sound: “aa” as in “aah”
Stands for: Mouth (or Divine Breath)
Color: Purple
Casting meaning: Ansuz is a rune that symbolizes stability and shows us order. It is also a rune that indicates intellectual activities and directly represents the divine breath of all life and creation.


Raidho

Raidho

Sound: “r”
Stands for: Wheel, Cartwheel (or Riding)
Color: Blue (Black)
Casting meaning: This rune allows us to focus our energy so that we may obtain our goals. However to do so effectively we must be “in the right place at the right time.”


Kenaz

Kenaz

Sound: “k”
Stands for: Torch
Color: Yellow
Casting meaning: Kenaz is a rune of knowledge, understanding, learning and teaching. It allows us to view situations with more clarity than we normally would.


Gebo

Gebo

Sound: “g” as in “gift”
Stands for: Gift
Color: Gold & Silver (Red)
Casting meaning: Gebo represents the honor and connection that is created between people when they exchange gifts. The connection and honor is similar to the connection and honor that a person has with the gods for giving them life.


Wunjo

Wunjo

Sound: “w”, “v”
Stands for: Joy
Color: Pink (Blue)
Casting meaning: This rune shows us the balance between all things even when in a chaotic world. It is also a rune of fellowship, common goals and well being to all things. If you come across this rune in a reading you can expect good news to come your way.


Hagalaz

Hagalaz

Sound: “h”
Stands for: Hail, Hailstone
Color: Blue (White)
Casting meaning: Representing a hailstone we can expect time and situations to be constricting if Hagalaz turns up in a reading. But much like a hailstone will eventually turn to water, which flows smoothly, these situations and times will eventually flow smoothly for us.


Naudhiz

Naudhiz

Sound: “n”
Stands for: Necessity (or Need)
Color: Black (Blue)
Casting meaning: This rune represents how our need or want of something can put a restriction on us. It restricts our possibilities but also contains the power we need to break free from those restrictions.


Isa

Isa

Sound: “i”, “ee” as in “east”
Stands for: Ice
Color: Brown (Black)
Casting meaning: Like an icicle formed at the start of winter, with this rune we can only wait until the warmth of the sun allows us to be free from a constricting form. Isa represents a halt in activity until a change is made.


Jera

Jera

Sound: “j” like the “y” in “year”
Stands for: Harvest (or Year or Season)
Color: Brown
Casting meaning: Jera is a rune that represents the cycle of life. With this rune we see that we must go with the flow of nature to obtain the goals we want.


Eihwaz

Eihwaz

Sound: “eo”, “æ”
Stands for: Yew Tree
Color: White (Green)
Casting meaning: Eihwaz is a rune that can be used as a magical protector and facilitator. It shows us that in the event of an ending situation we find the start of a new situation.


Perdhro

Perdhro

Sound: “p”
Stands for: Dice Cup (there are many variations)
Color: Blue (Red)
Casting meaning: Perdhro reminds us of the uncertainties in life and represents freewill and the connection of the restrictions we have due to our circumstances. It is viewed as a rune of memory and problem solving.


Elhaz

Elhaz

Sound: “zz” as in “buzz”
Stands for: Elk (or Protection)
Color: Black (Purple)
Casting meaning: This is a rune of great restraint power, defense and protection. Use this rune in charms and talismans to protect yourself as well as your property.


Sowulo

Sowulo

Sound: “s”
Stands for: Sun
Color: Yellow
Casting meaning: With the help of this rune we tend to be able to see things more clearly. Like the sun sheds light on dark times, with Sowulo we too can find the light during dark times.


Teiwaz

Teiwaz

Sound: “t”
Stands for: Creator
Color: Green (Red)
Casting meaning: Teiwaz can promise us success in our actions but this time without personal sacrifice. It also means success in “legal” matters but only if we were in the right to begin with.


Berkana

Berkana

Sound: “b”
Stands for: Birch Tree (or Birch Twig)
Color: White (Blue)
Casting meaning: Like the birch tree coming to life from a seed planted in the earth, Berkana represents a new beginning and is also a powerful birth rune.


Ehwaz

Ehwaz

Sound: “e” as in “every”
Stands for: Horse
Color: Red (White)
Casting meaning: Ehwaz reminds us that in order for success there must be a natural flow in the task at hand. With this rune to give us power as well as it making use of our good intentions we can surely achieve such success.


Mannaz

Mannaz

Sound: “m”
Stands for: Man (as in human, not gender)
Color: Blue (Purple)
Casting meaning: Mannaz has many powers. First it is a rune that lets us know we can achieve our fullest potential. Secondly it reminds us that we, as humans, all have shared experiences in life. Lastly we can use the power of this rune to gain the upper hand in disputes and arguments.


Laguz

Laguz

Sound: “l”
Stands for: Water (or Lake)
Color: Black & White (Green)
Casting meaning: Laguz represents the power of water and its easy flowing nature. We must learn to “go with the flow” when this rune shows up in a reading so that we can take full advantage of our powers.


Inguz

Inguz

Sound: “ng” as in “long”
Stands for: Fertility
Color: Brown (Black)
Casting meaning: This rune allows us to spread our energy out far and wide. It is a protective rune mainly for the protection of our homes. To use Inguz effectively we must learn to build up our powers over time and then release the power all at once.


Dagaz

Dagaz

Sound: “d”
Stands for: Day
Color: Yellow
Casting meaning: Dagaz represents a stability between opposites, such as light and dark. It can stop harmful energy from getting to you but at the same time allow the good energy to slip through so that you can make good use of it.


Othala

Othala

Sound: “o” as in “old”
Stands for: Home (or Odla – sacred ancestral land)
Color: Copper (Brown)
Casting meaning: Much like Fehu this is a rune of wealth. But unlike Fehu, Othala represents a wealth that cannot be sold. This is wealth like family, friendships or our culture and heritage that is passed down to us. It represents an enclosure and maintains the existing state of things as they presently are.


Runic Half-Months

I forget where and when I read about the concept of runic half-months and I really wish I could remember so that I may give some credit to the author here. However, I feel that this idea is too great to leave off the site simply because I can’t remember where I read it.

How does it work? The idea is simple: There are 12 months in a year and 24 runes of the elder futhark. Which means that each month contains two runes, or each rune has a half-month where it represents the time, season and events of that month. A similar action can be held true for the hours in a day, which will be covered in another section (24 runes, 24 hours in a day).

Runic Half-Months
Runic half-month start date* Rune
January 13 Perdhro
January 28 Elhaz
February 12 Sowulo
February 27 Teiwaz
March 14 Berkana
March 30 Ehwaz
April 14 Mannaz
April 29 Laguz
May 14 Inguz
May 29 Othala
June 14 Dagaz
June 29 Fehu
July 14 Uruz
July 29 Thurisaz
August 13 Ansuz
August 29 Raidho
September 13 Kenaz
September 28 Gebo
October 13 Wunjo
October 28 Hagalaz
November 13 Naudhiz
November 28 Isa
December 13 Jera
December 28 Eihwaz

For those of you who are new to the runes and wish to learn more – well use this table to your advantage. Read and learn as much as you can about the rune that relates to the half-month you are currently in. Learn the different names and symbols for that rune, the color and sound associated with it and even try to commit the rune meaning for casting to memory. It sounds tough, but trust me it’s a great exercise.