Nordic Runes also known as Futhark are interlaced into Norse religion and are closely associated with Norse magic (seiðr) and skaldic poetry. According to Norse Mythology, the runes were not invented. The old poem Hávamál explains that Odin discovered the runes when he hung himself from the world tree Yggdrasil to learn wisdom. He hung on the wind-blown tree for nine nights and days. Just as he was about to die, he found the runes, grabbed them, and earned his life.
A more prosaic explanation is that the runes were developed in the first century AD, possibly inspired by the Latin alphabet. Although used by all Germanic peoples, most of them, however, are discovered in Scandinavia. Runes have a form such that they are easy to carve into a hard material. Note that one does not write but rather carves a rune.
Runes were carved on weapons, tools, jewellery, amulets, bones, pieces of wood, memorial stones, church walls, etc.
Sometimes the runic inscription is read from left to right, sometimes from right to left.
In the pre-Christian Germanic worldview, the spoken word possesses frightfully strong creative powers. The pronouncement of words was recognized to have a tremendous influence over the concerns of life. The impact of a sentence uttered aloud could not be questioned and could never be taken back – as if it had become somehow physical. Words create reality, not the other way around.
Here is the depiction of some significant runes of Norse Runic
Name: Fehu, “cattle.” Phoneme: F. Meaning: wealth.
Divinity: Frey, the god of fertility
Symbol: the cattle
Tree: The Hazel tree and the Elder tree
Plant: The ardent Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica)
Colour: Orange-coloured red
Animal: The Taurus or the deer representing the virility and the fertility power of the wild
The first rune of the Elder Futhark is Fehu, pronounce " fayhoo ". Literally, Fehu means "cattle" quite like the first letter of Greek, Hebrew, and Gothic alphabets.
In earlier times, the number of heads of the cattle was assumed to be the measure of someone’s wealth. Fehu is a rune of power and control.
Fehu represents the wealth and the material abundance which must be shared to last and to avoid greed.
Fehu is also the rune of the fire, of the primal energy, of the strength and the power.
Divinatory value: The beginning of a new project, a beginning, an emergence, a creation, a health problem, a strength, prosperity.
Spiritual value: The secrets must be revealed. Any authentic system, religious or esoteric, must teach openly to anybody who looks for the Light of the Knowledge. Fehu is the rune of pure energy, the one that we should discover and transmit in us to enjoy its benefits to the fullest.
Physiological value: The blood circulation, the heart, the central nervous system, the vertebral column, the region of the arm and the shoulder.
Wisdom guidance: " In you lives the Source of Fundamental Energy, you have to identify it! You can release your potential, by having a dialogue with it, and by becoming aware of your deep-seated cravings. Recognize your instincts will allow you to channel and/or exploit them to the best."
Name: Dagaz, “day.” Phoneme: D. Meaning: hope, happiness.
Symbol: The Day
Element: Fire and Air
Tree: The Fir tree, the Birch, the Oak, the Spruce
Plant: Salvia horminoides
Stone: Tiger Eye and Sunstone
Colour: Blue and white
Animal: The Cock (the animal which announces the sunrise)
Dagaz, the last rune of Futhark means "Day". This rune symbolizes the fulfillment and achievement. Dagaz is the rune of the awakening of dawn and the day rise.
Its geometrical shape also symbolizes the balance between negative and positive polarities, the harmony, a union of both extremes, and particularly the balance between the Light and the Darkness. Dagaz is the balance of the opposite energies. It is also the rune of the paradox and the ambiguity, that's why it can be used to block certain processes. It allows, among others, to bring positive energies in, while it blocks the negative energies. Often it was engraved on shutters and doors of houses.
Thanks to Jera's energy, Dagaz can be used to transform something into its opposite.
Divinatory value: New vision of the situation. A change for the better. Constraint.
Spiritual value: Gather the opposites, go beyond the paradoxes to watch the Reality in a new light.
Physiological value: Body's polarities harmonization
Wisdom guidance: " You have to break up with the past to keep the benefactions of the Knowledge and to benefit what is waiting for you farther!"
Name: Wunjo, “joy.” Phoneme: W. Meaning: joy, ecstasy.
Letter: W as wax (pronounces "Vun-yoh")
Symbol: The Weather vane
Tree: Chesnut (Castanea)
Plant: Flax ( Linum usitatissimum )
Stone: Aventurine, lapis lazuli
Colour: light blue
Animal: All those who live in a herd.
Wunjo is the last rune of the first aett. The shape of Wunjo looks like the weather vane of Vikings ships.
Wunjo is the rune of joy, pleasure, and friendship. This rune teaches people to live in harmony, for their well-being. It is a sign of the community, our capacity to live together.
Divinatory value: Good news, party, family meeting, happy assembly, happiness, joy, and harmony.
Spiritual value: Life is speckled with sufferings and obstacles, then it is necessary to take opportunities for joy and happiness when they appear.
Physiological value: Activation and strengthening of the nervous system. provides well-being.
Wisdom guidance: " Take the opportunity of the happy moment when it appears because life is strewed with misery. Find your place and your family. Be warm and friendly with each other. This world doesn't need you to add it a personal touch of wickedness... "
Name: Tiwaz, “the god Tiwaz.” Phoneme: T. Meaning: victory, honor.
Letter: T as in the top
Symbol: The spear
Tree: Oak (Quercus robur), and the Chestnut (Castanea).
Plant: Monkshood (Aconitum napellus) and Common sage (Salvia officinalis)
Stone: Sodalite, Sapphire, Lapis lazuli
Colour: Bright Blue
The first rune of the third aett is named Tiwaz and pronounces "Tee-wahz". As Ansuz, Tiwaz is a rune-god: the rune of Tyr, god of the sky of northern Europe. The Scandinavian mythology evokes Tyr's brave sacrifice while he was cutting his right hand to chain up Fenrir, the mythological wolf, which threatened the cosmic order. Tiwaz represents justice, the responsibility, the war, but also the sacrifice.
Its shape of an arrow indicates the implementation and the concentration of the positive forces. Quite as Sowilo, Tiwaz promises the realization of the objectives. Tiwaz works, particularly against injustice. But you will obtain satisfaction only if you are right. This rune gives the power to see things with righteousness. Rune of responsibility, justice, and sacrifice, Tiwaz was particularly the rune of kings.
Divinatory value: Justice delivered. Passionate love builds to last in time. Emotional happiness. Problem with the law.
Spiritual value: The researcher has to remember that a lot of courage is required to walk forward to the spiritual path and to reach his goal: The Spiritual Illumination.
Physiological value: Acts positively on the solar plexus, the lymphatic system, the blood system, the arteries, the spleen.
Wisdom guidance: " Apply your faiths and your knowledge, be responsible with your circle of acquaintances by taking commitments, whether it is on the family or social plan. But you have to exercise these responsibilities with righteousness and intelligently."
Name: Sowilo, “sun.” Phoneme: S. Meaning: success, solace.
Tree: The bay laurel (Laurus nobilis), the Oak, the Common Juniper (Juniperus communis)
Plant: European Mistletoe (Viscum album)
Stone: Ruby and Amber
Colour: Gold, white
Animal: The eagle, the hare
Sowilo, Sowulo, or Sigil is the sixteenth rune of the Elder Futhark and the last rune of the second aett. It pronounces "Soh-veal-oh". As Elhaz, Sowilo is the rune of the extreme strength, embodying and channeling the power of the sun whose it symbolizes the energy and the light. This rune is the vital principle of the solar light. Sowilo represents the necessary powers to reach his(her) objectives. Symbol of the Sun, Sowilo also represents the Illumination, the understanding of the Mysteries, and the full awareness. It is the direct and devastating power that no obstacle can stop. Sowilo resists the forces of death and destruction, proclaiming the triumph of the Light over the darkness. This rune illuminates the objectives that the man wants to reach. Sowilo teaches us to keep self-confidence, in the projects, and the quests. It illuminates the way ideas. Sowilo guides us and promises better days. It also warns us that to know to stop is a strength too.
Divinatory value: Wholeness, Victory. Discovery, disclosure. Warning to the overwork.
Spiritual value: The soul can merge with other’s souls in a spirit of communion. The union between Sky and Earth, material and spirit, male and female. The union of the opposites is the key to the real spiritual transformation of the individual, or what is named the Illumination.
Physiological value: Acts on the solar plexus, the diaphragm, the reproductive organs, the neck, the eyes, the nose, the ears, and the hair.
Wisdom guidance: " Free yourself from your obsessions, know how to stop is a strength! Take a moment to clear your mind. Love and detachment, are the Way towards the Illumination."