Norse Rune Meanings in the Awesome Elder Futhark Alphabet

Norse Rune Meanings and Alphabet

You may have come across Norse Runes on Pinterest, in the Marvel movies with Thor and Loki, or maybe you’ve seen them on the Goblet of Fire in Harry Potter. If you’re a fan of Tolkien, you may have seen them in his novel “The Hobbit.”

These magic runes are incredibly fascinating! I’ll be speaking about the Elder Futhark (pronounced foo-th-ark) runes, the oldest known Norse Rune Alphabet and comprised of 24 unique symbols.

Remember there is a LOT of information to learn about Norse Runes and this is an overview for beginners. I did my best to try to keep it very informative but as simple as possible.

IF YOU’D LIKE TO HAVE YOUR OWN PDF OF ALL THIS INFORMATION WITH BEAUTIFUL PRINTER-FRIENDLY PAGES AND IMAGES, CONSIDER PURCHASING MY ELDER FUTHARK RUNES PRINTABLE HERE.

elder futhark rune printable pdf

What Are Runes?

Norse runes are extremely old symbols that have been found inscribed onto stones in various parts of Northern Europe.

Runes are a group of symbols that make up the written alphabet and diverse spoken languages by the Germanic people of Europe. It is believed that Norse runes date back to at least around 150 AD, but this may be a little bit too conservative.

A likely theory is that the runic alphabet was developed by the Goths, a Germanic people, from the Etruscan alphabet of northern Italy and was perhaps also influenced by the Latin alphabet in the 1st or 2nd century BC.

Two inscriptions, the Negau and the Maria Saalerberg inscriptions, written in Etruscan script in a Germanic language and dating from the 2nd and 1st centuries BC, respectively, give credence to the theory of Etruscan origins for runic.

Britannica – Runic alphabet writing system

The word ‘rune’ is derived from an early Anglo-Saxon word meaning ‘mystery‘ or ‘secret‘. It’s also important to mention that the Rowan tree was spiritually revered, and runa is the root word used to identify the Rowan tree.

The Norse runic alphabet consists of 24 letters divided into three categories of 8 runes each, called Aetts.

History of the Ancient Norse Rune Meanings

As Christianity began to spread, the Runic alphabet was changed to the Latin alphabet we know today. Yet, runes never wholly vanished, even when they were banned by the Christian church. Why? Runic symbols were used for magical intentions before they were ever used for writing.

Some pre-runic symbols(like the sun wheel) have been found on rock carvings dating back 17,000 years. Some of these pre-runic symbols were later incorporated into the runic alphabet.

Many Norse rune engravings were added to rocks, weaponry, jewelry, and graves to ensure a departed loved one’s safe journey to the afterlife.

What’s the difference between Norse Runes and Tarot?

A frequently asked question is the difference between runes and Tarot. The most significant difference is that runes are very simple and can have a much broader answer or meaning than a Tarot card, where the reader can rely on images or pictures.

With Runes, it’s all about your intuition and what message you feel is being conveyed. Although Runes predate the Tarot by at least a thousand years, there are some similarities.

One example is the runic symbol of Eihwaz ((debated) either ay-wahz or eee-wahz), the Death card in Tarot, and the number 13. The Death card is the 13th in the Major Arcana, and the 13th runic symbol is Eihwaz. Similarly, they also symbolize transformation, endings, new beginnings, and that “death” is just the end of an era or cycle, but never the end of the story.

Elder Futhark Runic Alphabet 1

What’s the Difference Between the Norse Runes and the Ogham Alphabet?

Since the Ogham alphabet is sometimes referred to as Celtic runes, there is often confusion between these and Norse runes.

The Elder Futhark Rune symbols have no direct relation connection to Oghams, but there are some similarities between the gods that created them (Ogma and Odin).

However, interestingly the Irish word rùn also means secret or mystery, just like the Norse word runa.

The Theban alphabet, also known as the witches’ alphabet or the Honorian script, is also sometimes confused with Norse runes. However, they are quite complex symbols and would not work well if trying to carve into stone or wood. The Theban alphabet is most often used by Wiccans, although these symbols are not exclusive to their practice.

Nordic Runes in Norse Mythology

It all starts with a vast Ash tree called Yggdrasill (pronounced igg-dra-sil) located at the center of the Universe and contains the nine worlds of the Norse realms collectively in its branches and roots.

Beneath is the Well of Fate (a bottomless pool) and the Norns (female spirits who protect the roots of Yggdrasill by watering it with the divine waters of the Well of Fate).

The Norns also manipulate human lives as they twist, spin, and intertwine the threads of fate and destiny. The Norns are said to be three sisters named Urd (pronounced oo-rd), representing “What was”; Verdandi  (pronounced Ver-dahn-di), meaning “What is coming”); and Skuld (pronounced Skoo -ld), representing “What shall be.”

It’s important to mention that fate was not viewed in the same way it is today in Norse mythology. Fate is not concrete, and although it is woven into a person’s destiny, it is entirely within their power to change it. This makes sense when translating runes; there would be no point if you couldn’t change the outcome. Why bother?

So how does one read and interpret magical symbols that only Norns could read? In Norse mythology, both gods and humans were unable to read runes. Enter Odin, who had a reputation as a very wise and intelligent god who was always seeking further knowledge. However, The Norns wouldn’t reveal their secrets and mysteries to just anyone without a great sacrifice. So Odin stabbed himself with his own sword and hung upside down from a branch of the Yggdrasill tree so that he was able to view the Well of Fate beneath him. There he stayed suspended for 9 days rejecting food and water. Finally, the secrets and mysteries of the runes appeared to him in the water of the Well of Fate beneath him.

There is also another story where Odin wishes to drink from Mimir’s “Well of Wisdom” (pronounced Mee-mir, counselor to the gods and very wise because he drank from the well of “Well of Wisdom” every day). So Mimir allowed Odin to drink from the well, but only if he gave up his eye, which he did and gained much knowledge from the loss.

Wood Burned Rune Stones

How To Use Elder Futhark Norse Runes

When translating runes, it’s crucial to understand that meanings are not literal and tend to be metaphors. For example, drawing an Uruz (pronunciation “ooo-rooze”), which means Ox, doesn’t necessarily refer to the animal but might symbolize strength or endurance.

When learning runes and their meanings, I’d recommend picking up a new rune each day and keeping it with you or meditating with it. Focus exclusively on one rune per day, and in just over three weeks, you’ll have spent a day with each rune. It’s essential to pay attention to how you feel with each rune and let your intuition play a part as well. You may also start to notice rune symbols in your everyday life. This is a good thing! The universe is trying to communicate with you! Don’t worry if you need to repeat this process a few times. Be patient with yourself while you’re still learning; it should be fun!

How To Cast Norse Runes For Divination

Those searching for an explanation or guidance from the spiritual world can consult a set of Norse runes. Runes hold the secrets or mysteries of the Universe and can be interpreted by those who understand their meaning. However, runes will never expose all knowledge in its entirety despite how vigorously we learn and analyze them.

What you ask of the runes will prove true; they are of divine origin, made by the mighty gods and painted by Odin. you’ll learn best with your mouth shut.

The Poetic Edda – Hávamál

In more modern times, pagans, witches, and spiritual practitioners will carve, paint, or burn rune symbols onto stones, crystals, wood, clay, or other materials for divination or symbolism. These are often called Rune Stones.

Divination is typically done on an 18” by 18” white cloth precisely for rune casting, but whatever works best for you is fine. Take time to meditate with your runes before casting and focus on your questions or goals. When asking a question, it’s easier to ask for an outcome or help seeing the big picture versus a yes or no answer.

For example, you could ask what the outcome of interviewing for a specific job looks like. This allows for the possibility of more information to come through your reading. Do not be concerned about reversed symbols. Some folks don’t acknowledge them, and others see them as a signal to slow down and wait a moment before proceeding. Don’t forget to record your sessions in a journal, grimoire, or Wiccan book of shadows for later insights.

Sometimes the same rune shows up frequently, and it’s essential to pay attention. The universe may be directing you to a specific goal or speaking about your life overall. It’s also important to pay attention to a rune that may seem unconnected to your question. Don’t disregard it, as the universe could be sending what it feels is a more critical message. Overall the rune readings are deeply personal, and you must consider your interpretations to be more accurate than anything you may read in a book or online.

When you’re ready to cast your runes, lightly toss them onto your rune cloth. Be sure to look upward, so you don’t see runes as they land. While your eyes are raised, choose three runes at random. Consider them each individually, and then contemplate any meanings they may have as a whole. Some choose to read them as past, present, and future, respectively.

Another exciting form of divination and a great way to connect spiritually with nature is by tossing a small handful of twigs and identifying any runic symbols that appear.  

BEAUTIFUL GREEN JADE RUNE SET

Elder Futhark Norse Runes Inscription Uses

Runes aren’t just for divination and can also be used for jewelry or carved into talismans for a magical goal. Feel free to use your creativity and imagination when deciding what to carve or paint a rune onto. Rune talismans are considered conscious and full of life, so they’re either kept permanently or released once their purpose has come into fruition by burying them in the Earth. Therefore, when using runes for inscriptions, there’s no need to worry about choosing the “wrong” one. It’s more likely it will simply be ineffective rather than hurtful or harmful.

Traditionally carved runes were pigmented with blood to empower them, but you can use watercolor or acrylic paints. However, this is not required, so please don’t feel this is necessary.

If you’re interested in the timing of creating a rune, consider the moon. Runes representing growth or goals are best made during the waxing moon, and those representing dispelling, or eliminating, are best created during the waning moon.

When choosing inscriptions, the most straightforward and uncomplicated way is writing them in a horizontal row. Traditionally this was done in odd numbers of 3, 5, 7, or 9. However, as a peculiar, I’m not a fan of tradition and believe you should choose any number you feel drawn to. Also, remember that sometimes less is more, and don’t create confusion by adding additional symbols. Sometimes simple is best. Think of it as narrating a story and describing what you’d like the outcome to be. Some even enjoy chanting or singing each rune’s name during creation but remember it’s vital that you visualize and focus on charging it with your intention.

Elder Futhark Norse Bind Runes

A more complicated but beautiful way to inscribe runes is by using a “bind rune.” This means adding two or more runes on top of each other to create a unique symbol that can fuse and intensify magical energies.  It’s also a great way to keep them secret, but in plain sight, and to someone unfamiliar, it will just look like a pretty sketch.

A bind rune symbol can be placed in any direction (backward, forward, upside down, etc.) So don’t worry about keeping them in a “straight-up” position, and feel free to repeat a rune more than once. Have fun and get creative!

If you’d like more in-depth information on bind runes and how to make them check out this article.

There is often some confusion about the difference between bind runes and sigil creation. While these are two different techniques and magical practices, you can absolutely use bind runes to create powerful sigils.

Check out this post if you’d like to know more about other Pagan, Witch, or Wiccan symbols.

How To Activate Your Runes

Once you’ve created your rune, it’s time to activate it. This can be as simple or as complicated as you prefer. The simplest way to activate your rune is to meditate with it and visualize your goal. It’s recommended to wrap it in cloth and leave it in darkness for some time while its power develops and amplifies.

When you unwrap it, you can blow on it to give it life, place it within incense smoke, anoint it with essential oils, or position it overnight beneath the light of the moon. It’s now activated, and you can close the ritual however you choose. Place it somewhere you’ll see frequently.

Elder Futhark Norse Runes Meanings

Let’s dive into each of the 24 Elder Futhark runes and their individual meanings. Not only will you learn an overall understanding of each Elder Futhark rune, but you’ll also gain a deeper understanding of yourself and your spiritual path.

Fehu Norse Runes Meaning

Pronunciation – Fey-who

Meanings – domestic cattle, money, prosperity

Interpretations – Money and credit or non-monetary well-being such as success, luck, financial prosperity, fertility, or creation/destruction (beginnings). Fehu is a great reminder to be grateful for what we have in our lives and to share that with loved ones or your community.

If reversed – it can mean to slow down your plans or abandon them altogether; you may experience disappointment, burnout, or make a wrong decision. But, on the other hand, it may be a hint to regroup or be more practical by budgeting, self-care, or reassessing your priorities.

Inscriptions – to increase financial strength or to manifest goals and dreams.

Fehu Norse Rune meaning
Fehu Norse Rune

Uruz Norse Runes Meaning

Pronunciation – oo-rooze

Meanings – Wild Ox, strength (physical, emotional, spiritual), untapped potential, health, sudden or unexpected changes (usually for the better).

Interpretations – Wild Ox were honored for their power and strength, but they were also untamed and feral with deadly horns, as you can see in the rune symbol. It’s a reminder to have the strength to persist and keep going despite adversaries or roadblocks. Use caution with your reactions and attitude so that your spirit and power can be used to everyone’s advantage.

If reversed – it can mean you missed or neglected an opportunity and now lack determination or self-motivation. Instead, find a way to build up and improve yourself and avoid holding yourself back, or you may miss something truly remarkable.

Inscriptions – to enhance your self ambition and inspiration, healing (physically, emotionally, or spiritually), or to discover a profound knowledge of yourself and your motivations.

Uruz Norse Rune meaning
Uruz Norse Rune

Thurisaz Norse Protection Rune

Pronunciation – thoo-ree-sahz

Meanings – protection, caution, ponder, observe, purging and the god Thor

Interpretations – This rune symbolizes a thorn on a branch. It implies the intelligence and foresight of choosing to be protective and watchful instead of being hasty with an ambush or attack on a foe.  Be attentive and cautious of your surroundings and attitude. This will protect you from being taken advantage of or hurt. You should be in full cautionary and alert mode. Be mindful. Calculate and assess every move you make. Do not make decisions based on emotions.

If reversed –  defenselessness, vulnerability, or betrayal. You may be in refusing to believe in your current circumstance.

Inscriptions – Protection, decisions, guidance, good fortune

Thurisaz Norse Rune meaning
Thurisaz Norse Rune

Ansuz Norse Odin Rune Meaning

Pronunciation – ahn -sooze

Meanings – Communication, spiritual growth, signals or prophecies from the universe or an ancestral god (occasionally Odin)

Interpretations – Advice may come in any form of communication, be it through correspondence, orally – maybe through music. Pay attention to information brought to you from an ancestor, the universe, or your higher self. Now is the time to notice synchronicity in your surroundings: numbers, clouds, songs, animal spirits, or phrases. If you are asking about a new job or developing knowledge in any way, this is a good sign. Some believe that this represents Yggdrasil and that it represents the spirituality of the Universe in all its balance, no matter how confusing it may seem to us. The Universe is everywhere and always within us.

If reversed –  Deception from yourself or Odin who always has his own agenda. Be careful not to misconstrue signs and your vision may be clouding at this time. It can also mean that you need to spend more time connecting with yourself spiritually and with the Universe.

Inscriptions – divine communication, knowledge, spiritual awakening, inspiration

Ansuz Norse Rune meaning
Ansuz Norse Rune

Raidho Norse Runes Meaning

Pronunciation – rye-though

Meanings – journey (physical or spiritually), seeing the bigger picture, change, reunions, travel, represents the wagon wheel

Interpretations – If your trip is physical, this is a good sign. However, if your journey is spiritual, you need to be adaptable, see the right move for you to make, and do it. Focus on the experience, not the destination. Some interpretations reference the return of old friends or the appearance of those you made a soul pact with before coming to this life. Other variations believe the wagon wheel is representing the seasonality of nature or the Wheel of the Year. Recognize that seasons can be abundant or can wane. If you are feeling low, remember that you will not feel this way forever, and beautiful, joyous days are ahead of you.

If reversed – Physical journey can mean disruption or delays. Plans may go off course but remember, sometimes this can lead you to new opportunities and lessons. It’s essential to remain open-minded. Spiritually it can also mean stagnation, so it’s time to push through any agitation or delusion you may be avoiding so you can flourish. Regarding reunions, it can tell you are obstructing, and you need to re-evaluate your attitude and behaviors.  

Inscriptions – Safe travel, intuition assistance, or spiritual guidance

Raidho Norse Rune meaning
Raidho Norse Rune

Kenanz Norse Runes Meaning

Pronunciation – kane- awze

Meanings – fire, torch, beacon, openings

Interpretations – This rune represents the banishing of darkness and bringing forth the illumination of energy and creativity. This is a sign that you are in harmony with the universe and that you are making progress and development on something that was once holding you back. Be aware this guidance has intense potential; allowing your mind to open new possibilities and assist you in progressing further.

If reversed – lack of fire or light. This indicates you may live in murky darkness when it comes to your intuition or the universe. This can also mean the closure of something, maybe a connection, friendship, job, or intentions. This is an excellent time to reassess your priorities and work to ground or stabilize before proceeding in any decision-making.

Inscriptions – restoration, creativity, inspiration, perception, revelation, can add strength and power to your talisman.

Kenanz Norse Rune meaning
Kenanz Norse Rune

Gebo Norse Love Rune Meaning

Pronunciation – gay-boh

Meanings – Unity, kindness or gifts – indicating balance and harmony through generosity, forgiveness or self-sacrifice.

Interpretations – can indicate or symbolize a connection between two people – the giver and the recipient. Gebo can mean that you are about to receive a gift physically or emotionally, depending on context and circumstances. It can also mean that you should contemplate your contributions and self-sacrifice. Are you holding back or giving too freely to those who may be taking advantage? With Gebo, it’s crucial to be mindful of balance in relationships, whether it’s romantic, friendship or business.

If reversed – cannot be reversed

Inscriptions – Love (physically or emotionally) and all types of relationships

Gebo Norse Rune meaning
Gebo Norse Rune

Wunjo Norse Runes Meaning

Pronunciation – woon-yo

Meanings – joy, pleasure, hope, euphoria

Interpretations – Wunjo’s exact interpretation is joy. It’s essential to let go of ego and become harmonious with your higher self or the universe. Always be present and mindful. Wunjo’s meaning is similar to the Law of Attraction. Suppose you continue to have a pessimistic mindset. In that case, you will attract negativity, but if you practice gratitude and acknowledge all the good you have received, you will attract more positive outcomes. If you’ve been gloomy or irritable, the Wunjo rune can be a reminder to adjust your way of thinking to the brighter side. This sign is also very positive for relationships – romantic or otherwise.

If reversed – a depressing time where you may be experiencing many troubles, stress, or anxiety. You mustn’t make any significant agreements, arrangements or start new projects at this time. Right now is a very unlucky time for you, and you may be unable to see alternative or more beneficial choices.

Inscriptions – good vibes or frequencies, prosperity, and positive outcomes. Solid and effective on rune inscriptions.

Wunjo Norse Rune meaning
Wunjo Norse Rune

Hagalaz Nordic Runes Meaning

Pronunciation – haw-gaw-lawz

Meanings – the wrath of nature, destruction, and the elements

Interpretations – indicates energy and force of anarchy that cannot be controlled. This can be through sickness, natural disasters, or obstacles and complications with an intention. You cannot manipulate the situation to your desired outcome, and the universe may be trying to direct or push you to a different direction or path. Stay vigilant, open to new opportunities, and remove your emotions regarding the goal or intention. Exercise self-control and restraint but remain determined. Some things may need to fall apart for better things to come together—the more serious the destruction, the more meaningful your growth.

If reversed – no reversed meaning

Inscriptions – fast resolutions or triumph while maneuvering challenging circumstances

Hagalaz Nordic Rune

Nauthiz Norse Rune Meaning

Pronunciation – now-these

Meanings – essential, necessity, stagnate

Interpretations – There may be some setbacks or stagnation. Now is the time to remain thoughtful, reflective, and introspective. Keep your ego and temper in check. You may be facing difficulty and adversity that inhibits you from continuing further. The Anglo Saxon rune poem translated says: “Need is oppressive to the heart.” Which can often feel like heaviness or tightness on the chest. Do your best to release this tension and have patience. Growth is often uncomfortable and challenging, but these moments help to shape who we are.

If reversed – there is a lot of debate about Nauthiz and if it has a reversed position. Many believe it does not, even though it’s not entirely symmetrical. Trust your intuition to determine what is right for you. If reversed, it can mean restraint from overindulgence or a detrimental desire for more. Now might be a great time to focus on spiritual growth and avoid material possessions. Stay focused on the basics and what is vital. Have patience and chill out.

Inscriptions – Improvement, encourages composure and cool-headedness, energizes intentions directed at abundance or growth.

Nauthiz Norse Rune Meaning
Nauthiz Norse Rune

Isa Norse Rune Meaning

Pronunciation – eee-sah

Meanings – Ice and associated with Winter

Interpretations – as a symbol of frozen water, can mean delay or stagnation through physical obstacles or mental impediments. Remember that the seasons change, and Winter will not last forever. Focus on improving yourself internally through meditation, reading new books, physical activity, or learning a new skill. Don’t disregard your goals and dreams, instead focus on preparing yourself to work on them again when the opportunity strikes. Hopefully, your self-improvement skills will come in handy.

If reversed – no reversed meaning

Inscriptions – Preserving current circumstances or avoiding undesirable incidents. The clearness of ice can also symbolize transparency and understanding of an issue that may have been hidden before.

Isa Norse Rune meaning
Isa Norse Rune

Jera Norse Rune Meaning

Pronunciation – yair-ah

Meanings – harvest and the rewards of past efforts made, natural cycles (the seasons, life, fertility), movements in time.

Interpretations – Jera typically represents a seasonal year similar to The Wheel of the Year, constantly evolving and changing. It prompts us to remember that goals and intentions take time. Planting a seed doesn’t mean an instant reward. You must place it in healthy soil, give it water and protect it from the harsh elements. That seed must be given time to flourish, mature, and then harvested only when ready. Jera is a sign that your hard work and diligence are about to be rewarded. Prosperity and abundance for positive actions and hard work completed. Take time to celebrate and practice gratitude. Jera may also symbolize pregnancy or marriage.

If reversed – no reversed meaning

Inscriptions – fertility, bringing desired outcomes and goals into fruition, and promotes a balanced connection with nature and the seasons.

Jera Norse Rune meaning
Jera Norse Rune

Eihwaz Norse Runes Meaning

Pronunciation – (debated) either ay-wahz or eee-wahz

Meanings – symbolizes the Yew tree, life & death, enlightenment, transitions, renewal

Interpretations – Eihwaz does not mean literal death but is more of a metaphor indicating transitions, renewals, and fresh starts. You may be leaving behind old habits, jobs, relationships, or bits of yourself that are no longer benefiting you. Try to adapt and be flexible even if you’re disinclined to acquiesce. Proceed but exercise caution. Do your best to do the right thing now to avoid predictable problems. Eihwaz can also symbolize the Yew tree, which is considered the tree of life since it’s an evergreen and can live for thousands of years. Once a Yew tree dies, it generates a new tree inside its decomposing trunk. Similar to a phoenix rising from its ashes. This an effective and robust representation showing the cycle of life. Due to this, it can sometimes be associated with the Norse tree Yggdrasil and is considered a very magical rune. The Eihwaz symbol represents a spiritual exploration or adventure outside the material world and into the universe’s dimensions or underworld.

If reversed – no reversed meaning

Inscriptions – spiritual enlightenment or development, intention or magical enhancements, and conquering challenges

Eihwaz Norse Rune meaning
Eihwaz Norse Rune

Perthro Nordic Runes Meaning

Pronunciation – pear-throw

Meanings – secret, mystery, chance, divination, hidden knowledge meant to be discovered

Interpretations – this rune is a much-debated topic among scholars. Still, it is generally agreed that Perthro symbolizes a vessel or cup used for throwing lots (similar to what we know as a dice cup) and is very apparent when you look at the shape of this rune. Perthro lets you know that not all information has been revealed to you, whether it’s spiritually or maybe a secret a person has kept concealed (these can be positive or negative). This is a good time for you to be aware and open to signs from the universe that may be trying to help guide you. It’s also a fantastic moment to try connecting with your higher self through nature spirituality, grounding, meditation, and spending more time outdoors with Nature. Another way to view the shape of this rune is as a womb, and because of this, it is frequently related to fertility and birth.

If reversed – can mean to take a break from divination work and to return at a later date. Also an indication of an undesirable discovery or announcement. It may also mean that you need to let go of any secrets you’ve been harboring in order to free yourself from the weight and reduce detrimental effects on your well-being. Depending on the circumstances of the reading it may also symbolize sexual or fertility frustrations and obstacles.

Inscriptions – Divination, fertility, finding spiritual clarity

Perthro Norse Rune meaning
Perthro Norse Rune

Algiz Nordic Protection Rune

Pronunciation – al-geez

Meanings – protection or defense of your sanctuary or home, elk or moose antlers, instinct

Interpretations – Algeez shows that you are safe from harm or threats but that it’s essential to remain vigilant and clear-headed. This runic symbol is a mighty force that aids in buffering hostile powers from affecting your reality in the physical world. Remember that preemptive actions and strategy are the only absolute protection to safeguard yourself and those you love. Keep in mind that you never truly lose because a lesson is always gained.

If reversed – it may be a signal that you’ve been too lax and need to be more vigilant. Do not become stressed or anxious because this can cloud your vision. However, this may be an excellent time to slow down and practice self-care emotionally, spiritually, physically, and mentally to maintain clarity.

Inscriptions – Protection and safety of self or property from negative people and energies

Algiz Nordic Protection Rune meaning
Algiz Nordic Protection Rune

Sowilo Nordic Runes Meaning

Pronunciation– so-wee-loh

Meanings – vitality, sunlight, good energy, health, and well-being

Interpretations – Sowilo represents the power and healing light of the Sun (considered to be feminine energy) during the daylight hours when no darkness is present to cloud our judgment. You are covered in the sun’s healing golden energy, and good luck and prosperity are sure to follow if you remain open. Use this energy and strength to help assist you in achieving your intentions and goals. This is not the time to be cocky, but to use your intelligence and creativity while knowing that the universe has your back.

If reversed – no reversed meaning

Inscriptions – motivation, vitality, positive energy, boosts energy to help dreams, goals, and intentions come to fruition

Sowilo Nordic Rune Meaning
Sowilo Nordic Rune

Tiwaz Nordic Runes Meaning

Pronunciation– tee-wahz

Meanings – courage, tenacity, masculine energy, ethical responsibilities, victory

Interpretations – The shape of Tiwaz looks like a spear and represents a spiritual warrior. Tiwaz symbolizes the sacrifice of one’s advantages for the sake of another or a greater purpose for the whole. Tiwaz lets you know that you have the courage and strength to face this challenge, and you must move forward with honor and grace. You are being asked to delve into the very depths of your soul and to take action. Now is the time to remain firm and limit ego.

If reversed – it can represent a lack of motivation or cowardice. It can also indicate that you’ve become overwhelmed by the barriers you’ve encountered. You also may be moving too quickly and obstinately listening to your ego.

Inscriptions – courage, righteousness, tenacity, bravery, and to help increase spiritual beliefs

Tiwaz Nordic Rune Meaning
Tiwaz Nordic Rune

Berkana Nordic Runes Meaning

Pronunciation– bear-kah-nah

Meanings – New beginnings, family and loved ones, nurturing, birth, Birch

Interpretations – Berkana is a positive rune of female energy. Its shape symbolizes the breasts of Mother Earth and can be a favorable sign for those trying to conceive. This runic symbol is very caring, nurturing, and represents the cycle of life. The energies of the Universe are aligned and can help bring forth new manifestations. This rune is about the power to influence growth. Also a symbol of the Birch tree and is typically the first to bud in Spring.

If reversed – it can symbolize stagnation or lack of action either with pregnancy or goal. There may be family disagreements, and tempers are running high. Remain open to new ideas or ways of thinking and try your best to be productive without stewing and fretting over problems.

Inscriptions – love, strong family connections, fertility, growth, new beginnings, female energy

Berkana Nordic Rune Meaning

Ehwaz Nordic Runes Meaning

Pronunciation– ay-wahz

Meanings – horse, movement, progress, teamwork, partnership, trust, loyalty

Interpretations – the rune of friendship and the close spiritual connection between them, similar to a horse and its rider. The shape symbolizes a horse which was considered a sacred animal. Ehwaz represents synergy, teamwork, harmony, and determination. You can accomplish any goal with ease when coordinating with the right people. It can also represent movement or travel, either physically or spiritually.

If reversed – if you’ve been struggling to determine if you should trust someone, this may confirm your suspicions and distrust. On the other hand, it can also be asking you to evaluate yourself and look at the picture as a whole. For example, have you held back due to prior incidents when someone let you down or hurt your heart? Depending on the context, it can also be asking you to avoid travel or making you aware your trip may have frustrations or challenges.

Inscriptions – safe journey, harmony in partnership or marriage, can bring about abrupt change

Ehwaz Nordic Rune Meaning
Ehwaz Nordic Rune

Mannaz Nordic Runes Meaning

Pronunciation– mahn-awz

Meanings – humanity as a whole, human experience, the self

Interpretations – This rune symbolizes humankind as a whole, combining human intellect, memory, common sense, traditions, values, creative endeavors, and cultures. It’s a reminder that we all have a shared experience here on earth despite our differences. To be spiritually aligned, you must create harmony with mind, body, and spirit. Mannaz encourages us to have total acceptance in all things, for who is to say what is good or bad? Know that every adventure or encounter will help you to become more educated about life itself. Seek to live an ordinary life in the most PECULIAR way possible!

If reversed – You may be isolating yourself from others because you feel like you don’t fit into society, and this may be causing depression or low self-esteem. It may also indicate that you have been out of touch with your intuition or higher self. Take the time you need to practice self-care and heal. Recharge yourself emotionally, mentally, and physically so you’ll be ready to help when you’re ready.

Inscriptions – cooperation or goodwill, help rapport, and kinship in relationships

Mannaz Nordic Runes Meaning
Mannaz Nordic Runes

Laguz Nordic Runes Meaning

Pronunciation– lah-gooze

Meanings – flowing water, intuition, unconscious, cleansing, psychic ability

Interpretations – Symbolizes femininity and the water element in all its forms (tides, lakes, oceans, rain, rivers, and also the water within our body). Laguz represents psychic abilities and reminds us how important it is to have a deep understanding of ourselves. Anything that has ever been built or conceived finds root in our subconscious selves. Laguz challenges you to go with the flow and be adaptable to all situations. It also represents intuition and emphasizes that you follow your instincts and feelings.

If reversed – No movement or flow, which promotes stagnate waters. You may not be growing and potentially blocked creatively, professionally, or spiritually. It can be advantageous to spend some time meditating next to moving water to help clear up any blockages. Also, allowing yourself to pursue creative interests or hobbies can be very beneficial.

Inscriptions – feminine energy, flowing water, enhancing and developing intuition and creativity

Laguz Nordic Runes Meaning
Laguz Nordic Rune

Inguz Nordic Runes Meaning

Pronunciation– ing-ooze

Meanings – male potency and sexuality, home and hearth, internal growth, perfect timing

Interpretations – This is a very encouraging rune and can mean good luck. Inguz represents Spring energy and new life after a cold dark Winter. The power within a fertile seed is infinite. This can apply to procreative, professional, or creative endeavors.

If reversed – no reversed meaning

Inscriptions – fertility, passion, internal growth

Inguz Nordic Runes Meaning
Inguz Nordic Rune

Dagaz Norse Runes Meaning

Pronunciation– dah-gaz

Meanings – self-transformation, radical change, breakthrough

Interpretations – well-known for being called the “dawn rune – symbolizing hope and early light after the darkness of night. This is also a rune of renewals and transformations. The natural cycles of the earth and the moon teach us that life is about maintaining balance within each phase. We can always succeed against the darkness. Dagaz can sometimes lead to radical change, breakthroughs, and great prosperity, just like the butterfly this rune resembles.

If reversed – no reversed meaning

Inscriptions – awakening and enlightenment, creative and spiritual breakthroughs, good karma

Dagaz Norse Runes Meaning
Dagaz Norse Rune

Othala (Odal) Norse Rune Meaning

Pronunciation– owe-tha-la

Meanings – heritage, family love, ancestral spiritual power, storytelling

Interpretations – Othala respects and honors our connectedness to our ancestors and heritage. No matter how far we may roam, we are always linked to our family and always bring influences, ideas, traits, knowledge, or habits that originate from them. Some of them may even be unconscious. For example, Othala may be urging you to reach out to your family for emotional support or reminding you to check in with them.

If reversed – it often symbolizes a rift within the family, whether by divorce, arguments, or after the death of a relative. However, it can also warn you not to “stir the pot” and avoid disagreements at this time.

Inscriptions – promotes prosperous family relationships, communication with ancestors, grounding, and connectedness to our roots.

Othala Norse Runes Meaning
Othala Norse Rune


I hope this article about Norse Rune Meanings in the Awesome Elder Futhark Alphabet was helpful! Lots of love to you and remember as always…

Sources

Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Runic alphabet”. Encyclopedia Britannica, 20 Mar. 2008, https://www.britannica.com/topic/runic-alphabet.

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