The Elder Futhark

The Elder Futhark

The Elder Futhark is the oldest form of the runic alphabet, used by Germanic tribes of the 2nd to 8th centuries for inscriptions on artifacts such as jewellery, amulets, tools, weapons and runestones.
Unlike the Younger Futhark, which remained in use until modern times, the knowledge of how to read the Elder Futhark was forgotten, and it was not until 1865 that the Norwegian scholar Sophus Bugge managed to decipher it.

Elder Futhark - Fehu
Elder Futhark - Uruz
Elder Futhark - Thurisaz
Elder Futhark - Ansuz
Elder Futhark - Raidho
Elder Futhark - Kenaz

Fehu (Fé) - F

Fehu signifies Cattle, which is a strong symbol for wealth and prosperity, a source of food, of stability, security and growth.

Uruz (Úr) - U

Uruz signifies Wild Ox, which is usually seen as a symbol for strength, power and primal force. It can also mean a renewel, as in out with the old and in with the new.

Thurisaz (Thuris) - Th

Thurisaz signifies Thorn, a symbol linked to Thor and his hammer. A defence against enemies, security, protection.

Ansuz (Ós) - A

Ansuz signifies Ash, Yggdrasil, The World Tree. The Asa-Gods, The Aesir. Divine inspiration.

Raidho (Raeid) - R

Raido signifies Journey, implying, not just physical travel, but a quest for spiritual enlightenment.

Kenaz (Kaun) - K / C

Kenaz signifies Torch, light after a period of darkness. Order from chaos, creative fire.

Gebo (Gyfu) - G

Gebo signifies Gift, referring to both giving of oneself and receiving. A blessing on relationships.

Wunjo (Wýn) - W

Wunjo signifies Joy, A rune associated with Freyja, the goddess of love. It can mean positive change.

Hagalaz (Hagall) - H

Hagalaz signifies Hail, often seen as a symbol of damage and destruction, or a warning of illness.

Nauthiz (Naudr) - N

Nauthiz signifies Need, the idea of binding and constraint, and its shape reflects that of a knot in a piece of string

Isaz (Is) - I

Isaz signifies Ice, it symbolizes danger and impediment.

Jera (Ár) - J

Jera signifies Harvest, a rune related to the autumn, season of harvesting and plenty. A rune symbolic of success.

Eihwaz (Yr) - AE

Eihwaz signifies The Yew Tree, it stands for reliabilty and trust.

Perthro (Pertra) - P

Perthro signifies Mystery, Living in the moment and experiencing the unexpected.

Algiz (Eolh) - Z (-R)

Algiz signifies Elk, Protection or a shield.The warding off of evil.

Sowilo (Sól) - S

Sowilo signifies Sun, A rune of light, fire and happiness, symbolizing power, joy and success.

Tiwaz (Tyr) - T

Tiwaz signifies Warrior, and is a rune associated with the God Tyr. It stands for bravery against adversity.

Berkanan (Bjarken) - B

Berkanan signifies Birch. It symbolises new birth, either literally or in the birth of a new enterprise, or personal growth.

Ehwaz (Ehol) - E

Ehwaz signifies Horse. It symbolises spiritual journeys, travel or a change in career or home.

Mannaz (Madhr) - M

Mannaz signifies Man, or husband and is the rune for human kind. It can also relate to family.

Laguz (Logr) - L

Laguz signifies Water, or a lake. The power of the tides, and plant growth.

Ingwaz (Ing) - NG

Ingwaz signifies Fertility, and is a rune associated with the God Frey. It symbolises male potency, peace and prosperity.

Dagaz (Dagr) - D

Dagaz signifies Day. The balance between light and dark, a beacon showing the way for a new project.

Othala (Odhal) - O

Othala signifies Estate, or inheritance, spiritual as well as physical.