Introduction to the Runes

Elder Futhark

As I was writing this introduction, the first few sentences proved to be the most challenging to face.  How can I begin telling people about these wondrous things called runes?  Firstly, I suppose, I should explain the meaning of the word “rune”.  To help me introduce this, I will quote Edred Thorsson, a well-studied author on the runes.

“The most common definition of the word ‘rune’ is “one of the letters of an alphabet used by ancient Germanic peoples.”  This definition is a result of a long historical development, the entirety of which we must come to know before we can see how incomplete such a definition is.  These “letters” are much more than signs used to represent  the sounds of a language.  They are, in fact, actual mysteries, the actual “secrets of the universe”, as one will learn who studies them long enough and hard enough.”

The word rune carries with it the mysteries of the unknown, the unexplored regions of our own consciousness and the universe.  I have come to know this to be true.  In all languages the word rune appears in, its meaning is “mystery, secret, lore, magical character.”  The runes are not simply an alphabetical form, but were and are primarily symbols representing much deeper mysteries and concepts.

The runes are like keys to understanding.  They can assist us in expanding our consciousness, our understanding of the world, the universe, and our place in it.  They can teach us how to heal, to harness the power we carry deep within ourselves, and use it to transform ourselves and our lives for the better.  They can give us insight when we feel lost and blind.  They can help us face painful circumstances with grace and compassion . These “mysteries” empower us, open our hearts and minds, and can assist us in creating our own realities.

The runes I work with are called the Elder Futhark.  This system is the oldest, with the first evidence of its appearance being dated around 50 C.E. This relic, an engraved brooch, was found in Germany.  This runic system contains 24 runes.  The word Futhark is simply the first letter of the first 6 symbols in this system, Fehu, Uruz, Thurisaz, Ansuz, Raidho, and Kenaz. This system of runes is divided into 3 groups of eight, called ætts. These groupings are significant, but we can get into that in another post.

Elder Futhark

The runes are representative of a journey. The journey we all walk through in life.  They also reflect the trans-formative journey of our conscious selves, as we develop and cultivate a conscious awareness of  our true purpose as creative beings.  The runes are such empowering tools, and I feel blessed to share with others the beautiful understandings I have come to about them.


History, Runelore, Runes