The Futhark Runes
The runes are known as the Futhark. This name is taken from the first six runes in the Futhark; Fehu (F), Uruz (U), Thurisaz (TH), Ansuz (A), Raido (R) and Kenaz (K), just as the word “Alphabet” is taken from the first two letters of the Greek alphabet, alpha and beta.
The runes are a collection of symbols that have been used for writing, and where the ancient sought for much of the early systems of writing among the Indo-Europeans in Europe, including the ancient Celts, German, and the Italic people who eventually became the Romans. But the runes are more than just scribe. They grew out of our Folk’s inner consciousness – the collective group soul. Through our collective group soul, Odin transmitted the knowledge of the runes to us. Early Italic writing that both Latin and Celtic are descended from, is clearly related to runic writing that, in time the runes evolved into several versions of the Futhark that included the Elder Futhark, the Younger Futhark, the Anglo-Saxon Futhark and the Armanen Futhark.
The Elder Futhark, which I have used, and is the most popular and familiar, dates back to about 300 BC. Just when our ancestors were first inspired with the knowledge of the runes, is lost in time and probably dates back thousands of years to the end of the last Ice Age, when our people were first born.
According to the tales of the Gods, it was the giant, Mimir who transmitted the knowledge of the runes to Odin, while he hung on the Yggdrasil, scarifying himself to himself. This act of ritual transmutation that Odin undertook to learn the secrets of the runes is the means by which Odin, (the axis of order throughout the universe) learns of the uncontrolled and undirected forces of the cosmos and gave order to them by forming those energies into the system of symbols that we know as the Futhark. When our Folk was born of the Life-Force of the Gods, the knowledge of the Futhark was transmitted to us gradually, over many generations through the genetic and spiritual link between our race and the Gods. In time, as we matured as a race, the knowledge of the Futhark was organized and used by our ancestors. Many of our ancestors, especially among those who settled in the warmer climate, lost the knowledge and the runes evolved into systems that were used merely for writing.
The runes must be considered an instrument given to us by Odin to help us become close to him and the rest of the Gods and Goddesses. Their use helps to bring order and clarity to our lives.
Three aspects of the runes are the sound, the shape and the secret knowledge that are associated with the runes. A good rune master is one who has mastered this threefold nature of the runes. By studying this threefold nature of the runes, one can, in time, enhance and broaden the inner essence of ourselves as individuals through runic meditation. This process will ultimately enhance the collective essence of our Folk, and strengthen the bond that joins us with our Gods, and thus the collective consciousness of our race. It is the purpose of the Folk Faith to strength these bonds between ourselves and our Gods. Through this process we open ourselves up, permitting the Folk Soul of our people to grow and guide us as individuals, and more importantly, guide our Folk, along the right path of organic and genetic development. In this way, we assure the return of Balder and the rebirth of the Gods and eventually – the resurrection of our Folk.
There are two ways in which we can study and come to understand the runes, as well as making them a part of our lives. The first means is through individual study and meditation. This can be done in many ways, which are up to the individual. However an individual wishes too spent his time, or how much of his time, in studying the runes, will be determined by the ability of the individual to commit to the studying of runes.
The second way to make the runes a part of our daily lives is collectively. This would require being part of a group. The group could be a study group, specifically formed to study and meditate on the runes, or it could be a religious or even social group that consciously incorporates the runes into its activities. These two methods can be used to eventually make the runes a part of our everyday lives.
THE ESSENCE OF RUNELORE:
Three aspects of the runes is the sound, the shape and the secret knowledge that is associated with the runes. A good rune master is one who has mastered this three-fold nature of the runes. By studying this three-fold nature of the runes, one can, in time, enhance and broaden the inner essence of ourselves as individuals through runic meditation. This process will ultimately enhance the collective essence of our Folk and strengthen the bond that joins us with our Gods, and thus the collective consciousness of our race. It is the purpose of the Folk Faith to strength these bonds between ourselves and our Gods. Through this process we open ourselves up, permitting the Folk Soul of our people to grow and guide us as individuals, and more importantly, guide our Folk along the right path of organic and genetic development. In this way, we assure the return of Balder and the rebirth of the Gods and eventually – the resurrection of our Folk.
There are two ways in which we can study and come to understand the runes, as well as making them a part of our lives. The first means is through individual study and meditation. This can be done in many ways, which are up to the individual. However each individual wishes to spend their time, or how much of their time, in studying the runes, will be determined by the ability of the individual to commit to the studying of runes.
The second way to make the runes a part of our lives is collectively. This would require being part of a group. The group could be a study group specifically formed to study and meditate on the runes, or it could be a religious or even social group that consciously incorporates the runes into its activities. These two methods can be used to eventually make the runes part of our everyday lives. The Runes are more than just a set of symbols used for writing, but actually make-up the most powerful magical system of the ancient world. Our people lost knowledge of the Runes due to persecution by the Christian Church. Its knowledge was passed down to use in modern times by the preservation through scholars. In the last one hundred and fifty years we have seen a renaissance in runology. They sprang from the same elemental forces that shaped the Gods of our Folk Faith and are indispensable in the restoration of that faith. They are a collection of keys that can be used to literally INVOKE THE POWER OF THE Gods! With in them lies the secret of the personalities and natures of the Gods. Each individual runes contains the same essence of the individual God that it represents. Used individually, each rune can help us forge new relations to individual Gods. Used collectively, the entire rune system can help to forge a new bound between our Folk and the Gods collectively. The runes are the best means to use when trying to communicate with our Gods.
THE ORIGIN OF THE RUNES:
There have been many different theories on the origin of the runes, but the truth is simple. The runes evolved along with the culture of the Indo-European peoples as they settled throughout Europe and Central Asia. There are similarities between the Runes and the old Italic and Greek alphabets. The reason is again, simple to explain. All these forms of scripts evolved out of some ancient and primitive script that must have been in use by the original Indo-European Aryans. The Mediterranean scripts of Italy and Greece incorporated influences from the Middle East, especially the Phoenicians, while the runes evolved into their eventual forms (Younger, Elder and Anglo-Saxon Futharks) in northern Europe.
In the Indo-European tradition, script always possessed a magical tradition. The custom that a person’s name held magic powers can be traced back into our long-forgotten past. People guarded the spelling of their names, for it was believed that to write your name down would give you a possession that transcended mere material ownership. Warriors often wrote their names on their weapons, and later gave individual names to their weapons. It is this belief that the written word that was pasted down, evolved into the tradition that gave rise to the Runes. This led to the tradition of a signature having a legal status.
In our present urbanized and globalistic civilization, our people have lost their connection with the world of nature. We have lost our rootedness and thus we are adrift – like a ship without a rudder. For us, as a Folk, to re-establish our bond with the Gods that gave birth to us, we must reforge the primeval union of our blood with the soil. This does not mean that we must shun technology and withdraw into a primitive existence, but instead learn to synthesize our technology with the way of life that is truly organic and natural. The Runes are an instrument that can help seek this more harmonious way of life. It can also provide us with a guide to discover new technologies that can revolutionize our civilization.
The Runes are a blueprint for revealing hidden forces that create a bond between the user and the ancestral Life-Force that gave existence to us as a people. They are the keys, and when used in the proper combinations, they can be used to unlock great secrets that will help us, as a Folk, to reforge our bonds with the Gods. Within them, lies the secret of the existence of God-beings who once lived on earth, and are our direct ancestors. They have degenerated over the millenniums, and their lost qualities, but can be rediscovered through the use of the Runes.
In northern Europe, the idea of a written alphabet possessed magic qualities that evolved free from the influence of the Orient. Originally, it usually was the high priests who possessed knowledge of the written word. They used this knowledge to build bridges between the Folk and the Gods. As societies grew and became more urban, the knowledge of writing spread throughout the entire population as a means of holding a Folk together. The written word is tide-up with the spoken language, and together, the spirit of a culture remains alive within both the script and the spoken word of a Folk. The Nineteen Century German Romantic writer, von Herder, wrote extensively on how the Spirit or Geist of a nation or Folk can be ascertained with its language. Both the written and spoken word is an expression of the Spirit or Giest of the Folk. The Runes are a higher form of expression of the written word of the Folk, and thus, is an instrument for us to forge bonds between us and our Gods.
THE FUTHARK RUNES
The Fehu rune stands for wealth, fire regeneration, cattle, livestock, duty, the worship of health, property and mobile wealth. In ancient times, cattle was used as a measure of a man’s wealth. The Fehu rune gets its shape from their horns. Because cattle were not stationary, but constantly on the move, it represents mobile wealth as well as stationary wealth and property. Besides being a symbol for wealth, it also represents fertility, because cattle were also considered a potent force of fertility. It also represents the female powers of the earth that can be controlled by the power of the will. Fehu is related to the Vanir, especially Njord, Frey and Freyja.
Fehu is associated with three deities: Frigga, Frey and Freyja. These deities are all fertility Gods and derive power from the fire element of the Fehu rune. This power of fire is the force that gives the ability to the seeress Freyja.
Fehru is the outward cosmic force of fire. It is an expansive power that generates out from within the rune master. The development of the Fehu force within the individual helps to increase the individual’s animal strengths. To unleash this inner force is like releasing the wolves that lurk within the forest. The use of this rune helps to increase one’s charisma, sexual energies and brings joy. It is the force behind most human emotions and through its use, it will draw energies into yourself and increase the quantities of your personal reserves of power. But it must be controlled and used to produce for a purpose, otherwise the individual will lose his will to control his emotions and urges and be ruled by them.
Uruz is the rune of primordial strength and power, masculine force, the auroch and the after life. The auroch was a powerful bovine that roamed ancient Europe. It represents the untamed forces of the earth that cannot be controlled by human will. Uruz is the forming force that gives shape and form. It is the power of destiny and the will to power. It represents male strength and power, male virility and fertility. It governs those powers of courage, bravery, determination, perseverance, endurance and tenacity. Uruz is used to enhance those qualities that produce great leadership.
The Uruz is the wild force of formation that is associated with the father of all giants, Ymir.
The Uruz rune is the most vital of energies and eliminates all weaknesses, transforming weaknesses into strengths. It is the unconscious life-force and can be used to draw the life-force to heal. It is the powerful instincts that exist in man and must be controlled or it could be very destructive. It is rooted in the past and is the urge to defend the homeland and one’s family and hearth.
Thurisaz stands for the defense of the home or homeland as well as for the individual. It means thunder, thunderbolt or lightning and is associated with Thor, especially with his hammer, Mjollnir. It is a powerful defensive rune, just as Thor is the defender of the Gods and mankind against the destructive forces of the giants. Thurisaz counters chaos (giants) and maintains order and stability. Being a rune of lightning, it is also a fertility rune and has regenerative powers. When combined with Eihwaz and Elhaz, the three runes become a powerful lucky charm.
Thurisaz is the sign of pure action. It is the instinctual will within all of us that is directed by the cosmic forces of self-consciousness. Thor’s mother was a giantess and so Thurisaz is the embodiment of the Thurses (giant) powers, but because Thor’s father was Odin, (God/Aesir) this power has direction and consciousness. In the negative form, (reverse) the Thurisaz is the undirected power of the chaotic forces. It is Thor’s hammer, Mjollnir, that provides balance between the forces of destruction and construction.
The "A" rune embodies the Odinnic powers - consciousness. It synthesizes the left and right half of the brain. The Ansuz power is inherited from generation to generation. It is the ancestral power that ties us to our Folk and family. Odin is the God of ancestral forces that gave consciousness to the race of man. Ansuz is the triad of Odin - Odin, Vili and Ve, that gave self-consciousness to man. Like Odin, it embodies the powers of inspiration and wisdom, intelligence, poetry, magic and both social and cosmic order. It is also the power of oratory and communication. Missionaries for the Gods should develop the power of Ansuz to spread the word of the Folk Faith among the Children of the Gods.
This rune is the Odinnic force within our Folk. Its energy is passed down from generation to generation. It is the spiritual link between Odin and his children.
Raido is the rune of motion, the correct action that needs to be taken. It is also the rune of order, religion and rituals. The natural order of the seasons of the year are represented by Raido. It is the rune for the cycle of days, and the right path for growth and the movement of the sun. When traveling, one should consult Raido. It is the rune of both spiritual and physical development and is represented by the wagon or chariot. It also represents the rune for the proper order of things in the universe - the physical laws that hold the universe in place. It is the force that causes the planets to revolve around the sun, the sun around the center of the galaxy and the galaxy moving through the universe.
It is also the rune for music, poetry and dance and all these are used in runic-shamanism. The wagon represents the right-way to runic-shamanistic enlightenment. It should be used to help the runic shaman on his travels through the nine worlds.
Kenaz is the rune of illumination, learning, teaching as well as kinship. Its symbolism is the torch or beam of light that gives light to the darkness and illumination on any subject or mystery. Its illumination is but spiritual and intellectual. It can represent the hearth and thus, it is a source of creation. It is also the rune for lust, love and passion. Because of the emotionalism and spiritualism associated with Kenaz, it is the rune that favors artists, craftsmen and all creative people.
Kenaz is also the rune of technological knowledge and should be used for creative endeavors. It’s the force that shapes and creates. Because it is the torch-rune, it is also the Loki rune, and its qualities should only be used for positive purposes and never for negative reasons.
Gebo is the rune of generosity, hospitality, gifts and represents the Gods collectively. It rules over gift-giving and contracts or anything else that deals with the binding of people or parties together. It is also the rune for making sacrifices to the Gods. Friendships and close relationships of any kind are also governed by Gebo.
Gebo can be considered the Odinnic triad of gifts - self-awareness, breath and shape. Thus, its qualities for gifts exchanged to create bonds, not only between individuals, but as an exchange of gifts between the individual and the nation, and thus strengthening the bond between the individual with his Folk. The individual gives loyalty and is expected to act responsibly. All his action affect the growth and development and health of the Folk. By doing so the individual ensures the creation and preservation of a health environment for himself and his family. In this way his rights as an individual are defended.
Wunjo is the rule for joy, harmony, fellowship, comradeship, honor and loyalty. This rune deals with emotional and spiritual healing and is used to combat sadness and depression. It enhances one’s self-respect and the morale of both the group and the individual. It can be associated with Freyja and with lovers. It is the joy and bliss that are associated with love and love affairs, and is also embodies sex and lust.
This rune is the embodiment of beings of common origin - race, nation, tribes, clans, families - the Folk. It ensures harmony within the group and marshals energies to preserve that harmony. It reinforces healthy sexual unions and defends the Folk and family against all forms of sexual perversions.
Hagalaz is the rune that represents constraint. It symbolizes hail, and is the rune of the creative cosmic forces of the universe. Used properly it will provide well-being and safety. It is the embodiment of the evolutionary forces, and the unity of fire and ice that created the universe. It is the rune of harmony and wholeness, and the rune of hope, growth and youthful confidence. Hagalaz is also the rune that governs the unconsciousness and the underworld.
Hagalaz is often associated with Ymir and thus the embodiment of the world and the universe that were fashioned from his body. It is the ninth rune and the number "9" is the number of completion, wholeness and fulfillment.
Nauthiz is the rune that represents need and necessity. It is the rune that personified the Norns and Fate. Its shape is that of the bow which can provide protection. It provides what is needed most - protection, security and well-being for the individual and the family. It is also the rune for growth, friction and resistance which are symbolized by this rune, and the dialectic of idea and opposition which causes struggle and conflict that lead to growth and development for both the individual and group.
Isa is the rune of eternal ice, especially the cosmic forces of ice. It is not the rune of Niflheim, but the ice streams that flow out of it. It is the rune for the inertia state of calm, and can be used to restore clam and order during times of crisis and conflict. Isa attracts the fire, and its union with it causes the act of creation. It is also the symbol for the individual ego - the self. It can be used to ensure self-control as well as controlling one’s surroundings.
Jera is the rune representing the yearly cycles and the solar year, and governs sowing and harvest. It is also the rune of patience and slow progress. This is the rune of progress; sowing and reaping, birth, death and rebirth and can be associated with Balder. It represents the masculine fertility force in the universe, and is also associated with Frey. It can be considered the ying and the yang of the Folk Faith, and its symbols are the opposites of the yearly cycle - summer (fire) and winter (ice).
Eihwaz is the rune representing the yew tree and thus is the embodiment of the vertical cosmic forces, endurance and protection. It is the rune that is associated with the ash, Yggdrasill - the axis of the universe. It is the rune of shamanism and permits one to travel to other worlds. Eihwaz represents the three realms of heaven (Asgard), earth (Midgard) and the underworld (Hel). It is the spiritual path to other states of being and becoming. Its power is the unity of the essence of life and death. It is also a life-giving force and symbolizes the Life-Force of the universe and the race. It is associated with Vular, the God of the winter sky.
Pertho is the rune that symbolizes those qualities of chance, time, cause and effect as well as change and evolution. It is the rune that personifies the power of the Wyrd - or one’s fate and destiny. It binds the past, present and future together and can also be associated with the Norns, especially the eldest of the Norns, Urdar (the past).
It is also the rune of spiritualism, divination and intellectual knowledge. It is the "turning rune" or the "becoming rune." The past gives birth to the present, and the two collectively shape the future.
Elhaz is symbolized by the elk, and represents protection, the Life-Force, and the union between men and the Gods. Its shape has two meanings; the elk’s antlers, which represents masculine defense and protection, but it also symbolizes the image of a human with arms upright, communicating with the Gods. This is the union between men and the Gods, and can be symbolized with the swan. As the life-rune, it is a very powerful force, but when reversed, it represents death and can be very dangerous
This rune is also the symbol for Bifrost, the rainbow bridge, that links heaven (Asgard) with the earth (Midgard). It is the divine link between the Gods and man, and was referred to as Daimon, by the Greeks, and Genius, by the Romans. In this way, it is also the symbol for the Valkyries, led by Freyja and sent by Odin.
Sowilo is the Sun Rune. It represents the sun wheel, success and victory. Like the sun, it radiates power. It is the opposite of the Isa rune because it is the rune representing fire. It embodies the essence of the human will and willpower. Heimdall is the God representing Sowilo - the messenger of Odin and the White God. Two Sowilo runes form the swastika, which is also a symbol for the sun.
The Sowilo rune guides one through life. It is a beacon of consciousness and will bestow honor and success on anyone who develops the will that is the essence of the Sowilo force.
Tiwaz is the rune that is the symbol for the cosmic pillar - the axis of the universe. It is the rune for justice, and all juristical matters as well as government. Self-sacrifice, spiritual discipline and universal order are qualities of Tiwaz. It is the rune for the God, Tyr, the God of war and justice. It embodies not only victory in war, but honor, loyalty, duty and self-sacrifice. The Tiwaz rune is the way of the individual who sacrifices himself for the greater good.
Tiwaz is the North Star in the nightly heavens. It is the star around which the heavens rotate - the axis of the universe. Polaris - the North Star - is the visible symbol of Tyr and is sometimes referred to as the Irminsul - the world column.
Berkano is represented by the birch tree, and the rune of the Earth Mother, It can represent both Frigga and Freyja, as well as Nerthus. It symbolizes the birth-life-death cycle. Berkano governs all things concerning feminine fertility, the womb, and especially the Vanir. It is the female productive and reproductive power. It is a powerful rune for mothers, children and the family, and for weddings. The rune symbol is the image of a woman’s breasts and used to increase fertility. It is a nurturing rune and is used to give continuous vigor.
Ehwaz is symbolized by the horse and stands for harmony, marriage and family, tryst and loyalty. The horse was the sacred animal of the ancient Indo-Europeans, and a symbol of continuance and the steed of Odin and the child of Loki. The horse not only symbolizes the cooperation between rider and steed, but between husband and wife as well. It also stands for the relationship between business partners and the rulers and those who are ruled. The horse is also a male symbol of fertility, and so associated with the God, Frey. It symbolizes twins and especially the relationship between husband and wife and a healthy marriage and family life.
Mannaz symbolizes man or the human being. It is the "M" rune that embodies the qualities of divine structure, self-awareness, the God Heimdall, who created the human species and the human races. It is also the rune for the divine spark within the human soul, the unbreakable genetic link between man and the Gods, and the rational mind and reason. As a symbol of man, it refers to the complete human being - what man can become and not what he is. It is also the rune for mead and thus is considered special for innkeepers and all establishments where drink is served.
Laguz is the rune that symbolizes running water. This is the power of the primal rivers of life from which the Life-Force flows out to all living things and fills the universe. It also refers to the deep subconscious, and instinct or intuition. It not only stands for the rivers of life, but the river that the dead must cross to pass into the Netherworld. It is a phallic symbol that combines virtue with fertility.
Lagaz represents the watery depths of the mysteries of death. It is the downward flow of the Life-Force. It represents the uncontrolled madness of sexuality.
Ingwaz refers to the expansive energy in the universe. It is the rune that refers to the God, Ing, who is the male consort for the earth Goddess. Sometimes associated with Frey, it is the seed that impregnates the fertile, female force of reproduction. Ingwaz is the male counterpart to the rune, Berkano.
Ingwaz is also the rune of transformation and initiation. Aspects of the heroes descend into the hidden realms or subterranean worlds, and then return transformed. It can be associated with the East, and the realm of the giants, Jotunheim. The giants are the dark forces of chaos, and when one passes through their realm, one is changed in a way that can best be explained though the saying, "That which does not destroys me, makes me stronger."
Dagaz is the rune that symbolizes the day and the light. Its power is used to balance and synchronize opposite forces. It represents the blinding flash of inspiration or a revelation that enlightens the individual to the mysteries of the universe. Dagaz helps to synchronize opposites to achieve a greater understanding of the whole. It is the process of learning and understanding. It is the new light that illuminates each day anew with the rising of the sun. It symbolizes progress, growth, enlightenment, and fundamental change.
Dagaz is the sign of the triad - Odin-Vili-Ve. It is the revelation of hyper-consciousness that is the cord of the Odinnic cult.
Othala is the rune that stands for home and possessions. It symbolizes property and land as well as homeland - the nation. It also symbolizes the genetic - not just your genetic make-up but the genetic link with our ancestor. It is the rune of "Blood and Soil," the nation and the homeland. It is also the rune of inherited knowledge or tradition and patriotism and love for one’s nation and Folk.
In this way, Othala is the sacred grove and the walled off enclosure where the spiritual heritage of the Folk is preserved within a multi-cultural environment. It is the sum total of the heritage of the Folk. It brings order and harmony within the chaotic world of diversity and multi-culturalism. It helps to root the folk to its past and thus ensures its future.