Elder Futhark Rune Meanings

Elder Futhark Runes

The Elder Futhark is the oldest form of the runic alphabets, and primarily used by the Germanic tribes, including those in Scandinavia, between the 2nd and 8th centuries. The runic alphabets are called “futharks” after the first six runes (Fehu, Uruz, Thurisaz, Ansuz, Raidho, Kenaz), in the same way that the word “alphabet” comes from the names of the first two Semitic letters (Aleph, Beth).  The Elder Futhark rune writing system has been found on artifacts including weapons, jewelry, tools, plates, amulets, and runestones. 

There are 24 runes in the Elder Futhark, representing a phoneme (sound).  The 24 runes are typically arranged in three groups of eight, known as an ætt (similar to clan or family), ruled over by a Norse god or goddess.  The first group of eight was ruled by Freyr and Freyja, the gods of fertility, love, and battle.  The second group was ruled by Heimdall, the watchman of the gods, who lived at the entry to Asgard (home of the gods) and guarded the Bifrost (rainbow bridge).  The third group was ruled by Tyr, the god of war and justice.  

The runes were believed to be used for practical and magical purposes, with many believing the runes were used in rituals and fortune telling.  The word rune comes from the Germanic word for mystery or secret, and it was believed the runes held divination powers and were taken very seriously in the Norse culture.

Today the Elder Futhark runes are used as a way to connect with an individual's higher self, intuition, or a method of fortelling what the future will hold.  Set your intention by selecting the rune that represents the future you want to manifest for yourself or a loved one!


Elder Futhark Rune Meanings

Fehu Elder Futhark Rune Meaning


(Pronounced fey-who, sound "f")

Symbolizes cattle and wealth.  Represents financial success, abundance, fortune, hope, and good luck.

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Uruz Elder Futhark Rune Meaning


(Pronounced oo-rooze, sound "oo")

Symbolizes an ox and strength.  Represents physical, emotional and spiritual strength, power, determination, and health.

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Thurisaz Elder Futhark Rune Meaning


(Pronounced thoo-ree-sahz, sound "th")

Symbolizes a thorn or giant, and Thor's hammer.  Represents protection, defense, conflict, attack, strength, chaos, and uncontrollable power.  

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Ansuz Elder Futhark Rune Meaning


(Pronounced ahn-sooze, sound "aah")

Symbolizes wisdom.  Represents communication, revelation, signs, insight, knowledge, inspiration, and truth.

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Raidho Elder Futhark Rune Meaning


(Pronounced rye-though, sound "r")

Symbolizes a wheel or journey.  Represents travel, physical or spiritual journey, evolution, or change.

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Kenaz Elder Futhark Rune Meaning


(Pronounced kane-awze, sound "k")

Symbolizes a torch, light, or fire.  Represents a beacon, knowledge, understanding, learning, and finding clarity.

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Gebo Elder Futhark Rune Meaning


(Pronounced gay-boh, sound "g")

Symbolizes a gift.  Represents a connection and honor in gift giving between two people, self-sacrifice, and finding a balance in business, romantic, and friendship relationships.

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Wunjo Elder Futhark Rune Meaning


(Pronounced woon-yo, sound "v/w")

Symbolizes joy.  Represents a clan's victory flag, triumph, common goals, harmony, belonging, celebration, and positive energy.

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Hagalaz Elder Futhark Rune Meaning


(Pronounced haw-gah-lahz, sound "h")

Symbolizes hail.  Represents destructive nature, uncontrollable forces, change that is out of our control, clearing a path and overcoming obstacles.

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Nauthiz Elder Futhark Rune Meaning


(Pronounced now-these, sound "n")

Symbolizes need or necessity.  Represents how our needs can both fulfill us and hold us back, how sometimes you need to face your fears to find what you need, and self reliance.

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Isa Elder Futhark Rune Meaning


(Pronounced ee-sah, sound "i/ee")

Symbolizes ice.  Represents patience, the need to pause or delay plans, stillness, or waiting for conditions to change before moving forward.

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Jera Elder Futhark Rune Meaning


(Pronounced yehr-ah, sound "j/yeh")

Symbolizes harvest.  Represents the cycle of life, the profit from your investment (reaping what you sow), coming abundance, and expressing gratitude for what you have.

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Eihwaz Elder Futhark Rune Meaning


(Pronounced eye-waz, sound "ei")

Symbolizes a yew tree.  Represents life and death, tree of life, connection between all worlds, sacred knowledge, and balance.

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Perthro Elder Futhark Rune Meaning


(Pronounced per-throw, sound "p")

Symbolizes dice cup or chance.  Represents the unknown, mysteries, uncertainty in life, fate, fortune, and female fertility.

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Algiz Elder Futhark Rune Meaning


(Pronounced al-geez, sound "z")

Symbolizes an elk or protection.  Represents defense, protection from harm, a guardian, courage, or instincts.

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Sowilo Elder Futhark Rune Meaning


(Pronounced so-wee-loh, sound "s")

Symbolizes the sun.  Represents the sun's energy, energy that drives the world, finding light in the darkness, the ability to see things clearly, and happiness.  

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Tiwaz Elder Futhark Rune Meaning


(Pronounced tee-waz, sound "t")

Symbolizes a warrior or victory.  Represents the god Tyr, a warrior's spear, leadership, honor, bravery, and courage.

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Berkana Elder Futhark Rune Meaning


(Pronounced bear-kah-nah, sound "b")

Symbolizes a birch tree and birth.  Represents birth (literal and the birth of new ideas and projects), fertility, creation, growth, and creativity.

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Ehwaz Elder Futhark Rune Meaning


(Pronounced ay-waz, sound "e")

Symbolizes a horse.  Represents progress, change, moving forward, and teamwork.

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Mannaz Elder Futhark Rune Meaning


(Pronounced mahn-awz, sound "m")

Symbolizes mankind.  Represents humanity, identity and relationship to others, social order, cooperation, and community.

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Laguz Elder Futhark Rune Meaning


(Pronounced lah-gooze, sound "l")

Symbolizes a lake or water.  Represents all water and it's ability to "go with the flow", renewal, and healing powers.  Also represents intuition, imagination, insight, and dreams.

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Ingwaz Elder Futhark Rune Meanings


(Pronounced ing-ooze, sound "ng")

Symbolizes fertility (male).  Represents virility, strength, sexuality, family, virtue, peace, and harmony.

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Dagaz Elder Futhark Rune Meaning


(Pronounced dah-gaz, sound "d")

Symbolizes day.  Represents dawn and coming out of the darkness, hope, change, awakenings, clarity, and new beginnings. 

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Othala Elder Futhark Rune Meaning


(Pronounced owe-tha-lah, sound "o")

Symbolizes home.  Represents ancestral lands, the importance of family, legacy, inheritance, and abundance.

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 Shop the whole Elder Futhark Rune Collection


Norse Mythology (https://norse-mythology.org/runes/)
The Rune Site (http://www.therunesite.com/elder-futhark-rune-meanings/)
Two Wander (https://www.twowander.com/blog/rune-meanings-how-to-use-runestones-for-divination)
Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elder_Futhark)