The Elder Futhark Runes are made up of 24 runes. Then divided into three sections or Aettirs translates to ‘family.’ They are each related to a Norse God or Goddess. They surround the representations & associations of those deities from start to finish in a sense. The first eight runes belong to Freya’s Aett (family). The first Aett comprises the runes themselves, Futhark & then an additional two runes. After a basic definition of the Three Aettirs, we will explore the meanings & associations of each of the runes in the following weeks.
The runes in the Freya’s Aettir are Fehu, Uruz, Thurisaz, Ansuz, Raidho, Kenaz, Gebo, and Wunjo. The runes in this grouping speak to what was important in Nordic lives. It also holds insight into how they viewed the cosmos & how that intertwined with their livelihoods. The runes come in pairs of opposites of situations such as being responsible or unresponsible when learning social problems & family. Freyja would be the nurturing of life’s initial training or learning processes.
Fehu & Uruz involve oxen in the wild & as part of a homestead, in the time they were highly revered as a successful life & used as payment. With the following two runes Thurisaz & Ansuz, the Gods Thor & Odin are represented before Raidho, which would reference movement, mainly utilizing chariots of some type. Kenaz brings us light & illumination when the fire is discovered within the Aettir. Gebo shows us a balance of equal reciprocation, and finally Wunjo shows us the joy and bliss that come from living your life in a way that is fulfilling & stable.
The second Aettir is Heimdall’s & Heimdall is a guardian & warrior God, so his Aettir shows how you may have challenges & destruction as time goes on, but perseverance pays off & reaping those rewards. It shows how finding the strength to move forward despite any obstacles or restrictions & coming through to the other side. There are also the polarities of physical or losses to your livelihood, maybe through stealing or erosion, but justice & fairness will come as you make it through the hard times. Also, in their pairs for the Aettir. Those runes are Hagalaz, Nauthiz, Isa, Jera, Eihwaz, Perthro, Algiz, & Sowilo.
Hagalaz, Nauthiz, and Isa are where the universal forces that would have the constraints lie. Jera is the end of a cycle. Eihwaz & Perthro bring us the mysteries of our world & the other worlds that surround us. Algiz is the protection that we need to keep going & Sowilo is the reward from that perseverance & the successes that come along with them.
The Third Aettir is the God Tyr’s Aettir, Norse sky God, but in his original form was the head of the Germanic pantheon, a war god, and justice & righteousness. Fairness is a strong association. The runes associated with this Aettir are Tiwaz, Berknana/o, Ehwas, Mannaz, Laguz, Ing/Ingwaz. Dagaz, & lastly Othala. These runes are where justice, enlightenment, family power, & spiritual growth are contained. Tiwaz is Tyr’s rune & the justice rune. Berkana/o holds the birch goddess with her fertility. Ehwaz is the rune of the horse, with Mannaz the rune of human connection. Laguz is water; Inguz is for the God Freyr & the seed. Where Dagaz is the dawn & Othala represents the family.
I also respect the deities associated with Norse Mythology & any associated runes with their Aettirs. However, I do not work with Norse Mythology in my practice. There are no Celtic deity associations, but I use them for divination & understand the messages they are trying to convey to me based on their history, meanings, & all their associations. My next post will be on next Tuesday. We will go through the first rune of the Elder Futhark & Freya’s Aettir, rune #1 Fehu.
Sources Used & Drawn From
Simonds, Josh. The Beginner’s Guide to Runes: Divination and Magic with the Elder Futhark Runes. Rockridge Press, 2020.
Thorsson, Edred. Big Book of Runes and Rune Magic: A Complete Guide to Interpreting Runes, Rune Lore, and the Art of Runecasting. Red Wheel/Weiser, 2018.
Starfire, Lynette. “The Three Aettirs of the Elder Futhark Runes.” Witches Of The Craft®, 14 Sept. 2018, The Three Aettirs of the Elder Futhark Runes – Witches Of The Craft®.
Visconti, Sofia. Norse, Celtic Mythology & Runes. Independently Published, 2021.
Chamberlain, Lisa. Runes for Beginners: A Guide to Reading Runes in Divination, Rune Magic, and the Meaning of the Elder Futhark Runes. Chamberlain Publications, 2018.