• Add description, images, menus and links to your mega menu

  • A column with no settings can be used as a spacer

  • Link to your collections, sales and even external links

  • Add up to five columns

  • Explanation and operation of the runic alphabet

    June 14, 2021 3 min read

    the runic alphabet

    Mainly used by the Germanic people before the arrival of the Roman Empire and the Latin alphabet, the runic alphabet is a set of 25 stones including a blank rune representing the unknown , and 24 runic stones. It was after the fall of the Roman Empire that the runic alphabet spread across Europe.

    First used for divination and for magic, it was known only to initiates. We then found runic inscriptions on the tombs, on the amulets, etc. Some say it comes from the Etruscan alphabet, others from the Archaic Greek and Roman alphabet. In any case, runic writing has evolved a lot over time.

    The runic alphabet: an overview of this communication system

    Of Germanic origin, it was in the second century AD that runes made their appearance. They are characters or symbols engraved in stone, in metal or in metal. They were used in Celtic languages ​​and Viking soothsayers used them for predictions of the future.

    The alphabet of runes or futhark was used by the Anglo-Saxons to write Old English. The Norse and Germanic peoples used it to write Gothic Norse . For both of them, the word "futhark" refers to a secret knowledge, a mystery.

    runic alphabet


    When we consider its first 6 letters, the runic alphabet comes in two main variants namely the old futhark and the recent futhark. The old futhark is made up of 24 characters and was used from 100 to 800 AD. The recent futhark has 16 symbols and was used from 800 to 1100 AD.

    The medieval runes were used from 1100 to 1500 and are very similar to the recent futhark runes, with a few differences, particularly in terms of phonetics. Each of these alphabets works like the Latin alphabet.

    How does the runic alphabet work?

    You certainly weren't expecting to read something like this, but the runic alphabet or the futhark works pretty much like any other alphabet. Words are formed by the accumulation of letters. Each rune is associated with one or more sounds . What distinguishes the runes from other alphabets is the fact that they are made by incision in wood.

    The direct consequence is that most of the time they are represented only by straight vertical or oblique lines. There are almost no horizontal or curved lines. That said, there are some specifics that should be noted.

    In the writing system, runes should not be doubled. In other words, words like “runaR rista” and “doTTir” will be written respectively “runarista” and “dotir”. The other detail, as you will have noticed with the first of the two words previously given as an example, is that the role of the separation between two words is not necessarily played by spaces. Sometimes, instead of a space, what we find is a cross or one or two small dots.

    Another specificity: the "R" rune, which must be distinguished from the "r" rune , only appears at the end of words. Also, the younger futhark, unlike the Elder futhark, is made up of relatively fewer runes than sounds. In other words, several sounds share a common rune.

    Reading the runes and their meaning

    It is important to note that runes are not just characters to be used in ordinary communications. They also belong to the closed circle of divinatory arts and are sometimes used in the drawing of pentacles.

    Among the Celtic and Germanic peoples, they are attributed the ability to guide, to give a different perspective of life and situations. Their manipulation makes it possible to acquire the faculty of interpretation of the signs that they represent and of analysis of their predictions on the future and on certain areas of life.

    viking alphabet


    As such, it goes without saying that each rune taken separately has its own meaning or refers to a specific concept or idea. This is where they differ from other alphabets.

    To better understand your life and the various events that sometimes occur in it, it may be necessary to use the runes . For example, the first 6 runes of the old futhark are as follows:

    1. Fehu= livestock, opulence, growth;
    2. Ūruzou (Ūrq) = the strength of the young warrior, iron or rain;
    3. Þurisazou Thurisaz = Thor, the giant, the thorn;
    4. Ansuz= ase, the god, the oak tree;
    5. Raidō= the journey, the ride;
    6. Kaunanou (Kenaz) = rash, boil, ulcers.

    In the divinatory practice based on the runes, it is therefore necessary to draw stones on which these symbols are engraved. The seer is responsible for associating the elements with each other and interpreting them.

    Leave a comment

    Comments will be approved before showing up.