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24 Elder Futhark Meanings Explained [With Origins]

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Written by: Tina Caro

Runes have ancient origins. They existed in Celtic culture and were the components of an alphabet used by priests and druids belonging to the German-Scandinavian people.

The runes have a great power of clairvoyance and represent a very effective divination tool.

They allow one to face the difficulties of life and give great energy and spiritual harmony to the consultant. Let’s see what the meanings of the Elder Futhark are.


The Elder Futhark runic alphabet consists of 24 characters, each with its own distinct meaning and symbolism.

These runes hold significance in various aspects of life, including wealth, strength, communication, journey, and protection.

They are often used in divination and spiritual practices to provide insights and guidance.

It’s important to note that interpretations of these runes may vary, and they continue to be a valuable part of runic traditions and esoteric studies.

What does the word rune mean?

The word rune means mystery or whisper; this evokes something whispered in the ear, a teaching handed down orally.

The origins of the runes are uncertain, there are those who think they are signs of prehistoric derivation, those who consider them an adaptation of Greek and Latin, those who attribute them to the Etruscan people, and some to the Vikings.

a collection of runes by MagickalSpot

What is certain is their use as symbols of protection and good omens in front of homes, on the ships of Nordic warriors, and on their swords and shields. They were also used by spiritual authorities such as Druids or for divination, engraved on wood, stone, metal, or for meditation and for healing the soul.

Runes are the secret language of the world, nature, and life and each symbol becomes an archetype: Love, Exchange, Strength, Wealth, Rebirth, Destiny, Balance, Travel, Cooperation, Family.

FehuDerived from the Proto-Germanic word “fehu,” meaning “cattle” or “wealth”
UruzDerived from the Proto-Germanic word “uruz,” meaning “aurochs” or “wild ox”
ThurisazDerived from the Proto-Germanic word “thurisaz,” meaning “giant” or “thorn”
AnsuzDerived from the Proto-Germanic word “ansuz,” meaning “a god” or “divinity”
RaidoDerived from the Proto-Germanic word “raidō,” meaning “ride” or “journey”
KaunanDerived from the Proto-Germanic word “kaunan,” meaning “ulcer” or “wound”
GeboDerived from the Proto-Germanic word “geƀô,” meaning “gift”
WunjoDerived from the Proto-Germanic word “wunjô,” meaning “joy” or “bliss”
HagalazDerived from the Proto-Germanic word “hagalaz,” meaning “hail”
NauthizDerived from the Proto-Germanic
Table 1: Origins of Elder Futhark Runes

Runes have also been used as letters in current writing; there are, in fact, different runic alphabets, with different signs depending on the culture of the place. The Futhark Alphabet, which takes its name from the first 6 runes, is certainly the most common.

The runes help us get in touch with the unconscious and to better understand the energies that interact with the evolutionary path, in order to live this life with more awareness, both in everyday life and in the spirituality of the soul.


The path of knowledge of the runes can be taken both individually and in small groups. The aim is to learn about the ancient glyphs through the Futhark Alphabet and their respective symbolic meanings, building your own rune set on natural supports such as wood, stones, or shells, and then activating them together.

Also read:
What do The Runes on Dumbledore’s Wand Mean?
What do the Runes on Sirius Black’s Wand Mean?

Elder Futhark meanings – one by one

The Futhark Alphabet is made up of 25 runes divided into three families, or Aettir, plus the Rune of Odin or White Rune or Wyrd.

Each Family or Aett is made up of 8 Runes:

  • Freya’s family represents the stage of youth
  • Heimdall’s family represents adulthood
  • Tyr’s family represents maturity/wisdom

According to an archetypal interpretation, the Futhark represents the journey that everyone takes within himself in search of his own truth: preparation for the journey, the journey, and the return.

This interpretation makes rune absolutely similar to tarot cards and, particularly, to the major arcanas that are there to show you the journey of the self from its birth to ascension and enlightenment.


FehuFehuWealth, abundance, prosperity
UruzUruzStrength, vitality, endurance
ThurisazThurisazProtection, defense, boundaries
AnsuzAnsuzCommunication, divine inspiration
RaidoRaidoJourney, travel, personal growth
KaunanKaunanKnowledge, wisdom, creativity
GeboGeboGifts, partnerships, balance
WunjoWunjoJoy, harmony, fulfillment
HagalazHagalazTransformation, disruption, growth
NauthizNauthizNeed, constraint, inner strength
IsaIsaStillness, patience, introspection
JeraJeraHarvest, fertility, rewards
EihwazEihwazEndurance, resilience, transformation
PerthoPerthoMystery, divination, hidden knowledge
AlgizAlgizProtection, connection with divine
SowiloSowiloSuccess, enlightenment, energy
TiwazTiwazCourage, justice, self-discipline
BerkanaBerkanaGrowth, nurturing, rebirth
EhwazEhwazPartnership, teamwork, progress
MannazMannazHumanity, self-awareness, community
LaguzLaguzIntuition, emotions, healing
IngwazIngwazFertility, new beginnings, creativity
DagazDagazEnlightenment, transformation, breakthrough
OthalaOthalaAncestral heritage, home, legacy
Table 2: Elder Futhark Rune Meanings


Wealth and abundance, both material and spiritual.

Read more about the Fehu rune here.


Vitality, good health, and achievement of goals thanks to one’s strength.

Read more about the Uruz rune here.

Before we continue

Working with runes takes skill and patience and isn’t recommended in most cases. I provide these “do it yourself” articles for educational purposes, but it is strongly recommended that you consult a divination expert such as Mystic Amber and allow us to do the work for you.

This way you know it’s being done by someone experienced and knowledgeable and we’re also always here to answer questions about your reading and provide follow-up at no additional charge.

Elder Futhark Runes Reading

elder futhark rune reading service by magickal spot 2021

The Runic Oracle (Mystic Amber) will help you understand what the future holds for you or if you need some clarity about something that’s currently happening in your life by doing a reading with her Elder Futhark Runes, Tarot, and Oracle cards.

What you can expect from us:

  • Private and personalized approach
  • Reading done in less than 24h
  • Only the best quality runes
  • Free consultations before & after reading

We have helped hundreds of clients over the years, and we’d love to work with you as well.

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Defense, warns to be on guard against the enemy.

Read more about the Thurisaz rune here.


Communication, transmits divine knowledge and wisdom through the word.

Read more about the Ansuz rune here.


Movement, displacement, and journey of life.

Read more about the Raidho rune here.

Custom Raidho rune by MagickalSpot
My homemade Raidho rune.


Clarity and light in one’s path of life.

Read more about the Kenaz rune here.


Gift, an exchange between two human beings, an uninterrupted flow of give and take.

Read more about the Gebo rune here.


Joy and pleasure, developing luck and success, overcoming difficulties.

Read more about the Wunjo rune here.


The second rune family represents the “Great Trials of Life”, necessary trials to forge the character and get in touch with a sense of spirituality.


Hail, destroys to transform.

Read more about the Hagalaz rune here.


The need to stop to find inner balance.

Read more about the Nauthiz rune here.


Static force.

Read more about the Isa rune here.


Cycle, the life that takes place at the right time.

Read more about the Jera rune here.

Custom Jeraa rune by MagickalSpot


Continuity, ability to persevere despite adverse situations.

Read more about the Eihwaz rune here.


Fate, mystery, and the ability to become aware of one’s potential.

Read more about the Perthro rune here.


Protection against difficulties and defense against negative situations.

Read more about the Algiz rune here.


Brightness, sun, and victory.

Read more about the Sowilo rune here.


The third family of runes is a guide towards overcoming the individual condition to access the universal dimension, placing our life at the service of the planet and humanity. By learning about ourselves, we are able to help others find themselves.


Direction, male strength that makes you brave, increases personal power.

Read more about the Tiwaz rune here.

Custom Tiwaz rune by MagickalSpot
My homemade Tiwaz rune.


Rebirth, the birth of a project, and feminine force that amplifies perceptions.

Read more about the Berkana rune here.


Satisfying and reliable collaboration, energy growth of cooperation.

Read more about the Ehwaz rune here.


Awareness of the human being in various aspects, development of consciousness.

Read more about the Mannaz rune here.


Fluidity, linked to water and emotional communication, favors intuition.

Read more about the Laguz rune here.

Custom Laguz rune by MagickalSpot
My homemade Laguz rune.


Family and tribal union regarding fidelity, fertility, and abundance.

Read more about the Ingwaz rune here.


Ancestors, a potential inherited from the Avi, but also possible material legacies.

Read more about the Othala rune here.


Day, victory of light over darkness.

Read more about the Dagaz rune here.

The White Rune or Odin Rune (The rune of destiny)

Some sets of runes don’t show this rune, even if this is a very interesting rune.

Empty and white, the end and the beginning, this is the rune of total trust and should be considered as the stimulating experience with true destiny (fate) that, without rest, regenerates itself like the phoenix from its own ashes.

The white rune heralds a symbolic death and alludes to an aspect of life that is being led, the renunciation of control when the unknowable is informed about what is in motion in life; in this whiteness is contained pure potential, which is dense and empty, but at the same time includes the totality of being, all that must be implemented.

Where, on the other hand, there are issues hidden by the gods, remember that whatever is urging and inviting us with a nod is the creative power of the unknown.

The extraction of the white rune brings out the deepest fears, but also the supreme good; the truest possibilities and all constructive dreams are enclosed in that whiteness. Goodwill and tolerance are the qualities of this rune, after all, one cannot exercise control over what is not yet formed.

The white rune requires an act of courage, a leap in the dark, a request of faith. It represents the path of evolution, the sum total of actions and their consequences. At the same time, the white rune teaches that many ancient obligations change and evolve just as a person changes and evolves.

Nothing is predestined, obstacles along the path can become the gateway to new beginnings. The extraction of the white rune indicates the progress of the change.

If you want to know something about your future or about your life in general but runes are not the divinatory tools that suit you, don’t forget you can rely on Mystic Amber and her tarot reading service!

Tina Caro

Tina Caro is a witch with more than 10 years of experience, a yogi, an astrologer, and a passionate supporter of all things holistic! She’s also an owner of the website Magickal Spot where she discusses a variety of her favorite topics.

Magickal Spot has helped thousands of readers worldwide, and she’s personally worked with hundreds of clients and helped them manifest desires to have a happier and more abundant life.

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