"Viking" runes, modern meanings (I)


Although the name "Vikings" is not the most accurate (the correct thing would be to say "Nordic"), it is true that the literary and audiovisual world has spread this notion and this has been a great boost for the runes, which in themselves They were little by little positioning themselves next to the great mancies.

The most popular runes in esotericism are the "Viking" ones, but in reality they no longer preserve, for the most part, the ancient runic meanings. The current runes have meanings from more modern versions that have ended up mixing and having more or less similar meanings between the different versions.

After the association of the Armanen runes with National Socialism, there were many who tried to remove the xenophobic and extremist part that List and his followers had imposed on the runic ideology. The first of them was the occultist Karl Spiesberger (1904-1992), who, after having been separated and monitored by Himmler for developing a runic system that was "too far away" from Armanen (and therefore from the National Socialist ideology), found himself forced to enter other occult areas, such as the pendulum. After the Second World War, he was finally able to publish his runic works, and also eliminated the racial and imperialist bias that the Nazis had imposed on the runes. His Armanen was very popular in Central Europe.

But the true spreader of runes as we popularly know them, and as we find them in esoteric stores, is the American Ralph Blum (1932-2016). It was around 1983 when his work on Runes as an Oracle came to light and spread rapidly. In his book there were no longer any traces of German occultism, and he had simplified the futhark and the way of using the runes, which produced general acceptance of him, despite being an author who dealt with very diverse topics and not only esoteric Later, as a prelude to the expansion that runes were going to have, he published books on other formats (runes on cards) or on different areas and objectives (runes for interpersonal relationships). However, he left a path completely open by stating:

<< No rules exist for consulting the Runes beyond and attitude of seriousness and respect (...)>>

<<There are no rules for consulting the Runes, beyond an attitude of seriousness and respect (...)>>

The runes are commonly consulted in readings slightly similar to those of the tarot, but an article will be dedicated to them in depth. For now, we can mention the Blum tests, which are still in vogue: Odin test (a single rune), Yes and No test, Three runes test (read from right to left), Cross test and " poker".

The runes and their meaning

(This article is divided into two parts, if you don't find a rune here, it is probably in the second part)

We are now going to expose the individual meanings of the most popular futhark runes. The basic meanings have not changed much since the works of Ralph Blum, but what did change is the order, since the three aettir or groups of runes (Freyr, Hagal and Tyr) were inverted by Blum, starting with the Mannaz rune. But to avoid further confusion, here we are going to present them as it is traditionally done, starting with Fehu.

Let us also remember that the runes can be read inverted. Once again Blum was a precursor of this system.

ᚠ Fehu is a prosperity rune. According to several authors, it symbolizes the horns of cattle, according to others it is an ear of wheat. Fehu is associated with Frey, god of fertility. The response of a Fehu rune is a material and emotional victory. He usually talks about rewards and reaping the fruits of our work. It is a rune that is widely used in spells and money amulets.

Fehu inverted is a warning to reflect on the search for exclusively material rewards. Even if they come, they will not be satisfactory. It also warns of possible losses, obstacles and frustrations.

ᚢ Uruz is a rune of strength and change. It symbolizes an Aurochs, extinct ancestor of the bull and the bison, a vigorous and brave animal but peaceful if not disturbed. The change it announces is an internal change, of personal development, of growth. It can be the product of reflection or be accompanied by circumstances that promote it. Its associated god is Ull, lord of winter and hunting, so many believe that for young people going out to hunt aurochs was a ritual of maturity.

Uruz inverted warns of an obstacle, probably from oneself, in the face of this change. It is about resistance to change, fear of new things, excuses or opinions, people and circumstances that hinder progress.

Þ Thurisaz represents a hammer or an axe, some people identify it with a tusk. In any case, it is a message of problems, arguments, fights and physical pain. It can be between people or be something related to an illness or feelings. His associated god is Thor, bearer of Mjolnir, a warrior god, which invites us not to let ourselves be defeated so easily by the evils that threaten the person. It is understood that after this bad experience a strengthened rebirth will take place.

Thurisaz inverted enhances the obstacles that the rune warns about, to the point of reaching incapacity and stopping projects or relationships. The struggle is passive, patience and reflection are required to overcome these problems.

ᚨ Ansuz is the rune of speech and intellect. It speaks of messages and gifts, but also of periods of discovery and learning. It is related to Odin, king of the gods, who hung himself from a tree for 9 days and 9 nights as a sacrifice in exchange for the wisdom of the runes. Therefore, she warns us that every desire for knowledge involves effort, or that what we receive will be a consequence of it.

Ansuz inverted is absolute blindness. There is something hidden that is unknown and that is not fully understood. Conversations with others are not fruitful, people isolate themselves. It is time to make the "sacrifice" and strive to discover what is preventing progress and well-being, even though that may be painful for us.

ᚱ Raido is the rune of the path, of the vital and spiritual journey. Its ancient name is Reith or Reið, which in Proto-Norse means "to travel on horseback, to ride, to travel in a chariot." This journey brings material or spiritual rewards, and is much easier than Uruz, without problems or obstacles, it always evolves favorably. It is associated with Thor's chariot, but also with the god of justice Forseti. It is currently used as a spell or protective amulet when traveling.

Reversed Raido conveys the idea that the path one has taken may not be the right one, or at least, that there is something wrong with it. Although the obstacles will be small and easily overcome, it invites reflection on the path chosen. The changes and consequences may not be those desired, and it will be the person's responsibility to take charge of this.

ᚲ Kano is the rune of openness, of light. Its shape is associated with the light of a lighthouse. It is a positive rune that ensures harmony, understanding, knowledge, success. It is commonly associated with the goddess Nerthus, divinity of spring, nature and fertility. All the objectives sought will have a good ending, although it can also symbolize a spiritual "liberation" or even death (as "material" renewal).

Kano reversed would be a closing rune. It symbolizes the end of companies and intentions, the end of communication, of relationships, and now, death. It would be a warning similar to that of Uruz inverted, there are insurmountable obstacles and it is time to stop, accept them and reflect.

ᚷ Gebo is the rune of friendship and relationships, of gifts. It symbolizes a crossroads, and also a contract, pact or association. It is a balanced rune that does not have an inverted form, which is why it is always positive. It speaks of good relationships, friendship or business, of giving and receiving gifts (material or not), of having made the right decision by trusting other people. However, its result can be "negative" if the accompanying runes define the relationship negatively. Due to its simplicity, the Gebo rune is common as a discreet amulet for business and marriage.

ᚹ Wunjo or Wynn is the rune of happiness and prosperity. It symbolizes a tree that "leans" to one side due to the weight of the fruits. It is a very positive rune that indicates that the time has come to reap the fruits of our work and relax. It is a moment of success and tranquility, of joy and enjoyment. Likewise, it talks about material rewards. Its use as a talisman is frequent, since it smoothes the path to reach objectives.

Wunjo inverted indicates a stoppage, an obstacle, a delay in obtaining the desired objectives. It warns of frustrations and sadness, discomfort, lack of money or personnel to reach a goal. The biggest problem for the consultant at this moment is to give up or not, since it will be the rest of the runes that will indicate if the objective is really at the end of the path or if it is a lost opportunity that must be left as soon as possible to avoid greater losses.

ᚺ Hagalaz is a negative rune. It symbolizes the storm and hail that destroy crops and homes. It tells us about losses and their consequent difficult moments, whether it is a loss of money, the death of a person, the end of a project or a relationship... It is related to Thor, god of thunder, with Hel, goddess of the underworld , but especially with Heimdall, god of the sky, rainbows and storms. But these storms sent by Heimdall are always positive in the long run, because they nourish the earth. So, since this rune is symmetrical and cannot be read in reverse, we must remember that the sun always rises behind the clouds and that the bad time will pass.

ᚾ Nauthiz is the rune of necessity and sacrifice. It is understood that both are linked, because to fill that need it will require an effort on the part of the person. He wanted to identify himself with the god Nott, the night, in reference to darkness. But that need is a warning that something is not going well in our lives. Those responsible for the fact that our personal growth has slowed down are ourselves, for having an unsatisfied need.

Nauthiz does read inverted, despite the similarity it has to her natural position. It is usually understood that the line that crosses should be a little raised, so that when it is reversed it can be clearly seen that it is closer to the bottom. In this case, the unmet need is not a real need, but rather an obsession or excuse; it is avoiding a confrontation with someone or something.

I Isa is the rune of arrest, of freezing. It symbolizes hard ice (Isa=Ice). Depending on the query, it may mean that a project is going to be stopped for a long time, or that the person is the one who should stop at this moment. It is not a negative rune nor a positive one, it cannot be read backwards. It's simply that, everything is stopped, but there may be external reasons (which would be seen in the other runes of the spread) or it may be a "natural" process, like the arrival of winter and hibernation. It also warns of a period where a lot of patience and savings will have to be made. Trying something at this time will be negative, the person will "slip."

ᛃ Jera or Jeraz is the rune of the harvest. It literally means "year." As the two strokes of this rune clearly indicate, it is the beginning and the end, forming a balanced whole. Some think that the strokes symbolize harvest sickles, since it also seems associated with the goddess Nerthus/Herthra, although others have associated it with Njörd. It is a positive rune, which speaks of the rewards of work well done, prizes, the end of a journey or project, or a life process. Therefore, it can speak of a birth as well as a salary increase or overcoming an illness or grief, being defined by the runes that accompany it. Individually it is an always positive rune and an appreciated talisman for starting and finishing new projects. It does not have an inverse form.

Continued in the second part-> "Viking" runes, modern meanings (II)

Pietro V. Carracedo Ahumada .- pietrocarracedo@gmail.com


-Blum, R. The book of runes, Edaf, 2006

-Montfourt, P.R. Nordic Runes. Understanding, Casting, and Interpreting the Ancient Viking Oracle. Inner Traditions ed. 2003

-Rugdley, R. The return of Odin: the Modern Renaissance of Pagan Imagination, Inner Traditions, Rochester, 2006

Related Posts:

> "Viking" runes, modern meanings (II)

> Ancient runic meanings

>Armanen runes

>Ancient runic magic

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