Welcome to my second post about the Elder Futhark Runes! This is all about the first section, Freya’s Aett. Here’s the link to post one, all about the basics of runes.
Keep in mind that I am by no means an expert on the runes. I’ve only been learning on and off for about six months and have a lot of learning left to do. This is more of a jumping off point, something to get you started.
Once you get the basic idea of what each rune means you can dive deeper and really get down to the bones and what the runes mean to you. That step is not something I can give you and not even something I’ve completed yet.
A quick note about aettir
The runes are often broken up into three equal aettir (plural form of aett). This division provides a framework for studying, many people like to get a good grasp on one aett before moving onto the next.
The first is Freya’s aett, then Hagal’s, then Tyr’s.
They each have their own themes but also share some common points. Each aett is well rounded on its own. They all have a rune that represents light in one way or another. They all have a rune representing wealth in some form. And each aett has at least one rune that represents something dangerous.
I have not yet found a source that states when the aettir were established. Some sources talk about them and others don’t. I suspect they are likely something that came about as they began to be used for divination purposes rather than something that has been in place since ancient times. But if anyone knows for sure, please let me know!
Let’s get to it!
The first Aett belongs to Freya, Norse goddess of love, beauty, and fertility. This section of runes is all about love, happiness, enjoyment, as well as physical presence and emotions. This aett also speaks to beginnings, creation, and growth.
For each rune I’ll give you the pronunciation, English letter equivalent, meaning – as in the actual meaning/translation of the name, how it can be interpreted for divination, and ways to use it for other magical purposes like spells, amulets, and sigils.
Interpretation: Cattle speak to wealth and material possessions, so this is often what Fehu represents. This includes money as well as the act of owning things. Being the first in the runic alphabet it can represent new beginnings. Fehu can also be seen as a sign of good luck, hope, and strength.
Magical Use: I like to work Fehu into sigils that are for luck, abundance, or wealth. You could use it in other spell work for similar purposes. Fehu can also be used as an amulet to encourage wealth and strength.
Sound: “oo” (letter “u”)
Meaning: Auroch (Northern European wild cattle, extinct)
Interpretation: I like to think of Uruz as the wild and primal counterpart to Fehu. The Aurochs were fast and strong, representing power and primal force that resists being tamed. Uruz has a freedom to it as well as a creative force for new beginnings. It’s all about instinct, power, and success through hard work.
Magical Use: Great for things that need an extra boost of strength, especially when it comes to new endeavors or creativity.
Sound: “th” (corresponds to the sound rather than the letters)
Interpretation: This has always been one of my personal favorite runes. The stand out meaning to me is about passive defense or protection. You don’t have to do anything to use thorns as a form of protection, a thorny bush will keep people away on its own. It can also speak to transformation, getting rid of what no longer serves you to make room for something better. Thurisaz can also indicate sudden changes or important decisions.
Magical Use: Protection
Sound: “ah” (a)
Meaning: God, deity, specifically connected to the Aesir
Interpretation: Ansuz is all about communication, wisdom, basically anything having to do with words. Seeking and taking advice, studying, verbal tests, and listening to your inner voice all fall under Ansuz.
Magical Use: Great for helping with communication, decision making, and helping with divination.
Meaning: Journey, ride, cart
Interpretation: Raido represents some sort of journey, travel, or even means of transportation. This could be physically going somewhere as well as spiritual or emotional journeys. It can show how you need to get somewhere or what you need to do to reach a goal. It may also signify the need to make a decision.
Magical Use: Can be used to encourage a safe journey as well as aiding in making decisions that will help you move forward.
Meaning: Torch, light
Interpretation: I had a major light bulb moment with this one at some point: Kauna is the light bulb moment. It’s about knowledge, clarity, discovery, and enlightenment. It is also associated with fire and its ability to illuminate as well as its power to destroy to clear the way for something new.
Magical Use: Great for power, strength, creativity, and to enhance your insight
Interpretation: Rather than being about the physical gift, Gebo is more about the meeting point between the giver and receiver. It speaks to partnerships, commitments, honor, and hospitality.
Magical Use: Fantastic for encouraging harmony.
Sound: “v” or “w”
Meaning: Joy, bliss
Interpretation: Wunjo can indicate luck, success, and victory. It can also represent happiness and friendly relationships. It is very optimistic and a great rune to see if you are going through a rough patch.
Magical Use: Can be used to attract happiness and success
About spellings and symbols
If this isn’t the first resource about runes you’ve looked at, you’ve most likely noticed some differences in how the rune names are spelled.
This is because there is no way to actually know for sure how the rune names would have been spelled. Different scholars have speculated their own versions of spelling for the runes. Which means there are about as many spellings as there are scholars on the subject!
I’ve simply chosen the ones that I like the most, the ones that just sound or feel right to me!
As for the symbols, it is also hard to pin down one strict version for each rune. Much like everyone today will write letters slightly different, runes may look different depending on who wrote them.
That’s it for Freya’s aett, stay tuned for Hagal’s!