Futhark or Uthark?


The Norse runes, usually called the Futhark, have a complex history and it is beyond the scope of this presentation to go into much detail. The tables below are based upon a cyclic ordering of the runes beginning not with Fehu, but with Ur. This is based upon the work of Kenneth Meadows in his book "Rune Power." Mr. Meadows cites Swedish oral tradition for this "true" ordering. For me, it rings true. What appears below does not attempt to reproduce all of Mr. Meadows' interpretations and runic correspondences (notably not his associations of the Norse runes with the trees and shrubs of the Celtic ogham). His work is nevertheless highly recommended. I have also drawn on the interpretations of the runemaster Edred Thorsson, but I do not attempt to represent more than a smidgeon of his extensive writings on the Norse runes. The set used here (and in my wand inscriptions) is based on the Elder Futhark.
The meanings of the runes are discovered not in the groupings of eights (the "aetts") but in two groups corresponding to levels of creation and manifestationThe first ten runes (beginning with Ur) correspond in very intriguing ways to the ten Sephiroth of the Jewish Kabbalah, ten phases of creation or emanations from the ineffable, infinite potential of Divinity (Whether that is taken to be God or the Sacred Cow, Audhumbla).
The second group includes 14 runes and can be seen to unfold the creation of the material world and human beings within that world, Midgard, or Middle Earth. Meadows' idea of the runes arranged in a cycle of recurring creation and fulfillment, is one I use when carving runes on wands. Runes may be selected individually for their meanings, grouped together to form complexes of interplaying forces, or the entire cycle of 24 can be inscribed to symbolize and capture the whole energy of Creation. Here then are the Norse Runes with explanations following. Bear in mind that it would be better to represent these runes in a circular arrangement.

Runes of Creation
Corresponding to the Ten Vessels of Manifestation

Sound
Rune Name
Meaning and Magical Power
U
Ursuz, Ur
Potential. Aurochs, Great Mother, Audhumbla Primal void, Kether
Th
Thurisaz, Thurs
Cosmic Intelligence, Giant Ymir, solitary power, Chokmah
A
Ansuz, Ass
Creation, Triple Goddess, God-rune, Odin, Breath, manifestation, Binah, Saturn
R
Raidho, Reid
First Swirlings. Wagon, path, travel, wheel of the seasons, 4 directions, movement, protection of order from reversion to chaos. Chesed, Jupiter.
K
Kenaz, Ken
Will. Torch, controlled fire, illumination, spiritual creative light. Geburah, Mars
G
Gebo, Gifu
Beauty. Gift, divine gifts, talents, exchange of two energies in balance: divine and human. Tiphareth, Sun.
W
Wunjo, Wynja
Love. Joy, hope, delight, sexual joy, friendship, brotherhood. Netzach, Venus.
H
Hagaliz, Hagal
Energy. Magick. Hail, primal egg, cosmic harmony, crystal, eight directions, all colors. Hod, Mercury.
N
Naudhiz, Naud
Emotion. Connection. Need, the Norns, need fire, deliverance from distress, friction, "Use your destiny." Power of friction and resistance. Yesod, Moon.
I
Isa, Iss
Matter. Ice, prima materia; force of attraction, gravity, entropy, inertia; ego integrity, clarity, solidity, material manifestation. Malkuth, Earth.


The Runes of Midgard
Runes of the World of Material Manifestation

Y
Jera, Jara
The good year, harvest; life cycle, fertility, cycle of two seasons, summer and winter, mutually feeding each other. Midgard.
P
Pertho
Stone. Lots, divination of fate, Mineral intelligence, transformational powers of metals.
EE
Iwaz, Eoh
Plant. Yew tree, life and death, life-giving force, vegetative power of plantlife.
Z
Elhaz Algiz
Animal. Elk, protection, victory, spirit, striving upwards to the gods. Intinctive protection, determination to survive in animal life.
S
Sowilo, Sol, Sig
Consciousness. Sun, solar wheel, magical will, chakras or spiritual wheels, spiraling life-force, light of consciousness in higher animals.
T
Tiwaz, Tyr
Male. The sky god Tyr, favored of fate, victorious, axis mundi, spiritual discipline, masculine power, phallos, spear, the will to succeed, self-sacrifice, justice.
B
Berkano, Bjarka, Beorc
Female. Birch goddess; presiding of transitions in life and death; becoming and being; feminine nurturing power, female breasts, love.
E
Ehwaz, Eh
Coupling. Horse; twin gods in equine aspect; Ashvins; harmonious power; vehicle between worlds; loyalty, trust, joining of male and female, couping and combination.
M
Mannaz, Man
Humanity, human intellect, the holistic cooperation of reason and intuition
L
Laguz, Lagu
Water. Power of fluidity, a body of water, sea, life energy, organic growth, herbal magick, ebb and flow.
NG
Ingwaz, Ing
Air. The God Ing, Earth God, consort of Earth Mother; Freyr, Ingvi; potential energy, power to conceive something new, light for communication, dawn.
O
Othala, Odal
Earth. Hereditary property, ancestral land; wise management of the land. Integrity, husbandry, liberty, past lives, traditions.
D
Dagaz
Fire. Day; synthesis of day and night, polarity and cycle; new dawn of spiritual realization, health, midsummer.
F
Fehu, Feh
Fulfillment. Property, cattle, money, prosperity. Accumulated power and control, responsibility, success.