The Elder Futhark runes are the ancient alphabet of the Germanic descended peoples. They were used not just in writing, but also for magic and divination, as they believed there was a link between the vibrations of the sounds each letter represented, and the larger cosmic vibrations that made up universal experiences. Each of the sounds is represented by a letter that is a simplified image, or symbol, of the universal concept that is linked to that particular vibration.
To my knowledge, there has yet to be a comprehensive art book published of the Elder Futhark runes. My project is to create a semi-realistic watercolour style portrait image of each of the 24 runes, that takes what is believed to be that original icon or symbol that the rune represents.
For example, Fehu has one vertical line and two diagonal lines pointing upwards, which are said to represent cow horns. The cow represents wealth, and Fehu is therefore a representation of wealth, with the ‘f’ sound it represents being the vibration of abundance. My painting of the Fehu rune then overlays an image of a cow, to show more clearly the relationship of the shape of the rune and the image it represents.
This style of book is meant to be a teaching guide for those attempting to learn the runes. As a visual learner, I think this would have been particularly helpful for myself if I had had it when I began to learn the runes. By understanding what the image is that each rune represents, it will help to trigger the memory to recall each rune and what the sound and meaning is for a rune initiate.
But this book is not just meant for beginners! It is sure to delight both the freshest folks as well as the most scholarly. The art inside contains much powerful imagery that is not only stunningly detailed, but also conveys many symbolic levels of wisdom that lie within each rune. The write ups are completed also by Dawn Ravenwind, in a way that is straightforward and insightful. The combination of these two elements makes this book a collector’s item in the making!
“The Illustrated Book of Runes. This is a beautiful labour of Love. The description of Runes is a tapestry of beauty. And something is added, the narrative for the Runes is modeled on The Hero’s Journey of Joseph Campbell. This put a nice Jungian underlay of the Runes. This book will be very helpful for those of us who do counselling as well as divination. Personally, there is no difference. The Artwork is delicate like spiderweb, deeply symbolic and enters the Esoteric sphere . New meanings are presented of the Runes, and so the Rune Tree grows branching out and offering the fruits of the Work. These Fruits are to be found in this Work. Enjoy!”
-Freya Aswynn, author of Northern Mysteries and Magick
Click any of the images below to read their descriptions as they appear in my book
|Futhark Number||Futhark Symbol||Rune Name||Phoenetic Value||English Letter Equivalent||Linguistic Notes||Word Meaning||Short Description|
|2||ᚢ||Uruz||“oo”||U||Long U||Aurochs||Strength & Health|
|4||ᚫ||Ansuz||“ah”||A||Short A||Answer||Words & Communication|
|5||ᚱ||Raidho||“r”||R||Ride||Travel & Rhythm|
|6||ᚲ||Kenaz||“k”||C or K||Hard C||Torch||Creativity|
|7||ᚷ||Gebo||“g”||G||Gift||Giving & Reciprocation|
|8||ᚹ||Wunjo||“v”||W or V||W is pronounced as V in Germanic languages||Joy||Community & Celebration|
|9||ᚺ||Hagalaz||“h”||H||Hail||Disruption & Opportunity|
|10||ᚾ||Nauthiz||“n”||N||Need||Necessity & Drive|
|11||ᛁ||Isa||“ee”||I||Long E||Ice||Pause & Introspection|
|12||ᛃ||Jera||“y”||Y or J||J is pronounced as Y in Germanic languages||Year||Time & Reaping Rewards|
|13||ᛇ||Eihwaz||“eye”||None||Not generally used for writing||Yew Tree||Spirit Travel|
|14||ᛈ||Perthro||“p”||P||Dice Cup or Game Piece||Luck & Fate|
|16||ᛋ||Sowilo||“s”||S||The Sun||Light Energy & Success|
|17||ᛏ||Tiwaz||“t”||T||Tyr||Justice & Honour|
|18||ᛒ||Berkano||“b”||B||Birch Tree||Femininity & Birth|
|19||ᛖ||Ehwaz||“eh”||E||Short E||Horse||Love & Partnership|
|20||ᛗ||Mannaz||“m”||M||Man||Human Divinity & Structure|
|21||ᛚ||Laguz||“l”||L||Lake or Leek||Life Force Energy|
|22||ᛝ||Ingwaz||“ng” or “gn”||None||Use in words ending in –ing, -ong, -ang, etc. Or beginning with gn-||Freyr||Seeds & Potential Energy|
|23/24||ᛞ||Dagaz||“d”||D||Dusk and Dawn||Repetitive Waves|
|24/23||ᛟ||Othala||“oh”||O||Long O||Hearth||Home & Family|