The 24 Norse Runes of elder Futhark is the oldest and most well-known system of Runes used by the Nordic and Germanic peoples of northern Europe.
The Meaning Of The 24 Norse Runes of Elder Futhark
Each of the 24 Norse Runes of the Elder Futhark has a name, phonetic value, and symbolic meaning.
Below is a list of the 24 Norse Runes of the Elder Futhark and their meanings:
- Fehu: phonetic value “f,” symbolizes cattle and wealth
- Uruz: phonetic value “u,” symbolizes a wild ox
- Thurisaz: phonetic value “th,” symbolizes a giant or thorn
- Ansuz: phonetic value “a,” symbolizes a god or ancestor
- Raidho: phonetic value “r,” symbolizes a journey or ride
- Kenaz: phonetic value “k,” symbolizes a torch or a beacon of light
- Gebo: phonetic value “g,” symbolizes a gift or sacrifice
- Wunjo: phonetic value “w,” symbolizes joy or comfort
- Hagalaz: phonetic value “h,” symbolizes hail or a crisis
- Nauthiz: phonetic value “n,” symbolizes need or constraint
- Isa: phonetic value “i,” symbolizes ice
- Jera: phonetic value “j,” symbolizes a year or good harvest
- Eihwaz: phonetic value “e,” symbolizes a yew tree
- Perthro: phonetic value “p,” symbolizes a dice cup or mystery
- Algiz: phonetic value “z,” symbolizes a protection or sanctuary
- Sowulo: phonetic value “s,” symbolizes the sun
- Tiwaz: phonetic value “t,” symbolizes Tiw, the sky god
- Berkano: phonetic value “b,” symbolizes a birch tree
- Ehwaz: phonetic value “e,” symbolizes a horse
- Mannaz: phonetic value “m,” symbolizes humanity or the self
- Laguz: phonetic value “l,” symbolizes water or a flow of energy
- Inguz: phonetic value “ng,” symbolizes Ing, the fertility god
- Othala: phonetic value “o,” symbolizes inheritance or ancestral property
- Dagaz: phonetic value “d,” symbolizes a new day or breakthrough.
What 24 Norse Runes Symbols of the Elder Futhark Represent
Each symbol of the 24 Norse Runes of the Elder Futhark represents a letter of the alphabet and has a corresponding phonetic value.
The Elder Futhark Rune symbols are also associated with specific concepts, such as animals, gods, and natural phenomena, and they are believed to have certain properties or energies that can be harnessed for divination or magical purposes.
For example, the symbol for the Fehu rune represents the phonetic value “f” and is associated with the concept of cattle and wealth.
The symbol for the Ansuz rune represents the phonetic value “a” and is associated with the concept of a god or ancestor. The symbol for the Kenaz rune represents the phonetic value “k” and is associated with the concept of a torch or beacon of light.
The runes were also used for divination, or the practice of seeking guidance or predicting the future through supernatural means.
The Runes & Other Systems Of Ancient Writing
How Do The Runes Compare To Egyptian Hieroglyphs?
The 24 Norse Runes of the Elder Futhark and Egyptian hieroglyphs are two separate systems of writing that were developed independently of each other.
The runes were used by the Nordic and Germanic peoples of northern Europe, while the hieroglyphs were used by the ancient Egyptians.
Hieroglyphs which date back to 3400 BCE are much older than the Runes and are written using a series of pictographic symbols, while the runes are written using an alphabet of straight lines and angles.
The symbols in Hieroglyphs are believed to have been based on the shapes of objects in the natural world, while the symbols in the runes are thought to have been inspired by the shapes of human-made objects, such as tools and weapons.
How Do The Runes Compare With Cuneiform Script?
The 24 Norse Runes of the Elder Futhark and Cuneiform script are also separate systems of writing with Cuneiform script being used by the ancient Sumerians, Babylonians, and other civilizations of the Near East.
One key difference between the two systems is that cuneiform script is much older than the runes, with the earliest examples dating back to the 4th millennium BCE. Cuneiform script was also used to write a wide range of languages, including Sumerian, Akkadian, and Hittite, while the runes were primarily used to write Old Norse and other Germanic languages.
Another difference is that cuneiform script is written using a system of wedge-shaped marks that are made by pressing a stylus into clay tablets while the runes were not written on clay tablets.
How Do The Runes Compare With Sanskrit?
The key difference between the 24 Norse Runes of the Elder Futhark and Sanskrit is that Sanskrit is a written and spoken language, while the Runes were primarily used as a system of writing.
Sanskrit is also much older than the Rune writing system.
Whilst the 24 Norse Runes of the Elder Futhark were the most common, other Rune systems such as the Anglo-Saxon Futhorc and the Younger Futhark also exist.
The Anglo-Saxon Futhorc Rune system has 4 additional Runes, whilst the Younger Futhark is a simplification of the Elder Futhark, and it has only 16 Runes.
Although the Runes are separate from other ancient systems of writing like Egyptian Hieroglyphs, Cuneiform and Sanskrit, the 24 Norse Runes of the Elder Futhark were important to the Germanic peoples of Europe because the Runes were used for a variety of important purposes, including writing, divination, and as a form of symbolic representation.