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Article - 'The Elder Futhark' by Angroth

An item about Miscellanious posted on Mar 30, 2004

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About The Elder Futhark runic alphabet.

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The Runic Alphabet: Elder Futhark (Germanic)

About This Article
There are several different runic alphabets used and each one has a different number of runes, from the Younger Futhark’s 16 runes to the Anglo-Saxon Futhork 33 runic alphabet. However the runic alphabet I will be highlighting here is the Germanic one known as the Elder Futhark. This is the alphabet by which most diviners and magick practitioners use.

Background
The Germanic Futhark gets its name from the first six letters in its alphabet which inevitably spell the name Futhark. It is referred to as the Elder as it was the last true runic alphabet to be of use before fading from everyday use. It was mainly used among the Germanic tribe of Teutons in Europe.
The Elder Futhark consists of three groups of eight (known as aetts) providing a total of twenty four runes. Each aett is named by its first character (or related Deity). Some examples would be the first being Fehu, or Freyr’s aett, the second is Hagal, or Heimdall’s aett and the third is Tyr’s aett, which has the same rune name as its Deity. The aetts come into play with divination and magick and are not really of much importance when you consider the runes as characters in an alphabet. An unusual trait of the runes as an alphabet is that they can be written and read backwards, forwards and change direction without notice whilst retaining the same meaning. From runic carvings it seems that it were very common to read and write from left to right, nonetheless this was by no means a rule.
I’m going to relate the names of each rune of their Germanic origin to their English equivalents, so you can easily go and spell out your own names or words.

The Elder Futhark Runic Alphabet

Freyr’s Aett

“F” – Fehu, Feoh or Fe.


“U” – Uruz or Ur.


“TH” – Thurs, Thor, Thorn or Thurisaz.


“A” – Ansur, Ansuz or As.


“R” – Rad, Raidho or Reidh.


“C” – Ken, Kennaz, Cen or Kaun.


“G” Gifu, Gyfu or Gebo.


“W / V” – Wunjo, Wynn or Vend.

Heimdall’s Aett

“H” – Hagal, Hagalaz, Haegl or Hail.


“N” – Neid, Need, Nyd, Naudhiz or Naudhr.


“I” – Isa, Ice or Is.


“J” (pronounced as “y”) – Jera, Jer, Ger or Yer.


“EI or Y / I” – Eiwaz, Eoh or Yr.


“P” – Perdhro, Peorth, Perodh or Perth.


“Z” (usually pronounced as “e”) – Eolh, Elhaz or Algiz.


“S” – Sigel, Sig, Sol or Sowilo.

Tyr’s Aett

“T” – Tyr, Tiw, Tir, Tiu or Tiwaz.


“B” – Beorc, Berkana, Berkano or Birca.


“E” – Eho, Ehwo, Eoh, Eh or Ehwaz.


“M” – Mannaz, Man or Mann.


“L” – Lagu, Laguz or Logr.


“NG” – Ing, Ingwaz or Ingvi.


“D” – Daeg, Dagaz or Dag.


“O” – Othel, Othala, Othalaz or Ethel.