In the last segment, I touched on the history of the runes and a bit of basic info. The actual runes are divided into several different tribes: Saxon, Pictish, Viking, Germanic, Slavic, Ogham, Viking ogham, and Norse. They look nothing alike. Each one has its own style, shape and meaning. Ogham for instance is a series of carefully placed lines and angles of lines and are done in staves. Ogham were a series of tree based alphabet that were incorporated as Viking ogham runes. They resemble Ogham, but they have loops, spirals, and other rounded shapes that indicate a different in structure. Pictish runes were Scottish in origin and were a series of spirals and curly forms. Of all of the runes, Pictish were the most distinctive. Slavic runes are the rarest to distinguish. For divination purposes, the Viking runes are the most commonly used.
The Aetts were divided into three segments of eight runes. The Aetts were divided in accordance to the deity associated with them. Each one governs a specific part of life. For instance, the Aett of Freyr/Freya is associated with various forms of fertility and prosperity on one level or another. It is concerned with family life, home life, social standing, work, and finances. The second Aett is Heimdall and is in relation to transformation, achievements, money, or anything related thereof. The last Aett is Tyr, and named after the Norse god of battle. Ironically, this Aett is dedicated to the spiritual reformation and growth. Ironic because it is actually Heimdall who is the guardian of the heavens, or the higher spiritual realms.
The First Aett, Freya's Aett
The first set of 8 is dedicated to the Goddess Freya. Freyr, being the god of fertility and virility, can also be attributed. This Aett concerns itself with all manner of fertility, prosperity, love, and life.
Fehu is the first in this set and means "cattle" specifically domestic cattle. This rune may be interpreted as dealing with material, spiritual, and physical possessions. It indicates good health, wealth, a strong constitution, abundance, fertility, hope, and success. This rune advises not to withhold love and to offer it freely to those that need it. Merkstave Fehu can represent loss of health, wealth, love, a spiritual void that may be falsely filled with objects rather than what is needed. Sometimes we all need a break even if we love our paths. The alphabet is F.
Uruz means literally "wild ox" and this can be a good indication of where it is headed in a reading. The ox was very important to many cultures that moved around a lot or that needed strong sturdy livestock. This rune speaks of strength, raw, unbridled strength and power, instinct, passion, and primal sexuality. This could indicate that something important is coming into being or that something important is coming to an end. It indicates sudden chaotic change and the need to maintain a clear head, use your instincts, wisdom, and strength to move through it. Consider a wild ox running through a glassware shop and you get the idea. Merkstave this rune indicates the worst possible ends to these things, violence, obsession, uncontrolled anger, a lack of restraint, a loss of self control, and a spiral into chaos. This rune represents the letter U.
Thurisaz is the runic equivalent of Mjolnir, the giant hammer of Thor. It's literal translation is "giant' or "Thorn". This rune may be interpreted as a rune of fire, the sort that burns away whatever is not needed and cleanses the soul and paves the way for new beginnings. It indicates that something powerful is around the corner, and if it's change it's going to be a doozy. Think of the fires caused by lightening. They burn everything in their path, both healthy vegetation and dead, leaving rich soil and the prospect for rebirth. When this rune appears Merkstave it may be interpreted that the worst ends of this process is coming into play. Betrayal, lackluster approach to life and those around you, dishonesty, spite, and possible danger. This rune represents TH.
Ansuz is the rune signifying the mouth and means "ancestor god" or Odin. It's signification is communication, a connection between the realms and messages passed between them, speech and the power of naming. In the old days, giving something a name gave it power and it was not uncommon for swords, blades, shields, and armor to have names. This is equivalent to the concept of "I AM" by claiming a name or perception, it is brought into being by the same perception. The same principle is applied here with this rune. It speaks of truth, wisdom, seeking the advice of others, the recognition of omens and signs, the receiving of messages from other realms and the ability to interpret daily occurrences. When this rune is in merkstave, expect the opposite. Duplicity, dishonesty, theft, delusions, and the misuse of vanity. This rune signifies the letter A.
Raidho may be translated as wagon, chariot, or cart. It indicates travel in some sense. Either you are going places in life or you are literally going places. It could indicate a move, a new job, traveling to a new location, or a spiritual journey or path. Sometimes parts of your chosen path no longer work for you in which case it is time to release them and embrace other things that serve you better. This is also the case in regular life in which there are times when some things no longer serve you and it is time to move on. Raidho is just that: moving on. When Raidho is merkstave it could indicate stasis, being stuck in one place and unable to see or find a way out, irrational fears, or the pushing of accountability on to others. Raidho signifies the letter R.
Kenaz means torch and indicates inspiration, the fires of creation, love, passion, spiritual enlightenment. This is the fire that pushes us to create our own reality. It indicates a period of openness to spiritual messages and the physical translations of the energies and messages received. When this rune is merkstave it could indicate a lack of creativity, a creative blockage, close mindedness, the unwillingness to move forward or to entertain new ideas to improve your life. This is represented by the letter K.
Gifu means simply "gift" and could indicate the use of natural abilities to improve the lives of those around you. It indicates gifts born of genuine love and generosity, good fortune in business and love, a positive change for family and home life. This rune is also sometimes referred to as Gebo and represents the letter G. When it is merkstave it may indicate an overly sympathetic and generous nature warning that you could become burned out and not serve your own life and needs if you are not careful. Generally this rune can not be reversed because it is the same in one direction as the other, but the interpretation can depend upon the runes surrounding it.
Wunjo means "joy" and refers to the boundless happiness, success, and indicates that lots of good things are ahead in every aspect of your life. It indicates fellowship, prosperity, harmony, a balance of all of your realities, and a balanced approach to life in general. In Merkstave it indicates the direct polar opposites, depression, illness, stagnation, disillusion, strife and so forth. The alphabets for this rune are V and W.
The Second Aett, Heimdall
Hagall which means "hail" refers to things that you have no control over. It generally indicates that some part of your past life records are coming into play and there are things that are needing attention. It can infer a series of stalls that are geared towards pulling you towards the path of least resistance, or the path of your Akashic records that is most likely to assist you on your path. When you stray from this path you take yet another path and it could be so completely different than the one you were on that it causes a jolt, both on a spiritual level and on a physical level because one is merely the reflection of the other. This indicates a series of events that are bringing you to either a new path and new beginning or to a close of one aspect of your life. This rune also can not be read Merkstave because it is the same in one direction as the other. It represents the letter H and may be interpreted as an oppositional rune in reference to what is being read around it.
Nyd is the rune that translates into "need", and is also seen as Nauthiz. This rune may indicate the need for assistance, the need to reach out for help but the inability or vanity to actually do so. There is such a thing as being too self reliant and sometimes help that is within reach can be ignored because one is too proud to ask for help. Trust me, when the universe is trying to teach this lesson it will do so whether you wish it or not. Self reliance is good, but it can also lead to a lack of compassion or empathy for other people and their struggles. It can lead to a disconnect with your fellow human beings. For this reason it is important to ask for help when you need it. In Merkstave it can translate into poverty, hunger, illness, a poverty of spirit, and lack of connection. This rune represents the letter N.
Isa means very simply "ice" and refers to literally, being frozen in place, blockages, delays, unable to move forward, the inability to break free from constraints, or being "cold hearted". This rune has no Merkstave translation for the same reasons. However, it may be translated according to the runes around it. It represents the letter I.
Jera means "harvest" and refers to both spiritual and physical harvests. It reminds you that you reap what you sow and you get out of the world what you have put into it. Eventually you will have to harvest the seeds you have sown and this rune indicates that if you are not doing so already, you will be doing so soon. Likewise if you are a hard worker, it will be paying off soon. If you are not, likewise. Another rune that has no merkstave interpretation but may be interpreted according to the runes surrounding it.
Eihwaz which means "yew" and is in reference to a tree that held a great deal of importance to Celtic, Germanic, Saxon, and Norse tribes. The branches from this tree was often used to make weapons, magickal items, and represented strength. Like an arrow, it indicates that you are targeting a reasonable goal and if you work hard enough, you will achieve it. It offers a precognitive glimpse into things that may need to be fixed before they are broken. Take stock of what can be improved and release things that can't. Merkstave, this rune could indicate a dissatisfaction with life, lack of strength, and general unhappiness with the way things are moving in life but being unable to fasten your gaze on the reason for it. This rune represents EI.
Perdhro means "secret, mystery, or cup" and is also translated as Perthro. This rune indicates hidden meanings, occult abilities that may be empowering now or just coming to the surface, it could also indicate a great deal of hidden knowledge that is surfacing from your Akashic records, the revelation of secrets (wanted or otherwise) or the old adage that one should be careful what is hidden in one's closet. It is unlikely it will remain that way forever. The truth always comes out, and this rune is warning of just that. Be aware that the truth is not always pretty and sometimes it can force us to face things that are in desperate need of reparation. Merkstave it can indicate an unhealthy addiction to dishonesty, to laziness, loneliness, or the blocking of abilities that can surface as other issues. It represents the letter P.
Elhaz translates into "elk" or "protection" and is sometimes seen as Algiz. This rune can relay the path between the worlds and the path between the physical world and the psychic world that activates our instincts. Generally speaking, if your instincts are trying to tell you something listen. They are almost always right. This indicates a need for warding, for shielding, a connection with the gods (as in needing to), and the ability to channel energies where they are needed the most. When this rune is merkstave it is warning of a rejection of some sort, a loss of interest in the spiritual, possible impending danger, the need to defend against psychic attack. This rune may indicate Z or in some cases R.
The last rune in the Aett is Sygel and it means "sun". This rune is also known as Sowillo and refers to the sun in the feminine as the sister of the moon. This rune indicates that you may have access to powerful forces but to be careful how you utilize and channel them. If you are battling opposition, it can indicate a victory and can also indicate an end to a difficult time, quite literally, the return of light to your world. When this rune is in merkstave it can indicate the desire for vengeance over patience, the release of pride, and the pride that comes from vindication. Overall this is normally a very positive rune and tends to shed light on whatever other runes is around it. If the other runes have negative connotations, this one "lightens" the lash a bit.
The Third Aett, Tyr.
This set reflects the need for spiritual and mental growth and the fight we all have when this happens. We don't like to release things and allow new ideas and processes to come in. This set of runes is about how to deal with this very thing and why it is important to our lives.
The first rune in this Aett is, of course, the Tyr rune. It is also called Tiwaz and indicates strength, temerity, perseverence, a strength of intellect, a firm mindset, and a positive outcome for legal issues. In merkstave it could indicate a total mirror opposite of the above, lack of communication, lack of focus, a fear of injustice, a general weakness.
Beorc, or birch, also called Berkano, is in reference to renewal, rebirth, fertility, pregnancy, sexual prowess, family, and new birth. In some cases it can indicate an adoption if pregnancy is not possible. In business, it can indicate a new outlook, a new direction, or the prospect of starting something totally new. When this rune appears merkstave it may possibly indicate a lack of desire, infertility, a lack of love of family ties, family issues, fragmentation, and sterility. This rune represents the letter B.
Ehwaz or "horse" is in reference to transportation, movement, progress, clearing away of an obstacle. This rune could indicate change, but not the fast moving variety found in the first and second Aetts. This is a slow gradual change that occurs when obstacles are being cleared one at a time. It takes much longer to do but the results are well worth it. It indicates a need for teamwork, especially in a marriage or relationship. Even at merkstave, this rune simply indicates the need for change and the need for the removal of these obstacles, the seeking of a way through them, not around them but right through the center. This rune represents the letter E.
Mannaz refers to mankind, or rightfully, the whole of humanity and the connection to each other. This rune may be translated into the need for the spiritual connectivity that we have as spiritual beings, even if you subscribe to no particular religion or ideology. It may reference the need for philanthropic projects, empathy, and compassion. Merkstave this rune may indicate that you may expect no assistance from your fellow human in any capacity right now whereas assistance is offered in the upright position. It also indicates a lack of empathy, compassion, general caring, and depression because of it. It represents the letter M.
Lagaz or "water" is the rune of nature and the constant movement that occurs within it. It may represent dreams, illusion, desires, the flow of life from one position to the next. It could indicate the need for purifying rituals involving water, sacred bathing, releasing your cares into water, and accepting the natural flow of energy and life around you. In merkstave in indicates a fear of mortality, fear for the sake of fear without grounds or reason, paranoia, a dislike of change, the inability to flow through life and hold on to negative things out of fear of change. It represents the letter L.
Ing is named after the god of fertility and the god of earth. It is sometimes called Ingwaz and relates directly to male fertility, virility, strength that comes from the family structure, a strong home life, and human companionship. This is a time for resting, comfort, and enjoying the pleasures of being surrounded by family and friends. In merkstave, it can not really be reversed but can indicate impotence, infertility, a lack of stamina, discontent at home depending upon the surrounding runes. This rune represents the sound of NG.
Daeg is the rune of light and enlightenment, spiritual growth, inner strength, and awakening, and awareness. It means simply "dawn" and is sometimes shown as Dagaz. It represents shedding light on life, shedding the dark or releasing negative emotions and thoughts, hope, the power of will, and the ability to make positive changes. This rune does not have a merkstave but like the others may be negatively represented depending on the runes surrounding it. It is represented by the letter D.
The last rune in the third Aett is the rune of Othel. Interestingly enough Othel resembles the open tailed fish and is the rune of prosperity, or rather inheritance. It could indicate gifts of inheritance, abilities that may have been passed down through the family, a natural inclination towards certain types of work, personality or craft. It could also literally represent an ancestral property or bits of history passed down throughout the family. This is what is important to you. It's what is important to the cost of all else and that is what this rune could be warning against: not to place all of your attachment in material items even if they are inherited from your family. In merkstave it could indicate a form of material slavery, think Ebineezer Scrooge that loved money and wealth to the point of not enjoying his life or the ones around him and failing miserably to see how his greed and selfishness were affecting the people that loved him. This rune represents the alphabet of O.
So there you have it! You finally made it through the entire listing of the Aetts! The next piece will center on how to use them, layouts, and how to hone the instinct to read them without assistance.