Elder Futhark Runes Cheat Sheet

Whether you are an expert or you are just starting your journey of learning and understanding the elder futhark alphabet, it’s always helpful to have a guide on hand, so I decided to create a little cheat sheet for you (click here to download it!), including each Norse rune’s name, the translation of the runes and their meanings in divination.

A very brief history of the runic alphabets

Runes are the characters that form the runic alphabets, also known as futhark or fuþark – a word derived from the first 6 letters (ᚠᚢᚦᚨᚱᚲ). The origin of runes is unknown, but it’s believed that the word “rune” comes from the Norse rún which means “secret” or “mystery”, so this could indicate that the runic alphabet was created for esoteric purposes.

They were used by Germanic and Scandinavian tribes, evolving over time. The first we know is called the Elder Futhark alphabet and it consists of 24 letters. Later, it morphed into the Younger Futhark and runes were introduced in Britain as well, deriving in the Anglo-Saxon runes or futhorc (We will cover these alphabets in the future, so stay tuned!)

Elder Futhark Runes Translation and Meanings

Learn more about the Viking runes and their meanings with this handy Elder Futhark Rune Chart. You will see each rune’s translation and a brief approximation to their literal and magical meanings:

  RUNENAMETRANSLATIONMEANING
FehuFCattle, prosperity, gain of some sort, fulfilment
UruzUWild ox, strength, life force, determination
ThurisazThGiants, Thor, brutal force, unexpected change
AnsuzAMouth, Odin, communication, transmission of knowledge
RaidoRWagon, travel, movement, introspective journey
KaunazC/KFire, warmth, energy, power, positive attitude
GeboGGift, fortuitous outcome, partnership, commitment
WunjoWJoy, success, lasting emotional happiness
HagalazHHail, limitations, delays, forces outside your control, disruption
NauthizNPatience, passing through a difficult learning situation, hardship, need
IsaIIce, plans on hold, frustrations
JeraJ/YHarvest, reaping of rewards for past efforts, justice
EihwazEYew, Yggdrassil, endurance, ability to achieve goals with resilience
PerthoPMystery, occult knowledge, randomness, coincidence, secrets uncovered   
AlgizZElk, protection, support, wisdom of the Universe
SowuloSSun, victory, awareness, energy
TeiwazTTyr, success in a competition, warrior strengh
BerkanaBBirth, new beginnings, fertility, true home
EhwazEHorse, movement, steady progress, physical shift
MannazMHumankind, interdependence, collective potential
LaguzLWater, evolution, cleansing, female figure
IngwazNgSuccessful conclusion, relief, personal development
OthalaOHeritage, possessions, ancestral wisdom, home
DagazDDay, increase, steady growth, awakening

A little word of advice before you leave…

Please, be aware that this is a very short guide to help you with your studies. Runes are very complex and it can take many years to fully understand them, so don’t stop here! There are many beginner-friendly books to learn how to read the elder futhark runes and infinite online resources available.

And whenever you feel ready to do your first rune casting… don’t forget to have a look at our quick guide on how to make your own rune set!


Learn More about The Elder Futhark Alphabet


Do you want to learn more about the Elder Futhark alphabet and its rune meanings? Then be sure to join our Clan for your monthly rune special and start building your Book of Shadows! Click here

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