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!)

Ancient Symbols…

Modern Fit

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:

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 look at our quick guide on making 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


  1. I came home to my RV where I am living and there was the rune Berkana sitting on my floor . Have no clue how or why it is there. Or for that matter where it came from. So please could someone help and explain why it came to me . Thanks

    1. Maybe the Gods decided that is your true home?

      (Kidding 😂)

      If it was me I would take the RV out in nature where I could be alone, find a nice spot and patiently sit quietly with the rune and consider the things I know about it, along with anything going on with me personally.

      Best case the answer will come. Worst case you have a nice day in nature.

  2. Have you considered the sender? A neighbor, family member, or someone who has passed? While the rune may be specific, could the caller be the point? I do not know if someone can send curses with runes.
    Many runes are considered Germanic or Scandinavian. Does someone fit geographically?
    My neighbor was a practicing Hedgewitch, though we did not know each other well.
    I have since discovered that she had protected me, using her gift of magic and her kindness.
    (I was young, living without much regard to the perils of life).
    Mysteries are what awakens us. Out of the norm does not mean out of the realm.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *