The Elder Futhark is the most ancient runic alphabet we know of with inscriptions dating back to 150CE. It has 24 runes and is the set you will most commonly find in the shops. Over time new rune alphabets* developed, the runes accrued poems, healing practices, magical correspondences and deep wisdom practices around them. You can find some of the most common correspondences, plus short commentaries and videos about each of the runes using the links below.
*’Futhark’ is the literal equivalent of the word ‘Alphabet’, the latter being a combination of Alpha and Beta, and the former being a combination of Fehu, Uruz, Thurisaz, Ansuz, Raidho and Kenaz (the first five letters of the Elder Futhark).
The runes are divided into aettir which means ‘family’; there are three rune families with eight runes in each, each family is known as an aett.
Wyrd is not a rune in the traditional Elder Futhark but many modern sets include it. The Wyrd rune is sometimes said to appear in a reading when you are not meant to know the answer; at other times it is said to contain the energies of all the runes within it. Yet others claim the Wyrd rune is simply a spare.
The rune row in song