A Circle of Light – Runes

Origin of runes: ancient characters used in Teutonic, Anglo-Saxon, and Scandinavian inscriptions. They were probably first used by the East Goths (c.300), who are thought to have derived them from Helleno-Italic writing. The runes were adapted to carving on wood and stone; they consisted of perpendicular, oblique, and a few curved lines. The first six runic signs were for f, u, th, o (a), r, c (k), hence the name Futhorc for the runic alphabets. There were two alphabets, one of 16 signs and the other of 24 (the same 16 with 8 additional signs). They were used extensively throughout N Europe, Iceland, England, Ireland, and Scotland until the establishment of Christianity. From then on the use of runes was reviled as a pagan practice. In Scandinavia their use persisted even after the Middle Ages; there they were used for manuscripts as well as inscriptions. The word rune is derived from an early Anglo-Saxon word meaning secret or mystery.

See A. F. Brodeur, The Riddle of the Runes (1932, repr. 1973); R. I. Page, An Introduction to English Runes (1973).

Fehu Uruz Thurisaz Ansuz      Raido
Kano Gebo Wunjo Hagalaz Nauthiz
Isa Jera Eihwaz Perth Algiz
Sowelu Teiwaz Berkana Ehwaz Mannaz
Laguz Inguz Othila Dagaz Odin

Scroll to Top