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The Runes : Fehu

Updated on April 12, 2015

Symbol general meaning

Fehu {pronounce : feh- who} , Representing the sound of the letter F, is a symbol for cattle. As such it represents wealth that is easily countable- transferable.

Divinitory- meanings

Fehu is the first Rune of the first Aett. It is a very strong number one. Number one is the number of beginnings. Fehu is signinficant in all beginnings. It is a symbol of foundation, the very base of what is. It is that thing before which there is nothing: not just the first brick to be laid on a foundation but the first brick. It is the fire and ice of the Ginnungagap; as such it is fertility and growth. Whenever I interact with Fehu I feel the energy of motion. Fehu is like a toddler who cannot sit still. It wants to be productive.

Symbolically Fehu is a symbol for cattle. In the Ancient times cattle was a sign of wealth and prosperity. So adding this concept to that of fertility and productivity we see that Fehu is wealth that is best when put to good use. It is not meant to be stagnant. It was a means of exchange as gold and cash. This is the mobile type of wealth as opposed to homes, savings and property which is more stable.The wealth of Fehu is meant to be moved: to be used.

As a fundamental energy and vitality it is a gift from the Gods. Fehu is a Rune of Freyr and Freya : horned beasts and gold represent them in this aspect. Continuing on the concept of this being wealth with great liquidity we can see how this applies to its nature as a gift.

Gift giving and hospitality was very important to the old Norse peoples. Several passages of the Havamal deal with just these concepts. They teach that gift giving and the movement of wealth is the key to obtaining good social standing. As with cattle ,the type of wealth Fehu represents has to be looked after, moved around and used to make it grow.

In Divination Fehu can represent literally money. It can indicate the need to spend either money or time on something to make it grow. It can indicate the sufficiency or lack of funds depending on its aspect.

When I attempt to interpret the meaning of Fehu in a Rune spread I first look at it's aspect. In the language I have become accustomed to with this rune if it is upside down then there is a lack of the necessary wealth or resources for whatever is in question. All characteristics of the Rune are negative. This is not to mean that the interpretation is necessarily baneful. In fact it could mean that no resources or wealth need be expended for the question of the Rune spread. If it is on it's side to the right I read it as declining. Wealth or resources are declining in the context of the reading. If on its side to the left the wealth and resources in question are on the rise.

In regards to it's meaning it usually is a very concrete Rune so it does not lend itself to subtle interpretations as many others do. Fehu almost always means money and liquid resources. The most esoteric I have experienced Fehu is when it symbolizes personal energy or a quality of the person in question when considered as a resource.

While it appears an easy Rune to read don't let the simplicity of Fehu lead you to believe that it is easy to interpret. It can combine easily with other Runes because of its simplicity. It thus expands its scope considerably. Fehu can be seen as a multiplier for other Runes. When coupled with another Rune the easiest way I have found to interpret Fehu is to start listing adjectives of Fehu. Words such as Wealthy, fertile, prolific, mobile, resourceful and so on. The correct word and thus interpretation will make itself known to you when it feels right with the other Rune.

This is a common method I use when Rune meanings are combined. I first determine which Rune is the primary and which is the attribute. I do this by feel, by position and context. Then I list descriptors of the first Rune as attributes of the second Rune. It sounds complicated but it really is not. It's like grammar: easier to do than to explain.

Runes in nature

We can find the Runes all around us if we look close enough. Here we see Fehu reversed: a mirror image of itself. Not quite the murk stave : something different.
We can find the Runes all around us if we look close enough. Here we see Fehu reversed: a mirror image of itself. Not quite the murk stave : something different.

Fehu Magick

In Magick Fehu can be used to draw wealth to us, to help it grow. It can be used in all spells where prosperity and growth are sought. As with our finances we have to be careful not to over use Fehu: it is not an endless supply of energy. It draws upon our energy to focus in on bringing to fruition the growth we seek. We should treat it as we do our day to day cash: we should spend only what we can afford.

When I draw Fehu on something I try to draw it on an item that has a specific natural orientation and I align Fehu with this so that it is a bright stave or a murk stave depending on the Magick intended. If I were to place Fehu on a wallet for example it would be constantly in flux because a wallet is not regularly in one position. This is to be avoided. It is better I draw it on a cash box or piggy bank .

Some ways we can use Fehu in Magick are very straightforward. We can draw Fehu in the soil in which we sow plants which are to be harvested. We can anoint a business plan to draw funding to it.

Other methods are more complex; particularly when we are dealing with a non tangible resource. To grow a plant it is a simple visualization of the seed to the mature plant as we draw Fehu. The result is visible and tangible. When we want to grow a skill within ourselves though we need other more esoteric methods. If we want to make ourselves more productive or marketable we can use Fehu in this spell. We can meditate upon the energy of Fehu in conjunction with the skills we want to cultivate. Draw Fehu on our notebooks and books if we are studying something we wish to use to increase our wealth.

The key here is that Fehu is to be used for the growth of financial or similar prosperity. When it comes to prosperity in more emotional and personal aspects of life Fehu is not the appropriate rune to seek out, at least not by itself. If we want our family to grow for example it is better we use a Rune such as Inguaz.


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