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Updated on January 4, 2015

What Are Runes?

The Runes are a Germanic alphabet which is typically used to divine the future. This alphabet predates the adoption of the Latin alphabet in the western world. The two most common Runic alphabets are Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian. The Scandinavian variety is known as the Futhark and the Anglo-Saxon is called the Futhorc. The earliest Runic inscriptions discovered were created around 150AD.

Many people associate the Runes with Northern Europe and the Vikings. There is a reason with this language which started out an an italian language eventually became associated with a different culture. The Runic language had spread across Europe. Italy and other more Southern countries were converted to the Latin language by new Christian influences. The Northern countries were not converted for another 800 years. The Runes were firmly established as part of their lives and persisted in being used today.

In 2013 I had an experience where I dropped a set of Runes on the floor. This experience filled me with great anxiety. I was very unhappy with the apartment I was living in at the time. I was very perturbed by this experience. This was a catalyst which made me decide to move from my apartment. I felt so burdened with stress from issues with my neighbors. This small event seemed like the last straw. It might not make a lot of sense, but I decided to move from my apartment that very day.

I was very interested in the Runes as a practicing occultist. My main method of divination over the years has been astrology. At the time of this incident I was only a novice. I had used the Runes less than 10 times. 2 different sets were in my collection. One set was ceramic and the other was black glass. This black set was the one that I dropped. I thought I had lost 1 of the pieces. It wasn't until later I realized that this set was different from the other one. The missing Rune was not actually missing. This particular did not include the blank Rune called Wyrd.

Wyrd is the blank Rune. Not all Runes sets will have this one. It is more of a modern addition. Some have said it is like the Joker in the pack.

Runes Sets and Books

The Aettir

There are 3 main runic alphabets. These are the Common Germanic Futhark, The Anglo-Saxon Script, and Viking Script. These alphabets are divided into 3 groups of letters called aettir. The Old Icelandic word aett has a variety of meanings. It can mean 'sex', 'gender', 'Family', or 'eight'. The Gremanic Futhark was divided into 3 groups of 8 runes. The 16 rune Viking Script was divided into groups of 6, 5, and 5. In Iceland the runes were gathered into aettir named after the gods and goddess Freya, Hagal, and Tiw.

There are 3 Aettir in the Elder Futhark. The Aettir are the basis of Runic numerology,

The Thorn is sorely sharp for any thane

Hurtful to hold

Uncommonly severe

To every man who lies among them.

— Rune Poem


  • Male sexuality
  • Temptation
  • Resistance


The Devil's Rune

Thurisaz is a rune which deals with directed force and your true will. It has erotic connotations and corresponds with male sexuality. It is a rune of chaos and is imbued with magic powers. It is associated with temptations and enthusiasm. It signifies being in the right place at the right time. It teaches us to think before acting. Sometimes we must wait and allow matters to sort themselves out on their own rather than taking action.

This Rune is considered a protective shield. It can signify a warning of danger if it appears in a reading. The surrounding Runes would give us ideas on how to best interpret it. There is a resemblance to a hammer with this Rune. Hammers are associated with Thor who is the God of thunder. Germans wore small amulets shaped like hammers for protection. It is a symbol associated with strength and good luck. This Rune can also symbolize delays to our plans. The dangers which are foretold can often be avoided if care is taken.

Videos On Thurisaz

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