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I will make a set of 24 Elder Futhark runes for you in a variety of materials: ash wood that I saw and burn runes on, black or pearl clay that I imprint runes on (the runes are unpainted, so you can do it ceremonially at home, but I’m happy to paint them red for you if you wish), black river stones with red painted runes, or black or clear glass beads with red painted runes.

What are runes?

The word “rune” comes from Old Norse rúnir, rúnar, meaning “magic signs” and “hidden lore.” The Old English word “rūn” means “a secret” and “a mystery.” The mysteriousness of the runes comes from their origin, and their use ( each as a sound, a word, and a magical potency). Physically, runes are angular written characters that can be inscribed on wood and rock. 

This is a set of the 24 Elder Futhark runes, though there are other futharks (i.e. Younger, Anglo-Saxon, etc). The Elder Futhark is divided into three groups of eight runes in a particular order, called ættir (plural) or aett (singular)-- Freya’s, Heimdall’s, and Tyr’s. The meanings of the individual runes hail from rune poems, Icelandic, Norwegian, and Anglo-Saxon; the Havamal; and some sagas. 

Origin of the Runes

Mythically, the runes are thought to be eternal. According to The Poetic Edda (circa 1200 CE), the god Odin self-sacrificed himself, hanging on the World Tree, Yggdrasil, for nine days and nine nights, and in the subsequent state, he saw the runes and understood them. Odin is like the primal magician who has supernatural powers, a shaman existing between the worlds, or a hero who endures terrible ordeals in order to gain a gift of wisdom.  

Historically, there’s no exact origin of the runes. The oldest possible surviving inscription is from the 1st century, in Germany, on the Meldorf brooch, but the lettering is not clear whether its runic or Roman. 150 years later, the Vimose comb, found in Denmark, clearly has runes inscribed on it. The Kylver stone, a limestone slab from Sweden circa 400 CE, has the entire Elder Futhark runic alphabet. 


I recommend pulling a rune every morning, meditating on its meaning, and then keeping yourself open to signs of that rune throughout the next twenty-four hours. You will discover other ways to use the runes, and there are books and opinions galore, but nobody has a definitive instruction manual that I am aware of. Experience and daily practice will be the best teacher.