Rune Dictionary

written by Professor Wessex

An introduction to the interpretation and usage of Germanic runes.

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Chapter 12: The Fragments of Freya’s Aett in the Younger Futhark

Chapter 14

Fehu --- Fé
Phonetic value: /f/, as in the English feather and phoenix, the French fabuleuse, and the Spanish fantasma
Meaning: Wealth / Money / Gold
Changes: The meaning is still very much true to the original, however, the meaning has completely shifted away from the extension of “cattle” as a form of wealth. This is due to cultural changes and modernization.
Magical Uses: This is one of many runes that were used as discrete markers in the period when the Church cracked down on all forms of magic. Often, this rune was put on personal effects or on the outside of houses to indicate that the persons who owned them were fellow witches or wizards. There is uncertainty as to why this rune was used, however. Some say it was an indication of solidarity, as Fé would have been the first letter in “freónd” or “friend” in Anglo-Saxon (also known as Old English), but others suggest that it may have also had magical intent, hearkening back to the magical meaning of Fehu -- good fortune.

Ur --- Úr
Phonetic Value: /u/, as in the English broom and rune, the French , and the Spanish curable
/v/, as in the English valve, the French valve, and the Spanish afgano
/w/, as in the English wizard, the French oui, and the Spanish cuanto
/i/, as in the English east and free, the French fini, and the Spanish tipo
/ø/, as in the French peu
/o/, as in the English low, and the French réseau
Meaning: Dross / Slag (ON), Shower / Drizzle (OI)
Changes: While the shape remained the same, very little else did. The original meaning of auroch is nowhere to be seen, replaced by two, completely different meanings. More, the number of phonetic values exploded from Ur’s original /u/ to include six total sounds, though /u/ is one of them.
General Notes: The meaning of dross is used in areas that spoke Old Norse (the general area of Scandinavia), whereas the meaning of shower or drizzle was used in areas that spoke Old Icelandic (Iceland, specifically). An additional note as to the phonetic value: the /i/ sound in modern English can be expressed via both written letters “i” and “y.” For those of you who do not have any familiarity with French pronunciation, you may find the phonetic value of /ø/ here.

Thurisaz --- Thurs
Phonetic value: /θ/, as in the English thorn
/ð/, as in the English then, and the Spanish dedo
Meaning: Giant
Changes: None, apart from those noted in the introduction to this chapter.
General Notes: The /ð/ sound has also been expressed, when written, as “dh.” Additionally, the “þ” sound is also a phonetic value, but it does not exist in the English language, and has been approximated by the two other sound values listed for this rune.

ᚬ ᚭ ᚮ
Ansuz --- As, Ass, or Oss
Phonetic value: /o/, as in the English north
/a/, as in the English stock, the French patte, and the Spanish madre
/æ/, as in the English cat, and the French bain
Meaning: Estuary (ON), God (OI)
Changes: Additional phonetic values were added to the rune. The sounds /o/ and /æ/ were added to the original /a/. The meanings of this rune also changed. The Old Icelandic meaning, god, can be traced easily from the parent rune’s meaning of Aesir. However, the addition of estuary is more difficult to trace only from the original meanings given.
General Notes: The meaning of estuary is used in areas that spoke Old Norse (the general area of Scandinavia), whereas the meaning of god was used in areas that spoke Old Icelandic (Iceland, specifically).

Raido --- Reið or Reidh
Phonetic value: /r/, as in the Spanish perro
Meaning: Riding
Changes: Very little changed. The small adaptation that was made was the paring down of the two original meanings “journey” and “ride” into only “riding.” Along with, of course, the changes noted in the introduction to the chapter on the Younger Futhark.
General Notes: There is no technical equivalent in modern English words for the sound made by Reidh, however, we can come close enough to approximating it. If you are aware of the “trilled R” in Spanish (known technically as a voiced alveolar trill), this is a correct approximation of the sound. If you are unaware of this phenomenon in the Spanish language, the sound equivalent can be found here. Note: the “a” sound is not part of the pronunciation, it is used as a break between the first and second repetitions of /r/.

ᚴ ᚵ
Kaunan (Kenaz) --- Kaun
Phonetic value: /k/, as in the English kiss, the French cabinet, and the Spanish casa
/g,/ as in the English gaggle, the French gain, and the Spanish gato
Meaning: Ulcer
Changes: As with its Anglo-Saxon Futhorc counterpart, the shape of Kaun is very different from its original parent rune. Also, because of the disappearance of Gebo in this script, Kaun has absorbed the /g/ sound value, adding it to the original /k/ sound. Lastly, the original meaning of disease has been removed, though ulcer remains.
Magical Uses: Due to the high frequency of variants in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics (as well as other magical scripts) matching up with magical effects, there are those that theorize that the Kaun variant used to express the sound /g/ is also magical, though nothing has been proven. In this case, no clear theories exist as to what this magical effect might be.
General Notes: The second symbol listed is not truly a variant, but instead an alternative rune that indicates the use of the sound /g/ instead of /k/.
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