THE ELDER FUTHARK

THE ELDER FUTHARK

 

This is the oldest Futhark – the European common heritage. We don’t know for sure when or by who it is originated, but it might be among  Germanic tribes in the beginning of our era.  


The Elder Futhark has 24 runes. This “runic alphabet” got its name after the sound of what is traditionally held to be the six first runes in this  “alphabet”:  

F – U – Þ – A – R – K

f u th a r k g w Frey’s Aett
Fehu Uruz Thurisaz Ansuz Raidho Kenaz Gebo Wunjo
h n i j ë p R s Hagall’s Aett
Hagalaz Nauthiz Isa Jera Eihwaz Perthro Algiz Sowilo
t b e m l ng d o Tyr’s Aett
Tiwaz Berkano Ehwaz Mannaz Laguz Ingwaz Dagaz Othala

The Rune Galdr

The Rune Galdr

 

The galdr is probably both the most powerful and subtle way to access the  magical energy of the rune. These chants have been described as being like a soft-flowing river with a powerful current underneath. Used in every phase of  runic magic together with the form of the rune, the galdr is the main medium through which runic power finds expression. Everyone intones slightly  differently, so feel free to experiment. By chanting and toning a rune, you can better experience and express its meaning.

When learning to galdr, focus on one rune at a time. Observe each rune’s tone, form, flow, and relationship to you and to
the other runes. Trust your intuition, and decide when to sing
each rune as a song in and of itself, complete with melody and a beginning, middle, and end, and when to sing the rune by toning only one note. There is no  right or wrong way to galdr.

When you galdr, breathe from your diaphragm and really stretch out the sound of each rune, toning as many consonant/vowel combinations as possible.  For example, Fehu can be sung as “Feeeeeeee,
Faaaaaaaa, Fuuuuuuuuu, Faaaaaaaayhuuuuuuuuu!” (akin to the giant’s
“fee-fi-fo-fum” as he counts his golden coins, a symbol of mobile
wealth). Draw out and expand each of the vowel sounds, exploring
all registers and resonances in your voice. Discover where each
rune fits in your vocal register, and note where you feel it in your
body. Above all, remember galdring is a lot like learning how to sing
for the first time. Relax and enjoy the process. Galdring together
with your children, in the woods or at the ocean, can be great fun. As
you become proficient, you can combine the chants of several runes into
one song. With 24 runes in the Elder Futhark, there are many possible
combinations, but generally galdr songs using one rune, three runes, or
nine runes work best in magic. Be aware of the numerical significance
of the combined runes when crafting songs.

Today’s Runes for Wednesday, July 4 is Tyr

Stone Runes are most commonly used for questions about the natural world and things beyond human control. Tyr is the symbol of the warrior. This rune most represents masculine force and potency, and frequently victory in battle. Beware though, for this rune represents directly the Norse god whose name it bears – Tyr stands out in legend for having sacrificed his hand that he might bind Fenrir, a monstrous wolf that threatens to swallow the world. As such, this rune is known to portend a great victory that can be bought with a terrible sacrifice. Tyr is also the god of law, frequently placed in such position above Odin. In this aspect, protection of justice may be had by this rune.