norse runes

Norse Runes: Viking Runes, Norse Symbols & Much More to Know!

Religion & Mythology

Archaeology played a big role in making the human race aware of the civilizations from the ancient era. It is now clear that those centuries-old civilizations (like Mayan, Egyptian, and Norse) used unique communicating language in the form of specific Norse runes and carved images on the cave walls.

All or most of these civilizations used these unique methods of communication for thousands of years. They created their own mythologies and holy scripts to promote their culture and rituals to the other parts of the world.

Among all those mythologies and holy scripts, Norse mythology is the one that brings along some exciting and thrilling stories. In fact, there exists a lot of evidence to prove their beliefs and facts in similar regard.

The warriors of this civilization, known as Norse Vikings, used to communicate via Norse Rune stones ( stones carved with random signs and artwork). The Viking runes were their way of expressing feelings, specific events and also the war signs. If you are interested in this aspect of history, then read ahead to gain all the essential information about the Viking runes.

The Viking Runes

The Norse culture today is popular for the way they passed down the stories to the next generation. The culture used oral interpretations rather than writing tales. Old Norse is popular as the Viking’s speaking language. People used it for passing sagas and also some other stories to the children.

Before accepting the Latin alphabet, runes letters were presented in the alphabetic form known as runic alphabets. Many used them for writing indifferent Germanic languages during that time.

People used the Viking runes to describe things and places, and mystical courses of future events. However, they usually used them for protection. People use some of the Norse symbols commonly for love, health, seed, tides and even the weather. In contrast, some people also use Viking runes for abortion, cursing, birth and even death.

Among all the reasons for using Viking runes, the most basic one was to attract good fortune. The Vikings used the runes for more than 2000 years. They usually carved them into cups, amulets and the ship’s bows. These runes were invented by the northern European to present specific things like the force of nature. During those times, the people believed they could have power the weather by having control over the weather runes of Viking.

Scientists have discovered three different Futhark forms :

Anglo Saxon Futhark – People in England used these Norse runes as a means of communication when the Viking Era existed. The language included 33 characters. They were prevalent from 1100 AD to 1500 AD

Younger futhark – This included many different characters which were 16 in total and they were a popular means of communication during 800 AD and 1200 AD.

The Elder futhark – This is one of the first/earliest forms of Viking rune that people used during the early times between 100 AD and 800 AD. It included 24 different characters.

The Norse variant names for the runic alphabet were derived from the first 6 letters. This is why they are known as Futhark.

Viking Runes

The Origin of Norse Runes

In regards to the origin of runic script, even today, there are many ongoing debates. The historians still don’t know if it originated from the old Italic alphabet or from other runes. The historical data, records and facts collected as of now show that the Italian alphabet created the Norse alphabets. However, historians and scientists still cannot agree with the form of the Italic alphabet the runic script was made from.

Besides this, the scientist believes the norse alphabet originated from the Italic alphabet as during those times the Roman army had the Germanic people serving them. They worked during the Roman empire’s imperial period. They served in the Italian peninsula as mercenaries. There is evidence found for the elder Furthak creation during the early 5th century, which is said to be the Kylver Stone.

People consider the Bolazano’s Raetic alphabet as the origin alphabet of Norse runes. The raetic alphabet had five elder Furthak runes, of which there is no inclusion in the Bolzano alphabet. This is why the Scandinavian scientists and scholars choose to believe that the derivation was from the Latin alphabet but not the Raetic one.

Early Norse Runes Inscription

The first period of the known Viking inscriptions lasted for four centuries between 150 AD and 558 AD or the Period-1. During this time, there was no standardization of the letters despite all the inscriptions in the Elder futhark. Numerous theories explain the Viking runes are the advanced versions of the predecessor, which is from the Gothic runes. Sometimes people describe the Gothic runes as the first alphabet from which the Futhark were developed.

Viking Runes in the Poetic Edda

Rígsþula is a poem of the poetic Edda that explains how the humans found the Norse runic alphabet. The verse says a story about a man Heimdall who had three sons and a wife. All of the three children had a different fate. Churl was a freeman and his brother Thrall a slave. While his third brother Jarl was a nobleman.

The poem explains how Jarl became a man who knew how to wield a weapon. When he expressed his nobility sign, Heimdall came down to teach his son the Viking runestones mysteries.

During the mid of 16-century, a Swedish archbishop developed a story that depicts a mortal man who took 3 staff from Allfather Odin using the runestones. After which, he learnt the magic of runestones himself.

Viking Runes Meaning

The Norse runes had a significant meaning which was unfamiliar to the different cultures during that era. The runes wear preferably used for marking the ancestral burial grounds or to hail their fallen heroes.

Because of the implications, people believe that the Viking runes were used to connect the supernatural, mortal, and our realm. That explains the belief that the Nordic rules were magical and powerful objects.

Some believe that each rune had its magical feature. And every one of them can help people control the weather, cast spells, bring success.

Most of the Viking runes today were discovered is Sweden. But there are also some across Denmark and Norway’s territory. The Viking Era brought a lot of reading and interactions with the different cultures in the neighborhood countries. Thus, there was a need for writing and communication mode, which the runes solve.

Today, archaeologists have discovered hundreds of runic inscriptions. They explain in detail that the Norse runes weren’t the seers who used to protect the Norse Cosmos path. Besides this, the Vikings kept on expanding their world and some of their Graffiti is still found in Istanbul and Orkney.

Viking Symbols and Meanings

The runic alphabet included 24 letters which sometimes come with a blank stone known as Odin’s rune. It is meant to symbolize what is not to be known yet. Odin is the Norse God who sacrificed his one eye to see the things happening around the world. If you got this rune, it means that it isn’t the time for certain information to be known do the mortals yet. Thus, you must trust the divine timing of life and go with the flow.

If you are looking for Norse runes and their meanings, then first, you must understand the derivations. The elder runic alphabet is distributed into 3 equal parts – Freyr’s Aett, Heimdall’s Aett, and Haeg’sAett. All three parts depict the story of life. The first set of runes represents finding footing in the material plane and accumulating worldly possessions.

It holds symbols like cattle, vigor, and communication. The next set is for increasing growth and maturity. It holds Norse runes like harvest, obstacles, and faith. The final set portrays developing legacy and spirituality. It includes runes like intuition, inheritance, and communities.

In regards to the Viking symbols and meanings, one can check out the below-mentioned to get the right idea about the runes.

Norse Symbols


The rune is an indication of the new phase beginning in a person’s life and the termination of the old one. The rune symbolizes the future changes that are yet to happen in the night. It speaks of ending one part of life and how a man goes out of his childhood frame. This means it must be left behind to attain manhood.


These nordic runes indicate the person who wields must consider their plan or ideas. It means if the person cannot achieve the desired goals in life, they need good reconstruction, improvement and finally reconsider their ways by doing everything right from the start.

For instance, if your hunter cannot catch a sear, he must work on his hunting skills and tools. There is no place for demons and anger in one’s head. You must stay modest ca and patient during the hard times to attain success later.


This rune is a unique representation of a new beginning in life. It also signifies the right of people to start a brand-new page in their life. It shows completion but also means fertilizing the soil to achieve ultimate liberation.


These Norse runes give power of messaging or warning about the upcoming problem in the person’s life. Additionally, it brings sacred knowledge and means that the person must be blessed. It teaches people to be patient, kind and polite while making every decision and conversation in life. Still, it implies that people must be incredibly patient and careful with the wise ones.


This rune gives a signal about the light that exist at the tunnel’s end. When the unfortunate events and the sadness in life leave, it is time to bring enjoyment and light. This means the people are ready to receive the blessing after they have experienced great sadness during their part-time.

This rune is a core representation of the harmony present between a person’s ego and higher self, making the most secure and confident. But the most crucial meaning is that you can’t fail in the things you are doing.


This rune symbolizes unity and companionship received as a gift. Besides, it advises people do not to accept what the rune provides as a partnership in something which only two people can have in between them. Therefore, you should not present it as a gift but as a unified wish between the couple. In general, advice is valid for every relationship in life, no matter it is the business or the personal one.


This Norse rune depicts fulfillment and balance in life. It also offers food from the common to the holy while helping people preserve things they have achieved easily. During the celebration of happy times, many advise not to waste time on unimportant things. But to put the focus on the essential things which can bring great success and happiness in life.


This rune represents the need for a change in life, like letting go of the old skin and moving ahead in achieving one’s goal. It can be incorporated into life events, be it a past relationship or move ahead with something new, which is good. Release yourself from the experience you have obtained. Obedience is a necessary virtue people need to have while pulling out this Norse rune.

Besides, it also represents profit and gain. But one must learn to benefit from the provided things and remain obedient and modest.


This rune is the one for helping a person attain calmness. Thus, it represents the emotional control one has over their feelings. Life can bring numerous changes, and people must understand and know how to adapt well without letting their feelings come in the way. Be it a change in the romantic relationship or business problems. One needs to adapt to the change instantly, instead of allowing their emotions to bring any harm.

So, although you might not win the battle, you won’t lose as you have learned how to have proper control over your emotions.


There is a belief that the Norse runes bring out power the people had present within themselves. They are all connected and can interact continuously. It is not easy to recognize what a person can gain in life from them. It is the mystery that helps people heal their bodies and souls. Some of the mysteries can be found in the form of personal gains, metal surprises that can come out of nowhere, helping people and their souls in the process.

Odin and the Norse Runes

Everyone who has an idea about Norse mythology knows Odin was the Allfather and the ruler of the Gods. But there is something you might not know- Odin knew the oghram. He was in continuous pursuit of wisdom, knowledge and mysteries of life. During one such pursuit, he gave up his eye to attain more wisdom and to know things going across the world.

The center of the world is controlled by Yggdrasil, which is the tree of life and knowledge. The high branches of the tree are the home to Asgard. The branches of which rise from the Well of Urd. But you must know the Well has no bottom and this never-ending pit includes a vast amount of power and incredible beings unknowns even to the gods.

Among many creatures in the depth of the Urd recites the Norns. They are the three witches who were responsible for crafting the fate of the nine realms of the Norse universe. It is done by carving the Viking rune inscriptions into the trunk of the tree. This way, they affect the fate of all creatures in the Norse Cosmos.

Odin, the Allfather, watch the Norns from Asgard. He became so envious of the wisdom and power of the Norn that he decided to learn more about the Norse runes and the mystical powers they hold. The runes originated from the Well of Urd. They wouldn’t show themselves to anyone who wasn’t worthy of knowing them.

With a goal to know about the norns, Odin hung himself from the branches of Yggdrasil with his heart pierced with a spear. He refused any help from the gods and ordered them not to offer any support, even water. As he hanged himself from the tree, he was looking down to the norms and the Viking runes to take a glance at their power.

Odin kept himself hung from the tree for nine days and nights. This is when the Viking runes accepted the unselfish sacrifice and considered him to be worthy of knowing about them. He was then informed about the secrets, the right way. After this, he became the first person in the entire Norse Cosmos to have such vast abilities and knowledge with Odin Runes.

Odin gained numerous benefits and powers from the runestones. But among all, the most powerful ones were the chants and spells, which allowed him to heal both emotionally and physically, along with a way to cripple the enemies and defeat them in every battle. The Viking rulers then allowed Odin to protect the fellow warriors in the battle and to raise the fallen dead. Besides this, he was also in control of the ones that practice black magic and other forms.

Odin made the ultimate sacrifice as he sacrificed himself to the Gods. Therefore, people also know it as Odinnic sacrifice, which is one like none other.

Norse Alphabet

Odin and the Blank Viking Rune

In modern runology or the known history, there is no concrete meaning to the Norse runes. People know them as Wyrd. The runologists believe the meaning can neither be absolute possibilities or complete emptiness. No matter what is the message, it is for sure that the indications or messages from Odin’s rune are powerful.

Thus, the runologists believe that the blank Norse runestones indicate that the person must look deeply into himself or his soul. The forces we cannot see or identify around is the ones we have put in motion. The forces help depict the life choices we have made and the one which has greatly influenced our lives. Today people know them as faith or higher forces.

Well, none of the person is perfect. Everyone has some flaws and virtues. But both flaws and virtues are responsible for helping the person lead the life path in a specific direction. The blank Norse runes teach us that we must look deep into ourselves to understand the path set for us.

Some people call it a clear state. Today the Wyrd runestones represent a point in life wherein the person must think of everything they have done so far and the actions which have brought positivity and success in life.

Viking Runestones Today

The historical studies include an incredible segment of runology. It helps one learn about the runestones, runic alphabet, runic instructions and history of the runestones. However, out of all the Viking runestone, the most significant one is Kjuka Runestone, located in Söderman land, Sweden. The runestone has a poem for nyrðislag inscribed on it. The poem is about a man, whose name is spear, and his warfare efforts.

The son of Sigríðr, Alríkr, raises a runestone in his late father’s memory. He was in the West fighting and breaking down the entire towns while he got a signal about the danger ahead on every one of the journeys. The runestone depicts the celebrations of traditional Viking values like heroism, honor, bravery and valor. Alríkr is considered as a fallen warrior who fought bravely and died abroad.

Use of Viking Runes in the Modern Era

The Anglo-Saxon Norse runes presented a map that clearly showcases their unbreakable connections with the Dwarves in J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit”. Besides this, the Lords of the Rings was expected to include the Anglo-Saxon runes, but it was canceled at the last moment. So instead, Tolkien derived the Cirth-runev alphabet, which the Dwarves used as their language.

Besides using runestones in fictional novels, they appear in popular and modern fantasy books and novels. In fact, other media like video games too have presented runestones for their fans.

The 21st-Century Runestones

A modern technological achievement that has a direct connection with the Norse runes is the Bluetooth wireless connection. Most people are aware of what Bluetooth is. But they don’t know how the logo of Bluetooth was created from Nordic runestone symbols. To be very specific, the Bluetooth symbol is a mix of two Viking runes symbols. It includes the Younger futhark – Haglaz (Nordic H) and Berkanan (Nordic B). The initials present the Viking era of a famed king Harald Blåtandof Denmark and Norway.

Bluetooth logo

How to Read Norse Runes?

To begin with, you need to find yourself in a quiet and silent place where you can keep your mind focused on the reading. Once you find that spot stay calm and think about the question and issue you have in your mind. If you desire, you can say your prayer or even make a request to the higher spirits for guiding you with the reading. Next, ensure that you spread your rune cloth on the table properly, which is present in front and place the runes in proper layout.

Using Norse runes is an effective way of using your intuition and inner voice to identify possible future outcomes.

Well, there does exist a numerous rune castings type that one can perform. It is similar to tarot layouts, but you might feel like just starting up between one rune to get a proper understanding and learn its significance during your first attempt.

Nevertheless, it is quite a useful method when you are uncertain or unsecure about picking out one single rune. It will offer you the ease and comfort to focus on a single thing. Once you think you are ready to progress, then you can try out the different rune layouts and cast. Here are the information’s about the different casting.

The Three-Rune Layout

It is the simplest layout, which makes it perfect for beginners. Using this cast, you can randomly select three Norse runes from inside your handbag and place them on the table in front of you. Make sure the rune 1 is on the right side, 2 in the middle and 3 on the left-hand side, which will make them the order of 3,2,1.

The rune one gives an overview of your situation or query

Rune two depicts a challenge

Rune three depicts a possible route or course of action one can take to overcome the challenges and difficulties on the way.

The Five Rune Layout

When trying five rune cast, you must aim to select 5 runes one at a time. Then, lay down all the runes on the cloth in specific places. The first one must be in the middle while the others must form a cross shape around it, which means the rune 2 will go on the left of the center, which is the west direction, rune 3 on the top in the north direction, rune 4 in the bottom in south direction and rune 5 in the right side in east direction.

You can either lay them down first and then turn them over as you read or put them straight upward altogether.

The basic idea behind this layout is that when you place the three Norse runes in horizontal directions, the runes 2,1,5 depict the person’s past, present, and future. While the rune present below the center (4) shows the elements of the issue or problem that one needs to accept. Finally, the rune present on the right side of the center (3) shows what possible help you can receive about the issue you are facing.

The Nine Rune Cast

In Norse mythology, nine is a magical number. So it is the most appropriate choice you can consider for your rune casting. It is best suitable when you try to determine if you are walking on the spiritual path and what the next stage opportunities will be for you. It is the cast wherein you have to make use of your intuition in the right way.

When trying this casting method, make sure you think about the spiritual yearnings and randomly pick out nine rules from the bag. Keep them in your hand for a moment or two, and then scatter them on the rune cloth.

People believe that the rune that comes near to the center depicts the most current situation while the one lying on the edges are of less importance. When you start the runes close together or touching each other, then they may have complementing influences. At the same time, the runes on the opposite sides of the cloth represent opposing influences.

Make sure you pay attention to the Norse runes which have landed face up. It will be helpful if you note this down to refer them and get a deep analysis about it later. Now, turn around the once landed upside down and make a reading. Keep them in the same position. The latter runes are believed to depict the outside of the future influences that can highlight the new possibilities coming in the person’s life.

While integrating the Viking runes and what they mean, make sure you are using your intuition is the best. This rune casting is the hardest of all. The analysis depends upon your interpretations.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Runestone

Most people today are aware of the runestones but even after this, there exist a lot of confusion regarding the use, storage and its helpfulness. If you are one of those who is interested in knowing about the Viking runes, then here is a guide that will help you get proper ideas and details. Here are the most frequently asked questions about the runes stones in the modern era.

What can you use Norse Runes for?

The Norse runes serve as a guide to help the person get through a problem or an issue. It helps you see what exactly can happen. They are a type of fortune-telling.

However, they don’t offer the exact answers or the right advice. But offer different suggestions and variables which could lead you to the path of success and help solve your problem. The runes are popular for hunting for answers but leaving the person to work out all the details using their intuition as it is highly essential.

The runes reader clearly says the future isn’t fixed. And the power lies in the hands of the individuals to follow their path and make their own decisions. So, in case you do not like or prefer the reading the runes have offered you, then you have the power in your hand to change your course of direction and follow a different route.

You can use the Runes n different situations. For instance, you can get consultations wherein you are in a situation with limited information or an incomplete picture about future events.

How do Nordic Runes work?

You must know simply casting runes does not mean it’s fortune-telling. The idea on which the runes work is that you ask a question or think about an issue that is concerning you. Make sure you have a focused mind when the rune is right in front of you. Then only, the runes get cast. They are entirely random but are the choices that your subconscious has made. This will help you get some indication about the path you need to follow.

What can I ask the Norse Runes about?

Generally, people use the rules to ask about their issues while others ask some regular questions. No matter the choice, make sure the issue or question is clear in your mind while casting the runes. Remember reading runes is about seeing the future or an answer to the query. It’s about looking into the possibilities, the effects and causes, along with the potential outcomes.

What type of Viking Runes do I need?

There are a variety of runes available. You can use all of the same or different materials to make them, including pebbles, words, crystals, metal or even bones. A simple set will be sufficient when you first start discovering about the runestones. However, once you have developed expertise and have practiced for a while, then you must purchase a special set.

When drawn to certain crystals like amethyst or rose quartz, you must consider investing in a crystal set of runes as it will be the most appropriate choice or else you can buy a set that is carved into simple pebbles or smaller piece of stones.

The material of runes you choose depends entirely on your personal choice and preference and the motive you are purchasing them for. When you buy a new set of runes, you will receive an instruction booklet with them which clearly explains what each rune is and what the symbols represent. This will offer you the right guide to maintain them.

Storing the runes

You must store the Norse runes in a little drawstring pouch to keep them safe and clean. This will help avoid an accident where you can lose one or two runes from your set you can easily. You can easily find rune pouches in the market, or you can consider using a small box to store them.

Using a rune cloth

To use the runes correctly, you must use the fabric made specifically for the runes. It is a small white cloth designed specifically of the right size. When trying runes for the first time, you need not invest much in a special cloth. It may be something you can explore later once you have determined your love or interest in the runes. The cloth will help prevent the runes from getting dirty or damaged. Besides, it will act as of boundary for the rune casting.

Is it Easy to Interpret Runes?

Like any other form of fortune-telling, it takes masters in the art to read the runes correctly. You can find numerous books and guides available in the market to help you understand the runes’ meaning and significance in daily life. It will help you understand how you can question or ask issues while practicing it in daily life. Make sure you get an easy-to-understand guide of the symbols and meanings.

It will offer you the right guide only when you are open and willing to use your intuition to find answers to future events. There is nothing to worry about if you don’t get things right at first. Next, you need to try and write down the details of your Norse runes. Check out the meaning and try according. The possible outcomes will help you practice and get better at the job.

When you get an upside-down rune on your cloth, then there is an alternative reverse definition. Again, you can check your guide to get details of this.

There can be instances wherein an experienced reader cannot find the true significance or the answer about the event. In such instances, they might ask the person to come later.

Blank Runes

Generally, the rune sets come with a blank rune. However, there are some mix opinions about the availability of blank runes with the traditionalist as there is no historical evidence that mentions its use. Therefore, it is completely your choice for proceeding with them.


The Norse rune stones are believed to be from a collection of Norse mythology items that were used for different things during that era. Despite the purpose and benefits, they remained unknown until Allfather Odin decided to know about this magic. There are many who do not believe in search predictions. But you must know they are a great way to identify the possible future outcomes. If you are interested in it, do not avoid your instinct and try them out to see what it holds for you.

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