Ancient Symbols & Signs

rune history

Rune History

Below you will find the very basics to the history of the runes, an explanation of futharks and various uses.

Rune History

The earliest recorded runes were used by the early Germanic tribes of central Europe and are believed to date back 1,700 years ago, though many think they date back much earlier. There are many arguments surrounding the origin of the runes some saying that they originated from Turkish alphabets whereas others Latin and Greek. The latter theories are the most popular since there are many common characters to be found in these that also appear in the runic system.

Rune Futharks

Just as the ‘alphabet’ is named after its first two characters the runic systems are often called FUTHARKs as this is the first 7 letters of its system. There are quite a few different futharks, the oldest known as the elder futhark (sometimes referred to as the common Germanic futhark) this is the system that I am covering but there are others such as the Anglo-saxon futhark, the younger futhark, the Viking futhark, and so on…

Rune Uses

The runes are thought of as an ancient writing system but they surpass these limitations by also incorporating the tribe social idealogies (e.g. Sowulo = sun = health = s). The use of runes is limitless they have been found inscribed onto many surfaces of differing materials and have been used for spells, divination, poems and ornamentation. When used for divination they are most commonly cut onto small parts of a branch of a fruit bearing tree but they can be painted onto almost any surface. For this practice it is generally considered best to use natural materials such as crystals, stones and wood. (The photo to the side is an example of one of my sets – varnished coal stones picked from a nearby beach).