What is the meaning of the Norse runes of Odin?

See the meaning of Odin’s Norse Runes: how to play, read and more!

The Norse Runes of Odin are one of the best-known forms of the oracle, being a way to achieve self-knowledge as well as providing a link with the Holy. They can even help to find answers and solutions, as well as predict future possibilities.

There are 24 symbols or letters, divided into three large groups, which refer to Scandinavia and the center of ancient Europe. According to legend, Odin took the tree of life (of knowledge or the world) from the ground and cut his own skin to make them.

As his blood dripped to the ground, the runes were emerging and revealing themselves to be powerful. So, he traded with wisdom, leaving one of his eyes in exchange for a drop from the fountain of wisdom and the runes began to function as practical oracles, with direct and assertive answers.

Just like the gypsy deck or other forms of the oracle, each piece has a unique meaning and can bring positive or negative interpretations, depending on each one. Also, its position when removing the pieces and whether it is inverted or not can change the meaning.

In general, Norse runes are divided into three groups: that of physical achievements or Freyr Aett; of Heimdall’s emotional achievements or Aett; and finally, that of spiritual achievements or Haeg’s Aett. Understand each of them in detail and learn how to interpret runes correctly!

Meaning of the 1st group runes: physical achievements

Called Freyr Aett (where Aett means family), the runes of physical achievements talk about discovering your base in the material world, being related to financial achievements and possession of physical resources. Therefore, there are runes such as cattle, which were a sign of great wealth, and others related to willingness and ability to communicate. Find out what they are:

■ Fehu: the cattle

Cattle means prosperity, wealth. This fortune is in the material sense, whether with capital or goods. It also represents good luck and success, both financially and socially. If it is inverted, it represents exactly the opposite. Losses or obstacles to come.

If used in closed-ended questions, it represents yes, if in its normal position, and no if inverted. If you seek daily advice, it is telling you that today will be a prosperous day if taken up, or to be careful with spending and borrowing if taken down.

■ Uruz: the wild bull

Uruz is the rune of the wild, angry bull. Represents strength, vigor, endurance and dedication at work. Other relationships are persistence, motivation and a fighting spirit, present in those who never give up. It is health and the representation of the masculine. When inverted, the rune represents disease, blockage, and evil in its direction.

When used in closed questions, it represents yes if in its normal position and no if inverted. In the search for daily advice, it’s telling you that today is a perfect day to start a project or face that difficulty you were putting off, but if it’s reversed, be careful with your health.

■ Thurisaz: the thorns

This Norse rune represents not only thorns but also Thor’s hammer. It is a powerful energy, a unique and intense force. It can be used for both good and evil. That is, it can be in the form of catharsis and purification or conflict. If it is reversed, it represents lack of strength, ostracism and betrayal.

If used in closed-ended questions, it represents yes, if in its normal position, and no if inverted. When used in the search for daily advice, it is telling you that today you should be aware of all situations, as they may not seem exactly what they are. And if it is reversed, beware of betrayals.

■ Ansuz: the words of Odin

The Ansuz rune represents speech, communication, revelations and intuition. It is the message of the Holy, with wisdom and truth. If it is inverted, it represents difficulties and barriers in communication, word manipulation and lying. It can also represent the possibility of being cheated.

When using it in closed questions, it represents yes if in its normal position and no if inverted. If the search for daily advice is telling you that today you need to reconnect, but if it’s reversed, be careful what you say.

■ Raidho: the carriage

Representing the movement of energies, the cycle of ends and beginnings, growth and new perspectives, the Raidho rune can also indicate journeys or physical changes. Another possible interpretation is the expansion of perspective and scope of your actions, whether on the physical or spiritual plane. When inverted, the rune shows lack of flexibility, lack of reasoning, and disruption.

In direct questions, it represents yes if in its normal position and no if inverted. If you’re looking for daily advice, she tells you that today some change could happen, but if it’s reversed, stay calm.

■ Kenaz: the torch

The main meaning of the Kenaz rune is enlightenment, wisdom and the re-encounter of the Self with the Truth. When it’s taken away, it’s a sign that the truth may soon come out or some secret will be exposed.

Besides, it could be that your life mission is close to being presented. It is related to creativity, vitality and innovation. When inverted, it represents reasoning limitation, distorted vision and instability.

If used in closed-ended questions, it represents yes, if in its normal position, and no if inverted. If the search for daily advice is telling you that today you should be resilient, but if you are inverted, try to have empathy.

■ Gebo: the present

Generosity is the main meaning of the Gebo rune, indicating that you will receive a blessing soon, bringing more abundance into your life. It also represents healthy and prosperous relationships, as well as balance.

This is an essentially good rune, as all of its meanings are positive, without having an inverted version. If you take it away in search of daily advice, it’s telling you that today it will have good news. So, take the time to practice gratitude.

■ Wunjo: the joy

Representing the joy, parties and pleasures of life – whether small or not, the Wunjo rune brings the idea of ​​belonging. It also indicates that you are safe and secure. On the other hand, if it is reversed, it indicates unhappiness and loss.

If used in closed-ended questions, it represents yes, if in its normal position, and no if inverted. In cases of daily counsel, allow happiness to come into your life. But if it’s reversed, maintain the resilience.

Meaning of the 2nd Group runes: emotional achievements

The second group of runes is the Aett of Heimdall, which deals with emotional growth and development. It also deals with the problems that may be holding you back or possible obstacles on your way. The runes of this group speak about destiny and abundance. Get to know each one!

■ Hagalaz: the hail

The Hagalaz rune means sudden, sudden change – neither good nor bad, just the characteristic of change. Like hail, it forms without warning and can enchant the viewer or destroy roofs and crops. The big question here is how you will behave in the face of these transformations that are completely out of your control.

It represents testing, resilience, and learning and does not have an inverted version. If you are looking for daily advice, pay attention to how you react to the world and try to keep yourself always present, so that you can notice the changes around you.

■ Naudhiz: the need

Naudhiz is the rune of necessity, difficulties and restrictions. It is also related to the ability to survive these moments, endurance and resilience. Another meaning is that of essential needs, with a balance between work and leisure, problems and tranquility. When reversed, it means deep sadness, bankruptcy and anguish. A need to look at yourself and find yourself again.

If used in closed-ended questions, it represents yes, if in its normal position, and no if inverted. As daily advice, practice resilience. But if it’s reversed, don’t hesitate to find someone to talk to and remember to take care of yourself.

■ Isa: the ice

Although the Isa rune represents slowness, delay, cancellation or even frustration, it can also be interpreted as the need to take a break and put one’s life or situation into perspective. It’s time to stop, breathe and assess the situation before taking an action or decision.

It does not have its reversed version. If looking for daily advice, practice mindful breathing whenever you feel the need, taking short breaks throughout the day and analyzing your thoughts and emotions.

■ Jera: the harvest of the year

Jera is the harvest rune – it represents the return of what was done, no matter if positive or negative. If the seeds were good, it brings abundance and blessings, being related to gratitude. Another possible interpretation is that of the cycle of nature itself, with life and death, harvesting and planting.

This rune has no reverse version. If seeking daily advice, practice gratitude, regardless of the outcome that returns to your life. After all, if it’s positive, it’s cause for celebration, otherwise, for introspection. But always be grateful for learning.

■ Eihwaz: the yew

Yew tree is a sacred tree to many cultures and the Eihwaz rune bears it as a symbol. Strong and persevering, it indicates endurance and wisdom, coupled with access to the most sacred aspects of existence. Another possible meaning is that of trust and purpose. On the other hand, when inverted, it represents destruction and the end of a cycle.

If used in closed questions, it represents yes, if in its normal position it is no, if it is inverted. In the cases of daily counsel, it indicates that you need to be persevering today, for the result will come. But if it is reversed, try to see the good in the situation and your learning.

■ Perdhro: something hidden

Perdhro is the rune linked to a woman’s fertility, as well as to what is mysterious and occult or fate. Its basic interpretation is that no one can control destiny and one must make the best use of opportunities that come their way, thus giving rise to fortune or luck. Its inverted version represents a lack of faith and being stagnant in life.

If used in closed questions, it represents yes, if in its normal position it is no, if it is inverted. In cases of daily advice, accept life changes as a reality and always adapt. But if it’s reversed, it’s time to start thinking about shaking things up in your life a bit.

■ Sowelo: the sun

Sowelo is considered the rune of happiness. It represents good luck, prosperity and abundance. It is also linked to good health and achievements, always bringing good news. She is the power and vigor of the sun, indicating clearer days and a lifetime of enlightenment.

She is always positive and does not have an inverted version. In cases of daily advice, pay attention to the opportunities that present themselves today, it could be a great chance to fulfill that dream or improve your quality of life.

■ Algiz: moose protection

Algiz is the rune of the moose, which mainly represents strength and protection. Inner strength can also be a form of interpretation when it comes to spiritual growth and moral endurance. Your guides are guarding your path and your dreams may soon manifest. When reversed, it indicates that something dangerous is in its path and hidden from your eyes.

Meaning of the 3rd group runes: spiritual achievements

Odin’s third group of Norse runes is the Haeg’s Aett, which is related to spiritual achievements. They are not only about spirituality, but also about the legacy you will leave before you leave. Consequently, some of the themes dealt with by her are transformations, birth, the notion of uniqueness, intuition and ancestry.

■ Tiwaz: the god Tyr

Tiwaz is the arrowhead of the Norse god Tyr, representing success and victory. It is the rationality and honor of the warrior, leading to leadership and achievement. She shows open paths and a tendency to sacrifice. If this Norse rune of Odin appears inverted, then it means creative block, delay in decision, lukewarm life and lack of balance.

■ Berkana: the birch

Berkana is related to birth, fertility and new paths. It may also be about getting out of some situation that would consume your days and discourage your spirit. When it comes out inverted, then it deals with fights between family members, anxiety, lack of control over life and lack of care.

If used in closed questions, it represents yes, if in its normal position it is no, if it is inverted. In cases of daily advice, accept life changes as a reality and always adapt. But if it’s reversed, it’s time to start thinking about shaking things up in your life a bit.

■ Ehwaz: the horse

The rune of Odin Ehwaz indicates progress in some project, professional or personal, movement in some sector of your life, and reliability. It refers to harmony, loyalty and fluidity when you need to work with other people. Reversed, this rune denotes a lack of tranquility, agitation, lack of confidence, and a need for change.

When used in closed questions, it represents yes, if in its normal position it is no, if it is inverted. In cases of daily advice, take the opportunity to pull out a project. But if it’s reversed, then it’s better to wait.

■ Mannaz: the man

The main meaning of the Norse rune Mannaz is social order, hierarchy and the notion of community. It can also represent the Self, the identity that differentiates people, in addition to relationships and mortality. If it is inverted, the rune that has the man himself as a symbol, refers to loneliness, manipulation and lies.

When using it in closed questions, it represents yes, if in its normal position it is no, if it is inverted. In cases of daily advice, take the opportunity to start a social project. But if it’s inverted, pay attention and don’t be fooled.

■ Lagoon: water

The Laguz rune is linked to the energy of the waters, involving intuition, imagination, dreaming and mysteries. Totally linked to the emotional, it is also linked to intuition and healing, intensifying the capacity to connect with the spiritual. If this Norse rune is in its inverted form, it indicates fear, failure to judge, creative block and evasive behavior.

In closed questions, it represents yes, if in its normal position it is no, if it is inverted. In cases of daily advice, seek to understand your emotions and find healing for old wounds. But if it’s reversed, find your courage.

■ Ingwaz: fertility

Inguz or Ingwaz is the name of the Norse rune of Odin which represents man’s fertility, common sense, strength and family. It is related to peace and personal development. It can also be related to gestation, having as a correlate God Ing, deity of the Earth.

This rune has no reverse meaning. In cases of daily advice, it can be a good time to start a course you’ve been wanting for a long time.

■ Dagaz: the day

The dawn rune – Dagaz deals with the end of a cycle that leads to maturation, in every way. A sign that changes are to come, with a certain stability and security. It is a good omen for anyone who wants to start a project, having a positive sense and related to faith.

It does not have reverse reading. In cases of daily advice, try to keep your feet on the ground, even if you intend to make changes in your life.

■ Othala: the heritage

The Othala rune deals with inheritance in a spiritual sense, both related to karma and the legacy built and left for future generations. It is also about abundance, success and cyclical renewal. The sense of community and basic values ​​of society are also possible interpretations. If reversed, it represents prejudice and negative karma.

For direct questions, it represents yes, if in its normal position it is no, if it is inverted. In cases of daily advice, try to reconnect with your essence. But if it’s inverted, try to open your mind and see things in new perspectives.

How to read the meaning of runes

There are two basic ways to read runes, one is by asking for general guidance – which leads to a more open question and leads to multiple interpretations. The other ideal possibility is for closed questions, in other words, that lead to only two answers: yes or no.

These two ways can be used to ask for advice, ask a question expecting a specific answer, or even play for someone else. Understand each of these possibilities!

■ Council of runes

Norse rune advice should be sought in more introspective cases, when it comes to particular, profound questions that require guidance rather than an answer. It depends much more on the player’s intuition, experience and expectations than on the logic itself. For this, the ideal is to use three or more runes, always multiples of that number.

■ Question and answer

Quite simply, this game mode is done through an objective question, looking for a more practical answer. It can be yes/no style with just one rune, or even some answer to a present situation or what can happen if you take a certain action, done in multiples of 3.

Usually, the question and answer mode is used to help decide on possibilities or know what the future will be like.

■ Playing runes for someone else

The process of reading Norse runes to another person is much the same as reading oneself. All the preparation is the same, but the questioner is the consultant, who must be in harmony and with the strong intention of getting his answer.

Also, you must be focused in the moment, with your mind focused. Then he should be the one asking the question out loud so that the answers are more in line with his energy.

Some types of rune games

To understand the meaning of Norse runes, there are a few ways to play the pieces. Among the most common are the one rune and the three rune. From then onwards, multiples of three should be added, if you want to make the answer more complex, also showing the more unconscious aspects regarding the question. See how to make the two most used games!

■ Play of a rune

The play of a rune should be done when looking for a more objective answer or even a yes or no answer. To do this, just prepare the moment by placing the fabric on the surface to be used and holding the rune between both hands, meditating for a moment.

So, just play the rune and check the answer. It’s a great way to start the day, paying attention to the message passed throughout the day.

■ Three rune game

Also known as the game of three Norns, Norse Goddesses of Fate, the game of three runes is ideal for advice or more complex questions. For this, randomly choose the runes, placing from left to right: the rune of the past (or the cause), the one of the present (or how the question is developing) and the one of the future (possible scenarios or solutions).

So, just interpret, paying close attention to the intuition and guidance of your guides or guardian angels.

Common doubts about the meaning of runes

Among the most common doubts regarding the game of runes is understanding whether the situation is positive or negative. Here, you will better understand how to understand this issue, as well as learn how to make your own runes and use them in rituals and spells!

■ How do you know if the situation is positive or negative?

The main way to know if the answer indicates a positive or negative situation is the position of the pieces. Usually, inverted pieces – that is, upside down, indicate something negative. It has some runes, however, whose meaning is also positive, such as Gebo, Jera or Dagaz.

Of course, everything will depend on the interpretation performed, based not only on your knowledge of the issue itself, but mainly on your intuition and what the guides have to say. That’s why it’s important to be focused and set with your intent when playing the Nordic runes.

■ How to make your own runes?

Runes made by the Querent himself are more powerful as they are imbued with his energy and intention. To make the rune at home, you can use different materials, preferably natural ones, which generate greater efficiency.

For that, you can opt for pieces of wood, simple stones, like those found in backyards, crystals that you have an affinity or related to your deity, and others. Plastics and industrialized products should be avoided, due to the low conductivity and energetic connection of these materials. It is important that they are all approximately the same size and shape, so as not to influence the play.

After choosing the material, wash it well, leaving it in brackish water for a day. Wash afterwards and dry in the sun. Then it’s just a matter of carving, scratching, burning or engraving the runes with paint or any other material that you find most appropriate.

Then, take your rune game pieces carefully, with your energy clean and hands washed, and place them in a suitable bag or box, cleaned with sage incense or similar. Make the consecration as you see fit and keep it where no one else can touch it, so as not to alter the energy deposited.

Then just use it to do the readings or even use it in rituals and spells, regardless of the belief system on which it is based. For example, if you are a Christian, you can use the angels or saints as your guides at the time of your appointment. Likewise, the gods and guides of the African, Nordic, Greek, Egyptian, Celtic, Hindu or any other pantheon whose energy you identify with, fit.

■ How do runes work in rituals and spells?

Rituals and spells are completely related to the intention for which they are made. So when you choose a certain rune to function, for example, as a talisman, you are associating the intention (protection, power, healing, etc.) with its meaning.

As a result, it will emanate that specific energy more intensely, opening up avenues for you to take advantage of. When you prepare a spell or ritual, you are opening your energy to its results, if done for you, and the rune is an archetype that helps in strengthening intent.

So, if you are going to do, for example, a protective ritual for your house, you can use an Algiz rune adornment for that, intensifying your intention. And not only are stones or rune ornaments used in rituals, but they can also be written on paper and then burned, increasing their potency, always with care and guidance.

Spells can also be maximized using runes. You can use, for example, Algiz in the preparation of a cleansing or banishing water, placing the rune submerged with the other ingredients, straining and applying it around the house with a spray bottle. Thus, it will work as an amplifier of intention, through its archetype and the energy involved.

Can playing runes help me make more assertive decisions?

From the moment you decide to take your runes to make a decision, you are already opening up to finding solutions to the issue. That way, even without counting any magic, guides or the energetic aspect, it’s already helping your mind to focus on the search for an answer.

In addition, you should consider other aspects, such as spiritual guidance, whether by your guardian angel, guide, or worshiped deity. Their affinities can have a broader view of the situation at stake, being able to give a more assertive orientation about the topic, leading to better results.

Another important aspect is your own intuition, especially if the runes were made by you. When you open your energy field to the possibilities that surround you, it’s much easier to come up with new ideas and find better ways to reach your goal.

In other words, yes, the meaning of the Nordic runes can help you to make better decisions, based not only on material and limited vision, but with the help of spirituality, faith and intuition.

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