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Elder Futhark

©Reikhart Odinsthrall

See Creative Commons License Below


Mysteries ancient, Allfather found

Wrested from anguish, nine days fast bound

Hung from the world tree, pierced by the spear

Odin who seized them, make these staves clear

1. Fehu :Cattle / Wealth

Wealth is won and gold bestowed

But honour's due to all men owed

Gift the given and ware the lord

For thy name's worth noised abroad

2. Uruz : Aurochs / Wild-ox

Wild ox-blood proud, sharp hornéd might

On moorland harsh midst sprite and wight

Unconquered will and fierce in form

Through summer's sun and winter's storm

3. Thurisaz : Thorn / Giant / Thor

Thorn hedge bound the foe repelled

A giant's anger by Mjolnir felled

Thor protect us, fight for troth

In anger true as Odin's wrath

4. Ansuz :As / God / Odin

In mead divine and written word

In raven's call and whisper heard

Wisdom seek and wise-way act

In Mimir's well see Odin's pact

5. Raidho :Journey / Carriage

By horse and wheel to travel far

Till journey's end a followed star

Harsh the road and sore the seat

Till journey's end and hearth-home meat

6. Kenaz :Fire / Torch / Sore

Hearth and hallow, forging fire

Light the path and heart inspire

Torch of flame we hold on high

Guard the hall and burn the lie

7. Gebo :Gift

Lovers kiss and gift the hand

Lord's men shout and pledge to band

The gift is given back and thrice

In duty bound and honour's price

8. Wunjo : Pleasure / Joy

Harvest in and cattle fed

Table full and blessings said

Peace and joy in life be ours

With ease-full days and golden hours

9. Hagalaz : Hail

Storm born hail as heaven's seed

Brings us pain and direst need

But ice corn melts in Sunna's light

And waters crops in place of blight

10. Nauthiz :Need

This want constrains and binds the will

Yet drives us on to conquer still

Let need-fire burn when darkness falls

And summer seek when winter calls

11. Isa : Ice

Blue its beauty and smooth the way

But yet beware lest foot betray

As Niflheim's ice meets Muspel's fire

In Ginnungagap see Midgard spire

12. Jera :Year / Harvest

Seasons turn and sunsets follow

As seeds once sown are reaped the morrow

So harvest seek at summer's end

And till the soul for winter's mend

13. Eihwaz :Yew Tree

Yew bow drawn to guard the hearth

World tree spans a nine fold path

From mystic tip where Eagle dwells

To Serpent roots, Yggdrasil's wells

14. Perthro :Board Game / Lot Cup (?)

From Urd's dark well is Orlog spun

Our past the path we have become

But life's womb still has choices yet

Until our doom and fate are set

15. Algiz :Elk Sedge / Protection (?)

Hands are lifted the gods to praise

Blessings given to guide our ways

Protected be on ancient paths

Keep homelands whole, and safe our hearths

16. Sowilo : Sun

Victorious shines the sky-shield wheel

By sailors watched to guide their keel

Shed healing rays and lift our souls

Give courage strong to win our goals

17. Tiwaz :Tir

A god's right hand for Fenrir's demand

Honour proved at the wolf's command

Tir defend us when all is lost

And teach us to give sacrificial cost

18. Berkanaz :Berkano / Birch

Birch mother goddess bringing hopes to birth

Show us our place and all nature's worth

Mystery enfolded and teacher of life

Keeper of doorways and Allfather's wife

19. Ehwaz :Horse

Rider and ridden, made one from the two

Both called together to work something new

Not earth bound but flying, spirit set free

So Odin rides Sleipnir along the world tree

20. Mannaz :Man / Human

To Ask and to Embla, to make humans whole

Ve, Vili, Odin, gifted blood, sense and soul

Bound to the earth, yet filled with the other

We are joined in the life-boon, sister and brother

21. Laguz :Leek / Lake (?)

As leek grows from earth, bright green to behold

Wisdom and knowledge within will unfold

Water, the other world, spirit and death

A doorway to pass through, beyond human breath

22. Ingwaz : Hero / Ingvi Frey

Seed sown is rooted and nurtured for birth

New life beyond sight safe deep in the earth

Joy find in joining, sharing our pleasure

harvest and ploughing, each in true measure

23. Dagaz :Day

To daylight from darkness the circles return

Seeing the hidden, the wisdom we learn

Act now and surely, trusting thy heart

True flies the arrow, straight from the start

24. Othala :Inheritance / Homestead

The greatest of treasures, more precious than gold

The gift to the young, passed from the old

As we tend to the roots, so the tree tip will flower

And sweet to the soul, the fruit of the bower