The Futhark is a runic alphabet used from the 2nd century AD. It was mainly used by the Germanic and Scandinavian peoples (commonly called Vikings wrongly) during the migratory movements from the 2nd to the 5th century. We can observe ornamental engravings on jewelry, amulets and weapons of this period. It was also used on standing stones in northern Europe. Finally, it serves as a support in certain divinatory practices.

Dates in brief

The first traced runic signs date back to around the year 160. They were found on a comb at Vimose on the island of Fyn, in Denmark. To date, these are the oldest known runic inscriptions. There are written traces, mainly engraved for ornamental purposes, on many everyday objects or on period weapons. The Scandinavian rune stones appear around the year 700 and announce the transition to the recent Futhark. This will give birth to several runic alphabets: the Hälsinge runes ( 10th - 13th century), the medieval runes ( 12th - 16th century) and the Dalecarlian runes ( 16th - 20th century ) . It is mainly used as a divinatory support nowadays.

Origins and variants

The invention of this script is generally attributed to merchants who came into contact with Roman culture. Its primary use was clearly nornemental and epigraphic. This writing certainly finds its sources in an imitation or an appropriation of the Roman alphabet. The first corpora of inscription being fundamentally simple. The origin of the use in magic and divination is attested only from the 5th century, on epigraphic traces of the Roman iron age. In Rùnatal, a section of the poem Hàvamàl, the discovery of the runes is attributed to Odin. Suspended for 9 days from Yggdrasil and pierced with his own spear, he seizes them before acquiring knowledge of hidden things and power over the 9 worlds.

Codex Runicus

Divinatory value


The runes used for divination are the letters of the Elder Futhark, to which a white rune, WYRD, has been added. The word rune means secret, mystery. They therefore have a strong link with divination and magic. Symbols represent concepts that we can reflect on to help us on our life journey. The understanding of the Nordic cosmogony is very important to understand the deep symbolism of the runes. To draw the runes is to question oneself with the help of a codified reference.


Each engraved symbol brings us back to a concept, to a part of our past, present or future history. More than a tool for exploring the future and questioning oracles, runes are a support for reflection to explore ourselves. There are many forms of prints, each one is more complete than the previous one. In the end, what matters is not the method, but the questions it creates in the individual. This site tries to bring the rudimentary bases in the comprehension of the runes.

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Do you want to test the symbolism of the runes by questioning the 3 norns? Clear your mind, ask your question and click the button.

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