Thursday, January 26, 2012
The runes that we know today have been used by people for at least a thousand years. They were the alphabet of the people of northern Europe, called the futhark after the letters represented by the first seven runes. What we know about their meanings comes from two sources - the ancient rune poems of Norway, Iceland, and England and the modern interpretations of those who have dedicated their lives to studying them. The runes are divided into three groups of eight, called aetts, and were used as an alphabet and in magic, and are now used for divination. We will be exploring the runes one each month looking at their meanings and at ways to more fully understand them and connect with their unique energies.
The first rune of the first aett is called Fehu, or Feoh, and it is equivalent to the letter F in English. In the Anglo-saxon poem it is equated to having wealth and being generous. In both the Norwegian and Icelandic poems it is compared to the envy that wealth can cause among family members. Most modern runesters find it’s strongest connection is to domestic cattle, keeping in mind that a thousand years ago cattle in many cases were the measure of a person’s wealth, much like cash is today. In terms of wealth it is the kind that requires care and nourishment to maintain, and so also represents hard work earning rewards. Fehu is the kind of wealth that must be overseen and nurtured to thrive. Since it is connected to domestic cattle which must be cared for in order to be productive, it can be both fragile and transitory. It speaks of enjoying things while you have them, as well as good husbandry of wealth, and the reward of hard work.
When the runes are used for divination it can represent wealth, generosity, investment, finances, money, and honor through giving. On the negative side it can represent the jealousy of the lazy for the industrious, the envy of those who do not want to work for things but want them handed over, and family infighting over money and strife due to money. When used in magic it would symbolize prosperity.
A good way to learn what the rune means for you is to meditate on the image. Find a quiet place to sit or lay down comfortably. Close your eyes and picture the shape of the rune glowing ahead of you in the darkness. See the shape expanding until it dissolves into a wide grassy field full of grazing cattle. The sun is warm on your skin and the grass is green beneath you. Watch the cows as they graze. Think about what this scene means to you. See the image slowly shifting into other things that define wealth for you. Meditate on these images as well. How do they connect together? When you are done with meditation write down all the things you thought of.
Fehu can be drawn on your purse or wallet to help draw wealth to you, and on bank statements to help keep your wealth growing. It can be inscribed on candles in money spells, as well as spells to get a promotion at work. Meditating on the image can help you see what matters most to you in the material world, and can also help you see how you can better handle your finances. For divination I recommend buying or making a rune stone and carrying it with you for a week. You will find yourself attuning to the rune’s energy the more time you spend opening up to it.
Taking Up the Runes - Diana Paxson
The Rune Primer - Sweyn Plowright
Northern Mysteries and Magic - Freya Aswynn