TIWAZ – phonetic T, representing conquest, law, victory. The Germanic war god which preceded Wotan as folk patriarch (note the Aries to Scorpio evolution here), he was regarded simultaneously as a conqueror and as a lawbringer, thus sending a very clear, stark message about the substance of authority from an ancient perspective. Tiwaz also carries notes of sacrifice for a goal, as represented by the titular god losing his right hand in order to bind a great wolf. The Rune of taking and holding what is desired by any means necessary.
BERKANA – phonetic B, representing a wife, woman, mother. That which is nurturing and fertile, and symbolic of many of the female deities within the Germanic pantheon. Also representing the birch tree, which throughout European mythos is considered a symbol of fertility, and to early humans, it was a precious resource which offered much, and so in a sense, birch/Berkana was a very real mother to those people of the distant past.
EHWAZ – phonetic E/EH, representing a horse and its rider, a partnership. The relationship between a horse and rider is symbiotic, one must direct while the other goes where it is directed. Both need each other in order to function in this way, as neither will be nearly as effective without the other to complement the areas where they are lacking. This could also represent the mind and body dynamic, which function in much the same way as the aforementioned horse and rider – one to command, and one to obey.
MANNAZ – phonetic M, representing a folk, the tribe. The relationship between oneself and one’s people, “man” in a gender-neutral context. Note the appearance of two Wunjo Runes meeting, indicating a supremely positive cultural view of maintaining relationships with one’s peers, for survival was difficult back then, and a strong network of individuals supporting each other – the tribe – meant that an arduous existence was made somewhat less arduous due to the proverbial load being shared. Thus, kinfolk were a source of joy, as they were comrades in the struggle of life.
LAGUZ – phonetic L, representing deep water, a lake, the subconscious/deep mind. Once again evoking astrological symbolism in the form of Neptune, Laguz can be thought of as that which is liquid and solidifies into Isa, the conceptual which becomes actual. Being a liquid, Laguz is always is always in motion, deep and lightless, and home to all manner of strange, alien things.
INGUZ – phonetic ING, representing a seed, ejaculation. A masculine creative Rune which shares its name with a fertility god, and whose form depicts shoots growing upwards from the seed, or sometimes just the seed itself. Still other variants resemble the double helix of DNA, which is passed on via the seed/ejaculate. That which Berkana nurtures into maturity.
OTHAL – phonetic O, representing inheritance, homeland, ancestry. Legacy was a great deal more important to ancient Germanic tribes than it was to modern people, for to them, the family name was more than an inherited set of syllables, it was a history they were trusted to maintain and to contribute things of value to, and they in turn would pass this down to their sons and daughters, just as they would the more literal inheritance of land, material, station, etc
DAGAZ – phonetic D, representing day, morning, something revealed. That the Rune of dawn is at the end of the Elder Futhark (according to some, this is a point of contention which again relies more on internal consistency than any dogma) is fitting and well in line with Germanic views on life and death, beginning and end flowing ceaselessly into each other as with the yew tree. While Dagaz is commonly accepted to represent the break of day and the sun’s light revealing all, its placement at the end in this model also gives it a symbolic value of dusk, a time of ending before day gives way to night.
note - one will see that some of my Runes have been turned to the side, this is done so that the Rune depictied is facing the right way up.