Freya’s aett

©2021 Michael Raven

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The runes are grouped into three “clans” (aettir) of eight runes each for a total of twenty-four runes in the Elder Futhark series. In my recent meditations on the individual runes, I completed contemplation fo the first eight, known as Freya’s aett. Pictured above, and in order, are fehu (cattle), uruz (aurochs/wild oxen), thurisaz (giants/thorn), ansuz (god/breath), raidho (ride), kenaz (torch), gebo (gift), and wunjo (joy). The first five letters give this runeset its name Futhark (ᚠᚢᚦᚨᚱᚲ). Note: there are other sets of runes, but most people use the Elder Futhark for divination and introspection.

Some who use runes look at these aettir as part of a larger archetypal system of interaction between the runes and Freya’s is the name of the first set of eight. Freya’s aett is largely focused on daily living and the more mundane matters of existence, although that would be an oversimplification. They range from value to sustenance to protection/defense to communication to journeys to light/fire to greasing the wheels with gift to feeling joy. In some of the writing, I’ve seen they may build on each other to that fehu (wealth) will eventually build up to wunjo (bliss).

I’ve been contemplating these relationships as well, although those thoughts are not reflected in each piece. As I reflect back, I think these symbolic values make sense in this aett. I’m still learning how the values interrelate, so I hesitate to say much more than that, but I find these relationships to be interesting. Freya is the female Vanir counterpart to Odin, not one of the Aesir. Depending on the source, it may be Freya the taught Odin much of what he knew in terms of magicwork and shamanic ecstasy.

Tomorrow I’ll be moving onto the second aettir, named after Heimdall and the first rune is Hagalaz (hail).

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