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The Role of the Ætts in the

Futharc Alpabet Joannes Richter

Abstract
In the Younger Futhark the 16 letters are divided into three groups: "Freyr's ætt", "Hagal's ætt" and
Tyr’s ætt". In contrast the may have been divided into three groups of each 8 characters.
In the most relevant runic alphabets the first three characters (f, u, þ) or even the complete first
group (f, u, þ, ã, r and k) in "Freyr's ætt", are remarkable stable. Therefore "Freyr's ætt" may be
considered as the most important section of the alphabet.
At least the first three characters (f, u, þ) of the common standard Futharks seemed to be the most
important elements.
Chilperic I (c. 539 – 584), the Merovingian king of Neustria (or Soissons) from 561 to his death
(584) probably may be considered as one of the last philosophers who was in charge of the
management of the runic symbols and alphabets. In order to save the most important symbols and
the most sacred runic words he may have decided to import the 4 relevant characters (f, u, þ, ã or f,
u, þ, æ) in a correct order (such as “vitha”) into the Latin alphabet, which had been selected as the
alphabetical standard for the Merovingian kingdom.
Chilperic I's extension of the alphabet has been specified in The History of the Franks (by Gregory
of Tours) as: uui (as a symbol Δ), ω (as a symbol Θ), the (as a symbol Z), and æ (as a symbol Ψ).
Incidentally the additional four symbols uui (as Δ or ᚹ), Ω (as Θ or ʘ), the (as Z) and æ (as Ψ)
match the initial four characters of the runic alphabet ᚠᚢᚦᚩᚱᚳ respectively ᚠᚢᚦᚬᚱᚳ (Younger
Futhark).
These 4 letter-symbols (W, Ω, Þ, Æ) may also be identified as the letters “W”, “Ω” (long “O” or
“OU”), “þ” (~ “Th”, ”Θ”, symbolized by Z) and the “Æ”, which partly may be found at the trailing
section of the modern alphabets in Old English, Danish and Dutch.
Eventually the ætts may have symbolized the three categories (clans) respectively symbols with
reference to the king (who was considered as a descendant or child of a god), the sky-god Tiw and
the ancestors of Tiw or alternatively the three categories (clans): Thrall (slave), Churl (freeman),
and Jarl (noble).
The Futharc Alpabet
In the runic alphabet, the runes have their special order and are divided into groups. Runes were
called vitha by the West Slavs, which is a genetive of *vid or *vit ... 1. This name may have been
derived from the first 3 or 4 initial characters f, u, þ, ã of the runic alphabet.
In the Younger Futhark, which has 16 letters, they are divided into three groups. The Icelandic
tradition calls
• the first group (f, u, þ, ã, r and k) "Freyr's ætt",
• the second group (h, n, i, a and s) "Hagal's ætt" and
• the third group (t, b, m, l and R) Tyr’s ætt". 2
The Younger Futhark is divided into long-branch (Danish) and short-twig (Swedish and Norwegian)
runes; in the 10th century, it was further expanded by the "Hälsinge Runes" or staveless runes.
In the Younger Futhark the ą-i-ʀ-structure of the alphabet may be preceded by the threefold
keyword f, u, þ. The ʀ-symbol is a special end-symbol. The letter I is a central symbol in the
alphabet and may be symbolizing the Yggdrasil-pillar. The symmetry in the pattern of the central
aett suggests the central ᛁ-axis of the ą-i-ʀ-structure as an Yggdrasil-pillar carrying the world's sky.

ᚼ – ᚾ – ᛁ - ᛅ- ᛋ
Table 1: the central ætt

f uþą r k hn i a s t bml ʀ
Long-branch runes
ᚠᚢᚦ ᚬ ᚱᚴ ᚼ ᚾ ᛁ ᛅ ᛋ ᛏ ᛒᛘᛚ ᛦ
Short-twig runes ᚠᚢᚦ ᚭ ᚱᚴ ᚽ ᚿᛁ ᛆᛌ ᛐᛓᛙ ᛚᛧ
ætts "Freyr's ætt" "Hagal's ætt" Tyr ’s ætt"
Deity Freyr Hymir3 Tyr ('Mars')

Table 2 The 3 ætts in the Younger Futhark alphabet

According to the Runes' Dictionary by Udo Waldemar Dieterich (1844) the “Óss”-rune ᚬ in the
Younger Futhark does not belong to the archaic triad of vowels and belonged to a younger
alphabetical concept. However Dieterich may have been unaware of the Elder Futhark, which
seems to have been ignored in his dictionary. In the Elder Futhark the equivalent rune is the a-rune
named Ansuz ᚨ.

1 Deities of Slavic religion – Wikipedia


2 Structure of the ciphers
3 In Norse mythology, Hymir is a giant, husband of the giantess Hroðr and according to the Eddic poem Hymiskviða
the father of the god Týr (in other sources, Odin is Tyr's father and Hymir his maternal-grandfather -- but all sources
agree that Tyr and Hymir are related). (Source: Hymir)
The deities
Two of the ætts may have been devoted to gods Freyr and Tyr.
1. Freyr (Old Norse: Lord), sometimes anglicized as Frey, is a widely attested god associated
with sacral kingship, virility and prosperity, with sunshine and fair weather, and pictured as
a phallic fertility god in Norse mythology. 4
2. *Haglaz or *Hagalaz is the reconstructed Proto-Germanic name of the h-rune ᚺ, meaning
"hail" (the precipitation).
3. Tyr (Old Norse), Tíw (Old English), and Ziu (Old High German) is a god in Germanic
mythology. Stemming from the Proto-Germanic deity *Tīwaz and ultimately from the Proto-
Indo-European chief deity *Dyeus, little information about the god survives beyond Old
Norse sources5. The Old Norse theonym Týr has cognates including Old English tíw and tíʒ,
and Old High German Ziu.

The transition from Elder Futhark to Younger Futhark


Strange as it may seem the Elder Futhark only omits unimportant and irrelevant runes which had
been located in trailing sections of the ætts. The structure of the ætts with their initial letters ᚠ, ᚺ, ᛏ
has been conserved. The threefold “8-8-8” runic structure had to be restructured to a threefold
structure of “6-5-5” runic structure, in which the original structure of the first 6 runes had to be left
intact.

1. The first ætt was reduced to its first six letters, fuþąrk, losing the g and w runes (the old a
rune is transliterated as ą for Old Norse as the phoneme it expressed had become more
closed).
2. The second ætt lost the æ and p runes. The j rune was rendered superfluous due to Old
Norse sound changes, but was kept with the new sound value of a. The old z rune was kept
(transliterated in the context of Old Norse as ʀ) but moved to the end of the rune row in the
only change of letter ordering in Younger Futhark.
3. The third ætt was reduced to four runes, losing the e, ŋ, o and d runes6.
In the Elder Futhark the A-I-Ω-structure of the alphabet may be preceded by the threefold keyword
f, u, þ. The I, J or Æ may be considered as a central vowel symbol.

A I J Æ E Ω
Elder ᚠ ᚢ ᚦ ᚨ ᚱ ᚲ ᚷ ᚹ ᚺ ᚾ ᛁ ᛃ ᛇ ᛈ ᛉ ᛊ ᛏ ᛒ ᛖ ᛗ ᛚ ᛜ ᛟ ᛞ
Futhark f u þ a r k g w h n i j æ p z s t b e m l ŋ o d
Elder FH 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

u/ ᚬ ᛅ
ᚠ ᚦ ᚴ ᛁ ᛏ ᛒ
Younger w, ą, ᚱ ᚼ ᚾ a, ᛦ ᛋ ᛘ ᛚ
f/ þ, k, — — i, —— t, b, — — — —
Futhark y, o, r h n æ, ʀ s m l
v ð g e d p
o, æ e
ø
Younger FH 1 2 3 4 5 6 1 2 3 4 5 5 1 2 3 4
"Freyr's ætt" "Hagal's ætt" Tyr ('Mars')
Table 3 Reduction from 24 to 16 runes from Elder Futhark to Younger Futhark at the 9th century
4 Freyr
5 Tyr
6 History (Younger Futhark)
The Integration of Chilperic's I Letters
Chilperic I (c. 539 – 584) was the Merovingian king of Neustria (or Soissons) from 561 to his
death. Most of what is known of Chilperic comes from The History of the Franks by Gregory of
Tours. Chilperic's education involved religious and cultural themes. One of his studies concentrated
on the reformation of the Latin alphabet, which had been in use in the Merovingian court.
The extension of the alphabet has been specified as: uui (as a symbol Δ), ω (as a symbol Θ), the (as
a symbol Z), and æ (as a symbol Ψ).
Incidentally the additional four symbols uui (as Δ or ᚹ), ω (as Θ or ʘ), the (as Z) and æ (as Ψ)
match the initial four characters of the runic alphabet ᚠᚢᚦᚩᚱᚳ respectively ᚠᚢᚦᚬᚱᚳ (Younger
Futhark).
In this comparison I assume the initial rune ᚠ (the “F” in “Futhark”) represents a universal symbol
digamma (Ϝ, respectively in undercase: ϝ) which represents /w/ and also covers the phonemes /v/,
/f/, /u/, /y/. This is the first letter of Chilperic's additional letters.
In the archaic religion the first 3 initial runes (“Futh” of “Wuth”), ᚠ (the digamma “ϝ”), “ᚢ”, “ᚦ”
represent a keyword consisting the personal pronoun (“wut” or “wit” = “we two”) and the key for
the word “wutan” (“Wodan”, “to wit”, “witness” → “insight”).
The initial keyword “Wutha” (respectively “Futha”), which may be formed by concatenating
Chilperik's additional characters (ΔΘZΨ) more or less results in the word “Wioothæ” or
“Wodan”7.

ᚠᚢᚦᚩᚱᚳ - Position 1 2 3 4
Rune ᚠ ᚢ ᚬ (or ᚩ)

Chilperic I's Symbols ~ Δ or ᚹ ~ Θ or ʘ ~ Z ~ Ψ
Transliteration uui ω the æ
Transliteration Wi oo th æ
Modern letter W Y ᚦ æ
Table 4: Proposed additional letters of king Chilperic I (c. 539 – 584)

The historian Gregory of Tours cannot be considered as a neutral reporter and describes
Chilperic I as a cruel personality. The authority of the Frankish king had been based on their long
hair, which simply could be cut off by anyone who had the power to capture the king8.
The description of Chilperic's I letters may have been a compromise as the chosen symbols Δ or ᚹ,
Θ or ʘ, Z and Ψ do not exactly match the specified transliteration.
• The letter-symbols Z may have been chosen to please the Alamannic people who at
Chilperic's reign may have caused problems and needed to be satisfied. Their sky-god was
Ziu instead of Tiw.
• In fact all three symbols Δ or ᚹ, Θ or ʘ and Z may be used as a reference to the Thorn ᚦ. The
Δ and Θ would satisfy the Greek, the Z might satisfy the Latin specialists.

7 King Chilperic's 4 Letters and the Alphabet's Adaptation ...


8 The Symbolism of Hair Braids and Bonnets in Magical Powers
The transition of the alphabetical symbols
The integration of Chilperic's I letters had to be inserted at the end of the alphabet9.
King Chilperic may have ordered to put the four most important letters (ΔΘZΨ) at the beginning of
the Latin ABC-alphabet, but his orders probably had been ignored by the monks, who were
responsible for the management of the Merovingian libraries.
Rune elder ᚠ ᚢ ᚦ ᚨ ᚱ ᚲ ᚷ ᚹ ᚺ ᚾ ᛁ ᛃ ᛇ ᛈ ᛉᛊ ᛏ ᛒ ᛖ ᛗ ᛚ ᛜ ᛟ ᛞ
Futhark f u þ a r k g w h n i j æ p z s t b e m l ŋ o d
Ætt Nr. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1 2 3 4 5 6 78 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Chilperic's
Symbol
~ Δ or ᚹ ~ Θ or ʘ ~ Z ~ Ψ
Trans- uui ω the æ
literation Wi oo th æ
Modern letter W Y ᚦ æ
ᚬ ᛅ
Rune ᚢ ᚴ ᛁ ᛏ ᛒ
ᚠ ᚦ ą, ᚱ —— ᚼ ᚾ a, — — ᛦ ᛋ — ᛘ ᛚ ——
younger u/w, k, i, t, b, —
Futhark f/v þ, ð o, r h n æ, ʀs m l
y, o, ø g e d p
æ e
Ætt Nr. 1 2 3 4 5 6 1 2 3 4 55 1 2 3 4
"Freyr's ætt" "Hagal's ætt" Tyr ('Mars')
Table 5 The original position of Chilperic's I letters in the Futharc alphabet

The early Latin alphabets used 23 characters, in which J, U and W were missing. In the Futhark the
letters W, U and T played an important role.
The letter U had been shared with the V. The W had been written as a double-U. In Old-English the
writers preferred a Ƿ. Instead of a T the Germanic preferred a Þ respectively Ð. Also the ligature Æ
seemed to be preferred instead of an AE-combination. Especially for Dutch names the Dutch
authors preferred the long IJ (e.g. in the rives IJ and IJssel) instead of the Greek letter Y, which had
to be used for Greek words.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3
vv
Latin A B C D E F G H I K L MN O P Q R S T V X Y Z
alphabet
& ⁊
Old A B C D E F G H I J K L MN O P Q R S T U V WX Y Z Ƿ Þ Ð Æ
English
Latin
alphabet
Danish A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Æ ØÅ
alphabet
Dutch A B C D E F G H I J K L MN O P Q R S T U V WX Y Z IJ
alphabet

Table 6: The integration of Chilperic's I letters in modern alphabets

9 King Chilperic I's letters (ΔΘZΨ) may be found at the beginning (“Futha”) of the runic alphabet and at the end
(WIJZÆ) of the Danish alphabet (web-link → King Chilperic I's letters (ΔΘZΨ) may be found at the ...)
The Interpretation of the Ætts' Triad

Quotations
The of Etymology may be illustrated by the following quotations in the Wiktionary's aett:
• Each aett is named after the rune that begins it, which may be regarded as the patriarch of
the family it heads10.
• Each Aett contains certain runes that cover similar concepts. For example each has a rune
for light, as in ?*kaunan the torch, *sōwilō the sun, and *dagaz the day. The light becomes
greater in power as we progress through the Aettir. 11
In contrast the first Aett ("Freyr's ætt") seems to contains the stablest runic structure ᚠᚢᚦ (“Futh”)
which essentially in its form and sequence never has been modified. Of course the interpretation of
these symbols may have varied.

Other References12
• 1984 Fortune -Telling By Runes, David & Julia Line, The Aquarian Press, →ISBN page 15.
Known as aettir, these basic divisions were sometimes named after Norse deities:
Freya's eight, Hagal's eight and Tiu's eight.
• 1993 The Elements of The Runes, Bernard King, Element, →ISBN, page 110.
When we examined runic divination, we related, in passing, the phases of the moon to
the three ættir of the Common Germanic Futhark.
• 1998 The Norse Tradition a beginners guide, Pete Jennings, Headway, →ISBN, page 36.
The runic futhark is usually divided into three aetts.

We do not know how the runes had been interpreted by the speakers and hearers of the Germanic
audience over the past ages. The current words and phonemes may only represent a rudimentary
base of the median range for the expressions.
Two Ætts have been associated with deities ("Freyr's ætt" and Tyr’s ætt"). The Ætts and the runes
may have been sorted in both directions, but the "Freyr's ætt" and Tyr’s ætt" both may be interpreted
as the “first” and the “last” Ætt.

The divine names derived from ᚠᚢᚦᚩᚱᚳ (Ϝuthorc)


In The Keywords of the Futhark Alphabet I described the patterns of the 4 paternal gods “Tiw”,
“Vut”, ᚦor” and “Rod”, which may be derived from ᚠᚢᚦᚩᚱᚳ (Ϝuthorc), which exactly represents
"Freyr's ætt" in the Younger Futhark:
The days of the week have been sorted in the chronological order of the Germanic pedigree
of the principal paternal gods, which may be derived from ᚠᚢᚦᚩᚱᚳ (Ϝuthorc):
1. “Tiw” (“Tuw” or “Tyr”) ( Tuesday ) - derived from “ᚠᚢᚦ” by backward reading
2. “Wit” (“Wut” or “Vut”) ( Wednesday ) - derived from “ᚠᚢᚦ” by forward reading
3. “ᚦor” (or “Thor”) ( Thursday ) - derived from “ᚦᚩᚱ” by forward reading
4. “Rod” (or “Krodo”) (Saturday ) - derived from “ᚦᚩᚱ” / “ᚦᚩᚱᚳ” by backward reading
10 2009, Donald Tyson, Runic Astrology: Chart Interpretation Through the Runes, Llewellyn Worldwide (→ISBN)
11 2016, Kim Farnell, Runes, Plain & Simple: The Only Book You'll Ever Need, Hampton Roads Publishing (→ISBN),
page 38
12 References aett - Wiktionary
The threefold structures in Germanic languages
The threefold structures in Germanic languages may be illustrated as follows:
Category Structure Name Remarks (such as
Reading direction)
Deity “Tiw” (“Tuw” or “Tyr”) “ᚠᚢᚦ” by backward reading
Deity “Wit” (“Wut” or “Vut”) “ᚠᚢᚦ” by forward reading
Deity “ᚦor” (or “Thor”) “ᚦᚩᚱ” by forward reading
Deity “Rod” “ᚦᚩᚱ” by backward reading
Ætts (3) "Freyr's ætt", "Hagal's ætt" Thrall (slave), Churl
and “Tyr’s ætt" (free), Jarl (noble)
Thing “ᚦiiŋ”
ALU The three runes: Anzus (Ás), “ᚨᛚᚢ” early runic charm
Laguz (Lögur) and Uruz (Úr)
Table 7: threefold structures in Germanic languages
Two pairs of divine names may be mirrored as follows:
Mirrored Names Divine Names
Tuv ‖ Vut Vut (Wodan),
Tuw ‖ Wut Tuw, Wut,
Tiw ‖ Wit Tiw, Wit
ᚦor ‖ Rod Thor, Rod
Table 8 Mirrored Names

The video “Tyr vs. Odin as Chief God”


As soon as I had stored my documentation in my personal blog I was informed that YouTube had a
fine video “Tyr vs. Odin as Chief God” about this topic.
Óðinn (Odin) is clearly presented as the chief of the Norse gods in our surviving written
sources from the Middle Ages, but today people often claim that Týr (Tyr) was the
Vikings' main god. This video looks at the origin of this misconception, which is based
mostly on the roots of Týr's name.

According to Dr. Jackson Crawford Óðinn (Woden) may be interpreted as the chief god and the first
name in Futhark is Vut (ᚠᚢᚦ → Vut, according to Jacob Grimm a shortcut for Wotan). The oldest
god however may be represented by Tiw, cognate to *tīwaz/*teiwaz 13.
The PIE-root seems to be Dyéus, in which the accent to the central letter é indicates the
isolated pronunciation for all three vowels y-é-u. These vowels had to be isolated as well in
Dyéus as in Tuisco. This isolated pronunciation also is required for Dyáus, which for clarity
may be accentuated by writing Dyáius or even Dyáyus instead of Diaus.
The reversed name of Vut (ᚠᚢᚦ or ~Wut) is Tuw (~Tiw), the second name in Futhark. Both the
reversed name Thuw and Vuth represent the first word ᚠᚢᚦ of the Futhark.
The third name in Futhark is Thor ᚦᚩᚱ, the most popular name in the more recent historical eras. The
reversed name of ᚦᚩᚱ may represent Rod.

13 Tyr vs. Odin - Who was the Main Germanic God?


Tiw's Pedigree
In fact “Tiw” is included in its own “clan” (Tyr’s ætt") and would not need to be defined in the first
ætt. Tyr’s ætt" may represent the first sky-god and starts with Tiw's own rune ᛏ.
"Freyr's ætt" (containing ᚠᚢᚦᚩᚱᚳ ) may have represented the “king's clan”, which had to be devoted
to Freyr, the widely attested god associated with sacral kingship, virility and prosperity, with
sunshine and fair weather, and pictured as a phallic fertility god in Norse mythology14.
There is no real equivalent representation "Hagal's ætt". In Old Norse sources, Týr is
alternately described as the son of the jötunn Hymir (in Hymiskviða) or of the god Odin (in
Skáldskaparmál).
In other sources, Odin is Tyr's father and Hymir his maternal-grandfather -- but all sources
agree that Tyr and Hymir are related15. Hymir also starts with the letter “H”.
Hymir belongs to the Jötnar. The Norse myth traces the origin of the jötnar to the proto-
being Ymir, a result of growth or asexual reproduction from the entity's body. Ymir is later
killed, his body dismembered to create the world. 16 Etymologically Hymir and Ymir seem to
be related. The name Ymir means `twin`, `hermaphrodyte` and `screamer`. [2]
• The first ætt may have represented the “king's clan”
• The central ætt may have represented the “clan of Tiw's ancestors”.
• The last ætt may have represented the “Tiw's clan”
In this concept the ætts may have symbolized the three categories (clans) of symbols with reference
to the king (who was considered as a descendant or child of a god), the sky-god Tiw and the
ancestors of Tiw.

14 Freyr
15 Hymir
16 Jötnar
The names of the individual runes in the Futhark-alphabet
The structure of the Elder Futhark may have been composed as a genuine architectural concept.
Some of these characters had been inherited to modern alphabets for their special symbolism, which
may have been preserved for the remaining pagan traditions.
Under the influence of Christianity some of the runes (especially the names of gods and “planets”
and special characters such as the Thorn (Þ, þ) and Wynn (Ƿ, ƿ) are carrying two explanations: a
pagan meaning and a neutral meaning.
Two of the three initial runes in all Futhark-systems have been devoted to Frey, respectively Thor.
Another deity Odin may be identified as a patron for the fourth rune *ansuz, Óss.
Therefore three ᚠ – ᚦ - ᚨ of the first four runes of the Futhark do contain 3 divine names: Frey,
respectively Thor and Odin (Wotan). Also the gods Tyr and Yngvi have been identified as patrons
for special runic symbols ᛏ and ŋ. The symbols for these gods include the special characters Thorn
(Þ, þ) and Wynn (Ƿ, ƿ).
In this list I also include *sōwilō (the sun) and *mannaz (man) for their symbolic weight in the
creation legend. According to the creation legend in Plato's Symposium the first human being was
described as an androgynous couple and as children of the Moon.
The Proto-Germanic 'first man' named Mannus or *Mannaz, was the father of three sons. One of
these sons may had been named *Ingwaz.

Trans- Pagan Neutral


## # UCS IPA Proto-Germanic name
literation explanation explanation
1 1ᚠ f /f/ *fehu the god Frey wealth, cattle,
3 3ᚦ þ /θ/, /ð/ ?*þurisaz the god Thor giant

*ansuz, "god",
4 4ᚨ a /a(ː)/ the god Odin estuary, mouth
"ash", oak"

17 1 ᛏ t /t/ *tīwaz/*teiwaz the god Tyr sacrifice


22 6 ᛜ ᛝ ŋ /ŋ/ *ingwaz 17
the god Yngvi (Freyr )

16 8 ᛊ ᛋ s /s/ *sōwilō The “god” "Sun" Sun


20 4 ᛗ m /m/ *mannaz The “god” "Man" Human being
Table 9: The names of the runes in the Elder Futhark (Source: from Wikipedia, Elder Futhark)

17 *ingwaz is the legendary ancestor of the Ingaevones and the older name for the god Freyr
The names of the individual runes in the elder Futhark-alphabet
• The first aett contains the symbols ᚠ, ᚦ and ᚨ devoted to the gods Frey, Thor and Odin.
• The second aett contains the central axis ᛇ (the vowel ï (æ), named *ī(h)waz/*ei(h)waz) and
the symbol for the sun ᛊ ᛋ (*sōwilō).
• The third aett contains the god Tyr, the first Man Mannus and the god Yngvi, the symbols
for the population.

## # UCS Transliteration IPA Proto-Germanic name Meaning


1 1ᚠ f /f/ *fehu "wealth, cattle, the god Frey”
2 2ᚢ u /u(ː)/ ?*ūruz "aurochs" (or *ûram "water/slag"?)
3 3ᚦ þ /θ/, /ð/ ?*þurisaz "the god Thor, giant"

4 4 ᚨ a /a(ː)/ *ansuz "The god Odin"


5 5 ᚱ r /r/ *raidō "ride, journey"
6 6 ᚲ k (c) /k/ ?*kaunan "ulcer"? (or *kenaz "torch"?)
7 7 ᚷ g /ɡ/ *gebō "gift"
8 8 ᚹ w /w/ *wunjō "joy"

9 1 ᚺᚻ h /h/ *hagalaz "hail" (the precipitation)


10 2 ᚾ n /n/ *naudiz "need"
11 3 ᛁ i /i(ː)/ *īsaz "ice"
12 4 ᛃ j /j/ *jēra- "year, good year, harvest"
13 5 ᛇ ï (æ) /æː/(?) *ī(h)waz/*ei(h)waz "yew-tree" 18
meaning unclear, perhaps "pear-
14 6 ᛈ p /p/ ?*perþ-
tree".
15 7 ᛉ z /z/ ?*algiz protection, shielding ".
16 8 ᛊ ᛋ s /s/ *sōwilō "Sun"

17 1 ᛏ t /t/ *tīwaz/*teiwaz "the god Tyr, sacrifice”


18 2 ᛒ b /b/ *berkanan "birch"
19 3 ᛖ e /e(ː)/ *ehwaz "horse"
20 4 ᛗ m /m/ *mannaz "Man"
"water, lake" (or possibly *laukaz
21 5 ᛚ l /l/ *laguz
"leek")
22 6 ᛜ ᛝ ŋ /ŋ/ *ingwaz "the god Yngvi"
23 7 ᛟ o /o(ː)/ *ōþila-/*ōþala- "heritage, estate, possession"
24 8 ᛞ d /d/ *dagaz "day"
Table 10 The names of the runes in the Elder Futhark (Source: from Wikipedia, Elder Futhark)

18 In interpretations of Norse cosmology, the tree Yggdrasil has traditionally been interpreted as a giant ash tree. Some
scholars now believe errors were made in past interpretations of the ancient writings, and that the tree is most likely
a European yew (Taxus baccata).[54] (Source: (Wikipedia) from Religion in Yggdrasil)
The concentration of the names of the gods in "Freyr's ætt"

The origin for the Elder Futhark alphabet


The names of the gods Frey, Thor and Odin are concentrated in the first ætt Futhark ("Freyr's ætt"),
whereas the older god Tyr and Mannus as well as Yngvi are identified in the third aett (Tyr’s ætt").
The central ætt seems to be dominated by the ï (æ) - rune (*ī(h)waz/*ei(h)waz), which may
represent a symbolic central axis (such as Yggdrasil).
The name Tyr is located far away from the "Freyr's ætt" and the Futhark-phrase, which seems to be
dominated by the gods Frey, Thor and Odin. These deities seem to have been ruling the territory
and the era in which the Elder Futhark alphabet has been composed.

The days of the week


The names of the gods (including the sun and Mannus) may represent the planets (Venus ← Frey,
Jupiter ← Thor and Mercury ← Odin and Mars ← Tyr), which also have been encoded in the days
of the week (Friday, Thursday, Wednesday respectively Tuesday).

Rod
The fifth planet (Saturn) - related to Saturday may have been devoted to the Slavic deity “Rod” as
the last available day of the week. Rod is an indirect, Slavic successor of the Indo-European god
*Dyeus, who was "Lord of Gods", "Lord of Heaven", "King of Gods"19.
The traces of Rod respectively Chrodu or Krodu may be identified as a (reversed) divine name
(“Roth”) in the first aett “Futhorc”:
In the first millennium EC present-day northern and eastern Germany was inhabited by
the Saxon and Veneti tribes along with other West Slavic tribes. The 15th-century
Cronecken der Sassen written by Hermann Bote says that the Saxons worshiped a god
named Krodo together with the Slavs.[20]

In old records this name appears as Hrodo, Chrodo, Krodo or in Latinized form:
Crodone. Bote also describes that Julius Caesar during the conquest of Germania
ordered to build several fortresses topped with statues of Roman deities. In the place of
Harzburg, where later the city of Bad Harzburg was founded in Lower Saxony, a statue
of Saturn was supposed to be standing, whose local peoples were to worship as Krodo.
[21]

During the Saxon Wars in 780, the Frankish king Charlemagne occupied the region, he
destroyed the statue in the effort to Christianise the Saxon people[21]

19 Rod's cult lost its importance and in the ninth or tenth century he was replaced by Perun, Svarog and/or Svetevid,
which would explain his absence in the pantheon of Vladimir the Great.[3][4][5] (source: Wikipedia Rod).
The Decoding of the Kylver Stone' Runes
The Kylver Stone, listed in the Rundata catalog as runic inscription G 88, is a Swedish runestone
which dates from about 400 AD.

Analyzing the alphabetical structure in the Kylver Stone' Runes


In The Decoding of the Kylver Stone Runes I analyzed the structure of the runic alphabet.
The enigmatic Futhark runes seem to have started from a genuine alphabet, which had been
designed to start with a header “IUÞ” (at the Kylver stone) respectively “ᚠUÞ” (at the other
versions of the Elder Futhark), to be followed by an alphabet-body

“A R K G [W] H N I J P Ï Z S T B E M L Ŋ D O”.
The runic alphabet-body has been designed according to the optimized rules for the optimal
Greek and Roman alphabets, which open with a vowel “A”, end with a vowel “O”
respectively “U” and are mirrored in two halves (or wings) around a central vowel “I”.
The central vowel “I” (or “Y”?) may be considered as a the axis of the world.
For similarities with other alphabets the alphabetic AIΩ-structure of the Futhark-body may
be related to the IAΩ-tradition of the archaic Mediterranean IU-piter and IHVH-cults.
The “IUÞ”-header of the Kylver stone probably directly correlates to the archaic IU-piter
cult.
The “ᚠUÞ”-header of later runic alphabets correlates to the words such as WuoÞen (Voden)
and wit, respectively Þuw (Tuw, Tiw), futter, fodr, fud, foster, father, feed, fed-up, well-fed,
fat, food, fit, fathom, fetter, fasten, foot, and feast.
Did the Goths really design this “IUÞ”-header as their own Yod to describe a Deity (“Goth”)
who created the world from one core-word “IUÞ”, which had to be separated in a secret and
sacred header of their alphabet?

Splitting the Futhark's body in 3 parts

The Ætts
The Elder Futhark, used for writing Proto-Norse, consists of 24 runes that often are arranged in
three groups of eight; each group is referred to as an Ætt.
Without the futhark-header the futhark-body is reduced and these Ætts are not really octets
but septets. The original meaning of ætt/ätt seems to have simply been "those who are
related".[1] This may be valid for a an octet as well as for a septet.
We may also split the Futhark's body into 3 Ætts of each 7 symbols which include the vowels as
follows:
A R K G [W] H N
IJPÏZST
B E M LŊD O
The distribution of vowels and consonants in the elder Futhark – structure

The distribution with 8-characters / aett


There are remarkable statistical anomalies in the distribution of the elder Futhark – structure.
According to the Elder Futhark: Inner Structure the aetts in the Elder Futhark may be structured as
follows:

ᚠ-Ætt H-Ætt T-Ætt


F U Þ A R K G W H N I J P Ï Z S T B E M L Ŋ D O
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Header (3) Block 1 (9 runes) between A-Ï Block 1 (9 runes) between Ï-O
Table 11 The distribution of vowels and consonants in the Futhark – structure
In the report Elder Futhark: Inner Structure the author the author “Viking Rune” concludes
correctly: “each group has one labial consonant (f, p, b), a pair of vowels (U-A, I-Ï and E-O) and a
pair of stop consonants, each with an unvoiced and a sonant consonant (k–g; s–z; t–d)”.
Labial consonant Vowels Stop consonants
F-Ætt F U-A K–G
H-Ætt P I-Ï S–Z
T-Ætt B E-O T–D
Table 12: The distribution of vowels and consonants in the Futhark – structure

The distribution with 7-characters / aett


I also checked how this scheme may be influenced by separating the header ᚠUÞ from the A-Ï-O-
body. Of course the 9 runes between the vowels between A-Ï and Ï-O are identical.
F U Þ - A R K G W H N I J P Ï Z S T B E M L Ŋ D O
1 2 3 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
A - Septet 1 I - Septet 2 B - Septet 3
Header (3) Block 1 (9 runes) between A-Ï Block 1 (9 runes) between Ï-O
Table 13 The distribution of vowels and consonants in the Futhark – structure
In this concepts the distribution of the characters is not as symmetrical as the in the octet model:
Labial consonant Vowels Stop consonants
Header F U
A - septet 1 A K–G
I - Septet 2 P I-Ï S–Z; T
B - Septet 3 B E-O D
Table 14: The distribution of vowels and consonants in the Futhark – structure
In this case (of a septet pro aett) the above rule does not work as the first ᚠ and the vowel U cannot
be replicated in the Futhark-body and the t–d is spread over 2 Ætts.
The 3 categories Thrall (slave), Churl (freeman) and Jarl (noble)
In the Poetic Edda poem Rígsþula another origin is related of how the runic alphabet became known
to humans.
The poem Rígsþula relates how Ríg, identified as Heimdall in the introduction, sired three sons —
Thrall (slave), Churl (freeman), and Jarl (noble) — by human women. These sons became the
ancestors of the three classes of humans indicated by their names. When Jarl reached an age when
he began to handle weapons and show other signs of nobility, Rig returned and, having claimed him
as a son, taught him the runes.

The categories slaves, freemen and nobles


In the Younger Futhark the characters letters ᛁ, ᚴ, ᚠ are designed to each consist of a stave without
twigs (ᛁ), with one (ᚴ), respectively two twigs (ᚠ). These three characters represent the three
consonants “J”, respectively “K” and “F” (or “V”, “U” or “W”).
Maybe the three classes of humans slaves, freemen and nobles match to the “FUT”-, “JUT”- and
“KUT”-categories for the slaves, the freeman respectively the kings20:
• “FUþ”-words describe the slaves.
Thrall (slave) is from the Old Norse þræll, meaning a person who is in bondage or serfdom.
The Old Norse term was lent into late Old English, as þræl. The term is from a Common
Germanic þragilaz ("runner", from a root *þreh- "to run"). Old High German had a cognate,
dregil, meaning "servant, runner".
• “JUþ”-words describe the freemen.
A Churl (etymologically the same name as Charles / Carl and Old High German karal), in
its earliest Old English (Anglo-Saxon) meaning, was simply "a man", and more particularly
a "husband",[1] but the word soon came to mean "a non-servile peasant", still spelled
ċeorl(e), and denoting the lowest rank of freemen.
• “KUþ”-words describe the kings (the nobles).
Jarl (noble). An earl /ɜːrl/[1] is a member of the nobility. The title is Anglo-Saxon in origin,
akin to the Scandinavian form jarl, and meant "chieftain", particularly a chieftain set to rule
a territory in a king's stead. In Scandinavia, it became obsolete in the Middle Ages and was
replaced by duke (hertig/hertug/hertog). In later medieval Britain, it became the equivalent
of the continental count (in England in the earlier period, it was more akin to a duke; in
Scotland it assimilated the concept of mormaer). However, earlier in Scandinavia, jarl could
also mean a sovereign prince.

Analyzing the special structures in the Kylver Stone' Runes


Apart from the alphabetical section the Kylver Stone also contains an extra bindrune with a
reference to Tiwaz and a word ᛊᚢᛖᚢᛊ sueus.

The bindrune with a reference to Tiwaz


After the last rune follows a spruce- or tree-like rune, with six twigs to the left and eight to the right
of a single stave. This is interpreted as a bindrune of stacked Tiwaz rune,[5] or possibly of six Tiwaz
and four Ansuz runes to invoke Tyr and the Æsir for protection.[6]

20 The Digamma-Joker of the Futhark


The word ᛊᚢᛖᚢᛊ (sueus) with a reference to the Hittite god Sius
At a separate space the word ᛊᚢᛖᚢᛊ sueus is inscribed. The meaning of this latter palindromic word
is unknown, but it is possible that it is associated with magic.[1]
One suggestion presented by Marstrander is that it is a magical writing of the word 'eus' (the
nominative form of the word horse) starting from the e and writing either way.[7]
Apart from these suggestions I suggest to correlate ᛊᚢᛖᚢᛊ (sueus) respectively the root “Sue” with
Siu or Sius, which is considered as a divine name in the Hittite texts:
One of the culturally intriguing aspects of this text “The Proclamation of Anittas" (Old
Hittite) is the god DSiu-summin "our god," or "Our Sius," a god who appears nowhere
else in Hittite texts.21

21 The Proclamation of Anittas (Old Hittite)


Conclusion
In the Younger Futhark the 16 letters are divided into three groups: "Freyr's ætt", "Hagal's ætt" and
Tyr’s ætt". In contrast the may have been divided into three groups of each 8 characters.
In the most relevant runic alphabets the first three characters (f, u, þ) or even the complete first
group (f, u, þ, ã, r and k) in "Freyr's ætt", are remarkable stable. Therefore "Freyr's ætt" may be
considered as the most important section of the alphabet.
At least the first three characters (f, u, þ) of the common standard Futharks seemed to be the most
important elements.
Chilperic I (c. 539 – 584), the Merovingian king of Neustria (or Soissons) from 561 to his death
(584) probably may be considered as one of the last philosophers who was in charge of the
management of the runic symbols and alphabets. In order to save the most important symbols and
the most sacred runic words he may have decided to import the 4 relevant characters (f, u, þ, ã or f,
u, þ, æ) in a correct order (such as “vitha”) into the Latin alphabet, which had been selected as the
alphabetical standard for the Merovingian kingdom.
Chilperic I's extension of the alphabet has been specified in The History of the Franks (by Gregory
of Tours) as: uui (as a symbol Δ), ω (as a symbol Θ), the (as a symbol Z), and æ (as a symbol Ψ).
Incidentally the additional four symbols uui (as Δ or ᚹ), Ω (as Θ or ʘ), the (as Z) and æ (as Ψ)
match the initial four characters of the runic alphabet ᚠᚢᚦᚩᚱᚳ respectively ᚠᚢᚦᚬᚱᚳ (Younger
Futhark).
These 4 letter-symbols (W, Ω, Þ, Æ) may also be identified as the letters “W”, “Ω” (long “O” or
“OU”), “þ” (~ “Th”, ”Θ”, symbolized by Z) and the “Æ”, which partly may be found at the trailing
section of the modern alphabets in Old English, Danish and Dutch.
Eventually the ætts may have symbolized the three categories (clans) of symbols with reference to
the king (who was considered as a descendant or child of a god), the sky-god Tiw and the ancestors
of Tiw.

The Elder Futhark


In the Elder Futhark: Inner Structure the author “Viking Rune” claims: “In the Elder Futhark each
8-character sized aett has one labial consonant (f, p, b), a couple of vowels (U-A, I-Ï and E-O) and
a pair of stop consonants, each with an unvoiced and a sonant consonant (k–g; s–z; t–d)”.

The Younger Futhark


The poem Rígsþula relates how Ríg, identified as Heimdall in the introduction, sired three sons —
Thrall (slave), Churl (freeman), and Jarl (noble) — by human women. These sons became the
ancestors of the three classes of humans indicated by their names. When Jarl reached an age when
he began to handle weapons and show other signs of nobility, Rig returned and, having claimed him
as a son, taught him the runes.
In the Younger Futhark the characters letters ᛁ, ᚴ, ᚠ are designed to each consist of a stave without
twigs (ᛁ), with one (ᚴ), respectively two twigs (ᚠ). These three characters represent the three
consonants “J”, respectively “K” and “F” (or “V”, “U” or “W”). Maybe the three classes of humans
slaves, freemen and nobles match to the “FUT”-, “JUT”- and “KUT”-categories for the slaves, the
freeman respectively the kings22.

22 The Digamma-Joker of the Futhark


Appendix - The English, Danish and Dutch alphabets
J U W (& ⁊)
A B C D E F G H I K L M N O P Q R S T V X Y Z Ƿ Þ Ð Æ

Table 15 Old English Latin alphabet

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Æ Ø Å

Table 16 The Danish alphabet

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z IJ

Table 17 The Dutch alphabet


Contents
Abstract.................................................................................................................................................1
The Futharc Alpabet.............................................................................................................................2
The deities .......................................................................................................................................3
The transition from Elder Futhark to Younger Futhark ..................................................................3
The Integration of Chilperic's I Letters................................................................................................4
The transition of the alphabetical symbols...........................................................................................5
The Interpretation of the Ætts' Triad....................................................................................................6
Quotations........................................................................................................................................6
Other References..............................................................................................................................6
The divine names derived from ᚠᚢᚦᚩᚱᚳ (Ϝuthorc)............................................................................6
The threefold structures in Germanic languages.............................................................................7
The video “Tyr vs. Odin as Chief God”......................................................................................7
Tiw's Pedigree .................................................................................................................................8
The names of the individual runes in the Futhark-alphabet.................................................................9
The names of the individual runes in the elder Futhark-alphabet..................................................10
The concentration of the names of the gods in "Freyr's ætt".........................................................11
The origin for the Elder Futhark alphabet ................................................................................11
The days of the week.................................................................................................................11
Rod............................................................................................................................................11
The Decoding of the Kylver Stone' Runes.........................................................................................12
Analyzing the alphabetical structure in the Kylver Stone' Runes..................................................12
Splitting the Futhark's body in 3 parts......................................................................................12
The Ætts...............................................................................................................................12
The distribution of vowels and consonants in the elder Futhark – structure............................13
The distribution with 8-characters / aett...............................................................................13
The distribution with 7-characters / aett...............................................................................13
The 3 categories Thrall (slave), Churl (freeman) and Jarl (noble) ...........................................14
The categories slaves, freemen and nobles..........................................................................14
Analyzing the special structures in the Kylver Stone' Runes........................................................15
The bindrune with a reference to Tiwaz....................................................................................15
The word ᛊᚢᛖᚢᛊ (sueus) with a reference to the Hittite god Sius..............................................15
Conclusion..........................................................................................................................................16
The Elder Futhark.....................................................................................................................16
The Younger Futhark ................................................................................................................16
Appendix - The English, Danish and Dutch alphabets.......................................................................17

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