The first Aett of the Futhark Runes are as follows, and are in this order; Fehu, Uruz, Thurisaz, Ansuz, Raido, Kenaz, Gebo, and Wunjo. The glyphs are below.
This aett is attributed to the god Frey. The following is an excerpt from an article concerning the god of fertility.
"Freyr (sometimes anglicized Frey, from *frawjaz "lord") is one of the most important gods of Norse paganism. Freyr was highly associated with agriculture, weather and, as a phallic fertility god, Freyr "bestows peace and pleasure on mortals". Freyr, sometimes referred to as Yngvi-Freyr, was especially associated with Sweden and seen as an ancestor of the Swedish royal house.
In the Icelandic books the Poetic Edda and the Prose Edda, Freyr is presented as one of the Vanir, the son of the sea god Njörðr, brother of the goddess Freyja. The gods gave him Álfheimr, the realm of the Elves, as a teething present. He rides the shining dwarf-made boar Gullinbursti and possesses the ship Skíðblaðnir which always has a favorable breeze and can be folded together and carried in a pouch when it is not being used. He has the servants Skírnir, Byggvir, and Beyla.
The most extensive surviving Freyr myth relates Freyr's falling in love with the giantess Gerðr. Eventually, she becomes his wife but first Freyr has to give away his magic sword which fights on its own "if wise be he who wields it". Although deprived of this weapon, Freyr defeats the giant Beli with an antler. However, lacking his sword, Freyr will be killed by the fire giant Surtr during the events of Ragnarök."
It is understandable then, that the Futhark, starting with his Aett, should also start with the first letter of his name, Fehu, the Rune of Wealth.
Fehu is a rune that represents material wealth and prosperity, cattle in particular. There are many keywords to this rune, including gain, financial security, success, fertility, nourishment, food, sharing, and luxury.
In their wisdom, the ancient Norse recognized that every light casts a shadow, and every coin has two faces. They were able to recognize the negative meanings of the runes as well. For Fehu, this related to the opposite of wealth and prosperity. The negative keywords of this rune include loss, jealousy, envy, greed, failure, bankruptcy, payment, and slavery.
Some very productive uses of this rune include marking it on moneypouches, wallets, or purses as a blessing, carving it into a beam over the top of a barn door to promote livestock, marking it on the inside of a ledger, and other such applications. This rune holds the phonetic equivalent to the English letter 'F.'
The second rune in the Futhark is Uruz, which may seem like a polar opposite of Fehu to some, and related to Fehu to others. Uruz is the Rune of Strength, and represents masculinity and bravery. It is known at the Rune of the Aurochs, as it was used to represent this ancient, now extinct wild bovine. Some keywords to this rune are bravery, questing, initiation, challenge, untamable spirit, rugged good health, masculinity, stamina, independence, strength, and action. On the flip side of those definitions are male violence, callousness, inaction (being stubborn), abuse, poor health, and anger or rage.
Some beneficial uses of uruz include as a charm for strength (marked on a bracer or bracelet, on a pendant, or the like), as a 'hunter's charm,' or as a charm for strength in battle, engraved onto a sword of the like. Phonetically, it takes the place of our English 'U.'
The third rune is Thurisaz, or Thorn. This rune is generally attributed to the god Thor, for very obvious reasons. It is, in my mind, the Rune of Challenge. Not all challenge is negative, of course, and it is also seen a a powerful rune of protection, just as the rose and the blackberry have their thorns. The keywords of this rune include protection and defense, fertility and regeneration, survival of difficulties, need for correction action or right decision, and resistance. Reversed/negative meanings of this rune include vulnerability, conflict, strife, disease, many problems, natural forces, destruction, aggression, malice, change without warning, and being attacked.
Helpful ways to use this rune include carving it into doorjambs, thresholds, and locks, as an inset into a shield (in medieval days), and tattooed onto the left, or 'shield' arm. It is the same, phonetically as our English sound combination of 'Th."
The fourth rune in the first Aett is Ansuz, the Rune of Communication. Many people call this rune Odhinn's rune, as it deals much with intellect and wisdom. This rune can be woven into spells to represent the act of communication with forces beyond your normal understanding. Keywords for this rune include news, study, communication, wisdom perhaps from unlikely source, speech, inspiration, thought, shamanism, language and writing skills, leadership, teaching, and truth. Negative interpretations of this rune include loss, misunderstandings, vanity, dishonesty, treachery, and neurosis.
Possible uses for this rune include using it as a charm to bless negotiations, aid in learning, especially learning new languages, and to aid in understanding truth. Phonetically, this rune takes the place of our English 'A.'
The fifth rune in the first aett, Raido, is known at the Rune of Journeys. Historically, this rune was used as a blessing for travelers on long journeys and such. The keywords of this rune include, on the positive side,travel, exploration, vacation, new start, motion, taking control, leadership, direction, rites, ceremonies, process, and promotion. Negative traits of this rune can be described as demotion, control freaks, dictatorship, and disruption.
This rune is commonly used in items pertaining to travel, such as walking sticks, backpacks, carved into the soles of shoes or on way stones along a path. This rune represents the phonetic 'R' of our English language.
The sixth rune is Kenaz, the Rune of Discovery, is also representative of the Torch. It has a strong Fire elemental alignment to it, and can be used as a representative of that element in ritual. I personally use it as an aid for epiphany. Keywords applicable to this rune include (on the positive side) enlightenment, intellectual learning, moulding, shaping, clarity, knowledge, and revelation, while the negative aspects include confusion, false hope, lack of clarity, arrogance, and ignorance.
This rune can be put to good use by being etched into a desk, perhaps on the underside or in a drawer, drawn in a notebook, or other areas where study and learning are done. Phonetically, it is the hard 'C', or the 'K' of our English language.
The seventh rune of Frey's aett is Gebo, the Rune of Gifts. It has a strong tie to sexual energies, and thus works well when added to sigils used during sex magic or for devices used to gather sexual energy. Keywords of Gebo include love, partnership, sharing, gifts, balance, exchange, and union. The negative aspects of this rune include sacrifice, dishonesty, lack of balance, and toll.
Possible uses for Gebo include being painted over the navels or sternums of those performing a sex magic ritual, drawn on a box to bless and protect a gift you are giving, to designate a sigil as a gift to another, or carved into a proper energy container (such as a quartz crystal) to help it focus upon and gather the energy. This rune makes the phonetic sound of our letter 'G.'
The final rune of the first aett is Wunjo, the Rune of Joy. This rune is tied to the energy of happiness and bliss, and can also work well with sex magic as an accent to Gebo. The attributes best describing this rune are fulfillment, success, glory, respect, solidarity, hope, wishes, fellowship, harmony, delight, and well-being. The negative traits of this rune are failure, misery, exile, loneliness, intoxication, and excessive zeal (caused by an overjoyed sensation).
Wunjo works well when carved into things to permanently bestow its influence on them, such as door frames, bedposts, cribs, walking sticks, and many more things. Phonetically, it stands for our letter 'W.'
These meanings and traits/attributes/keywords of the runes are not concrete, I cannot stress that enough. I meditated upon the base keywords of each rune (as I found them defined more or less universally) and the rune itself, and discovered what I would see each rune as, and named it (like, the Rune of Discovery, etc..) for myself. I have found that the names that were shown to me seem to approximately line up with the meanings of the runes as understood by most others, so I am confident that they are worthwhile meanings to apply.
Besides, the runes, when used in divination, are avenues for the powers that be to communicate directly to you, in a form that you can decipher. If you understand the runes differently than someone else, then you just read them differently... you are not precisely wrong. You may be 'wrong' in the traditional sense of Runeworking, but as for actual effectiveness of the runes for divination, you're fine.
However, the meanings do become more important the deeper into Runecrafting that you go. When you start using the runes for actual magical purposes, you are tapping into something other than your own subconscious or higher self. You are tapping into energies that have been in existence for almost two thousand years, at least. Those energies are used to being used a certain way, and rebel at being changed by a single practitioner. If the extent of what you are using the runes for ism divination, then by all means, go for it. If you plan on going deeper into the rabbit hole, well... I suggest you get your reading glasses and studying hat on.
Not a problem, Rissa. :)
Now I need to FINISH the series... I think I still have an Aett to do.
I'm curious as to why you focused on "torch" for Kenaz when two out of the three rune-poems for this rune focus on "ulcer". There's no mention at all of ulcer, sores, dead children, charnal houses... I mean, I think that these two poems are essential to understanding the rune. Why did you focus only on the AS?
and abode of mortification."