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Divination is the magickal art of discovering the unknown through the use of cards, symbols, etc. Tarot cards have been well-known for many years and in more recent times runes and ogham have also become popular.

The runes are a set of symbols which are inscribed onto small discs which are usually made from wood, stone or crystals. They are often stored in a bag and a person will randomly pick out a certain number of the runes whilst focussing on an issue or question. Runic symbols can also be used to magickally empower an object or spell, for example they can be added to talismans to draw particular energies to the carrier or engraved onto candles prior to spellworking.

There has also been a controversial "blank rune" added to the set. There is no historical evidence for this rune and it appears to have been a recent invention so the table below does not include it and refers only to the original twenty-four runic symbols.

Elder Futhark rune meanings

Rune name General meaning
Fehu Increase of wealth and possessions, protection of valuables. Used to send energy on its way.
Uruz Used to create change, healing, vitality, strength, to boost energy of magickal work.
Thurisaz Beginning new projects, luck - the hand of Fate helping you, protection, opening gateways.
Ansuz Communications, wisdom, clarity, to attract others to your cause, increase magickal energy
Raido Safe travel, movement, obtaining justice in an issue, used to keep a situation from stagnating
Kano Artistic pursuits, healing, love and passion, creativity, strength
Gebo Gifts, partnerships on all realms, balance, integration of energies
Wunjo Joy, happiness, love, fulfilment in career and home life
Hagalaz Slow, steady pace, no disruptions, asking for a hand from Fate within a situation you do not control
Nauthiz Need, desire, fulfilling those needs, love and sex magick
Isa Cessation of energy, freezing an issue where it stands, cooling relationships, separation, division
Jera Harvesting tangible results from efforts already sown, fertility, culmination of events, abundance
Eihwaz Banishing magick, removal of obstacles and delays, invoking foresight, clearing up hidden issues and situations
Perth Unexpected gains, discovering that which has been lost
Algiz protection, fortunate influences, Fate on your side, victory and success, good luck and personal strength
Sowelu Victory, power, strength, health, the rune of the Sun, vitality, drive to work and produce
Teiwaz Victory, leadership, success over other competitors, increase in finances, virility and passion (especially for men)
Berkana Growth, abundance, fertility, Mother Earth, protection
Ehwaz Abrupt changes, moving into new home and environment, travel, swift change in situation
Mannaz Cooperation, teamwork, collaboration, help and aid from others, beginning new projects
Laguz Intuition, imagination, success in studies, creativity, vitality and passion (especially in women)
Inguz Fertility, successful conclusion to issue or situation, ending one cycle and beginning another
Dagaz Increase and expansion, prosperity, growth, major turning points in life, turning in new directions
Othila Material possessions and protection of those possessions

The Ogham alphabet consists of twenty letters to which a further five were added at a late stage in its development, probably later than the 8th century. The original twenty letters each consist of from one to five straight lines or notches intersecting a stem line. The earliest surviving Ogham inscriptions are carved on standing stones with the edge of the stone forming the stem line. These stones are found mainly in Ireland, although others have been found throughout the British Isles. The script on them usually spells out the name of an individual and they are thought to be boundary markers.

There is also clear evidence for the magickal and divinatory use of the Ogham alphabet from the literature of medieval Ireland. It may be that such esoteric uses were influenced by contact with Rune-using Viking raiders and settlers who came to Ireland in increasingly large numbers from the 8th century onwards.

Historically the symbols were used for divination by the use of four Yew wands, possibly pentagonal in shape so an ogham symbol could be inscribed onto each side. The wands would always fall with one corner pointing upwards and this would be the symbol which was read. The position the sticks fell in may also have been an important factor.

More recently, the ogham alphabet has been used for divination by inscribing it onto small wooden staves or onto discs of wood. One symbol is added to each piece and they are used in a similar way to the runes.

Ogham meanings

Ogham symbol Ogham name Tree General meaning



New beginnings, bringing change, birth of new ideas, general good fortune

Luis Rowan

Protection, control of the senses, the strength to turn away negativity, vitality, healing, magick

Fearn Alder

Prophecy, divination, scrying, intuition, remaining true to your ethics, music, poetry

Saille Willow

Feminine energy, fertility, psychic powers, intuition, cunning, new forces flowing, enchantment

Nuin Ash

Fate, divine process, connections to the world, spiritual inspiration, take action

Huathe Hawthorn

Protection, purification, learning through adversity, sexuality, self-sacrifice

Duir Oak

Strength, endurance, opening new doors, new paths, power to endure, protection, leadership

Tinne Holly

Balance, integrity, justice, tests and ordeals, courage, mastery over self, legal or money matters, growth

Coll Hazel

Creativity, poetry, intuition, the powers of divination, perception, inspiration, arbitration

Quert Apple

Choosing that which is beneficial, love affairs, beauty, healing, nourishment, living fully

Muin Vine

Psychic senses, harvest, visionary states, patience, releasing logic and reason, examine life's lessons

Gort Ivy

Follow the spiral of life, explore personal paths, transformation in self, career and education

Ngetal Reed

Awareness of environment, creating order from chaos, progress through vigilance, harmony of will, action

Straif Blackthorn

Fate, wheel of fortune, trials and tribulations lead to change, true liberation, rebirth

Ruis Elder

Passing of old cycles, looking ahead, change and renewal, new residence, career, health

Ailim Silver Fir

Clear vision, foresight, being grounded in the present, nurture new projects, gathering insight

Ohn Gorse

Increase of material possessions, sexual energy, repelling negative energy

Ur Heather

World of spirit, healing, personal success, well-being, fertility, prosperity, Faerie magick, romance

Eadha White Poplar

Overcoming fear and doubt, inner guidance, determination, rebirth, omens and signs, creative solutions

Ioho Yew

Accepting the inevitable, reincarnation, destiny, death and rebirth, new starts, contact with the past



Page last updated: 24 October, 2016

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