The runes in The Phoenix Fallacy are based on an ancient script known as The Elder Furthark, believed to have been in use between the 2nd to 8th centuries AD.  The script is considered Proto-Norse or Proto-Germanic, and is somewhat speculative in each rune’s constructed meanings.  Few writings from this period still exist, and our knowledge of them is limited.  The meanings below are the best constructed explanations of the individual runes based on surviving examples.

In the use of runes, and in The Phoenix Fallacy, you may notice that many of the runes are inverted.  This is deliberate.  Inverted (or reversed) runes, sometimes called Merkstaves (“dark stick”), usually imply a darker, more negative meaning for the original rune, or sometimes an opposite.  Some runes cannot be physically reversed, but can still have stronger meanings in certain situations.

runes shadows_0023_fehu


Fehu: Cattle, Wealth – Possessions won or earned, sometimes by luck.  Abundance and plenty.

Reversed: Failure.  Greed, atrophy, and discord.



runes shadows_0022_uruz


Uruz: Auroch, Wild Ox – Physical strength and speed.  Untamed potential.  Courage.

Reversed: Weakness.  Domination by others.



runes shadows_0021_thurisaz


Thurisaz: Thor, Giant – Relative force, conflict.  A tendancy toward change.

Reverse: Danger.  An evil person.



runes shadows_0000_ehwaz


Ehwaz: Horse – Transportation.  Movement and change for the better.  Teamwork.

Reversed: Mistrust, or betrayal.  Restlessness.



runes shadows_0019_raidho


Raidho: Wagon, Chariot – Travel.  Journeys, both physical and spiritual.

Reversed: Dislocation.  Stasis, rigidity.



runes shadows_0018_kenaz


Kenaz: Beacon, Torch – Knowledge.  Vision or revelation. Creativity.

Reversed: Lack of creativity.  Loss of illusion or hope.



runes shadows_0017_gebo


Gebo: Gift – Sacrifice or generosity.  Balance. Personal relationship or partnership.

Reversed: Obligation.  Bribery or toll.



runes shadows_0016_wunjo


Wunjo: Joy – Comfort or pleasure.  Fellowship and harmony.

Reversed: Sorrow.  Alienation.  Bezerker or raging frenzy.



runes shadows_0015_hagalaz


Hagalaz: Hail – Wrath of Nature.  Destructive force, or uncontrolled forces.  Trial.

Reversed: Catastrophe.  Hardship or crisis.



runes shadows_0014_nauthiz


Nauthiz: Need – The power to overcome.  Determination.

Reversed:  Constraint of freedom or deprivation.  Poverty.



runes shadows_0013_isa


Isa: Ice – Challenge or frustration.  Standstill.

Reversed: Blindness, dullness.  Illusion.



runes shadows_0012_jera


Jera: A good harvest or year – A time of peace and happiness.  Hope.

Reversed: Sudden setback, Reversals.



runes shadows_0011_eihwaz


Eihwaz: Yew tree – Strength, reliability, trustworthiness.  Enlightenment.

Reversed: Dissatisfaction, weakness.



runes shadows_0010_perthro


Pertho: Lot Cup, Feminity – Uncertain meaning, secrets.  Knowledge of destiny or the future.

Reversed: Malaise, loneliness.



runes shadows_0009_algiz


Algiz: Elk, Protection – A shield.  Defense or warding off of evil.

Reversed: Hidden danger.  Taboo or warning.



runes shadows_0008_sowilo


Sowilo: The sun – Success.  Life force and health.  A power available to make positive change.

Reversed: False goals, false success.



runes shadows_0007_tiwaz


Tiwaz: Tyr, the sky-god – Honor, justice.  Leadership and authority.

Reversed: Strife, injustice.  Mental paralysis.



runes shadows_0006_berkano


Berkano: Birch, or Berchta, the goddess – Birth.  General fertility.  Promise of new beginnings.

Reversed: Anxiety about those close to you.  Family problems.



runes shadows_0005_othala


Othala: Ancestral Property – A home or legacy.  Land of birth.

Reversed: Lack of order or homelessness.  What a man is bound to.



runes shadows_0004_dagaz


Dagaz: Day, Dawn – Breakthrough, awakening.  Awareness.

Reversed:  Completion.  Ending or limit.  Death.



runes shadows_0003_ingwaz


Ingwaz: Masculinity, Internal Growth.  Common virtues and strengths.  Common sense.

Reversed: Movement without change.



runes shadows_0002_laguz


Laguz: Water, A Leek – Flow.  Water or the sea.  Healing power or renewal.

Reversed: Confusion.  Wrong decisions or poor judgements.



runes shadows_0001_mannaz


Mannaz: Mankind – The self or individualism.  The human race.

Reversed: Mortality.  Depression.



runes shadows_0020_ansuz


Ansuz: Ancestral God, Odin – Revealing message or insight.  Blessings or taking of advice.

Reversed: Misunderstanding.  Delusion or manipulation by others.