Witches Runes: History, Meanings + How to Make Your Own
One of my favorite divination methods and one that I recommend to beginners is the witches runes. There are a couple different kinds of runes, and sometimes the witches runes get confused with the Elder futhark. But they are MUCH different from one another. Here, I’ll share the history and meaning of witches runes PLUS teach you how to make and read your own set!
The Mysterious History of Witches Runes
Witches runes are fairly new compared to the ancient Norse runic alphabet known as the Elder futhark OR the ancient Ogham alphabet. I’ve researched and researched and can’t find a solid source as to the Witches runes’ true origins. All sources say they are a modern version of a magical alphabet invented specifically for witches’ divination purposes. Theories abound as to the witches’ runes history, but all agree they were probably invented in the nineteenth or early twentieth centuries.
13 Witches Runes Meanings
I’ve seen some people use eight and ten witches’ runes, but in my humble opinion, thirteen is the magical number. Why? Historically, thirteen has been a sacred number to witches because of the thirteen lunar phases per year, and traditionally there’s thirteen witches per coven. So I prefer to use the thirteen witches runes. I will provide you all with MY interpretation of each witches rune meanings; HOWEVER, keep in mind it’s up to you to determine what each rune truly means in a reading.
1. The Sun: growth, new beginnings, fertility, prosperity, solar magic, god
When this witches rune pops up in a reading, I typically smile. The sun means different things to different people; however, the fact that it sustains the planet also means it sustains our lives and brings an abundance of good things. Also linked to our solar plexus, vitality, health and self confidence.
2. The Moon: Intuition, the goddess, dreams, psychic abilities, emotions, love, healing, shadow work
The Moon witch rune pops up in a reading to prompt us to look deeper below the surface. It asks us to use our intuition, look into our dreams, and connect with our emotional side. You may have a moon goddess calling you if this witch’s rune continues to pop up.
3. Flight: travel, birds, communication, messages from the other side, soaring at great heights, fast moving, news
The Flight Rune brings otherworldly news or reminds us of some form of communication, be it spoken or written. Birds are sacred animals and messengers to the heavens and to the gods. It may also mean we will be making a journey soon – be it physical or spiritual.
4. Rings: bonding, alliance, marriage, teams, family
This witches rune indicates an issue, be it good or bad, with family, co-workers, friends, etc. Bonding on different levels is also the message. Pay attention to your personal relationships when the triple ring comes up in a reading.
5. Trinity: Triple goddess, life/death/rebirth, trinity, love – romance
Some people read this witches rune as a flower – new life, birth, fertility, love. I tend to read it more like the triquetra – life/death/rebirth cycles, triple goddess, etc. It’s completely up to you how YOU interpret these.
6. Woman: womb and vagina, creativity, birthing, motherhood, femininity, yoni
I read this rune as the Divine Feminine in us and all around us. One’s womb is full, with a baby physically, OR with a creative idea or project. This rune is also linked to Mother Earth, because she is our mother and from her womb we are born, to it we return.
7. Man: Male, phallus, arrow, action, fertility, virility, strength, aggression, justice, goals
The yin and yang – male and female are represented in the witches’ runes for a reason. There’s duality on every level in the universe. The man rune is the arrow, the phallus, and represents all things masculine. This could point to a specific man in your life or energy.
8. Harvest: abundance, reaping, manifesting, wealth, family security, finances
What happens during the harvest? We collect all we’ve been growing. This rune represents manifestation and reaping the rewards. Finances and security. You’ve been working hard towards your goals, now it’s time to watch them manifest. Soon comes a time of rest.
9. Crossroads: decisions, blocked paths, opportunities, the space between, spirits
The crossroads as a symbol and as an actual place are powerful. When we reach a crossroads in our lives, we have to make a decision. There may be a new path presented to us or our paths might be blocked. This could also indicate a spirit of the crossroads calling us.
10. Waves: Ocean, land of the dead, purification, water, emotions, healing
Water is one of those elements that either draws people or scares them…or both. It’s the element of change, creation, destruction, nourishment, and represents so much in a reading. Purification is also a big indication. Dreams, the moon, and emotions.
11. Star: guidance, a light in the darkness, wishes, gifts, other worlds, astrology
When you look up at the stars, how do you feel? Incorporate that into your readings when the star witches’ rune shows up. The star is indeed a gift and grants wishes to some. It may be a guiding light to others lost in the darkness. Or maybe it’s time to make a wish.
12. Scythe: the reaping, death, waning, end of an era, releasing and clearing
The scythe may seem scary to some, like the Death card in a tarot reading. BUT the scythe also means an end to something that needs to be released. It could mean clearing and letting go. It’s also linked to the harvest festivals i.e. Mabon and Samhain.
13. Eye: third eye, seeing the truth, clairvoyance, someone’s watching, the evil eye and protection
This rune is my favorite. The all-seeing eye. It represents seeing things unseen, also seeing the beauty in things others don’t. Can also be a warning of the evil eye or someone watching you. Or perhaps a reminder to open your eyes to a situation you’ve been blindly ignoring.
How to Make Your Own Witches Runes
I didn’t come up with the idea of turning seashells into witches’ runes. I’ve seen many a witch take the opportunity to turn collected shells into something special. AND I capitalized on it! You can, too! Gather 13 seashells or stones, of relatively similar size and shape, then draw or paint a witches rune on each. I painted my shells blue to honor the water element even more AND used gold for the actual runes. Get creative and store them in a special bag.
Tips on How to Bond With Your Witch Runes
Just by creating your own witches runes set is enough to imbue it with your own energy and absorb some of its own. But you can also sleep with them under your pillow or sit and hold them in your hands while watching TV, etc. Do a reading for yourself once a day or as often as you can. You’ll find this method of divination easy to learn and poignant.
How to Read Witches Runes
I recommend writing down each witches’ runes meanings, particularly how YOU interpret them. Then refer to this until you’ve memorized their meanings. In addition, you’ll find once you perform a few readings your intuition will kick in and their meanings may change on a per reading basis! Here’s a few ways to cast the witches runes:
- Pull one witches rune from the bag
- Hold the runes in your hands then drop them on a cloth or soft surface and interpret the ones face up
- Pull three witches runes: one past, present, and future and interpret
- Dump them out of the bag onto a cloth or soft surface and interpret what’s up and/or down
Other Ways to Use Your Runes
When it comes to runes and truly any form of divination, they’re not just useful in reading the past, present and future. They’re helpful in many magical ways. I’ve used my runes in spells, kitchen magick, rituals and more. Here’s a few magical ways you can use your witch’s runes:
- On your altar as decoration
- As offering to a specific god, goddess or spirit
- To communicate specifically with one god or ancestor
- Empower candle spells by encircling your candle with your runes
- Hold in your hands during meditation or energy work
- Sleep with them under your pillow to encourage prophetic dreams