The following are the Armanen Runes along with their corresponding Hávamál verse below (Gorgani translation), and the Rune meanings to the side, largely based on Larry Camp's 2009 book A Handbook of Armanen Runes, which includes the most common accepted Armanen Rune meanings compiled from the primary Armanen authors (Guido von List, Rudolf Gorsleben, Siegfried Kummer, Karl Spiesberger, etc.) Keep in mind that the superficial meanings of some Runes, while sometimes omitted by Armanen Masters, are NOT necessarily invalid for the Armanen system. Ur can still refer to the Aurochs, as Thorn and Tyr refer to famous Aesir gods, as they did in the Elder and Younger Futharks - but in a metaphorical sense (as they always did; Asatruars and other followers of the Norse tradition are always quick to point out that they do not take the lore and mythology 100% literally - the Continental Armanen tradition also applies the same fact to the outer, apparent meanings of Runes). The 18 Runes can be interpreted as positive ("bright stave") or negative ("murk-stave") depending on their position/orientation when cast onto a cloth or drawn from a bag. The positive positions (see chart at the bottom of this post) can be interpreted as either exoteric or esoteric. More advanced rune casting methods which discriminate between these two positive meaning sets are a subject for another time. NOTE: all of the Armanen rune images on this page are my original work. ASK before using them.
Exoteric: Changes, new beginnings, growth, change of residence, travel, animals, movable possessions/wealth, fire.
Esoteric; Original fire, creative father principle, guidance, help, Father-God principle.
Negative: Set-backs, failures, destruction, blockage.
Those songs I know,
that no King's Queen knows,
nor any man's son:
Help, the first is called,
which will [bring] thee help,
with all woes and sorrows
and certainly all strife. (Hávamál, verse 146)
Exoteric: That which is permanent, that which lasts, good fortune, money, physician, medical help, healing powers.
Esoteric: Original cause, origin, root of all cosmic and material phenomena, contact with the transcendent, contact with the dead, life after physical death, Mother-God/creative mother principle.
Negative: Instability, bad influence, disease, ignorance.
I know the second,
which is needful for men's sons,
in those who would live as healers;
-------------------------] (Hávamál, verse 147)
Exoteric: Will to act, setting of goal, power to become.
Esoteric: Return, new emergence from the apparently old and dried-up, formative power of the seed.
Negative: Demonic influence, damage, deception, perishing, enemies.
I know the third:
if my need becomes great,
for a chain to halt my foes;
The edges I blunt
of mine enemies' [swords];
leave no bite to their weapons nor staves! (Hávamál, verse 148)
Exoteric: Speech, discussion, charm, success as a speaker, Aesir, God-speech, breath which evolves, suggestion, freedom, uterus.
Esoteric: Idea of that which is given, of that which is evolving.
Negative: Ill fortune, failure of the word/work, negative suggestions, misuse of knowledge and wisdom.
I know the fourth:
if men burden me
[with] shackles on the joints of my limbs;
Such do I sing,
that I may go free,
[it] springs the fetters from my feet,
and the halter from my hands. (Hávamál, verse 149)
Exoteric: Right, order, the judge, advice, salvation, money, truth.
Esoteric: Original law, that which flows away, religious feeling, ritual action.
Negative: Injustice, lawlessness, violent act, black magick practice.
I know the fifth:
if I see, by foes shot,
a shaft speeding through the folk;
Fly it never so strongly,
yet I can still stop it,
if I see but a glimpse of its flight. (Hávamál, verse 150)
Exoteric: Art, capability, artist, genius, being favored, that which is established.
Esoteric: Female principle of the universe, as executive power of balancing justice.
Negative: Refused procreation, injustice, decay, incapability.
I know the sixth:
if a Thane would harm me
with the root of a moist tree,
and that man
upon me curses speaks;
Then their harms eat him rather than me. (Hávamál, verse 151)
Exoteric: That which cares for, maintains, preserves, protects; that which is motherly; wisdom, harmony, salvation, blessing, protects from hail and fire.
Esoteric: Eternal change, caring and maintaining principle in the universe, Higher Self, God in us.
Negative: Exposed to ill fortune, not protected, bad weather, destruction by storm, hail, and fire.
I know the seventh:
if I see on high, blazing,
a hall over the bench-companions;
Burn it never so brightly,
yet I can still save it -
I know how to sing that song. (Hávamál, verse 152)
Exoteric: The Inevitable, separation, stress, karmic debt, karmic need, but with outlook for change of karma, banishing ill fortune/strife by accepting karma & cooperating with karmic law.
Esoteric: Decision of the Norns, karma paid for, cause-effect flow.
Negative: No hope for change, exposed to fate due to revolt against karmic nature, inevitable fall and decline, ultimate negation.
I know the eighth,
which all can
likewise find useful to take:
Where hatred waxes
'midst the warrior's sons,
with that [song] I settle it soon. (Hávamál, verse 153)
Exoteric: Self-aware ego, positive attitude, activity, will, self-domination, influence, magick, personal power, to banish evil.
Esoteric: Unity in the universe, duration, magickal powers, action in the cosmos.
Negative: Passivity, lack of will, being dominated, medium and mediumistic activity (being possessed by another).
I know the ninth:
if my need does arise
to save my ship afloat;
The wind I calm
upon the waves,
and soothe all the sea [to rest]. (Hávamál, verse 154)
Exoteric: All that which is beautiful and Sun-like, change to good, virtues, honor, glory, rewarding work. Banishes darkness.
Esoteric: Completion, light, Divine spirit, Sun.
Negative: Ugly, sterility, corruption to evil, shame.
I know the tenth:
if I see witches
ride and sport in the air;
I so make it
that they madly flee,
home from their own hides,
[and] home from their own minds! (Hávamál, verse 155)
Exoteric: Victory, success, gain, triumph, achieved goal, school.
Esoteric: Salvation by light, inspiration, soul, power of the sun.
Negative: Destructive light, lightning, hopeless fight, defeat, failure, exploitation, blocked soul powers.
I know the eleventh:
if I shall to war
lead my long-time friends;
Under the shields I sing it,
and they, with power, fare forth -
safe to the battle,
safe from the battle,
they come [back] safe from wherever. (Hávamál, verse 156)
Exoteric: Beginning, creation, excitation, power, success, wisdom, duties fulfilled, art/act of concealment and hiding.
Esoteric: Re-birth into the light - life of the soul, the power to make situations turn completely around. The phoenix reborn.
Negative: Perverted beginnings, tarnished beginnings, falsified knowledge, failures, dying.
I know the twelfth:
if I see up in a tree
a corpse in a noose, hanging;
Such [a song] I carve
and paint in Runes,
that the man descends
and speaks with me. (Hávamál, verse 157)
Exoteric: Becoming, birth, being protected, help in birth, son, bread, song, fountain, mountains, Birch tree (layers of safety).
Esoteric: Meaning of life on this planet, in this world.
Negative: Not-becoming, perverted birth, miscarriage, lost son, bitter bread, vulnerablility, outcast, vain wishes, death-bed.
I know the thirteenth:
if I shall, a warrior's young son
sprinkle with water;
He will not fall,
though to him, battle comes -
never will the man sink before sword! (Hávamál, verse 158)
Exoteric: Life, experience, initiation, test, temptations by life circumstances, water, sea, good management, natures of things.
Esoteric: Test of life, school of the lives, laws of nature, relations.
Negative: Succumb to temptation, deception by mate, failure to learn from mistakes, downfall, emptiness, corpse.
I know the fourteenth:
if I shall to men's folk
tell of the gods, 'fore them;
Aesir and elves,
I know all their nature
such as none know, if untaught. (Hávamál, verse 159)
Exoteric: Man, increase, masculinity, health, plenty, magick.
Esoteric: Spirit, truth, God-Man, male principle in cosmos.
Negative: Demonic spirituality, left path, growth through improper practices, black magick.
I know the fifteenth,
which Folk-stirrer (Volkrast) sang,
the dwarf, 'fore the doors of Dawn:
Strength he sang to the Aesir,
and courage to the elves,
and wisdom to the Roaring-God. (Hávamál, verse 160)
Exoteric: Woman, femininity, desire, sensual love, passion, perfection.
Esoteric: Woman, mother, chaos from which creation emerges, female principle in cosmos, God-Woman.
Negative: Perversion, unbounded passion, error, maya, failures as a result of wrong action.
I know the sixteenth:
if I wish from a witty maid
to have all love and delight;
The heart I turn
of the white-armed woman,
and I change her entire mind. (Hávamál, verse 161)
Exoteric: Marriage, wedding, partnership, permanent bond, binding decision, hope, duration, horse.
Esoteric: Permanence and marriage as a law, unity of ego and YOU, sister-souls, soul love, God-Man-Woman.
Negative: Mismatch, unlucky love, ego and you can not find each other due to karma, prevented from finding your partner.
I know the seventeenth,
that my [love], none will coldly shun,
even the shy maiden. (Hávamál, verse 162)
Exoteric: Fulfillment, giver, gift, sacred marriage, being ONE with the sister soul, protection against evil forces.
Esoteric: God-all, death-life cycle, seeing of the Divine, Being the Divine, union of Creator and created, deepest cosmic mysteries.
Negative: Vain desires for fulfillment, hopeless search for soul mates, god-less-ness.
I know the eighteenth
which I'll never teach
to maid, nor man's wife;
- all is better
if one doth know it;
thus follows the songs' end -
Except to her alone
who holds me in her arms,
or else my sister be. (Hávamál, verse 164)
spoken in the High-One's hall,
all-needful to the sons of men,
woeful to the sons of giants;
Hail to him who spoke!
Hail to him who knows it!
Use, thou that took it in!
Exalted be they that listened! (Hávamál, verse 165)
The modern method for casting the Armanen Runes allows for both positive and negative ("murk") interpretations of any rune depending on its position - this system was codified in writing by Karl Spiesberger, a disciple of List's rune school in the 1950s, though it was allegedly in use as early as List's time.
Like it or not, EVERY rune-casting system which allows for positive and negative rune positions, even those used by "Elder Futhark-only purists", is ultimately based on the Armanen system and Spiesberger's method (which undoubtedly will shock said purists to the core, when they learn how little is actually known about ancient Norse rune casting methods, and what little does have a link to history was actually rediscovered by Armanen masters!) There is no direct forensic evidence that ancient Norse people interpreted runes as positive or negative based on their orientation, although "murk" runes or rune-staves are often spoken of in the Norse Sagas, particularly Egil's Saga, so the concept does have some theoretical basis in history.
Some of the runes are symmetric and cannot be reversed or turned upside-down, and thus only are "negative" if they are cast sideways. Others are asymmetric and reversible, and are negative with reversed and when turned horizontally either left or right, but are positive when horizontal in the opposite direction. The reasons why some of the asymmetric runes are negative-left and others are negative-right are multiple and complex, and will be discussed in a later post.