While the Younger Futhark reduced the number of Runes from the Elder, in spite of the Old Norse language increasing in complexity as the Vikings expanded to new lands (thus necessitating the dual-use phonetic values of some Younger Runes), the Anglo-Saxon system expanded them as would be expected from an increase in complexity through conquest. The Anglo-Saxon Futhorc was used as a script for writing for several centuries, long after use as a magickal system apparently declined, and even after the Christianization of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms in England. Unfortunately there is very little attested magickal use of these Runes, with most surviving Anglo-Saxon Rune inscriptions being purely orthographic - thus most of their meanings have to be derived from the Anglo-Saxon Rune poem. Being ultimately of German origin, some of their pronunciations closely match those of their equivalents in the Armanen Futharkh. Below are some the Anglo-Saxon Runes with possible explanations of their meanings, drawing on the usages of the other three runic systems (which share several of the same runes), along with text and translation of the Anglo-Saxon Rune poem.
sceal ðeah manna gehwylc miclun hyt dælan
gif he wile for drihtne domes hleotan.
Wealth is a comfort to all men;
yet must every man bestow it freely,
if he wish to gain honor in the sight of the Lord.
Ur byþ anmod ond oferhyrned,
felafrecne deor, feohteþ mid hornum
mære morstapa; þæt is modig wuht.
The aurochs is proud and has great horns;
it is a very savage beast and fights with its horns;
a great ranger of the moors, it is a creature of mettle.
anfeng ys yfyl, ungemetum reþe
manna gehwelcum, ðe him mid resteð.
The thorn is exceedingly sharp,
an evil thing for any knight to touch,
uncommonly severe on all who sit among them.
wisdomes wraþu ond witena frofur
and eorla gehwam eadnys ond tohiht.
The mouth is the source of all language,
a pillar of wisdom and a comfort to wise men,
a blessing and a joy to every knight.
sefte ond swiþhwæt, ðamðe sitteþ on ufan
meare mægenheardum ofer milpaþas.
Riding seems easy to every warrior while he is indoors
and very courageous to him who traverses the high-roads
on the back of a stout horse.
blac ond beorhtlic, byrneþ oftust
ðær hi æþelingas inne restaþ.
The torch is known to every living man
by its pale, bright flame;
it always burns where princes sit within.
Gyfu gumena byþ gleng and herenys,
wraþu and wyrþscype and wræcna gehwam
ar and ætwist, ðe byþ oþra leas.
Generosity brings credit and honor, which support one’s dignity;
it furnishes help and subsistence
to all broken men who are devoid of aught else.
sares and sorge and him sylfa hæfþ
blæd and blysse and eac byrga geniht.
Bliss he enjoys who knows not suffering,
sorrow nor anxiety, and has for himself
happiness and prosperity and a good enough house.
wealcaþ hit windes scura; weorþeþ hit to wætere syððan.
Hail is the whitest of grain; it is whirled from the vault of heaven
and is tossed about by gusts of wind; and then it melts into water.
to helpe and to hæle gehwæþre, gif hi his hlystaþ æror.
[Need] is oppressive to the heart; yet often it proves a source
of help and salvation to the children of men, to everyone who heeds it betimes.
glisnaþ glæshluttur gimmum gelicust,
flor forste geworuht, fæger ansyne.
Ice is very cold and immeasurably slippery;
it glistens as clear as glass and most like to gems;
it is a floor wrought by the frost, fair to look upon.
halig heofones cyning, hrusan syllan
beorhte bleda beornum ond ðearfum.
Summer is a joy to men, when God, the holy King of Heaven,
suffers the earth to bring forth shining fruits
for rich and poor alike.
heard hrusan fæst, hyrde fyres,
wyrtrumun underwreþyd, wyn on eþle.
The yew is a tree with rough bark,
hard and fast in the earth, supported by its roots,
a guardian of flame and a joy upon an estate.
wlancum [on middum], ðar wigan sittaþ
on beorsele bliþe ætsomne.
Peorth [luck, gambling] is a source of recreation and amusement
to the great, where warriors sit
blithely together in the banqueting-hall.
Eolh-secg eard hæfþ oftust on fenne
wexeð on wature, wundaþ grimme,
blode breneð beorna gehwylcne
ðe him ænigne onfeng gedeþ.
The Elk-sedge is mostly to be found in a marsh;
it grows in the water and makes a ghastly wound,
covering with blood every warrior
who dares himself touch it.
ðonne hi hine feriaþ ofer fisces beþ,
oþ hi brimhengest bringeþ to lande.
The sun is ever a joy in the hopes of seafarers
when they journey away over the fishes’ bath,
until the courser of the deep bears them to land.
Tir biþ tacna sum, healdeð trywa wel
wiþ æþelingas; a biþ on færylde
ofer nihta genipu, næfre swiceþ.
Tiw is a guiding star; well does it keep faith
with princes; it is ever on its course
over the mists of night and never fails.
Interestingly, other Germanic and Indo-European cultures sometimes pointed to Sirius as Tyr's star, rather than Polaris, as it was originally associated with a great Wolf rather than a domestic dog, and as such represented Tyr's loss of a hand to Fenrir in the latter part of the Eddic cycle, corresponding to the rising of Sirius in the dawning of the winter months. Being in the south of the sky relative to Polaris when observed in the Northern Hemisphere, it seems fitting for the Wolf-star to be thus in opposition to Tyr; though relative to the greater galactic plane, Sirius is actually a star of the East, not the South - hence, further cementing its status as Tyr's star, since one esoteric homophone of the Ostivanen (the Warrior Class, men of Os-Tivar or Asa-Tyr), is also Ost-ziehanen, "those who pass east", for traditionally the early Germanic warriors of the Goths and Rugii often conquered lands in eastern Europe and were prepared to die there, and Tivash-Tir was also honored far further east as an Asura in the Indo-Iranian sphere.
Beorc byþ bleda leas, bereþ efne swa ðeah
tanas butan tudder, biþ on telgum wlitig,
heah on helme hrysted fægere,
geloden leafum, lyfte getenge.
The Birch bears no fruit; yet without seed it brings forth suckers,
for it is generated from its leaves.
Splendid are its branches and gloriously adorned
its lofty crown which reaches to the skies.
Eh byþ for eorlum æþelinga wyn,
hors hofum wlanc, ðær him hæleþ ymb[e]
welege on wicgum wrixlaþ spræce
and biþ unstyllum æfre frofur.
The horse is a joy to princes in the presence of warriors.
A steed in the pride of its hoofs,
when rich men on horseback bandy words about it;
and it is ever a source of comfort to the restless.
Man byþ on myrgþe his magan leof:
sceal þeah anra gehwylc oðrum swican,
forðum drihten wyle dome sine
þæt earme flæsc eorþan betæcan.
The joyous man is dear to his kinsmen;
yet every man is doomed to fail his fellow,
since the Lord by his decree
will commit the vile carrion to the earth.
gif hi sculun neþan on nacan tealtum
and hi sæyþa swyþe bregaþ
and se brimhengest bridles ne gym[eð].
The ocean seems interminable to men,
if they venture on the rolling bark
and the waves of the sea terrify them
and the courser of the deep heed not its bridle.
Ing wæs ærest mid East-Denum
gesewen secgun, oþ he siððan est
ofer wæg gewat; wæn æfter ran;
ðus Heardingas ðone hæle nemdun.
Ing was first among the East-Danes,
seen by men; till departing east,
over the waves he went, followed by his chariot.
So the Heardingas named the hero.
gif he mot ðær rihtes and gerysena on
brucan on bolde bleadum oftast.
An estate is very dear to every man,
if he can enjoy there in his house
whatever is right and proper in constant prosperity.
mære metodes leoht, myrgþ and tohiht
eadgum and earmum, eallum brice.
Day, the glorious light of the Creator, is sent by the Lord;
it is beloved of men, a source of hope and happiness to rich and poor,
and of service to all.
The next five runes are unique to the Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Frisian systems, and are attested in the Anglo-Saxon rune poem.
flæsces fodor, fereþ gelome
ofer ganotes bæþ; garsecg fandaþ
hwæþer ac hæbbe æþele treowe.
The oak fattens for the children of menthe flesh of pigs, often it traverses
the gannet’s bath; and the ocean proves
whether the oak keeps faith in honorable fashion.
Æsc biþ oferheah, eldum dyre
stiþ on staþule, stede rihte hylt,
ðeah him feohtan on firas monige.
The ash is exceedingly high and precious to men.
With its sturdy trunk it offers a stubborn resistance,
though attacked by many a man.
Yr byþ æþelinga and eorla gehwæs
wyn and wyrþmynd, byþ on wicge fæger,
fæstlic on færelde, fyrdgeatewa sum.
Yr is for every prince and knight a source
of joy and honor; it looks well on a horse,
and is a reliable equipment for a journey.
Iar byþ eafix and ðeah a bruceþ
fodres on foldan, hafaþ fægerne eard
wætre beworpen, ðær he wynnum leofaþ.
Iar is a river fish and yet it always
feeds on land; it has a fair abode
encompassed by water, where it lives in happiness.
Ear byþ egle eorla gehwylcun,
ðonn[e] fæstlice flæsc onginneþ,
hraw colian, hrusan ceosan
blac to gebeddan; bleda gedreosaþ,
wynna gewitaþ, wera geswicaþ.
The grave is horrible to every knight,
when the corpse quickly begins to cool
and is laid in the bosom of the dark earth.
Prosperity declines, happiness passes away
and covenants are broken.