Understanding Viking Birth Runes

Natal astrology is present in most cultures, from ancient Egypt and the Mediterranean to ancient China and India.

While every culture reads the signs differently, they are all based on the belief that where the celestial bodies sit in relation to the Earth when a person is born influences their innate character.

We don’t know if the Vikings believed in this specific idea, but we know that they believed that elements of a person’s character were established at birth.

A person was born with a Hugr, which was their personality and characters, and a Hamingja, which was his success, which was in part inherited from family.

Moreover, the Norns attended a person at birth and spun their life thread. From that moment, their destiny was set.

So clearly, the Vikings believed that the things that happened at birth had a great influence on the rest of a person’s life.

In response to these ideas, and modern ideas about astrology, some current students of the Old Norse religion and followers of Heathenism have come up with their own Norse “astrology”.

It is related to astrology in that it depends on when you are born, but rather than focussing on the stars, it looks at the runes.

This makes sense within Norse ideology, as the Vikings believed that Odin learned the runes by hanging himself from Yggdrasil and watching the Norns for nine days and nights.

What he came back with were a set of runes that could describe everything in existence, and could also be used to work magic.

How Do Norse Birth Runes Work?

There are 24 runes used in this modern heathen system and you receive two runes based on when you were born.

Your sun rune is based on the day of your birth and is analogous with your sun sign in astrology, and represents your ego and what motivates you.

Your birth hour rune is like your rising sign and describes the energy that you exude and how other people perceive you.

You can use the table below to find your two runes, looking up your birth date and hour.

Remember that most of Scandinavia is in Central European Time, which is GMT+1, so you might want to adjust.

You can find descriptions of what your birth runes say about you below.

Find Your Norse Birth Runes


Norse Birth Rune Meanings

Below are the different meanings of the birth runes. You can find more information about yours by researching the broader meaning of the runes. How they apply to your depends on whether they represent your solar rune or your birth hour rune.

  • Eihwaz – is linked with a fearless nature and a tendency to think outside the box and do things differently.
  • Perthro – is linked with a secretive nature and keeping your own counsel plus difficulty trusting others.
  • Algiz – is linked with a naturally protective nature and instinctive leadership.
  • Sowilo – is linked with a natural energy and positive nature that is contagious.
  • Teiwaz – is linked with a logical nature and an ability to make difficult decisions.
  • Berkano – is linked with a loving and family oriented nature and nurturing energy.
  • Ehwaz – is linked with being a team player, loyal, and finding fulfillment through connections.
  • Mannaz – is linked with a need for justice and fairness and an open mind.
  • Laguz – linked with intuition and psychic abilities and being led by emotions.
  • Inguz – linked with persistence and dedication but the ability to be overly focused on personal goals.
  • Othala – linked with strong independence, introversion, and the preference to do things for yourself.
  • Dagaz – linked with adaptability and the ability to transform to meet any situation or challenge.
  • Fehu – is linked with fulfillment, luck, and wealth, representing great ambition satisfied through daring.
  • Uruz – is linked with physical, spiritual, and emotional strength that act as a source of untamed potential.
  • Thurisaz – is linked with a cautious and defensive nature and a person who actively protects themselves from the world around them.
  • Ansuz – is linked with communication, the ability to learn from others, and occupy the role of a teacher.
  • Raidho – is linked with being a seeker and always on a journey of growth.
  • Kenaz – is linked with a vital energy that lights up a room when it is present.
  • Gebo – is linked with strong connections and being the glue in a community, plus the rewards of giving.
  • Wunjo – is linked with enjoying life’s simple pleasures and finding balance and harmony within oneself.
  • Hagalaz – is linked with a volatile nature and a short temper but a natural energy to get things done.
  • Nauthiz – is linked with self-reliance, persistence, and the will to make things happen.
  • Isa – is linked with clarity of purpose and a level of cold calculation.
  • Jera – is linked with long term thinking and achieving through self-control and delayed satisfaction.

What Do the Runes Say About You?

It is fun and fascinating to learn a bit about your character by reading up about your Norse birth runes, but it is important to remember that they are a modern invention.

While the system is inspired by a deep knowledge of Norse religion and culture, this system did not exist in the Viking Age.

What did exist was the idea that you were born with a great destiny, and that the most important thing you can do with your life is learn what that destiny is, pursue it with all your energy, and meet the gods in Valhalla afterwards without regrets.

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