Fehu Rune Meaning
Also Called: Peku, Feoh
Fehu Rune Meaning
Fehu is the first rune in Freyr’s aett. It is also considered to be the first rune in the arrangement of the Elder Futhark. The arrangement of which, is very significant. The Fehu rune is pronounced as “fay-who” and was derived from the low Germanic word “veih,” which means something akin to holy. This concept also has ties deep into the creation mythology of the Germanic people. Audumbla was the first primal cow, and a concept that is typical among the Indo-European Religions.
The most basic meaning derived from the Fehu rune relates to the concept of property. In its most mundane interpretation the rune is literally “wealth.” This idea comes from the corresponding old English word “feoh” or commonly understood as “fee.” Interestingly enough, Fehu also has roots in proto Indo-European languages such as Sanskrit, Latin, and Armenian. In the Indo-European roots, the word translates into “cattle.”
These variable meanings between the Proto-Germanic Languages and the Proto-Indo European leaves one to wonder what wealth and cattle have in common. The answer lies in the past. Wealth in the days of our ancestors primarily resided in cattle and other forms of livestock. In today’s world wealth is primarily represented by money and other assets. It is like blood, causing movement in the body of society. As a force and power, wealth today causes massive upheaval, resulting in the mass movement of people and goods.
Under this view we can learn to understand that Fehu represents the circulation of energy, wealth, and power. It certainly has the power to move. In some instances it is also a rune of luck and fertility. When coming to understand the Fehu rune, its meaning should not be confused with the Othala rune -which, as we will see means inherited property. This has quite a different quality connected to it than does our Fehu rune.
Relating the Fehu rune back to the concept of holy, we can begin to see how this rune has a concept of wealth that exceeds the modern concepts of money and property. While elementary rune books discuss Fehu as meaning “cattle,” the actual meaning however, is in between the lines. We can ask a few questions to get to the core original meaning of the rune; What was it that you had to do to get the cattle? What was the sacrifice made to secure it? Additionally, what was the underlying ability and power that made this acquisition possible? These questions are important.
The answers are related to the the deep past. Young groups of nobles in old Germanic society were often found property less as they entered adult hood. These groups of men, also known as what was called heri were forced to acquire property their selves. Often times this was done through raiding and pillaging. Skills of battling were the underlying ability that made the acquisition possible. The acquisition of wealth was one based upon the merit to acquire it. Over time, this tradition evolved and defined the era of the Vikings.
Naturally, The Fehu Rune is also associated with the gods Freyr and Freya. They are the gods of wealth and prosperity. This is the reason why Fehu is the first rune of eight in Freyr’s Aett. To fully grasp the concept of this rune we must also learn to see wealth in a more ancient way. By the time the Vikings were raiding their way to wealth, the concept of it had changed. In this epoch, cattle were no longer was a marker of what defined prosperity. Instead, the concept of wealth had been converted into the trading and coveting of precious golds and metals. The concept of wealth has further evolved in our times, where nations are now allowed to print money and base it on nothing. Needless to say skills in combat are no longer at the heart of what it means to acquire wealth.
Fehu Rune Poem
Money is a comfort to everyone
though every man ought
to deal it out freely
if he wants to gain approval
from the lord.
Gold causes strife among kinsmen
the wolf grows up in the woods.
Icelandic Rune Poem
Money is the strife among kinsmen
and the fire of the flood-tide
and the path of the serpent.
Fehu Rune Meaning for Divination and Casting
Cattle – Wealth, Mobile wealth, property, financial prosperity
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