Tag Archives: Wealth

Life and Death

The Rune Poem stanzas Wealth and Human have so much in common they ought to be a matched set, except they already have their own partners, The Grave, and Need. Here are Wealth and Human repeating themselves:

Wealth: Sceal ðeah manna gehwylc (though each of us must).
Human: Sceal þeah anra gehwylc (though each and every one must).

And look at how many words they share: byþgehwylcum/gehwylc, sceal, wile/wyle, ðeah/þeahdrihtne/dryhten, dome/domes, 7 not counting pronouns. The name of the Human rune, manna, appears in the Wealth stanza so let’s count that one too: 8 words in common is a large number, especially when you consider that the Wealth stanza has only 18 words and the Human stanza has 23 if you include ꝥ, which isn’t a whole word but a grammalogue for the More

Moody Joy

The rune carvers prized beaver fur and skin, their teeth made a great necklace found sometimes in the graves of women and children and once around the neck of a dog, and by church decree beaver tails counted as fish you could eat during lent. Their castor glands were highly valued and their testicles (possibly still the castor glands but mistaken for testicles) cured disease. Because they were valuable for so many reasons, beavers were an overhunted and dwindling population during the time of the rune carvers.

The aurochs were already extinct in Britain by the time the runes were introduced, gone by the end of the bronze age. They still lived on the European continent, though rare, and they were important in Britain for the extremely high value of their horns. The people would carve them and inlay them with silver, and pass them down to their children as ealdgestreon, ancient treasure, which of … More

Stanza 1: Wealth

ᚠ  byþ frofur.         fira gehwylcum.
Sceal ðeah manna gehwylc.         miclun hyt dælan.
gif he wile. for drihtne         domes hleotan

It is a consolation to each one of us,
Though each of us must distribute it generously,
If we will before God, cast lots for judgement.


Translating Feoh

Feoh means cattle, which meant everything to the rune carvers. People kept sheep and pigs, but it’s the cows that were the money. Cattle are useful, they pull things, they’re delicious, you can make stuff out of their fat and their hides. Lots of stuff. Good stuff. Stuff people depend on and value. Stuff you must give away. You must. Yes this stanza says the people sceal spread it around, it sounds like shall, but the meaning is more of a must than that. You shall and you will and you had much better do it than don’t.

Do what?

Daelan. Deal it out. Give it away.

Why? That’s gif he wile. If you will.

You will. It’s a big mistake not to, the last line says so. What you do with your wealth you do in front of God and everybody, and fate has a way of paying attention to how you … More

Everything is Temporary

I am so terribly sorry for your loss. I’ll be thinking about you and will light a candle. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you in your time of grief, while you are in mourning, as you move through this tragic occasion, during your bereavement, it’s so hard to know what to say. You were alive for such a short time too. Eternity will feel much longer, trust me. What will you do now? Can you watch your people while they divide your stuff? Maybe you don’t want to see that. Making piles, what they keep for themselves or can sell, what they slip into a pocket when the other one isn’t looking. Donations by the door, lamps on the floor. Things going into garbage bags. It’s hard to watch. At least you seem to have people. So many die exiled in wretchedness and just imagine that clean … More

X≠Y≠Z: Rune Casting!

Y: This is our future? Ear and Feoh. Death and cattle? Are we going to kill a cow? Are we meeting some rich cattle?

Z:  Wealth. It means wealth.

Y:  Wealth? Like lots of cows?

X:  Portable wealth, not cows. Nobody pays in cow anymore.

Z:  Some do.

Y:  How is a cow portable? Imagine it. Pulling it behind you on a leash to go shopping. Loading it up into the car.

X:  The smell of the bank.

Y:  The smell of the bank! The wealth rune. Wealth!

X:  We’ll have money.

Y:  Yes! We will be rich! It’s so good to know it beforehand. Cows are big, right, this is big money, beyond our wildest fantasies rich. Yes. Fantastic. Yes. We’ll be swimming in it. Scrooge McDucking it through ducats! Plunging into property!

X:  Capering in capital!

Y:  Lounging in lucre, washing in wealth! Rolling in bankrolls, piling into pesos, current … More

Rune Casting: Feoh

Feoh means money, in the form of cattle. Think of a cow’s value: milk, meat, hide, tallow, vellum, pulling heavy stuff. That’s good money. Your stock picks will be bullish and your cow will fetch a good price. You have money coming your way. Or, you have debts or desires and will be paying money out. Be generous. Money flows and it’s going to flow through you more than normal. Whatever the direction, you just cast lots in front of something or somebody who has a whole different relationship with the future than you have, and might have some say in how what happens next goes down. You did that. Just now. Right in front of them.



Lips to teeth, expel air, use force. Ef. Efv. Old English has no V: an F between two vowels is a V. Efen. Even. Efern. eVern. Electronic Vern.

The first letter of several ancient languages means cow. The letter A upside down is a horned cow. Cows were a big deal. You want a cow. Cows are money. ᚠ is for money.

Carve a line straight down. Carve two more lines on the right side at a 45 degree angle up from the middle and midway to the top. A horned cow in profile.