Gnosis Diary: Life as a Heathen

My personal experiences, including religious and spiritual experiences, community interaction, general heathenry, and modern life on my heathen path, which is Asatru.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form

Asatru FAQ: How Do I Design a Runic Tattoo?

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Frequently Asked Question: I want to translate or tranliterate a phrase into runes. How do I do that and how do I make sure it's right?

My answer: There are some decisions to be made: 


a. Do you want the phrase in modern English or an ancient language, and

b. if the latter, which one? 

If you want it in an ancient language, you will have to translate it into a grammatically correct form in that language, probably with the help of a scholar. In the case of Old Icelandic, a native speaker of Modern Icelandic may be able to help you, as the modern language has not diverged very far.  


a. What alphabet do you want it in?


(1) If it's in an ancient language, do you want it in that language's alphabet? For example, if it's in Frisian, you probably want the Frisian futhark.

(2) Do you want other heathens and pagans to be able to read it? If yes, pick the Elder Futhark-- that's the one most people who can read runes on sight can read.  

If you want it in modern English, you will probably either want the Anglo-Saxon Futhorc, as the runic alphabet of Old English, or the Elder Futhark, as the most commonly known rune alphabet in modern times.

 Image: Gripsholm Castle rune stone detail, public domain

Last modified on
Erin Lale is the author of Asatru For Beginners, and the updated, longer version of her book, Asatru: A Beginner's Guide to the Heathen Path. Erin has been a gythia since 1989. She was the editor and publisher of Berserkrgangr Magazine, and is admin/ owner of the Asatru Facebook Forum. She also writes science fiction and poetry, ran for public office, is a dyer and fiber artist, was acquisitions editor at a small press, and founded the Heathen Visibility Project.


Additional information