Runes are everywhere. The strange “B” symbol for Bluetooth is made up of runes. Videogames use them in their skill trees. They are everywhere in the form of tattoos.

So, what are they used for?

They’re largely used for talismans, a token to help the user find better luck, love, or their missing keys. There are two main ways runes are used: bindrunes and rune scripts. Here, we will explore bindrunes.


Bindrunes are symbols, created by superimposing runes on top of each other. The bindrune for Bluetooth combines the Younger FUTHARK rune for H and B to create the symbol on your phone. We’re using the Elder FUTHARK alphabet, so the H looks slightly different, but that’s not all that important.

What is important is making sure the runes chosen work together. Each rune is a pictograph, so each rune has an inherent meaning that may make them clash with one another depending on what you’re trying to accomplish. If you’re making a bindrune to help with protecting valuables, books or gems or that box of chocolates from a roommate’s sticky fingers, you wouldn’t want to combine fehu ( ) with kenaz ( ), even though they have that same meaning. Both are fire runes, sure, but fehu is the uncontrollable element of fire while kenaz is the hearth fire. Both protect valuables, but fehu is all about monetary valuables and kenaz is a tad more ephemeral in how it defines “valuable”. Fehu would be great to put in a bindrune for a jewelry box, where kenaz would be better suited to a favorite book.

Creating a Bindrune

You know what you want the bindrune to do, you know the runes well enough you can figure out how they’ll work together and are confident that you can do this! Where to begin?

First, construct the bindrune. Always sketch it before actually carving or embroidering or embossing your bindrune, just to make sure it behaves. It should be balanced and pleasing to the eye. You’ll want to choose a central rune to build the entire structure off of, a skeleton of sorts. This rune should be the main purpose of the rune. Then, depending on how complex your intent is, you’ll want up to five runes, though no more than that. More than five is too cluttered to really see the individual runes, so the entire thing becomes a muddled mess. If you just want better luck, a bindrune of two could easily work. If it’s for help with finding those missing keys, you may need four to really focus it on lost items.

The interesting bit about bindrunes is how you can build them. Almost always, runes you didn’t mean to use find their way in just by how you construct the bindrune. All of a sudden, a kenaz will appear in your construction, or maybe a thurisaz ( ) will show up. This is one of the benefits of a bindrune: these runes will help make your talisman stronger and ensure it lasts longer.

Crafting a Bindrune

Next, make the bind rune. This can be as simple as writing it on the lid of your jewelry box or as intricate as carving into a gemstone. Once you’ve figured out the construction, you can add as much, or as little, style as you want. Typically, bindrunes are best suited to smaller pieces of jewelry or in areas where there isn’t that much space for anything. These can be any size you want, as detailed as you want, just so long as the runes are clear.

Enjoy your new bindrune and may it ever help you find your keys.

If you want to learn more, click here for a brief history on runes, or here to read about rune scripts.

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