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What Are Bindrunes? (and How to Make Your Own)

If you’re just starting out with learning the runes, you may have come across some symbols that you weren’t able to find in the standard Futhark alphabets. It’s possible you were looking at a bindrune (or bind rune).

Here I’ll explain what a bindrune is and how you can learn to make your own sigils to use for rituals and personal talismans.

Table of Contents

What are Bindrunes?

A bindrune is a symbol made up of two or more runes. These runes are “bound” together to form one ligature, combining their meanings to enhance their power.

While many people attribute these symbols to the Viking era, they were rarely found during that time – with the exception of occasional use as signatures or maker’s marks on carved pieces.

According to archaeological evidence, Bindrunes were more commonly used in the periods of time before and after the Viking era.

With the resurgence of interest in the runes, bindrunes are once again becoming a popular way to create personal sigils or talismans for protection, luck, or good health.

Types of Bindrunes

While all bindrunes are made up of several runes, there are different forms based on the way that the symbols are laid out.

The bluetooth logo is an example of a stacked bindrune.

Stacked

Stacked bindrunes (also called “normal” bindrunes) are exactly what they sound like. Two (or sometimes three) runes laid one on top of the other along a shared axis. One very well-known example is the Bluetooth logo – which is a combination of the Younger Futhark runes for H and B for ‘Harald Bluetooth’.

The earliest example of a stacked bindrune can be found on the Kylver stone, a Swedish runestone that dates from about 400 AD. On this stone can be found the Futhark alphabet in order, followed by a “spruce- or tree-like rune, with six twigs to the left and eight to the right of a single stave. This is interpreted as a bindrune of stacked Tiwaz rune, or possibly of six Tiwaz and four Ansuz runes to invoke Tyr and the Æsir for protection.”

Example of a same-stave bindrune.
Shown here as an example of a same-stave bindrune, I've used my name in Elder Futhark letters.

Same-Stave

Same-stave Bindrunes are a series of runes connected along a common line placed either horizontally or vertically. This would either spell out a word or a series of runes in a specific order for an intent or purpose.

These were also used for ornamental or practical uses, found on runestone monuments as the name of a person or place.

Aegishjalmur and Vegvisir are examples of radial bindrunes
Aegishjalmur and Vegvísir are examples of radial bindrunes or Icelandic Magic Staves

Radial

In a radial bindrune, each rune is placed on the end of a spoke, radiating from a common centre point.

We can find examples of radial bindrunes in the Icelandic Grimoires written around the 1600s. These Galdrastafir (magic staves) include well-known symbols such as Vegvisir and the Helm of Awe.

How to interpret Bindrunes

Since many runes share common lines, it’s incredibly difficult to interpret a bindrune. In some cases you can extrapolate the runes involved and infer meaning, but in others it is nearly impossible to know exactly which runes were used in the symbol.

Personally I think that’s what makes bindrunes so powerful, that once they’re made, only the maker will know the true intention.

If you’d like to try to interpret someone else’s bindrune, start by breaking down the individual runes within the sigil and researching their meanings. Consider the placement of each rune and how they interact with one another. Is there a dominant rune that stands out? Is there a balance between the different symbols?

Once you have a basic understanding of the individual runes and their meanings, look at the overall symbol and consider what it might represent. Does it convey protection, strength, or wisdom? Does it relate to a specific goal or intention?

While ultimately this interpretation is personal and may not be exactly what the maker intended, as you practice you will become more adept at reading these powerful symbols.

In the next section, I’ll explore how you can put this knowledge into practice and create your own bindrunes.

How to Make a Bindrune

Making a bindrune can be a simple process, once you have the base knowledge necessary. First, you’ll need a good understanding of the runes. Each rune holds a specific meaning, and when combined with others, they can create a complex message.

Moreover, since many runes share common axes, when combined together you may inadvertently form other runes within your new symbol and you’ll have to decide whether the sigil you’ve made still holds the power you intended.

My advice would be to start by studying the runic alphabet (most commonly the Elder Futhark), and look at bindrunes made by other people to understand how they’ve been put together and which runes they’ve used.

Once you’re comfortable with the runes and have seen how other bindrunes have been made, you can venture out into making your own.

Step 1: Choose your objective

What is the purpose of the symbol you want to create? What do you want the symbol to provide for you? Get crystal clear on this before you continue.

Step 2: Pick Your Runes

Think about the objectives you set in step one. Which runes would help you to achieve this? If this is your first bindrune, maybe keep your selection to two runes in a stacked bindrune form. Once you’ve made a few, you can expand to trying more runes in a radial and same-stave configuration.

Step 3: Design Your Symbol

Draw out the runes you’ve chosen at the top of a blank sheet of paper. Next, create as many combinations of these runes as you like until you find one that resonates with your objective.

It’s important to give this some time and to study the designs you’ve made to make sure they feel right to you. Also check for hidden runes that could affect your outcome.

Step 4: Create Your Talisman

If you’ve chosen your symbol, next you need to create a special object to hold the power of your bindrune.

For short-term goals, a piece of paper will be enough but, if this is a long-term goal or symbol for protection etc., you’ll want to be more intentional with your choice of object.

You could carve the symbol into wood or bone, paint it on a rock, or have it made into a piece of jewelry to carry with you always.

The important part is to focus on the objective as you’re creating your talisman.

Find a quiet space to do your ritual and gather your materials. Light a candle or some incense and do some meditative breathing to clear your mind. Focus on your intention as you carve or paint your design. Draw out each rune individually and ask it for the help you desire.

Once your talisman is complete, hold it in your hands and think about your objective again. Close out your ritual by blowing out the candle.

Step 5: Use Your New Sigil

I can’t stress this part enough: a bindrune will only work if you use it! It’s important to think about your objective every day and focus on your goal. Put the talisman you created somewhere where you’re sure to see it often. Tape it to your bathroom mirror, place it on your nightstand, or, in the case of jewelry, put it on every day.

In the case of a short-term goal, continue in this way until your objective has been achieved, and then dispose of your sigil by burning or burying the object.

For talismans that were created for a lifelong purpose, you may want to set smaller intermediary goals. Once each smaller goal is achieved, do another intention setting ritual, holding the talisman in your hand as you focus your mind on the next step. In this way you can break down big achievements into manageable milestones.

Custom Bindrune Creation

I’ve been studying the runes for many years and it would be my pleasure to create a custom bindrune to help you achieve your goals.

Each custom sigil I create includes a consultation via email to choose the runes that encompass your objectives. I will then create the design and provide you with a digital image file and a PDF document explaining the meaning of your symbol.

You can then use this sigil for your personal rituals or have me incorporate it into a piece of jewelry.

Contact me for more info

Further Reading

Andrea Shelley

HI, I'M ANDREA! I create powerful, meaningful jewelry that you can connect with and enjoy each day. I believe that jewelry, when worn purposefully, can have transformative powers. My pieces go beyond decoration to help connect you to your inner self and focus your energies to your greatest strengths. If you're enjoying my content, you can support my page by buying me a coffee so that I can continue to make more content for you.

18 Comments

  1. Reply

    Beatriz Ramirez Moreno

    January 21, 2024

    Hi,
    I am planning to have a tattoo with all the initials of my family in a bindrune. I would like to know what the meaning is of all of them are together. The letters are N,B,F.L

  2. Reply

    Eric

    December 5, 2023

    Hi Andrea,
    I would like to discuss custom bindrunes.

    I want to create a verticle one for a back/spine tattoo to carry the rune…

    I like and have seen a couple Odin’s spear bindrunes, but not sure of how they were put together, etc..

    Thank you.

  3. Reply

    rebekah hancox

    September 18, 2023

    What is the meaning of an inverted courage bind rune?

    • Reply

      Andrea Shelley

      September 19, 2023

      An inverted bindrune may be used to represent the opposite meaning of the upright bindrune (similar to the interpretation of inverted runes) though this is dependent on context and intent. Some people also believe that bindrunes or sigils can have directional energies (inward vs. outward). For example a defensive bindrune might be intended to direct energy outward while an abundance bindrune would pull inward. There are many differing opinions on this, which makes bindrunes even more fascinating!

  4. Reply

    A. D

    September 13, 2023

    Hi Andrea

    Which Runes can i combine and cannot combine in a Tattoo?

    • Reply

      Andrea Shelley

      September 14, 2023

      That’s a difficult question to answer as it really depends on the intention and purpose of the tattoo. Take some time to meditate on the runes you’d like to use and think about whether or not they fit the intended meaning and if any contradict each other.

  5. Reply

    ANANDA SUNDER MUKHERJEE

    September 7, 2023

    Hi. I love the way you explained. I am looking to make a bindrune for traveling. I will be traveling by a vehicle for a perpose of vacation and adventure. I want to combine travel protection achievement safe passage defence etc into bindrune. Pls do suggest what other runes I should include.
    Thank you

    • Reply

      Andrea Shelley

      September 9, 2023

      There are many runes that you could use for this. My suggestion would be to sit with the runes and see what comes to you. Often they will show us what we need. Otherwise you could try Algiz for luck, Raidho to represent the journey, Thurisaz for defense, and Wunjo for happy travels.

  6. Reply

    Barrett

    September 6, 2023

    Hey I would love to learn more about bindrunes and the process of making them!!!

    • Reply

      Andrea Shelley

      September 7, 2023

      Do you have any specific questions or topics you’d like me to expand on in the post?

  7. Reply

    Phillip Tiffany

    September 5, 2023

    Just starting on the path, thank you for the good information.

    • Reply

      Andrea Shelley

      September 7, 2023

      You’re welcome, Phillip!

  8. Reply

    Mel

    September 3, 2023

    This was all really helpful! Thank you for posting this up.

    • Reply

      Andrea Shelley

      September 7, 2023

      You’re very welcome!

  9. Reply

    Warren Jackson

    July 19, 2023

    Interested in help making a bind rune 🙂

    • Reply

      Andrea Shelley

      July 19, 2023

      Hi Warren. You can contact me for more info on custom bindrunes.

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