Ask six rune experts 'Where did the runes originate from?' and you will probably get 6 different answers. There are different versions of runes for each culture and era they seemed to come from. One person told me they came from the vikings, another said they originated from the druids, yet another said they came from aliens, each person was serious and thought they had the correct origins of the runes, how can everyone have a different answer about them ? The answer appears to be 'time', over the years folks have made up so many tales about the runes that nobody knows the true origin of them. The very name 'rune', is a word derived from the Gothic word 'runa', which means "mystery."
One of the oldest and first recorded uses of runes came from German tribes in central and Eastern Europe, these early uses of runes show that they were not even meant to be a language for everyday speech, but were used as a symbolic alphabet system. Each rune letter or shape had it's own sound, and meaning, in fact each rune represented a deity or so called God, that gave it it's special power. People of old belived that by carving runes into their personal property or other items, the God or deity over that rune would protect the item, they even believed that a sword could be made more powerful for use in battle by carving runes into it.
There are at least 6 different types of runes or rune alphabets that folks use or dabble with today, and each rune alphabet is supposedly the correct set to use, if you ask the person that uses them. Runes hold no more special meaning than any symbols, drawings or sigils do, unless you have a belief that they are magical and will it, they are nothing more then drawing a circle or a square and giving them special meanings. For instance if I was around hundreds of years ago, I might of looked towards the sun in the sky and then drawn or carved a circle on a stone or piece of wood, to me it meant the power of the mighty glowing circle of fire in the sky, to someone else years later that discovered my circle carved into the stone, they may think that circle represented a wheel, eye, moon, or just a plain circle. Each person uses runes for their own purposes and each person seems to give them their own meanings.
In ancient Europe a lot of adults seemed to do wood carvings, in fact it was a prized skill handed down from one family member to another. An alphabet was needed that could easily be carved or scratched into the wood used by the carvers, runes were perfect for this since they consist of mostly straight lines linked together. Most uses of runes were nothing more than markers symbolizing ones trademark, or ownership of an item. Later they were altered and more symbols were added as the earth's population grew and it's linguistic skills required more rune symbols and meanings.
Runes were and are written different ways by different folks, some are written left to right, others are written right to left, or up to down, this again shows you that runes hold different meanings to different people.
Now days a lot of folks think the runes were used for magic or such things as divination and fortune telling, this again depends upon the person who reads such meanings into the runes. Years back when the Christian faith was adopted by Europe, the use of the runes fell and they were replaced by the more modern Roman/Latin Alphabet, in fact one letter of the latin alphabet even contain an earlier rune symbol as part of it's language.
Years later as Christianity spread, use of the runes dropped, Church leaders did not understand their meanings and symbols, so they considered them evil or from the devil, this thinking has lasted even to today, and it is the basis for the thinking of modern occultists, druids and new-agers that the runes are magical and can be used in ceremonies or rituals. Even Hitler in his perverted thinking, used symbols of the rune alphabets in the nazi military insignia to supposedly give his army more power, this of course proved foolish as the nazi regime was crushed by other military forces.
But still many folks like using runes today because they are an ancient item, they hold mystique and even occult powers to some folks. I say use them for fun, don't try using them for fortune telling or spell casting, all that stuff is clearly against the true source of power, the power of God and his son Jesus Christ. In fact to show you the weakness of runes for prophecy, modern runes contain a blank rune, this blank rune symbolizes the Unknowable, wouldn't you think that a great source of knowledge or power would know all ? Again, look to the Bible and Jesus Christ for your future, it is the only book of prophecy that has been and will continue to be, 100% accurate.
Some of the common runes used still today, are: 'Elder Futhark', 'Younger Futhark', 'Anglo-Saxon Futhorc', 'Robert's Runes', the later 'Robert's Runes,' has become very popular, as it is the only version of the runes that includes a full english alphabetic translation, which makes writing any english text in runes possible. Robert's Runes are also available as a 'True Type Font' for use on any WINDOWS based computer.