Following on from my article on the Runes a couple of weeks ago, today sees the first article in a new series on the Runes and the possibilities they present when seeking a name, especially a Pagan name.
Let us start at the very beginning — a very good place to start!
The first letter of the runic alphabets is F:
*Fehu meant ‘wealth’ and ‘cattle’, and is the ultimate source of modern English fee, which still carried the sense of ‘cattle’ as late as the 16th Century. Wild fee was an old term meaning ‘deer’.
This connection between cattle and wealth runs very deep in the Indo-European consciousness — the parallel can also be found in Latin with pecu ‘cattle’ and pecunia ‘money’, while the association of wealth and cattle in pre-Christian Ireland is behind one of the most famous of all Old Irish literature, the Táin Bó Cúailnge ‘Cattle Raid of Cooley’.
Interestingly, in the runic poems about Feoh, emphasis is laid on wealth as a source of strife, and how there are always those waiting for an opportunity to steal it — as well as the need to be generous.
Naturally then, when reading Runes today, Feoh is associated with material good fortune — but doesn’t loose sight of the sting in the tail — material wealth can be lost, as well as gained.
It also carries other meanings through association — good luck, success — even happiness. Some consider it too to signify fertility, creativity, and the need for perseverance and to exert oneself to achieve your potential.
As a name, Feoh, Fehc and Fehu are probably so ‘way out there’ that they would be in orbit (true of a lot of the names of the Runes were they to be used as they are!). But Fé and Fee have very interesting possibilities…
In Portuguese, fé means ‘faith’. While fée is the French for ‘fairy’, the source of English Fay.
Fee itself is commonly found as a short form of Fiona and Felicity.
There are also plenty of names which reflect Feoh’s extended meanings relating to wealth, good fortune, success and happiness. My picks from around the world are:
- Adeola — Yoruba meaning “crown of wealth.”
- Aston — English surname of various origins, including the Old English personal name Eadstan < ēad “rich” + stan “stone.”
- Chance — surname and word of obvious meaning!
- Ede – From Old English ēad “rich” and “happy”; used as a personal name in its own right in medieval times, as well as featuring in many compound names, such as Edith, Edmund, Edward, Edwin, etc.
- Felicity — from Latin felicitas “happiness.” Felicitas is the Roman personification of happiness and good fortune.
- Felix — Latin meaning, among many other things, “fortunate” and “happy.”
- Fortuna — Latin: fortuna “fortune,” “fate,” “chance,” and “luck” — personified as a Goddess.
- Fortuné — See Mer de Nom’s great critique here!
- Gad – Hebrew: gad “fortune.” There is also a Mesopotamian God called Gad, whose name is from the same Semitic root.
- Otto — from the Old German: uod “wealth” and “riches” (cognate with the Old English ēad).
- Plutarch — Greek: ploutos “wealth” + arkhos “leader.” The name of a famous Pagan Greek historian.
- Siddharth — Sanskrit: siddhārtha “one whose goal has been achieved” — the birth name of the Buddha.
- Soraya — Persian name from Arabic thuriyyah “rich” and thuriyya “wealthy” (also Persian name for the Pleiades).
- Tomiko — Japanese tomi “riches,” “wealth,” and “fortune” + ko “child.”