The runes I use in my work are called the "Elder Futhark" runes. Named "Futhark" after the first 6 runic letters, and "Elder" because they are the oldest of their kind (that we know of), the origin of these runes is mysterious. However we know that they are ancient, dating back to their first known use in the Iron Age. Not much is known about the Indo-European culture that created this runic system, but they went on to influence the Germanic Language Group, and it is believed that their stories eventually evolved into Norse Mythology.
Throughout the centuries, and throughout Europe, these runes were used as divination tools. By the time of the Viking Age, the Younger Futhark alphabet had been developed as the more common writing system by the Scandinavian people, but the Elder Futhark was still used by the "völva" (professional oracles or seeresses), and its spiritual use was not confined by the borders of Scandinavia. The Elder Futhark runes continued to be used for their spiritual properties after the Viking Age, and have since influenced countless spiritual practices.
When it comes to the meanings of the runes, we look to the many versions of Rune Poems that have been written throughout time, and across Germanic cultures. The most popular source of information is the Icelandic Sagas, but there are also Old Norwegian and Old English Rune Poems. They all give a different perspective to the meaning of these old symbols, and none are considered to be "the right one".
If you are reading this, you may be interested in incorporating these ancient tools into your practice. It's important to note that there is no "right way" to work with the runes. Do some reading, ask questions, and develop your own practice. We welcome you with open arms.
This chart gives my own personal interpretations of the rune meanings, that I have found through my own practice and research. These interpretations are my attempt at boiling down layers of complicated meaning into a one-word, easily accessible definition. Use it as a jumping-off point for your own practice, with the knowledge that it's just the tip of the iceberg.