Cirth Runes

Cirth runes are the creation from the imagination of J.R.R. Tolkien. Tolkien created many languages throughout his life who wrote in one of his letters that the tales of Middle-earth (The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarilion) grew from these languages, rather than the languages being created for use in the stories. Tolkien also created a number of different alphabet to write his languages - he modelled Cirth on Anglo-Saxon and Norse Runes. Its function in his stories is for inscriptions in wood and stone, just as Runes were used in the real world.

One final thought, The word rune (Old English run) is not merely a form or writing but stirs the imagination and conjures up many possible attributes to it, such senses as 'whisper'; 'mystery'; and 'secret', suggesting that the symbols were originally used for magical or mystical rituals. Anyone who actually understands historical linguistics will realise that it is fundamentally unshaken and that it has cultural implications, even if the age has long since gone when we could envisage Indo European warriors sweeping away earlier populations by force of arms.  This is very much the case where history is determined by the victorious in battle? The real knowledge of runes it seems lies logically with the warrior classes or at least by those who are capable of surviving conflict?

Celtic runes

Celtic runes are a neo-pagan modern terminology for the Irish Ogham alphabet. Ogham is thought to be named after the Irish god Ogma. One theory of its origins is that it evolved out of a system of tallies used for accounting. Ogham is also known as or ogham craobh, beth luis fearn or beth luis nion. As you can plainly see, the Ogham is not a runic system per se.

Runic Rosary/Heathen Prayer Beads?

Arguments have been posted on the internet suggesting the existence or possibility of a heathen "runic rosary" more popular coined by neo-pagans as "Brisingamen Beads"? I am of the opinion that due to a lack of any archaeological evidence, this is just a personal gnosis. I am not saying that heathens did not pray, just not ancient Germanics with runic rosaries and in this manner. Heathens did indeed pray as suggested by the Second Merseburg Charm. This charm in Old High German which dates from around 750 CE and runs as follows:

 1. Once the Idisi set forth, to this place and that;
    Some fastened fetters; some hindered the horde,
    Some loosed the bonds from the brave --
    Leap forth from the fetters! Escape from the foes!

 2. Phol and Wodan rode into the woods,
    There Balder's foal sprained its foot.
    It was charmed by Sinthgunt, her sister Sunna;
    It was charmed by Frija, her sister Volla;
    It was charmed by Wodan, as he well knew how:
    Bone-sprain, like blood-sprain,
    Like limb-sprain:
    Bone to bone; blood to blood;
    Limb to limb -- like they were glued.

 Ref: Merseburg Incantations (Merseburger Zaubersprüche)

This charm is amazingly similar to the Christianized charms used in the magical healing traditions of German speaking regions, which persists to this day as the Pow Wow healing magic of the Pennsylvania Dutch country. Such charms are not made up on the spot: an old charm, passed down through the generations, is considered most powerful.

Loosening runes?

Þat kann ek it fiórða  I know the forth
ef mér fyrðar bera  if men fasten
bönd at bóglimum  locks on my limbs
svá ek gel I sing a spell
at ek ganga má --- so I may step free ---
sprettr mér af fótum fjöturr the fetters snap off my feet
en af höndum hapt the hasp off my hands!

Hávamál stz 149

Bede substitutes a superstitious interpretation of the loosening bonds being caused by written spells with the central Christian rite of the recitation of the mass, replacing an older cultural hermeneutics and teaching us how to read the miraculous from a Christian perspective. It is not even clear whether Bede is referring to runes in this episode, or to a generic superstition about the act of writing and the power of words, and his reluctance to elaborate on the fable may well constitute an ‘act of literary suppression’ as Seth Lerer suggests (1991: 39). The Old English translation, however, seeks to make some sense of this allusion to litteras solutorias through the concept of written characters and the ‘releasing rune’: 
Ond hine ascode hwæðer he ða alysendlecan rune cuðe, and þa stafas mid him awritene hæfde, be swylcum men leas spel secgað and spreocað, þæt hine mon forþon gebindan ne meahte. 
‘And he asked him whether he knew the releasing rune, and had with him the letters written out, such as men tell idle tales of and speak about, so that, for this reason, he could not be bound.’
(Old English Version of Bede’s Ecclesiastical History 4/22: 328)

There is considerable uncertainty as to the earliest purpose of the runes, whether they were originally used as real characters of writing, or, as the name suggests, as mystical signs, bearers of potent magic. But, since the power and force of the spoken word easily pass into the symbol for which it stands, it is not improbable that the latter meaning is secondary, the spell becoming, so to speak, materialised in the graven letter, and, even in this form, retaining all its original power for good or evil. For the earliest Germanici literature abounds in proofs of the magic nature of runes; from the Edda poems down to the latest folk-songs of the present day there is continuous evidence of their mystic influence over mankind. Runes could raise the dead from their graves; they could preserve life or take it, they could heal the sick or bring on lingering disease; they could call forth the soft rain or the violent hailstorm; they could break chains and shackles or bind more closely than bonds or fetters; they could make the warrior invincible and cause his sword to inflict none but mortal wounds; they could produce frenzy and madness or defend from the deceit of a false friend. Their origin was, moreover, believed to be divine, since Odin is represented in the Edda as sacrificing himself in order to learn their use and hidden wisdom.

Ref: The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21). Volume I. From the Beginnings to the Cycles of Romance.  Runes in Scandinavian and Old English Literature.

Spiegelrunen or mirror-runes also belong to the enigmatic category. Mirror-runes are those which are in fact double-sided versions of one rune. Sometimes they consist of one hasta with symmetrical twigs, pockets or loops on either side, in such a way that the rune gives the impression of being mirrored such as [Fig 1]. Others show the same shape on the upper and lower part [Fig 2]: or to the right and left [Fig 3]. These runes should be read as one rune, not as two. These peculiar rune shapes are sometimes refered to as ‘ornamental runes'
 Ref: (Pieper 1987; Looijenga 1995a)

Rune pouches
As far as I am aware, there is no current scholarly consensus (validated) about exactly when or where the runic alphabet originated from or whether it was created within a single timeframe of someone’s life. The likelihood that runes evolved from other writing systems is a possibility but the daunting task lies in positively establishing the tribe of peoples who first used and sounded these symbols. But it is clear that runic writing arose from the contact the Germanic-speaking peoples had with the cultures of the Mediterranean, where the idea of alphabetic writing came about, and that some of the runic characters, though not the order of the alphabet, demonstrate the influence of Mediterranean writing?
 
Likewise the notion that fuÞark runes were carried around in convenient rune pouches is a very modern one whose consensus stemmed from the early 70s when the New Age renaissance surrounding all things mystical or magical was in popular demand by authors who know very little about the true nature of runes or their historical usage actual. For the record and in my opinion, runes historical were never carried in pouches but rather within the minds of those who wielded them, created once only each time on sticks, not stones and destroyed in the fire afterwards.