Othala rune


Traditional meaning: homeland

Meanings when upright:

Meanings when inverted:

Othala can be useful for:

Anglo-Saxon rune poem:

Eþel byþ oferleof æghwylcum men,
gif he mot ðær rihtes and gerysena on
brucan on bolde bleadum oftast.
An estate is very dear to every man,
if he can enjoy there in his house
whatever is right and proper in constant prosperity.

There is not a Norwegian rune poem for Othala.

A modern poem:

I fear I am being driven mad
by forces I do not understand,
have no hopes of coming to terms with,
much less explaining to kin and kith
this world that I belong to,
these spirits I must be in league with.

For this is
the inheritance
of my blood,
this homeland I carry everywhere I go
and cannot ever hope to escape from.

These three errant and conflicting strains
each with its own legitimate claim
over my body, my heart, my soul.

There's a fourth that dormant within me resides,
but it hasn't reared its head in a very long time.
Neither do I miss it, no blessing it could give
but instead the curse of a biological imperative
that I would sooner from me excise.

Unlike my siblings of lives long gone by,
I do not accept that it is my duty
to create a world and in the process die.
What is the point, if at the end,
I am not still living?
What is the point of fulfilling it when,
if I perished in the process, you could never be happy?

If one of them could awake from oblivion
and on this gnarly life of mine pass judgment,
what would they say?

"How well you retained a sense of individuality.
Tell me, Lethe, would you consider yourself among the happy?
Was it worth the sleepless nights, the gut twists, the migraines,
all to your duty as a Meridian abdicate?"

And to that, I would take my lover's hand
and whisper, "Yes, I think the aches
in my bones will be worth the wait.
Maybe you never knew this, sibling.
Maybe you never understood
homes don't have to be built by sacrifice
and I don't think they should.
I don't know what gave birth to me
or if of life they'd still think me worthy,
but I care not. My lover
is the only standard
I recognize,
and this new world built by these
hands of mine
the only homeland."