Othala is Not a Hate Symbol

Absolutely agree with Galina. It’s sickening and infuriating to see hate groups prevert our symbols, and we should *NOT* stand for it.

Gangleri's Grove

1200px-Runic_letter_othalanI saw someone on Facebook today opining that the tattoo they’d gotten so proudly to honor their Gods was now being taken over by a neo-Nazi group. No. Many things can be corrupted and coopted but it doesn’t change the inherent nature of those things. It may alter our perceptions, yes, but othala remains othala, a conduit to a rune spirit of tremendous power, one that has nothing to do with our contemporary politics. It is only lost to hate groups if we allow it to be.

This rune is the rune of lineage and tribe, of tradition, of connection to our forebears, of right order. By that latter, I mean sacred covenants (with Gods, ancestors, land) in place and active. It is a rune of protection, of nurturing and nourishing the family, community, and all tribal bonds. It is that which keeps a community healthy, hale, and whole.  Those…

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2 Responses to Othala is Not a Hate Symbol

  1. Eddie says:

    Agree. I dated a woman who is Asatru and has a Othala rune tattoo. She absolutely is racist, with a hate and distrust of anyone who isn’t white. But to say that Othala is this limited meaning is like saying that a knife is only for stabbing people in the back, ignoring its use in crafting, slicing bread, field cleaning game, whittling, etc.

    I have a prominent Sowilo, four inches, on my lower arm. I do get looks. But me person asked me if I was a Nazi. Instead of getting angry at the person (I knew the choice I was making in getting the tat), I smiled and used it as an opportunity to educate. People that know me haven’t batted an eye, as one person told me “I thought it was a racist symbol, but I know you aren’t, so I figured it meant something else”. In the end, our actions build out reputation.

    I’ve mentally rehearsed coming upon an angry person that is yelling at me about my “nazi” tattoo (again, the Sowilo rune) and I rehearse in my mind a calm reaction . I congratulate them on calling out nazis publicly. I then explain that I too dislike nazis and even joined the military and will fight nazis, commies, and other enemies of liberty. Yup, I hate nazis and wasn’t it great when we kicked their asses in WW2? Then move into an education piece about Sowilo.

    I’ve rehearsed this in my mind, the same as I’ve rehearsed clearing rooms for the Army.

    Pagan and proud.

    • I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to respond, I’ve been unbelievably busy lately as I getting ready to move. Congratulations on standing as an educator, it’s an important (and sometimes challenging) job that the Pagan community needs. I also do the mental rehearsing thing, both for Pagan-related situations and just general. I feel its a good way to prepare yourself for situations that might be emotionally stressful, and then it can help you to (hopefully) keep calm when it comes up. In general the worst usually doesn’t happen, but I also feel better knowing that I am already prepared to respond if it does.

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