Othala Rune Meaning and Ways to Harness Its Ancestral Energy
In this day and age, many of us go about our lives looking to the future. We imagine where we might be in the next decade or two. And imagine if our children will have children. Where they might be and the things they might accomplish. This is our legacy. But often, we don’t look back at the past…at our ancestors. And the sacrifices they made to pave the way for us to have a better life. The Othala rune brings ancestral, legacy energy that benefits all. It is one of the most powerful runes for a few reasons which we will explore here.
First, What are the Runes?
Runes are symbols, often of an alphabetic nature, from ancient cultures and peoples. The Norse Elder Futhark system is one of the most well-known type of ancient runes. And one of which I have studied and continue to study. According to scholars, it was used from the first to eighth centuries CE throughout Northern and Western Europe, but has even older origins. Yes, every rune is linked to a letter in our alphabet, and were used to communicate messages between people and to record important events. But they are much more than that…
There are different types of runic systems within the Norse/Germanic domain. The runic system most rune masters are familiar with is called the Elder Futhark. It is the system used by Vikings and many Norse peoples. The Elder Futhark consists of 24 runes and sometimes an extra blank rune called Wyrd. Each rune we’ve correlated to our letters of the alphabet, and each rune has its own sacred tangible and spiritual significance. Each rune ALSO has a connection to an ancient deity. Some of which we’ve lost over time.
Runes were used to document or record special information, i.e. the name and bloodline of an important person at his or her burial place. They were used to convey and communicate. But, more importantly, the runes held and still hold their own powerful vibrations. Each different from the next. And, as you learn and align with the runes, your own spirit will fuse with each symbol in its own unique way. Meaning, how I feel and attune to the Othala rune might be a completely different stream of thought and experience than how you attune to it. So, keep an open mind and heart.
What is the Othala Rune?
The rune Othala is pronounced OH-thah-lah. It looks like a diamond with legs. Unlike with the rune Algiz, Othala is not linked to any animal that we are currently aware of in modern times. However, it is connected to the home, homeland, and the earth. Unfortunately, Othala is one of those Norse/Germanic symbols that was stolen by the Nazis during World War II and misused to represent something hateful and despicable. Neo-nazis still use it. So, be aware that if you choose to wear it proudly, you may at some point be questioned by those who don’t know better. This is a great teachable moment not to shy away from!
Othala Rune Physical Meanings
Othala is another sacred rune to me and is similar to Algiz in that it connects the spiritual to the physical. It grounds the ancestral realm into our realm. When I was beginning to connect with my ancestry, Othala seemed to pop up everywhere. It was a reminder that I was on the right path – the path of the ancients. Physically, I see Othala as a combination between the Ing rune (which represents male fertility AND the earth) and two legs that ground the energy. It is a door or a portal between us and our ancestors, providing us communion with our past but also ushering in the future. Which is a prosperous, joyful, healthy future with our loved ones.
In ancient times, this rune was linked to the idea of the homeland. One in which the Norse peoples inherited the land that was their ancestors before them. The hope was that the land was blessed by the ancestors and also by the Landvaetirr, Alfar, and Disir. If it was indeed blessesd and the family was smiled upon, the family would be healthy and strong and able to pass the land down to the next generations. This is the basis of Othala.
The Othala Rune Teaches Ancestral Connection
If you’ve never worked with your ancestors, Othala will call to you. If you have problems with your immediate family members that could be resolved, Othala will call to you. Othala teaches to look to our elders, to our past, and to our current relationships in order to bring joy and vitality to our lives. When the Elder futhark is split into Aetts, Othala is actually the last rune. Which makes sense because, as we explored in the story of Angrboda, time is not linear. The past is the future, and other time realities are happening all at once. Which also gives us a look at reincarnation and how we could be our ancestors…we lived our past lives as our own ancestors. We live their legacy.
Othala Rune’s Spiritual Energies:
- Ancestors and Ancestral Connection
- Legacy in future generations
- The Home
- Living off the land
- Domestic contentment
- Good Harvest
- Happy Family
- Health for the elderly
- Marriage or remarriage
- Emotional stability
- Peaceful home
- Happy children and pets
- Successful Marriage
- Finding a new home
How to Use the Othala Rune in Ritual and Daily Life
Your relationship and journey on the path of the Elder Futhark will take you in many unexpected places. Sometimes the path will be rough, and you’ll undergo painful changes. And sometimes the path will be beautiful, peaceful, and wrought with growth. Wherever the Othala rune takes you, be grateful you have been called. Here are some ways I use this rune in my daily life and in sacred ritual and holiday feasts.
Othala In Daily Rituals
The way I was able to harness the power of the Othala rune was by working it into my daily rituals and routines. Elaborate rituals aren’t necessary to learn and connect with the Elder futhark.
1. Draw it in the air
When sitting in traffic or at your desk, bored, focus on the energy of Othala and simply draw it in the air with your finger. If you can’t do that, draw it in your mind. With your mind’s eye. And ask the rune to reveal its most sacred vibrations to you.
2. Draw it on your body
By drawing Othala on your body, you are connecting your physical body with your DNA/mental and emotional bodies. You are asking the ancestors to live through you and help you establish your family’s legacy on this plane of existence. It also provides protection against negative energy, illness, and spirits.
3. Blessing spaces and invoking the ancients
Drawing Othala in the air over your sacred spaces is a simple and effective way of raising the vibrations and invoking the ancients into that space. It can be done on a daily basis, not just before/during official ritual. This is especially important when moved into a new house.
4. In Kitchen Magick
One of my favorite ways to use the runes, especially Othala, is in the kitchen. Then again, I’m a kitchen hearth witch so it’s to be expected. Anyway, if you’d like to try this out, I recommend creating the Othala rune on your food items with condiments, sprinkling spices in the Othala shape over your sauces and stews, and drawing runes in your pie crusts before baking them. This rune brings happiness, protection, prosperity, and peace to the entire household.
Othala Rune In Sacred Ritual, Sacred Space, and for Sabbats
Othala adds an energy to any ritual, working, or sabbat that can’t be compared to any other. Meditate on its true meaning before throwing it into just any ritual. Show Othala the respect it deserves, and you make your ancestors and descendants proud.
1. Carve into your Wand/Staff
One rune that I’ve ensured is carved into my wooden magical tools is this one. I ask my ancestors to join me at nearly every ritual and in my sacred space, and Othala facilitates that union. It imbues its energy into my wooden wand, staff, and my ancestral armoire (an inherited piece of furniture from my grandma).
2. Carve into candles
Any type of spell or working that has to do with the family, household, and prosperity, I will do a candle spell and carve Othala into the wax. I’ve also painted runes on glass jars that house candles to amplify the energy of the working with my ancestors’.
3. Draw in circle and over your altars
While you are in ritual, cast your circle and then draw Othala using salt, powders, flower petals, etc. within the circle to act as a door between you and your bloodline. You may also choose to draw Othala in this way over your altar surface OR paint a picture with this rune and hang it over your altar.
4. As Sabbat Decoration
When the sacred pagan days come ’round, consider adding Othala as a part of the decoration. This is particularly powerful during sabbats that honor the ancestors specifically like on Samhain, Alfablot, and Disablot. Adding this rune to table centerpieces, artwork, wreaths, etc. is the perfect way to harness its energies.
5. Othala for Protection
Where do YOU feel the safest? I hope that it’s within your own home. If it is, Othala is a rune to use as a symbol of protection. It signifies your ancestors and guardians watching over your. As well as draws on the power of your property, family, and household to shield you from harm. Wear as an amulet, draw it on the bottom of your shoes, or carry the rune on your person.
More Runes and Symbols of Power:
- Algiz Rune Meaning and Uses
- The Meaning of the Valknut, Odin’s Valhalla Symbol
- Witchcraft Symbols of Power
- Protection Runes to Use in your Everyday Life and Ritual