This is the first day of the fortnight (May 29-June 13) governed by the rune Odal. Its phonetic value is “O” and its literal meaning is “ancestral land,” or more specifically the homestead, homeland, or family land.
In early use, this rune indicated the land of birth in the narrow sense of the immediate locality where the tribe or clan dwelt. Land was important to the Germans. Families preferred to live some distance from one another rather than clustered together in villages and towns. So they cleared a wide swath around the house, probably as a defense against surprise attacks. The origin of the Odal rune form may have been suggested by such clearings.
In its form as an enclosure to delimit possession—a boundary to defend the holy family enclosure from unholy intruders—Odal represents the qualities of belonging, togetherness, ancestral heritage, and those family attributes that are passed on from generation to generation. Odal’s meaning is essentially spiritual in origin and is ultimately derived from the divine ancestry and the past actions of the ancestors.
It is significant to note that the enclosure pictured in Odal, like Ing, integrates the rune Gyfu (X), which signifies an exchange of gifts. This perfectly conveys the meaning of Odal as something built upon mutual exchange and satisfaction. This is, of course, the foundation for all happy homes.
The Odal rune may be related to the Trollkors, or Troll’s Cross, a symbol made of iron or precious metal that was used in Sweden as a pendant on necklaces for women and children or carved onto valuable objects. According to rural Swedish folklore, it was believed to protect what was precious against trolls and other malevolent forces.
Odal is linked to a land-ownership concept in Scandinavia which held that certain land was immobile wealth—that is, that the land could be transferred out of the family or clan only with certain strings attached. It took 60 years for property to become Odal land and to be governed by this principle. Even if were sold, the original family had the right to buy back their ancestral lands for an additional 60 years.
Odal signifies the innate material and spiritual heritage of anything, not just land. It is a symbol of resistance against the intrusion of the arbitrary rule of human governments: it signifies integrity, the wise management of family resources, the liberty of the individual and clan within the framework of natural law, and loyalty to ones’ family or kin. Odal is the rune of material prosperity and well-being.
Odal encourages leadership in clan or family matters and, its polarity being male, may refer to an elder or patriarch such as a grandparent, or in business matters, a founding father of the company. The wisdom of Odal encourages teaching, mentoring, or other methods of passing along accumulated wisdom, knowledge, and tradition.
Magically, Odal can be used to invoke a solid and peaceful family or group life. Odal may be used to protect, increase, or establish an inheritance or heritage intended for future generations. Cast with favor, it brings increase; cast with malice, it brings loss. It can also provide a link to ancestral wisdom through inherited natural skills and abilities.
Groove of the Day
85° and Clear