Othala Rune Meaning

The Othala rune, also called the Odal rune, is a Norse rune that is primarily associated with heritage, tradition, property, and other things received from one's ancestors. Used in a variety of Norse cultures, the Othala rune continues to serve as a reminder of the importance of one's family and homeland.

The Othala is the most popular rune across the Germanic, Anglo-Saxon, and Nordic cultures. It represented the -o sound in the oldest runic alphabet, Elder Futhark.

The Othala or Odal rune is also in the shape of an angular letter -o and has two ribbons or legs coming out from the lower half on either side. It symbolizes many things but primarily represents ancestors and their inheritance. 

The Meaning Of The Othala Rune 

Since the Othala rune has links to ancestors, it also relates to the things passed down from them. It can include property, inheritance, traditions, family, and the connection with lineage. 

The rune invites people to discover and embrace every aspect of their heritage, whether material or spiritual. Othala rune also emphasizes giving attention to mental and physical wealth and the existing boundaries.

The heritage rune also sheds light on family, property, and homeland. It invites you to pay more attention to inherited values present in life and cross personal boundaries to connect with your heritage. 

Othala also reminds you to strengthen ties with your family and accept yourself and your heritage. You can try to hide from your inheritance or even try to change; however, you can’t move away from it since it is an integral part of you. 

You can instead use it to improve and accomplish more when you realize all you already have. 

Othala is the rune that relates to home or inheritance and fixed wealth. In ancient times, Odal, a Swedish term, was designated to a property that you couldn’t divide merely for inheritance but must pass on as a whole to whoever is first in line. This person was called an ‘odalsman.’ 


History Of The Othala Rune

The old Norse rune is associated with Yggdrasil, the sacred mythical ash tree or the Tree of Life according to Norse mythology which connects nine worlds. It represents heritage and spiritual and material wealth that you have and uses for growth, development, and prosperity.

The name of this rune comes from the reconstructed Proto-Germanic word ‘ōþala,’ which means inherited estate or inheritance and heritage.

Although it was not a part of the Younger Futhark, a derivation of the Elder Futhark, it also disappeared from Scandinavian records but continued to be used in England. 


What’s The Othala Rune Meaning In Love?

The Elder Futhark rune focuses primarily on family ties that come from heritage. It helps people remember to take care of their inherited relationships and strengthen family ties. 

It urges people to respect the relationships they have in life. People must act nobly and share their love with the community. They must stay loyal and love family and partners, and work on achieving a peaceful and harmonious life.

What’s Othala’s Inverted Or Reversed Meaning?

Reversed Othala rune is a warning about neglecting things, wasting resources, or foolish spending. It concerns everything from property to material values, relationships to talents, and even inborn qualities misused or without respect. 

Othala also emphasizes maintaining mental and physical boundaries. When reversed, Othala invites you to inspect all the boundaries around you.

Othala Rune In Tarot Reading

As per holistic rune readings, Othala can mean designating a home or fixed wealth, and also take the deeper meaning’ home is where the heart is.’ It also signifies heaven, which is apt for the final rune of the row.


Other Uses Of The Othala Symbol

The odal rune symbol had many modern uses as well. It was among the symbols opted for by the Nazi party during WWII in Germany. The symbol means nobility, aristocracy, or superior race, which is why it became the emblem of Nazi groups or ethnic German military. 

These emblems depicted the rune with extra wings or feet or wings. Later, the Neo-Nazi Wiking-Jugend used it in Germany, along with the Boeremag, Anglo-Afrikaner Bond, the Blanke Bevrydingsbeweging in South Africa, and the National Vanguard of the Neo-Fascist group in Italy, among many others.

Due to these negative implementations, the Odal rune became a symbol of hate. It features an outlawed symbol in the German criminal code under Strafgesetzbuch section 86a, along with other symbols like the Swastika. 

Othala Symbol in Literature

Many literary works also mention the Othala symbol. For instance, it was a protection rune depicted in the books and movie series Shadowhunters by Cassandra Clarke. 

It was also mentioned in the Magnus Chase, the series by Rick Riordan called the Gods of Asgard, the Sleepy Hollow TV show, the Worm web serial, and others. Odal, as a term, has also been the title of numerous songs. 

Othala relates to the individual as well as a collective inheritance. It talks about the ancestor’s land, inherited wealth, and traits passed through DNA, language, and culture. 

The Viking rune speaks to people as the nature of individual human beings and the shared history that leads everyone back to a single origin point. 

For more on Viking runes, check out this article on Viking Runes and their meanings.


Vanessa's liberal arts background has prepared her well for Symbol Scholar. A self-proclaimed theology nerd, Vanessa has interests in world religions, Reformation theology, history, and more. When she's not working, Vanessa enjoys spending time with her family, reading, exercising, and watching professional basketball.

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