Othala – property – How telling that last week Dagaz appeared, the second to last Rune, and this week we greet Othala, the final Rune in the Futhark. Dagaz encouraged us to enjoy the fruit of our work, and now Othala instructs us to take that bliss to heart.
Often concerned with what we own, inherit, then pass on to others, Othala is about our center. What sustains us, what grounds us into Nature and All Things, what carries us when all else crumbles. It’s hard to think in these terms when life is going well. Yet how we develop our awareness in the good times is what allows us to make it through the hard times. Holding to discipline amidst bliss can be as challenging as scrambling to know bliss, at all.
Where Fehu, the first Rune, is about wealth, that which must be tended, collected, accounted for, Othala calls our attention to a different kind of prosperity. With this Rune we focus on the value we have created with our time here, that which will go on long after we’re gone. Othala is about the legacy, the one we pick up and do our best with, and the one we leave for others to step into.
That sounds romantic and fulfilling, yet consider what is passing on. Our smile? Our fears? Our wisdom? Our garden? Our wounds? All of these things have legacies, and they do go on without us. The responsibility of Othala isn’t just about finding and sustaining our own joy, but in determining how we pass it on, deducing that we ‘re passing it on.
In truth, when we touch the face of elation, the miracle of experiencing it is one thing. The grace of sharing it is another.