I really love how the Odin’s Aett shields stand out when we’re fighting alongside other groups, that flash of blue and green is really distinctive, and looks great, but there is more to it than that, so here’s a brief description of what our group symbol means.
We are based in Peterborough which is part of East Anglia. The blue and green on the shields represent our home, the green on the left is the land of the east of England the blue on the right is the ocean our Viking ancestors crossed to come here.
On the shields and on our banner you will see our symbol, a bindrune made by overlapping two Othila runes. Othila is the letter O, often associated with Odin so a natural choice given the name of our group.
To the Vikings Othila meant heritage. This could be heritage in a material sense, land and the kind of wealth that is passed from parent to child generation after generation. But runes are never that simple so Othila also embodies the opportunity that comes from being born into privilege, the responsibility that should come with such privilege, the idea of ancestry and belonging to a particular clan or lineage. It includes things like the traits that are passed on in the dna as much as the in jokes and shared memories that let you feel part of the group. It also relates to honour and how reputation matters to you and your associates.
For Odin’s Aett this glyph represents the heritage we have chosen, the history we re-create, the time we spend being as “authentic” as possible. It also represent the bonds of friendship we forge and the feeling of belonging to a re-enactment family. There are two Othila runes to show that there are two equally important focuses for the group, the combat side and the living history side.
Where the Othila runes overlap they create Ingwaz, which is the rune of Ingvi-Frey the God that Anglia derives it’s name from. The Ingwaz rune is said to represent a seed, it’s meaning is fertility, creativity, growth which is what Odin’s Aett aims for, for all of its members. Ingwaz also means potential and it is fitting that potential is found where our interests overlap.
The centre of the bindrune is surrounded by X shapes – the gyfu rune which means gift, or in more abstract terms relationships. This is very much the spirit of the group, both within the group where we all share our knowledge and skills, and at events where we build relationships with other groups and interact with the general public. It’s a circle of friends where all are welcome and we can all learn from each other.
So when I see our group symbol on our shields or banner it makes me think of friendship and family, and how we are coming together to learn and share our knowledge both within the group and with others. It reminds me that we are trying to connect to our ancestors and our history. It lets me know I belong.