Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Perceived symbolism and the power of red

A red Othala on black background was a Langobard symbol
Recently I crafted two symbols out of popsicle sticks for a wooden fence. I selected the Odal Rune and the Pentagram due to them being fairly easy to construct. I started with the Othala. I drilled a few holes, attached them with thin wire, tightened them with twine, spray painted it bright red, and attached it to the door of a fence leading out to a deck. It showed up nicely against the stained wood. A proud symbol of my Langobard heritage, as the red Othala was actually on the old flag of Langbard, right? Not necessarily.

A few days later, I happened to turn on the Investigation Discovery channel. On one of their many programs, there was a case of a group of neo-Nazis, somewhere, someplace. On their "compound" were certain flags and symbols, such as Swastikas. Although there were no Odal Runes, and actually there are relatively few used by so-called "neo-Nazis," it not totally unheard of for them to be used in places like that. I was a little bit confused as I pondered my flaming red Odal Rune featured soo prominently on the fence. The color red is a powerful symbol in of itself, and I believe clearly to the Langobards it did literally symbolize "blood and nation" in a tribal sense. It also may symbolize other concepts, such as "connection to the land," "the family/clan homestead," or "harmony with nature." Of course, if it was most any other symbol, this wouldn't even be an issue.

The Pentacle, a very ancient symbol
After a week of occasional thought about this, I decided to repaint it an "Earth color," which was dark green... more symbolizing a connection to the land. I also thought about the Pentagram, or what Guido von List called "the Vehme star rose." I thought perhaps I could at least paint that red? Upon pondering that question, it occurred to me that this symbol too... could be perceived by some as "Satanic." After all, Satanists do use red "inverted Pentagrams." Was I actually going to be intimidated by possible perceptions again? I eventually decided to paint it another Earth color... dark blue. Blue is a color of water and sky, and fits well with the five elements. Also, it is a color of magic.. like red or purple.

Being that the new colors were a good fit for the energy I wanted to use, I was not displeased by the changes. However, it still brought up the issue of false "projections" which are placed on people by others. To me, the whole idea of "losing cultural symbols" is a big issue. Someone could just as well argue that the Odal rune and the Vehme star were symbols of certain cultures which were victims of cultural genocide themselves! Why aren't those facts "projected" for public consumption as many others always are? Nobody seems to complain very much about Communist symbols; they only took out a couple of hundred million people in the last century.

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