Uncle Thor's Lessons, Anecdotes and Humor


Rune Musings: The Odal Rune – No Borrowed Ancestors

Odal – No Borrowed Ancestors

Being adopted, I had a hard time connecting with MY ancestors. For several reasons, I could not and would not borrow the lineage of my adoptive family.

I was not going to fuss over honoring borrowed ancestors.

Finding a lineage of my own came in an odd and wonderful way. Audrey and I were looking at the old veterans’ gravestones at Tennent Church. Many casualties from the Battle of Monmouth are buried there. We were looking at stones from those who had died after the War. At the start, some were marked Continental Line. Others were marked NJ Militia. From there it went to later wars, such as the War of 1812, Mexican War, Civil War, etc.

That was where I found my lineage. The Continental Line was the regular Army of the Revolution. The Militia was the predecessor of the National Guard. I had served both in the regular Army and the National Guard, and felt a connection. Here was a lineage that fit me. I am part of that line of American soldiers stretching from the old militia to the present.

There are other groups that give a sense of precedence and continuity. Members have the feeling of being part of a tradition that predates them. These may be fraternal groups such as the Freemasons or Elks, veterans groups like the American Legion, various occult groups, and religious societies like the Knights of Columbus. I should note that only a few of the aforementioned groups and others like them are over 100 years old. Nonetheless, each has its traditions which help establish a feeling of continuity among members. They have a lineage, whether short or long.

The idea of ancestry and lineage connects us to the past and present. Instead of being a lone thing, it gives us a sense of belonging to something that was ours before we were born. For most people, it is easy. They have a family lineage. For others, a sense of continuity from a precedent must be discovered.

Being without a familial lineage, I am more cognizant of the need for a connection to some precedent. Fortunately, I found more than one.


My wife can trace her ancestors back to the 14th century. Through marriage, I have become part of her family tree. I can’t borrow her ancestors, but I do have a small place in the scheme of things.


What of past lives? That is a difficult thing to undertake. Better to find something in your present life on which you can find it.


Family is a nebulous subject for me. I know there is a natural family from which I came, but I have no contact with them. I can’t trace ancestors past my birthday. As to my adopted family, their lineage is not mine. They have not been an active presence in my life for a long time. Then again, who really matters? My answer to this comes from a lifetime of experience.

The people who matter in life are the people who love you and are there for you. And even if you have not seen some of them for years, they are still your people. That is the truth. Family or not, those who do not care for you and those who do not want you may as well be strangers. Focus your goodwill and best intentions on those who love you and show it. They are the people who deserve you. And always remember: actions speak louder than words. A lot of people talk, but the ones who count are the ones who show it in what they do.


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Here is a set of Rune attributes using an interesting version of the Futhark. We contiue to use our old names for the Runes rather than proto-Germanic.

Rune Interpretations

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