Monday, November 28, 2011

Do You Understand?

My Occupy Valhalla post from the end of October has received more hits than any other post I've written.  It is an amusing picture and provides some levity to an important issue.  Before I go any further, let me say how impressed I am that this movement has become an international one and that I follow many of these movements (from Occupies across the US and Canada to those in Europe, such as Sweden, Denmark and Britain).  It is a wonderful sign that millions of people "get it".  However, as evidenced by the police actions and media comments, the underlying point of the Occupy Movement is still grossly misunderstood.

This situation made me wonder what can be done to help people to understand better not just the movement but opposing or seemingly opposing views in general.  So, I asked the Runes what we can do to help others understand and I got a very interesting draw - Hagalaz, Thurisaz, Othala/Othila.

Hagalaz, the Rune of Hail is perfect for describing the overview of this heated issue.  I am quoting directly from Sweyn Plowright's book "The Rune Primer", because its interpretation of this Rune fits so well.  "An interesting combination of destructive and creative forces.  The second aett begins here with a change of mood."  Adding to this sentiment is the new age interpretation which calls for change, freedom, invention and liberation.  This is the situation we are trying to get others to understand, whether it's Occupy Wall Street or another difference of opinion or perspective.

The meaning of Thurisaz, our challenge in this question, varies from traditional links to giants and thorns to new age attributions to Thor and gateways.  Either way, Thurisaz is a Rune associated with great power.  Historically, the power has been focused to breakthrough obstacles, which is an appropriate challenge when trying to get someone to open their mind to a different perspective.  Modern interpretation suggests that this Rune, in this instance, requires contemplation before action.  Once the contemplation is complete, we are ready to make our voices heard.  It is challenging, indeed, to channel the power of so many into a single message when that message encompasses such a variety of issues.

With Othala as our action, we have the Rune of Inheritance.  Here, I quote from the new age interpretation in Ralph Blum's "The Book of Runes".  "Old skins must be shed, outmoded relationships discarded."  Traditional meanings support this idea claiming that we have a right to enjoy our inheritance, that which we have worked for, that which our ancestors fought to ensure we would have.  To be able to take this action, we must face the challenge and channel our power around what the Occupy Movement represents on a larger scale.

While this draw focused on the Occupy Movement and how to get people to understand its goal a little better, this draw is applicable in getting people to understand you more generally.  Remember, different perspectives are not always openly or immediately accepted and require a change in thinking.  How do we get others to change their thinking on a given subject and how do we do it ourselves?  We use our voice and present well-thought out information, realizing that the path to understanding requires us to offer the same openness to others that we expect in sharing our perspectives with them.  How do we do that without becoming confrontational and argumentative?  By keeping in mind that our perspective is based on history and learning from both its mistakes and successes.

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