The Odrowaz Coat of Arms - The Runes Connection(?)
Written and researched by Margaret Odrowaz-Sypniewska

"The poets taught that runes were discovered by Odin beneath the roots of The Yggdrasill, the sacred ash that holds up the heavens"(Tyson, Donald. Rune Magic. St Paul, MN.: Llewellyn Publications, 1988).

Tyson points to the eddic Havamal in which Odin says:

I trow that I hung on the windy tree,
swing there nights all nine,
gashed with a blade,
bloodied for Odin,
myself a sacrifice to myself--
knotted to that tree,
no man knows
whither the roots of it run.

None gave me bread
none gave me drink,
down to the depths
I peered
to snatch up runes
with a roaring scream
and fell in a dzizzed swoon.

Well-being I won
and wisdom too,
I grew and joyed in my growth--
from a word to a word
I was led to a word,
from a deed to another deed.

Rune means secret. In German it is related to the word for whispering.

The Odrowaz Coat of Arms:

The shield is red, upon which is placed a silver arrow pointing upward, and the bottom of this arrow is divided and curved. Many seem to think the "Legend of the Odrowaz Clan" is pure fable. Another explanation is that the symbols used on Polish Coat of Arms might have a relationship to Runes. This would make sense because of the Viking influence upon all Baltic cultures. Poland's early history records many such raids from the Norsemen. Many cultural customs and lore are similar.

Let's Examine the Runic Possibilities

Tyre (or Tiw) - T was a war god represented by a spear. It stood for victory in battle, and has a masculine connection to the Mars astrological sign.
This is Calc (Cup) - K. This is the reverse of Eolh (defense) - Z. This symbol may stand for chalice or beaker. Cup is a powerful sign and in Tarot is associated with love. The Eolh is the inverted Calc, and was carried by warriors (as a amulet) to protect them in battle.

How different is this from the symbol used on the Odrowaz shield?

If we continue to examine the meaning of Tyr: The god Tiw was the upholder of oaths and legal contracts, renowned for his courage, honor and valor.

The Eolh (defense) was for warding off harm that was thought to represent the talons of a hawk. Inverted it can mean taboo, forbidden, and protection to ward off evil.

Knowing the early history of the Odrowans as clergy and devout men, perhaps this makes sense? They were early on known for the fighting of evil and for their courage to stand for their beliefs by taking an oath to God and Christianity. Notice that the bent legs of this symbol make a red heart inside their borders. Could this be the "Sacred Heart" of Jesus and Mary? The Sacred Heart is often depicted with a sword through it, however, has not an arrow pierced the heart of many a saint? I find it an interesting coincidence that the Runge coat of arms (the one that later took on the Odrowaz coat of arms) had a rose upon it. The rose also stands for the Virgin Mary, as does the "M" (which also resembles the legs of the arrow) stands for the Virgin Mary. In fact, Pope John Paul uses the "M" on his Papal Coat of Arms.

Of course, no one really knows any of this for sure, it is pure conjecture, but it is food for thought, isn't it?

Another theory is that the bottom of the Odrowaz crest stands for the Oder and Swina river delta and the arrow is not not arrow but the roof of a house. Many Odrowaz clan members lived near the Oder River. The Oder Delta is a large lagoon in Poland and Germany encompassing approximately 13000 kmē. The lagoon is surrounded by wetlands and small villages in an agrarian culture landscape with a very rich flora and fauna. It is one of the most important resting and feeding places in the Western-Palearctic migration route and it is a crucial link for migratory birds between east and west. The Polish side of the Oder Delta holds the highest density of White-tailed Eagle in Europe.


[Ecclesiastical Heraldry(including the coat of arms of Pope John Paul II and the Virgin Mary)|The Legend of Jadwiga (which is also called the Legend of the Rose)|The Runge Family (showing their coat of arms and its meaning)]

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