The Vine

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Turn the Peace Sign Rightside Up

This is something I have been meaning to tell you about for some time! The peace sign is upside down! Let me explain:

T offered to teach a class - Introduction to the Runes. Runes, an ancient magical alphabet of the Norse and Germanic peoples, which most of us became acquainted with on the cover of "The Hobbit There, Back Again" in the 8th grade.

The class was fascinating from beginning to end, and T had a factual, historical skeptical/agnostic openmindedness towards her spiritual studies that I could relate to. Iconoclasm might have been one of my first spiritual tendencies, so when she told us that the peace symbol was upside down symbol meaning the reverse of its intention, I was all ears.

If you look at the peace sign from the Norse/Runic interpretation, it is the opposite of the Algiz rune for life. I had previously heard of it as the rune for protection, but the story doesn't change. According to her story, the symbol was adopted for the Anti-Vietnam peace cause erroniously. The symbol in its reversed position, T told us, was an attempt by unidentified Allied forces to force SS out of hiding by pamplet bombing hideout cities after the war. To the SS (who knew and used runes) it would be the upside-down (inversed, opposite) rune for protection, a spell against protection and life. But because of the context in which it arrived, at a time of deliverance and end of war, the rest of us missed the psych-op message and took it directly as the symbol for the end of WWWII, i.e., peace.

Therefore, according to T, my source, the peace symbol is a rune, a powerful magial symbol, being misused. It is the symbol for death, and if you look at the peace symbol and compare it to Algiz you can see the picture it makes. Algiz upright looks like a stick figure of a human being with head and arms spread and upraised. Life and joy of being alive. When you turn Algiz upside down, (to resemble the peace sign) it looks like a human diving down into the earth, diving into the grave. It was a psych-op warning from the Allies to the Rune-reading SS that they would not be alive much longer because they would be hunted to death.

"Could that be why the peace symbol hasn't worked so well?" I asked. "Hmmm, hmmm, you have to wonder, don't you, said our teacher T, smiling on one side of her face.

One of the students for T's class, of of the deep wise age of 13, came in a few weeks later, and looked at some peace sign window decals we had on display, which were displayed in the usual peace-symbol orientation. "Can I turn the peace symbols rightside up?" she asked. "Go for it!" I said. Maybe we all should. It couldn't hurt.


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