This rune provides the initial letter of Odin’s name and is considered especially sacred to him. Although Othila denotes nobility, and even kingship, it is also a rune of sacrifice.
After all, what modern monarch or head of state could possibly lead a normal life? The very position implies the sacrifice of personal freedom, and in many cases throughout history it has been necessary for such leaders eventually to sacrifice their lives as well. So it was with Odin, who hung himself upon the windy tree to win the knowledge of the runes for the good of all, gods and humankind alike. Until recent times, a king was thought of as representing the luck of his subjects: if he thrived, then so did the land; if he ailed, it was belived that his land and people would suffer. At least modern monarchs do not have to worry about being sacrificed if their powers wane, as was the case in ancient Europe.