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Thread: The Icelandic Magical Staves

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    Senior Member Elín's Avatar
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    Post The Icelandic Magical Staves



    Helm of Awe
    Ćgishjálmur


    This sign exists in various forms though all are a variation of crosses with three-forked ends. It is mentioned in the Eddic heroic poetry and was a fear inducer and protection against the abuse of power. It was to be carved in lead and pressed on one's forehead. The version above is in the county seal for the Strandir region.

    Necropants
    Nábrókarstafur


    These were made with the intact skin of the lower part of the human body, dug up from a church yard. When worn they will become undistinguishable from one's own skin. The stave should be kept in the scrotum along with a coin stolen from a poor widow. Money will then constantly be drawn into the scrotum.

    To find a thief
    Ţjófastafur


    If you want to know who has stolen from you, carve this stave on the bottom of of a wooden bowl, fill it with clean water and sprinkle yarrow over it.

    Recite:
    I invoke the nature of the grass and the power of the sign to reveal who has stolen from me and others.

    The thief's face will appear in the bowl.

    (From an Icelandic medical text in a 17th century manuscript (AM 434a 12mo, in the Arnemagnean Collection in Reykjavík).

    Wrestling Staves
    Gapaldur og Ginfaxi


    These two staves were kept in the shoes, Gapaldur under the heel of the right foot and Ginfaxi under the toes of the left foot, to ensure victory in bouts of Icelandic wrestling (glíma).

    Angurgapi

    This sign was found carved on the lid or the bottom of a barrel. Its purpose is unclear.

    A Fishing Stave
    Veiđistafur


    This stave should be drawn in wren's blood on a caul with a pen made of a raven's feather. Then put it in a gimlet hole under the prow of your ship and you will always have a good catch.

    Trade Clincher
    Kaupaloki


    To prosper in trade and business carve this sign on a tablet of beech and carry it on your breast.

    (From a privately owned 19th century manuscript.)

    Water Protector
    Vatnahlífir


    This stave should be kept under your right arm. It is a helpful amulet when crossing dangerous rivers.

    Staves for Sharpening
    Brýnslustafir


    The sign at the top is to be laid over a sharpening stone and the bottom one under it. Then cover for a while with a piece of turf. The next time you sharpen your scythe turn it away from the sun and never look straight at the edge.

    Dreamstaves
    Draumstafir


    Carve these on silver or white leather on Midsummer's Night. Sleep on them and you will dream what you desire when the sun is close to the horizon.

    Valdemar's Protection Stave
    Varnarstafur Valdemars


    The sign increases favour and happiness if it is treated correctly. If somebody intends evil against you, lay it out with the gut of a plaice on the membrane inside a hen's egg and then place it inside your hat.

    Fear Inducer
    Óttastafur


    To scare your enemy carve this on oak and throw it before his feet.

    A Killing Rune
    Dreprún


    This stave is to be written on a piece of paper and if a man has insulted you without reason, throw it where his horse has trodden and cover it. Some of his livestock will then die.

    (From an Icelandic grimoire from the 17th century, in AntikvThorburn-Topografiska Arkivet in Stockholm.)

    To make a Woman Pregnant
    Feingur


    If you want a girl to became pregnant by yourself then carve this sign on a piece of cheese and feed it to her.

    Lockbreaker
    Lásabrjótur


    To open a lock without a key, have in your mouth a man's bellyfat, stolen from the graveyard; and lay the staff upon the lock you wish to open. Then blow into the keyhole and intone:

    I blow into the lock 'til its cylinder rattles and roars,
    while hissing a bellyfat whistle.
    May the fiend's foul breath blow fierce into the keyhole;
    may the trolls tear it open;
    may Puck's partisan imps pull it apart.
    Bend back the bolt, all ye devil's urchins;
    spring the shackle, all ye scoundrel spirits.


    To Get a Girl
    Ađ fá stúlku


    This sign should be written in the palm of your right hand with blood from the tip of the thumb on the left hand. Take the girl's hand and recite: My hand I lay in yours, my will in yours. May your bones burn lest you love me as much as I love you. These words shall be as passionate and powerful as eternity. All magic and sorcery turn your mind towards love of me and may all those who inhabit supterranean abodes assist me in this.

    To Open Hills
    Hólastafur


    Carve this character on a pole of rowan. Paint the lines with blood from under your tongue. Knock on hills or rocks with the rowan and they will open.

    A Stave to Raise the Dead
    Stafur til ađ vekja upp draug


    This sign can be used to wake from the dead, to exterminate a ghost, and it also has the power to drive away evil spirits. It must be carved on the skin of a horse's head with a mixture of blood from a seal, a fox, and a man. This verse must be recited with it:

    Ţykkt blóđ, ţreytast rekkar.
    Ţjóđ mörg vos öld bjóđa,
    grand heitt, gummar andast,
    glatast auđur, firrast snauđir.
    Hćtt grand hrćđast dróttir
    hríđ mörg, vesöld kvíđa,
    angur vćnt, ćrnar skćrur.
    Illur sveimur nú er í heimi.


    A Lesser Circle of Protection
    Rosahringur minni


    Rosahringur must be carved on the flesh side of the skin of a brown bitch. Then colour the carving with the blood of a black tomcat which has been killed under a full moon. This is a powerful protection against ghosts and witchcraft. It helps to recite: I crave help from the earth, victory from the sun, happiness from the moon, assistance from the stars, and strength from the gods.

    If the sign is to be used against a ghost or a troll, you should spit, throw urine and wave the skin reciting the following verse:

    Undan vindi vondan sendi,
    óskir ferskar raski ţrjóskum,
    galdurs eldur gildur holdiđ
    grenni, kenni og innan brenni.
    Eyrun dára örin sćri,
    eitriđ ljóta, bíti hann skeytiđ,
    allur fyllist illum sullum
    eyđi kauđa bráđur dauđi.


    To Win in Court
    Máladeilan


    Carve this on lignite and paint it with blood from the septum of your nose and keep it on your breast. If you fear loosing your case in court have another one on your back and you will win regardless of the truth.

    (From a 19th century manuscript, Lbs 4375 8vo, in the National Library in Reykjavík.)

    Against Witchcraft
    Stafur gegn galdri


    These four signs are a protection against witchcraft from all four corners of the earth. Carry them on your body.

    (From a 17th century manuscript, Lbs 143 8vo, in the National Library in Reykjavík.)

    To ward off Foxes
    Tóustefna


    This should be carved on a piece of oak and put under the threshold of your sheep-shed. Alternatively tie it in the wool of the eldest gelding.
    (From a 19th century manuscript, Lbs 4375 8vo, in the National Library in Reykjavík.)

    Butterknot
    Smjörhnútur


    The butterknot was carved on butter to ensure it was not made from milk stolen by a tilberi. This was a being created by a woman from a man's rib and used to steal milk from cows and sheep out in the pastures. The woman kept it on a teat on the inside of her thigh where it grew and fed on her body fluids. The preparations for creating a tilberi are very complicated.
    Last edited by Moody; Monday, August 7th, 2006 at 06:30 PM. Reason: Added one picture as all the original pictures have disappeared. Even so, the texts which remain are interesting.
    My thoughts fly to the old Icelandic storytellers who created our classics ... They live in their immortal creations and are as much a part of Iceland as her landscape. For century upon dark century those nameless men and women sat in their mud huts writing books without so much as asking themselves what their wages would be, what prize or recognition would be theirs. - Halldór Laxness


  2. #2
    Senior Member Willowsprout's Avatar
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    Post Re: Icelandic Magical Staves

    Great information! Thanks Keep the pictures coming please

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    Senior Member Mistress Klaus's Avatar
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    Smile Re: Icelandic Magical Staves

    Here's a design I did in 1997 for my band backdrop (with NIFLHEIM). I am now using it for SKADHEIM.

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    Post Re: Icelandic Magical Staves

    Quote Originally Posted by SKADI
    Here's a design I did in 1997 for my band backdrop (with NIFLHEIM). I am now using it for SKADHEIM.
    Nice design, i see a lot of racial kin wearing Valknots now.... Very Cool!

    Hails~

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    Senior Member Annikaspapa's Avatar
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    Post Re: Icelandic Magical Staves

    Fantastic Post(s) – Thanks! There's a lot of great information here.

    On a side note - maybe I'm just splitting hairs, but shouldn't this be in the Northvegr sub-forum?

    Regardless, thanks again for some interesting reading :handclap

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    Senior Member Moody's Avatar
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    Post Re: Icelandic Magical Staves

    Seeing that Elin has such knowledge, I need to ask about another symbol, the Wolf's angle or Wolf's hook.

    What history does this have?

    How is it associated with defense against wolves etc.,

    It has been used in many contexts;


    Industrial rock band Non [Boyd Rice and friends]

    Politically;



    As a 'Neonazi' symbol; called here 'werewolf'.

    Militarily;


    What do you think of the idea that such pagan runic-type symbols were sublimated into heraldry to avoid Christian censorship?
    Guido von List held this view, for example.
    Last edited by Moody; Monday, August 7th, 2006 at 06:58 PM.
    Why are there beings at all, & why not rather nothing?
    [Leibniz/Heidegger]

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    Post Re: Icelandic Magical Staves

    If memory serves me corectly, the Wolf Hook Rune was hung over the doors of our kin during winter time to keep the wolf from the door!

    Hails~
    Last edited by Moody; Monday, August 7th, 2006 at 06:24 PM.

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    Senior Member Moody's Avatar
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    Post Re: Icelandic Magical Staves

    I was wondering why that particular shape for the wolf rune and not another?

    I found some good info on;
    www.symbols.com

    On the Wolf's Hook it has the following;



    "A fascist sign sign, used in for instance Sweden in the 1990s, meaning 'werewolf'.
    According to ancient superstitions men were sometimes transformed into beings, half men, half wolves, extremely blood-thirsty and ferocious. These beings were called werewolves.
    'Werewolfe', German for werewolves, was the name chosen for guerilla fighters Hitler and the Nazi top had planned should continue to fight against the invading Allies when Germany's Wehrmacht was defeated and the German territory was occupied".

    On this variation;



    "In Germany, this sign is known as 'Sig-rune ahnlich', i.e., similar to the 'victory rune'.
    This variation is called 'Donnerkeil', 'Thunderbolt'.
    It has been used by the 'Dutch Nazi Party', and one of the two 'British Nazi Parties'.

    It all derives from the Runes;



    "The original form is the rune for 'Yew Tree', from the earliest runic alphabet.
    Because of its long growing period, yew has a very dense and strong wood, and was used to make battle bows, the most dangerous weapon during the Viking era".
    _______________________________________

    Another symbol of fascination is the so-called 'Black Sun'; it reminds me of Elin's Helms of Awe - any ideas?

    Why are there beings at all, & why not rather nothing?
    [Leibniz/Heidegger]

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    Icelandic Magical Staves

    In medieval Iceland there were several magical staves or rune-like symbols credited with magical effects.
    • Gapaldur and Ginfaxi were two staves, kept in the shoes, gapaldur under the heel of the right foot and ginfaxi under the toes of the left foot, to magically ensure victory in bouts of Icelandic wrestling (glíma).

    • ćgishjálmur, helm of awe; to induce fear and to protect against abuse of power
    • nábrókarstafur, necropants
    • ţjófastafur, against thieves (from a 17th century medical text, am 434a 12mo, in the Arnemagnean Collection in Reykjavík).
    • angurgapi
    • veiđistafur for fishing
    • kaupaloki, to prosper in trade and business (19th century manuscript)
    • vatnahlífir, protection against drowning
    • brýnslustafir, for sharpening knives
    • draumstafir, to dream what your heart desires
    • varnarstafur valdemars
    • óttastafur, to induce fear
    • dreprún, to kill an enemy's cattle (from a 17th century grimoire, in the Antikvarisk-Topografiska Arkivet in Stockholm.)
    • feingur, to make a woman pregnant
    • lásabrjótur, to open a lock without a key
    • ađ fá stúlku, to get a girl
    • hólastafur, to open hills
    • stafur til ađ vekja upp draug, to invoke ghosts and evil spirits
    • rosahringur minni, a lesser circle of protection
    • máladeilan, to win in court (from a 19th century manuscript, lbs 4375 8vo, in the National Library in Reykjavík.)
    • stafur gegn galdri, against witchcraft (from a 17th century manuscript, lbs 143 8vo, in the National Library in Reykjavík.)
    • viđ höfđingja reiđi, against the wrath of chieftains (from a 17th century medical treatise , am 434a 12mo, in the Arnemagnean Collection.)
    • tóustefna, to ward off foxes (from a 19th century manuscript, lbs 4375 8vo, in the National Library in Reykjavík.)
    • smjörhnútur, butterknot (to ensure butter is real)
    The Ćgishjálmr



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Icelandic_magical_staves


    Die Sonne scheint noch.

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