Staves and Stafir

 

Staves or Stafir are a group of sigils appearing in many Icelandic grimoires, including The Gladrabok from around the 1600’s, Galdrakver from sometime in the 17th century, Laekningakver from around the mid 1400’s and of course the Huld Manuscript published in 1860. Although these sigils are all rooted in Norse magick they are actually from around the Medieval to Renaissance era magick most hailing from 1400 - 1800. They often take design however from the Norse and Viking culture. There are in fact hundreds of these staves all having different attributes and characteristics to the user, three reoccurring types are.

 

Galdrastafir- Meaning magick staves or sticks.

Lukkustafir- Meaning lucky staves or sticks.

Draumstafir- Meaning Dream staves or sticks.

 

But there are many other types with ones for catching thieves or good fishing or protection and even love and fertility.

 

Rune staves are another kind of Stafir and both Staves and Stafir are often made into a runic talisman usually incorporating 3 to 5 runes, to keep it simple for the caster. Before making one however it is important to note that it must make sense and cant be just a random selection of runes. The creator should also define what the time scale of the effects will be whether finite or permanent.. The only way to stop a finite stave would be to burn or totally destroy it, a reason why most are made on parchment, wood, vellum or other flammable material.

 

In Icelandic magick the three main steps to cast a stafir are

 

  1. Carve it into an object like wood or vellum even stone.

  2. Colouring the stave in blood or a dye to activate its effects

  3.  Speaking over it a vocal incantation to imbue it with Magick.

 

There are however many other types of ways found in the aforementioned manuscripts alone.

 

The two most famous Stafir are Vegvisir and Aegishjalmr. Vegvisir is also called the compass although actually it means sign post Vegur being road and Visir being guide, it is said that if one carries the symbol upon them they can never lose their way. Aegishjalmr, The Helm of Awe, is said to protect against illness and disease as well as the abuse of power. When worn between the eyes it can also cause fear in the users enemies.

Vegvisir - Huld Manuscript 1860

Aegishjalmur - Galdrakver 17th C