Icelandic magical staves

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Icelandic magical staves (sigils) are symbols credited with magical effect preserved in various grimoires dating from the 17th century and later.[1] According to the Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft, the effects credited to most of the staves were very relevant to the average Icelanders of the time, who were mostly subsistence farmers and had to deal with harsh climatic conditions.[1]

Table of magical staves[edit]

Icelandic name and English translation Manuscript description Image
Að fá stúlku Love from a woman to a man.[citation needed] Icelandic Magical Stave adfastulku.svg
Ægishjálmur Helm of awe (or helm of terror); to induce fear and to protect against abuse of power.[citation needed] Aegishjalmr.svg
Angurgapi Carved on the ends of barrels to prevent leaking.[citation needed] Icelandic Magical Stave angurgapi.svg
Brýnslustafir For use on whetstones.[citation needed] Icelandic Magical Stave brynslustafir.svg
Draumstafir To dream of unfulfilled desires.[citation needed] Icelandic Magical Stave draumstafir.svg
Dreprún To kill an enemy's cattle.[2] Icelandic Magical Stave dreprun.svg
Feingur A fertility rune.[citation needed] Icelandic Magical Stave feingur.svg
Gapaldur 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).[citation needed] Icelandic Magical Stave gapaldur.svg
Ginfaxi Icelandic Magical Stave ginfaxi.svg
Hólastafur To open hills.[citation needed] Icelandic Magical Stave holastafur.svg
Kaupaloki To prosper in trade and business.[citation needed] Icelandic Magical Stave kaupaloki.svg
Lásabrjótur To open a lock without a key. Icelandic Magical Stave lasabrjotur.svg
Lukkustafir Whoever carries this symbol with him encounters no evil, neither on the sea nor on the land.[3] Lukkustafir Huld Ms.png
Máladeilan To win in court.[4] Icelandic Magical Stave maladeilan.svg
Nábrókarstafur A stave used when making Necropants, a pair of pants made from the skin of a dead man that are capable of producing an endless supply of money.[5] Icelandic Magical Stave nabrokarstafur.svg
Óttastafur To induce fear.[6] Icelandic Magical Stave ottastafur.svg
Rosahringur minni A lesser circle of protection.[citation needed] Icelandic Magical Stave rosahringurminni.svg
Smjörhnútur Butterknot, to ensure butter was procured through non-magical means.[citation needed] Icelandic Magical Stave smjorhnutur.svg
Stafur gegn galdri Staves against witchcraft.[7] Icelandic Magical Stave stafurgegngaldri.svg
Stafur til að vekja upp draug To invoke ghosts and evil spirits.[citation needed] Icelandic Magical Stave stafurtiladvekjauppdraug.svg
Þjófastafur For use against thieves.[8] Icelandic Magical Stave thjofastafur.svg
Tóustefna To ward off foxes.[9] Icelandic Magical Stave toustefna.svg
Varnarstafur Valdemars Valdemar's Protection Stave; increases favor and happiness. Icelandic Magical Stave valdemar.svg
Vatnahlífir Protection against drowning. Icelandic Magical Stave vatnahlifir.svg
Vegvísir To guide people through rough weather.[10] VegvisirHuld.png
Veiðistafur For luck in fishing. Icelandic Magical Stave veidistafur.svg

Font[edit]

Following a visit to the Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft in the summer of 2006, Apostolos Syropoulos designed a font containing several of the magical staves.[11] This font is now included in the repositories of Fedora.[12]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Staves or magical signs"
  2. ^ From a 17th-century grimoire, in the Antikvarisk-Topografiska Arkivet in Stockholm.
  3. ^ [1] Huld Manuscript ÍB 383 4] in the National Library in Reykjavík
  4. ^ From a 19th-century manuscript, lbs 4375 8vo, in the National Library in Reykjavík.
  5. ^ http://www.galdrasyning.is/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=212&Itemid=60
  6. ^ "Rune charms for Warriors & for Peace". sunnyway.com. Retrieved 8 December 2014. 
  7. ^ From a 17th-century manuscript, lbs 143 8vo, in the National Library in Reykjavík.
  8. ^ From a 17th-century medical text, am 434a 12mo, in the Arnemagnean Collection in Reykjavík.
  9. ^ From a 19th-century manuscript, lbs 4375 8vo, in the National Library in Reykjavík.
  10. ^ Huld Manuscript ÍB 383 4 in the National Library in Reykjavík
  11. ^ "Magical fonts for the museum"
  12. ^ "RPM resource icelandic-fonts". rpmfind.net. Retrieved 8 December 2014. 

External links[edit]