Icelandic magical staves

Icelandic magical staves (sigils) are symbols credited with magical effect preserved in various grimoires dating from the 17th century and later. 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.

Table of magical staves

Name Description Image
Að fá stúlku To get a girl. Icelandic Magical Stave adfastulku.svg
Ægishjálmur Helm of awe; to induce fear and to protect against abuse of power. Aegishjalmr.svg
Angurgapi Carved on the ends of barrels. Purpose unclear. Icelandic Magical Stave angurgapi.svg
Brýnslustafir For use on whetstones. Icelandic Magical Stave brynslustafir.svg
Draumstafir To dream what your heart desires. Icelandic Magical Stave draumstafir.svg
Dreprún To kill an enemy’s cattle.[2] Icelandic Magical Stave dreprun.svg
Feingur fertility rune. 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). Icelandic Magical Stave gapaldur.svg
Ginfaxi Icelandic Magical Stave ginfaxi.svg
Hólastafur To open hills. Icelandic Magical Stave holastafur.svg
Kaupaloki To prosper in trade and business (19th century manuscript). Icelandic Magical Stave kaupaloki.svg
Lásabrjótur To open a lock without a key. Icelandic Magical Stave lasabrjotur.svg
Máladeilan To win in court.[3] Icelandic Magical Stave maladeilan.svg
Nábrókarstafur Necropants, a pair of pants made from the skin of a dead man that are capable of producing an endless supply of money.[4] Icelandic Magical Stave nabrokarstafur.svg
Óttastafur To induce fear. Icelandic Magical Stave ottastafur.svg
Rosahringur minni A lesser circle of protection. Icelandic Magical Stave rosahringurminni.svg
Smjörhnútur Butterknot, to ensure butter was procured through non-magical means. Icelandic Magical Stave smjorhnutur.svg
Stafur gegn galdri Staves against witchcraft.[5] Icelandic Magical Stave stafurgegngaldri.svg
Stafur til að vekja upp draug To invoke ghosts and evil spirits. Icelandic Magical Stave stafurtiladvekjauppdraug.svg
Þjófastafur For use against thieves.[6] Icelandic Magical Stave thjofastafur.svg
Tóustefna To ward off foxes.[7] 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. Vegvisir.svg
Veiðistafur For luck in fishing. Icelandic Magical Stave veidistafur.svg


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