This was my first commission piece: a friend requested a “pagan” staff with a few specific symbols to give as a Christmas gift.
The handle grip is black rawhide bordered with brown at the top and bottom. Attached are two strands of carved beads and pieces of hematite.
At the very top is a green gemstone wrapped with rawhide and just below it are a compass rose and pentacle etched with a wood burner.
While googling various designs and cultural motifs I came across a wonderful Viking dragon, or serpent and burned one onto each side of the staff. Wrapping down and around the main body is another, simpler and stylized Viking serpent. Serpents, and dragons, are important mythological figures around the world and don’t always represent evil, or sinister beings. They often represent power and rebirth since they shed their skin. Inside the serpent are the Elder Futhark rune set and “May the Force be with you.”
The final two symbols are a horizontal crescent with three raindrop shapes signifying a goddess and a spiral representing a spiritual journey. Two pieces of garnet accompany the spiral and have different meanings depending on what source is consulted, but in this symbolize power and spiritual dreaming.
The final staff stands at about five feet and has a few coats of polyurethane finish. Everything was colored using metallic ink and a bronze permanent marker.
Artist: J.R. Goslant