I especially enjoy working with runes and the straight lines certainly make them easier to create with a handheld wood burner than some other subject matters. This staff is 57.5″ piece of maple wood and contains the elder Futhark rune set in ascending order on one side and descending order on the other. Wood burned above the one rune set is a five pointed star, or pentagram, and above the other set is a Celtic trinity knot, or triquetra. The pentagram here symbolizes fire, water, earth, air, and spirit while the triquetra symbolizes the mother-maiden-crone goddess trinity. However both symbols vary in meaning depending on their locations and cultural context. Tied to the top is a string of pyrite and skull beads. Pyrite is symbolic of luck, wealth and prosperity while also being known in mythology as a stone to induce creativity, physical health, and well being. Skulls have numerous symbolic meanings around the world and in Celtic and Norse mythology by themselves. Here they are intended to symbolize magic, creation, and transformation. And the maple wood itself is symbolically known for balance, generosity, intelligence, and longevity. I used boiled linseed oil to protect and polish the wood.
This staff is about 53” tall and made from a piece of river wood, more specifically a “beaver chew,” or “beaver stick.” Beavers removed the bark from the wood by chewing it off and although the light sanding and polyurethane coats have obscured many of the toothmarks, some still remain visible.
I wood-burned the Nordic rune “Ægishjálmur” twice at the top and was meant to protect the wearer in battle. Originally I wanted to do a Nordic compass, it looks similar, but it’s a little more detailed and would have been much more difficult to do given the size of my wood-burner. Going down the staff on each side is the Elder Futhark rune set with each one representing a letter, a number, and would be used in divination.
Artist: J.R. Goslant
Overall, I’d have to say I’m pleased with the finished product. I wanted to create something that aesthetically blended certain tribal, Nordic, and Greek elements together and feel like I’ve achieved that.
Burned in at the top are stars and two phases of the moon (waxing and waning crescents). Below those, is the hand grip made of mostly tan rawhide lace and bordered by black rawhide lace. After the grip is more wood-burning with the Greek zodiac symbols and Elder Futhark runic alphabet wrapped around about a third of the overall staff.
This Tribal Druid Shaman Staff is about 62” in height and has been coated with several layers of polyurethane for protection from the elements and for its aesthetics.
Artist: J.R. Goslant