Völr

 Here's a  metal staff (völr) from Kaupang, Norway, in the 10th century, which also has a central enclosure formed by twisted metal bands near the top of the völr. A pattern is emerging of these Nordic women's staffs, which also turn up in Danish archaeology (and are in Photos section from last year).

The photo is from an article by Polish researcher Leszek Gardeła, "A biography of the seiðr-staffs: Towards an archaeology of emotions." (It's open source, i'll post the title and url in comments.) He says that the Kaupang ship burial in Norway buried a noble couple with a völva seated in the stern, as if to guide the ship. She wore a leather garment with oval brooches, and her iron staff was by her left side, placed under a large stone. It had a basket-shaped handle on one end. It was 74.5 cm. long, with three twisted rods with a ring on each of them in the handle section.

Gardeła refers to Eddic poems showing Aesir getting magical staffs from the giants -- often from the women -- such as the one Thor got from "a spell-working giantess, Gríðr, in Skaldskaparmal and Thorsdrapa. The hero of the Fjölsvinssmal tried to get a staff from a witch giantess Sinmara. One of these staffs is named after the jötun woman, Gríðavölr (Grid's pole). She gave it to Thor who used it to travel down the great river Vimur.

Now for more on spinning and weaving as witches' arts: Eldar Heide "convincingly argued that the staff could have worked as a symbolic distaff and that the whole concept of seiðr was strictly connected to the ideas of spinning or weaving. [Heide 2006c)." Gardeła has worked to flesh this out in articles documenting that "all the elements of ritual scenery resembled tools and equipment used for spinning and/or weaving (Gardela 2008c; Gardela 2009). By seeing the prophetic seiðr rituals in this way, we may assume that a seeress was sitting on a chair and held her staff between her legs in the same way as the distaffs were held. This can also strengthen an idea that during the seiðr ritual, she was actually riding the staff to the otherworldly realms and mythical landscapes."


https://www.facebook.com/333661528320/photos/a.423118913320.184632.333661528320/10152730563303321/?type=1&fref=nf&pnref=story  

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About Gaby F

lectora, estudiosa de la historia antigua, especialmente la mitología germánica, indoeuropea. ".
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