Making Magical Weapons & Runes
Nine Glory-Twigs –To make the Nine Glory twigs is quite easy since it uses only plain wood; here is how to make a set of these –
- Cut nine pieces of Rowan Wood or Ash Wood, each nine inches long. This wood need only be around ⅜” thick.
- Take off the bark and smooth the wood with sandpaper, then round the ends off to make them smooth and neat.
- Leave the pieces to dry for a couple of weeks.
- Soak the pieces of Rowan in Linseed Oil (made from flax sacred to Freya) for a day or so, making sure that the oil soaks into the wood completely.
- Allow them to dry and these can be finally polished with beeswax.
- Get hold of a length of strong leather thong and tie the Glory-Twigs together with this ready for use.
The Rune-Wand –
- In the spring, cut a piece of Rowan Wood or Ash Wood 12” long and around a half inch in diameter.
- Shave off the bark straight away since this peels off easily.
- Smooth the wood with sandpaper, and slightly round the ends for strength.
- Leave to dry for a couple of weeks.
- Carve or burn the 33 English Runes into the Runic Wand using 4 ættir, two sets on each side of the wand; add the 33rd rune – Gar-Rune – to one end of the wand.
- To charge the runes it is necessary to use galdor as you carve/burn the runes, and to visualize the rune-staves too.
- At this point you have the choice of colouring the runes. This can be done by using red ochre which can be got as a powder and mixed with linseed oil or water. Add a drop of your own blood (just a pinprick on the end of the finger will do) to the mixture to charge it with Life Energy. This stage is optional, but you must allow some time for the red ochre to dry before using linseed oil on it. If this is not done the red will run. There is a way to prevent this but it means using an artificial substance – polyurethane sealant – which is not always desirable. Another method may be to use a stick of beeswax rubbed onto the stain. Perhaps it would be best to experiment yourself before doing the final thing.
- Soak the wood in Linseed Oil or boiled Linseed Oil (darker) for a few days, making sure that the oil soaks in completely.
- Allow to dry. This will take a few days to complete.
- Finish with a beeswax polish which will seal the whole thing.
Set of Runes –
- Cut a piece of Rowan Wood or Ash Wood around 2ft long and around half an inch diameter. This should be done in the spring if possible when the sap is rising.
- Cut the wood into small pieces each around ⅓” thick.
- There is no need to take the bark off; this is optional.
- Carve or burn the rune-staves into each piece, using 33 pieces in all to complete the English Rune-Row.
- At this point you can colour the runes using the same method as outlined in the Rune-Wand. Red ochre and a drop of your own blood should be used.
-If you take the above option make sure that you allow the stain to dry completely.
- Soak the rune-staves in linseed oil or boiled linseed oil (darker stain) for a few days.
- Allow to dry and finish by using a beeswax polish.
Notes: You can, of course, use any form of natural plant dye together with the linseed oil so as to colour and enhance the grain of the wood. This is a matter of taste and experiment. Always try to cut the wood in the spring when the sap is rising. The finished product should look good so as to work effectively on the mind. Take your time and do not rush things.
Alternative Rune-Staves -
You can make up a set of rune-staves using pieces of rowan, ash or hazel (or whatever you prefer). Cut small twigs about 3/8 inches diameter and 3 inches long. Leave the bark on, but round the ends; cut a slither of the bark off one end of each stave. Cut 33 staves and mark each with one of the English Runes; do this on the ends where the bark has been cut off. These may well have been the type of staves originally used, since when cast they will also give shapes which can be used to divine as lots, as well as the actual carvings on the rune-staves.
The Fighting Staff –
This should be seen as a form of walking stick and so you can either use the normal type of size, or use one made especially for your own height. It is up to you what you would like and what you would use. Here I will outline how to make a full size staff.
- Cut a piece of ash, hazel or beech wood which is the same height as you are. This should, again, be done in the spring.
- Shave off the bark; this should be done straightaway because it makes it far easier to remove that way. Allow to dry for a while.
- Smooth the wood with sandpaper and slightly round the ends for strength.
- Using a small knife and a file cut grooves at the points along the staff that you will use to hold it with your hands as a Fighting Staff. These cuts need be only about ⅛” deep.
- At this point you can carve/cut runes into any part of the wood that you like. You may find it best to cut the areas of wood flatter where you wish to do this.
- Redden the runes as in the Rune-Wand and Runes if you so wish. Allow to dry fully before you attempt the next stage.
- Soak the staff in linseed oil for a couple of weeks; you will need to put the oil into a container and stand one end in it, soak the whole staff with a cloth, and change the ends over regularly so that the oil soaks in completely. This is an important stage in this one because the long staff needs to be sealed properly as it will be used outdoors.
- Allow to dry and then finish with a beeswax polish.
· You can put a rubber ferrule on the end of the staff (the bottom end) to keep it from wearing out when pushed onto the ground as you walk. This also helps to stop the wood from splitting.
To make a shorter walking stick (which can still be used in self-defence) you need only take the same procedure but leave out the grooves cut for the hands. The English used a Quarter Staff which was so named because only the quarter of the staff was held in the hands. This was a very long staff and would be hardly feasible these days because it would be too big to carry. Making one at one’s own height is the best option for this does not look out of place and can still be used as a Fighting Staff. Do not forget that this is also a Magical Weapon – a Magical Staff.
The Fighting Sticks –
- Cut two pieces of ash, beech or hazel about 1 inch thick and around the length of your arm (24" - 26” is about the usual size).
- Shave off the bark.
- Allow to dry and then smooth down with sandpaper.
- Round the edges of the ends slightly for strength.
- At this point runes can be carved/burnt onto the sticks, and then reddened as outlined in the Rune-Wand etc.
- Soak the sticks in linseed oil for a week or so. To do so use a container and put one end in, soaking the whole thing with a cloth. Change the ends and soak the whole thing as you do this step.
- Allow to dry completely and then polish with beeswax.
Another alternative method of making a set of runes is to cut pieces of Rowan (Rune) Wood about 1” long and around ½” diameter, split these down the centreline into two pieces, and use each piece for one rune. These, of course, can be done either larger or smaller than this size, but this size is perhaps the easiest to use.