Finally…finally a staff has come to me, a stave of Ironwood wrestled from the etins of Fox Ridge. Unfortunately, I was not dressed for wrestling etins on the damp Saturday afternoon in late April when we went seeking (bad planning on my part, I know!) but Cindy was indeed clothed for the mighty work at hand. She fought as my champion and won this stave in my name.
I will allow it to dry, probably until Yule, at which point in time I will strip the bark, rub the shorn staff with the appropriate protective oils to waterproof the wood (thanks for the woodworking tips, Cindy!). I hope to sain and consecrate the stave for journey-work and deity/spirit communication at the start of the 2011 Wild Hunt. I may even have a three or nine day blessing ceremony beginning in mid-December, just before or right on Mother Night and extending through the first few days of the Hunt. As part of the saining and consecration, I will add glass and gemstone beads (for my gods, the wights, and my ancestors), small bells (for warding and protection), and possibly some fur and/or bone from the animals that guide me on my path (Coyote and Crow, no Barn Owl inclusions due to legal restrictions). I also wish to carve or burn a few runes into the stave. Eihwaz is a common journey rune that I utilize often in my work. Elhaz is another, for protection and connection to deities and spirits. Ansuz for Old One-Eye, the original Wanderer (Gangleri and Vegtam are common epithets of Odin). Fehu or Kenaz for Freyja, the Spádis herself, Seidhkona of Seidhkonas. Berkana or Laguz (leaning toward Laguz) for Nerthus, Lady of Birch and Bog. And maybe, just maybe, a rune or three (Perthro, Nauthiz, and/or Hagalaz) for the Nornir, the executors of Wyrd. I will listen for each of their voices to see what they will.
Hail the Ironwood stave! May our journeys together be blessed!