Staves for High One by Jesse Bransford

Octavian C. on

Art magus, Jesse Bransford, has been involved in a heavy and heady exploration of Icelandic magic, creating a series of 18 Ljóðatal (staves) - essentially sigils for protection or conjuration that correspond to Odin’s teachings as chronicled in the Norse poem, Hávamál. Bransford has adapted these runic workings via his own color magick system and other symbolic infusions, and the results are exquisite and highly potent resembling clarity, mystery, elegance, intrigue, tenderness, subtlety and force.

The staves contained here are magical talismans. They were made considering magical thinking. Art in this instance is a technology deployed in the interest of magic. The staves are things and pictures, and their meaning is only complete in the hands of the viewer.

There is quite a bit that may be arcane to casual readers who happen upon A Book of Staves, whether references to rune lore or Hermetic philosophy. Yet even viewed as abstract art, the staves have a compelling energy in their subtle alchemy of lines, color, and geometry. As the artist states,

“I feel I have elaborated this magical language to speak to the elemental forces present in the Icelandic landscape specifically and the natural order as a whole.”

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