Ice and Fire Stav, USA Seminar 2020

Stav Training with Graham Butcher

Hosted by the Gallowglass Academy in Leaf River, Illinois, USA, 30th and 31st of May 2020

Knowledge of the Rune Staves

Stav means knowledge of the rune staves and during this seminar we will be exploring ways of making this knowledge real. The Runatal section of the Havamal gives advice on how to use the runes. The first line of Stanza 144 in particular asks: Do you know how to cut them? Do you know how to read them?

The word that is translated cut is rista, which can mean cut, carve or write. The word translated as read is raoa. However, this word means a lot more than just reading letters of the alphabet. raoa also means to consult, advise, counsel or discuss. Properly reading a rune means understanding all that the stave has to tell you at that time and in that situation. Truly cutting and reading the runes means engaging with the staves on a physical, mental and spiritual level. During this seminar we will explore ways of making the runes real and effective through practical training.

This event will be divided into two seminars and an evening presentation.


On the Saturday we will focus on the way that martial training can be inspired and guided by runic principles and how key principles of Stav enable the training and practice of effective martial arts. For the Saturday session you do not have to be interested in Runes to benefit from participating in the training. However the ideas and methods we will be using could not have been developed without an understanding of Stav. Please see here for full details.

Saturday Evening

Saturday evening there will be a presentation on using runes for counseling and protection. The Havamal tells us that runes bring insight, wisdom and greater understanding. The Havamal also warns us that everything has a cost and payment will be demanded for every prayer answered. The runes are also recommended as protection against evil. Graham will share his experiences of using runes for counseling and for protection against malevolent intentions. We will also hear why it is essential to use the runes responsibly and why martial training provides a safe route into gaining a deep knowledge of the staves.


The second day of the seminar will be devoted to working with the runic stances. We will practice both the Karl and Jarl Galdre stances. Through galdre work you can develop deep and natural breathing as well as a degree of breath control. A strong and relaxed posture and easy mobility in the joints and sinews.

Following on from the stances we will practice the staff exercises derived from each stance, both for individual training and as the basis for two person drills.

There will also be an introduction to the eighteen animal exercises which are a good way of working with the stances, useful for developing unarmed combat skill, as well as learning which creatures are associated with which rune.

Cost and Booking

Early booking rate for the Saturday and the Sunday $150 From 1st of March $200. After 15th April $300

If you are only interested in the martial arts training on the Saturday please see here for details and cost.

If you are ready to book or have any questions about the seminar please message Allen Reed by email, or discuss it on the Facebook event.