What is Stav

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Stav is a traditional European mind/body/spirit training system. Its origins are lost in the mists of time but the Hafskjold clan can trace their history back to at least 500 AD when the Hoskoll's became established at Drammensfjord in South Eastern Norway. Just like a crystal, Stav has many facets. Generally speaking it is the educational system of the Hoskoll clan covering all aspects that was necessary for the clan to survive, like crafts, warfare and healing. It also encompasses things like skiing, hawking, hunting, horsemanship and sailing. Furthermore it is a philosophical system that has preserved the thoughts and religious practices of Dark Age North?European society and as such is a treasure throve for scientific study. See below for more detailed explanation.


Heimbu is the centre of the international Stav community, but it is also the local Hov for
Beverley in the East Riding of Yorkshire. As such it is offering healing and counselling;
Specializing in treating depression. Traditional Stav is being taught, and it is also working with
people who want to become Stav therapists without necessarily having to go through the whole
Stav curriculum.

Stav literally means 'knowledge of the rune staves'

These are the runes of the Younger Futhork as used in the Hafskjold Stav tradition.

A Word from Ivar Hafskjold

Put simply Stav is my family's educational system. The real purpose of it is to learn to see reality. Anything else is a by product; extremely useful at times, but still by products. To learn to see there are some well established teaching methods, the main one being the Stances which is meditation that tones the body, the spirit and the mind. Next to Put simply Stav is my family's educational system. The real purpose of it is to learn to see reality. Anything else is a teach the lines we use either Martial, healing or craft methods, usually all three, though the family has tended to use the Martial aspect more. We have always used 2 weapons to teach the lines, the Staff and the Stick. Once one understands these two, (and that takes some time) one can experiment with any weapon of one's choice if one is so inclined. Now having mastered a Martial Art, a Healing Art and/or a Craft one is well equipped to make a living to sustain body and soul during further training which will take you the rest of your life (and beyond?). Now one of the problems with Stav is that because we use the Runes, and our connection with the Norse Mythology, it is in many peoples mind stuck in the Viking Age, while in fact Stav stretches from the Migration Period to the Present Day. One has to realize that Stav is not a branch of Asatru or Fornsed, nor is it a Re-enactment Society, but a living philosophical and educational system that has adapted and evolved over 1,500 years based on North European thought. To repeat the ultimate purpose is to be able to see reality and to reach this purpose we use different tools like the runes, weapons, some rituals and what have you, but they are just tools that can be discarded when they are no longer useful. (Do you still use your first ABC book?) Personally my training these days consists of doing the stances once a day plus around a 1,000 cuts with the Staff and/or Stick. Otherwise I teach occasionally, make a few Staffs and treat people suffering from depression, all by products of my former training.

Ivar Hafskjold August 2000

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