Protecting Forests with Magic


There was an uproar recently in the environmentally concerned community as well as in some pagan groups about the German government allowing a coal digging corporation access to an old European forest. The forest is called Hambacher Forst and is the last remnant of a vast ancient forest that once spanned Europe after the end of the most recent Ice Age.

This ghastly news threw me right back into 1984, when the Austrian (my home country’s) government voted to allow a water powerplant to be built right in one of Europe’s rare floodplain forest with its intricate biodiversity. Back then, I hopped in my bright yellow VW beetle and drove about 45 minutes to join the crowd shouting at construction workers and cops. Later on, I helped getting as many signatures in my home town to protest against the project and force the legislator to reverse their decision. It worked. The floodplain forest, the Hainburger Au, still exists as a nature sanctuary.

Nowadays, I live in the US, over 3,000 miles away from this more recent call for action to save yet another forest. I could hop into a more robust car than my old rickety yellow VW Beetle any more, but what would that help with an ocean between me an the endangered Hambacher Forst? Yet, I still feel the strong urge to be doing something.

What has also changed since then is that I’m a Druid ow and have developed some skills that I can use to help my Druid colleagues in Germany to fight for the protection of the Hambacher Forest over distance.

A recent trip to Iceland exposed me to something the old Ostmen living there, better known as Vikings, used for their Magic: staves. So many know the “Helm of Awe”, Ægishjálmur, these days, and some even Vegvísir, the magical compass. There are many more very interesting staves, but none of them specifically to protect a forest from coal miners.

Yet a few years ago I met with some folks in Glastonbury, UK, who called themselves “The Warrior’s Call – Pagans United Against Fracking”. They had their own sigil to protect the land from being blasted deep down in Earth’s shell. And…they came up with that sigil through their own meditative process.

Putting this memory together with what I learned in Iceland, I went to work. Did my typical Druid ritual to set the atmosphere for meditative work, cleared my mind, and off I went in search of a sigil in the form of Viking style staves that can be used to protect the Hambacher Forst, any forest actually.

Obviously, the staves that were found in Iceland were not randomly put together, but each line, each circle has a very specific meaning. Yes, many look like snowflakes. Surprise…they are from Iceland. But even so, I would very much assume that whoever came up with these staves, didn’t just copy snowflakes, but rather put elements together into a form, with the elements manifesting the intent behind the staff.

That’s exactly what I did. Formulated my intent and, with substantial otherworldly help , obviously, came up with this.
So, here is what I learned the lines in my sigil mean:

  • The ring in the center is the forest that needs protection.
  • The four small rings around it represent the groups that help protect the forest.
  • They are four for symmetry reasons only, the sigil remains the same whether there are less or more than four groups.
  • The groups are connected with the straight lines that cross each other in the center circle. They indicate the connection between the groups as well as that only the protectors have true access to the core of the forest.
  • The groups have created a wall of protection around the ring/forest, indicated by the square. There is a bow-like line at each corner of the square, which represent “the fetters of the Gods”. Pretty strong ties, I’d say.
  • The three little perpendicular lines on each of the cross lines, between the wall and the group circles, are a protection for the groups against any adversaries.

This is absolutely not “my” staff, rune, sigil. As with so many things in Druid work, I am but a vehicle for the knowledge provided by the Universe, the Divine. No copyright here.

Thus, please use it. Widely and rigorously. To protect that batch of trees against a building development, or the entire Amazon rain forest. The more we all use it, the stronger it will get. Just be sensible where you draw or carve it; as in don’t carve it into the bark of a live tree. But an old dead stump, absolutely. Paint or scratch it on pebbles and drop them as you wander through the forest. Or bury a bigger rock with the staff on it inconspicuously in the woods. Take a stick and “draw” it on the forest floor, knowing that the elements will eventually make it disappear into the ground. Which is an awesome process on it’s own.

Only thing that needs to be done is: actually doing it.

More Magic for your practice found in Alpine customs in my book “Mountain Magic” available at (preferred) and distributers such as

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6 Responses to Protecting Forests with Magic

  1. shiredweller says:

    Is there a sigil to protect wildlife? I am very new to this and know little about sigils . Do you say anything as you place the forest protection sigil?

    • Hi,
      I’m not aware of any sigil that is designed to protect wildlife, but then again I haven’t done any research on that.
      What’s always possible is to meditate to come up with your own sigil in meditation or otherworld journeys. That allows you to also learn details about what to say, how and where to draw it etc.
      I only know a few rune staves to protect farm animals, specifically against foxes, and others for sheep. With some, certain ways to apply (e.g. have the sheep walk over them), and specific words to say are suggested. If you were to find your own sigil, you might want to ask for these specifics as well…

  2. Heather Shaffer says:

    I love this idea and the article, but please don’t carve into living trees.

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