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The word “Vegvisir” in Icelandic, or “Vejviser” in Danish is comprised of two words. Roughly translated; “Veg” and “Vej” means “direction” or “road” and “Visir” and “Viser” means “to show” or “to display” – so basically “showing the direction (or road)“
These galdrastafir are said to help the user find his or her way by sea or land in harsh conditions, even when the road is not known.
In modern esoteric use, the Vegvisir is often used in a more metaphoric sense to help the user find his or her way on their spiritual path. For this reason it has become a popular choice as a spiritual tattoo.
Several versions of these famous galdrastafir can be found across several historic manuscripts, and have later spawned several modern iterations. The most popular variations of these are based on eight-spoke wheels such as the one seen here, but several non-symmetrical variations are also known.
In some modern heathen, pagan and esoteric literature (and on social media / internet sharing sites etc.) these staves will often be referred to as “The Viking Compass” or “The Runic Compass”. This often appears to be based on the notion that Vikings used these staves to navigate their ships, and that the spokes of the staves are representative of compass directions. There is, however, no evidence to support this theory, although some people will insist upon it. There are in fact no traces of this symbol in any historical Viking-finds, and all research into the origin of this symbol points to a fusion of European renaissance magic and Norse folk-magic.
This is the remastered version of the third document of The Galdrablöð Manuscript (JS 375 8v – blad 3). The manuscript, as it’s archived in the Icelandic historic national library, is made from several documents, each comprised of several pages, and written by different authors of unknown identity.
This part of the complete manuscript contains several well illustrated galdrastafir, making it perhaps the most interesting part for most people. Apart from the other documents in the manuscript; these are presented in a slimmer portrait-format, and overall found in very good condition (especially if compared to Blad II)
The digital scans used for the PDF document we present here, have been edited and enhanced for optimal presentation in PDF format.