The Vegvisir as seen in The Huld Manuscript.
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.
If you are looking for a tattoo-stencil of the Vegvisir, please feel free to use the image from our website and use it for free. You can find it in high resolution, among several other designs, in our gallery.
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.