Vegvisir, Symbol of Guidance and Protection & Its Meaning

The Vegvisir, also known as the runic compass or the Viking compass (also known as Nordic compass) made of eight Viking rune staves, is a symbol of protection and guidance used as a compass by Vikings. Vegvisir means ‘wayfinder’ and ‘sign post’ in Icelandic language.

There are two sources mentioning the Vegvisir: the Huld Manuscript compiled by Geir Vigfusson in 1880 and The Galdrabok, another manuscript which is essentially a grimoire – ‘a textbook for magic’.

Huld Manuscript, Vegvisir is mentioned as a symbol of guidance and protection “the wearer of this symbol will not lose his way during storms and bad weather, even if he does not know of his destination”.

The Huld Manuscript is a document brought together almost ten centuries after the Viking Age, based on real knowledge of Norse people and their beliefs.

The second source mentioning Vegvisir, the Galdrabok, a book of spells which details spells and knowledge about magic, cosmology and also the gods of that era.

It says that this symbol would help its wearer to not get lost and find their way back. To provide guidance and protection, the Vegvisir should be drawn in blood on a person’s forehead.