Vegvisir (Signpost, runic compass)

vegvisirThe Vegvisir or runic compass is a Viking rune stave, a magical device used to aid in sea navigation. According to a number of legends, this apotropaic (protective) symbol was inscribed on seagoing vessels to insure their safe return. The most common depiction of the rune comes from the 17th century Galdrabók, and Icelandic grimoire.

Today, it is most commonly paired with the aegishjalmer, used as a symbol of spiritual guidance and an emblem of identification by Asatru believers.  The most well-known example is worn as a tattoo by the Icelandic pop singer Bjork.

 See also: Aegishjalmur

Related Symbols:

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Diane junkin July 5, 2016 at 7:57 pm

Someone hung a symbol like this with a dead chicken attached to it over a road in our community. What is the significance of this?


kyomi April 3, 2017 at 9:59 pm

Did it look more like this?

Wondering because you said it was over a road. Was it a crossroad?


Anonymous January 11, 2018 at 10:11 pm

Dead chickens are delicious. What other significance does it need?


Christine September 18, 2014 at 7:50 pm

Is there a specific WAY one should carry or hold it? which side is most important? I made one out of paper. I keep it in my back pak.Really would like very much to know? Please?
Thank YOu


Sam January 31, 2016 at 2:48 pm

This is an old question but for any others with the same question, here is an answer as I understand it. The symbol has 8 protective staves, each protecting from different bad energies and strengthening good energies. There is no north on this compass as all of these staves are protective. That being said this symbol, long associated in pop culture as viking in origin, is from Icelandic runic magick (dating mid 1800s), POSSIBLY with a deeper older origin. This is still a powerful and beautiful symbol all the same.


Tyrsmogur February 13, 2016 at 8:25 am

According to the Galdrabok, the Vegvisir must be painted onto your face using your blood.


Mat April 12, 2016 at 1:47 am

Icelandic, yes, but probably dating back to the 1600s in origin if not in this form, and the one to be painted on your face in blood was the Aegishjalmur (Helm of Awe), according to this:


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