Aegishjalmur / Helm of Awe (ægishjálmr)

The Helm of Awe, a type of rune stave, is magical spell of protection used by early Vikings.  According to a number of legends, this apotropaic (protective) symbol, when worn between the eyes, was intended to confer invincibility in the wearer or instill fear in one’s enemies.  The earliest mention of the aegishalmer is in the Eddas, although pictorial representations only date from around medieval times. 

Today, it is used as a charm of protection and an emblem of identification by Asatru believers.

 A depiction of the aegishjalmur in the Galdrabók, a 17th century Icelandic grimoire.


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Tracy May 16, 2014 at 8:38 am

I have also read in the book, The Runes, by Leon D. Wild, that this is also used as a talisman for the use of increasing one’s power generally but can be used for more specific aims. I like to think of it as a talisman for increase of power in all the realms. I have this tattooed to my right shoulder blade in the belief that it will provide me with this power and protection within all the 9 realms.

Since it is not out in the open as on my forehead, it is not my intention to instill fear among my foes…but to provide myself with more confidence in my own personal power. As with all things…it is up to personal interpretation I believe…

Ivan Schultz August 2, 2013 at 10:05 am

How can you say that the Aegirshelm is to be worn between the eyes ?
- as a tattoo ?
What sources do we have for tattoo (other than Ibn Fadlan)

and in general – please do not refer to books that contains the word “magic” in refference to viking, runes and Asatru

Too many authors are guessing too much or they “meditate” their so called truth

Jim April 23, 2013 at 12:56 am

Omar, your close, my family is from Denmark and the symbol that your talking about is close to this symbol, but it has different points at the end of the compass. The symbol shown above and the meaning is correct and you are correct in saying that it is an Icelandic symbol, but it is also a Viking symbol because Vikings were the first settlers in Iceland..

Loki March 26, 2017 at 12:33 pm

The one with other points is a Vegvisir

Raeven William Gowenlock July 25, 2012 at 3:15 am

I’ll amend my earlier comment. This symbol is the only one specifically known as aegishjalmr. It is also, however, only one of many such symbols collectively known as galdrastaufir, or galdr staves. To answer Noelle, it is, specifically, a galdrastaufr whose purpose is to instill terror in one’s enemies (e.g., on the battlefield.). Supposedly, it was the prize won by Sigismund (a/k/a Siegfried) by slaying Fafnir.

Ardie April 7, 2012 at 10:55 am

the difficulty i find in the meanings of symbols is some times frustrating .
when I went to foteviken museum they explained me that the Aegishjalmr has 8 lines that have each a different affection as they told me that 7 of them where curses and 1 was a blessing , in the villages they carved them at others houses ( not too be done at your own house ) fot that could mean that if a house had several Aegishjalmr it could mean that that person was either very loved or very hated .
any one else heared this version of the symbol?

Noelle September 27, 2011 at 6:06 am

I personally found this symbol hidden while I went for a run, what is it’s significance? What does it mean?

Raeven William Gowenlock April 6, 2010 at 2:50 am

This isn’t the only form of the Aegishjalm, though. There are infinite variations, each carrying a different meaning and purpose. Edred Thorsson gives a few examples in his book Northern Magic, but doesn’t go into much detail. Does anybody know where I can find more information?

Jennifer January 11, 2010 at 4:17 pm

You’re right, I was not paying close enough attention. Thank you.

rq January 9, 2010 at 1:46 pm

Ægishjálmr is not worn by Björk, she is wearing Vegvisir.
Please edit your post.

omar September 10, 2009 at 12:20 pm


is incorrect the meaning in this blog about the Bjork tattoo, the real name of this tattoo are ” V E G V I S I R “, which has a deep meaning. The Icelandic word literally means ‘guidepost’ or ‘direction sign’. In modern popular culture the Vegvísir is often called Runic Compass or See the Way. It is often associated with the Viking Age, which is not correct: this symbol is from the 17th century Icelandic grimoire called Galdrabók (’magic book’).

ℓᴕяδ Ƈѳὖℓϯħλᴙδ

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