Vegvísir – Viking Compass

Image of Vegvisir Viking Compass

The Vikings must be very proud of their great treasure of ancient symbols. Viking symbols were not only beautiful in appearance but also in their meaning. For their life closely connected with agricultural, seafaring, and warfare activities, they always wished for luck and protection on their going. And one of the Viking most important and famous symbol was the Vegvísir or the Viking Compass.

Vegvísir or the Viking Compass was a symbol consisting of eight spikes spreading out. Actually, the Vegvísir’s design much resembled the compass we know today. Four main spikes presented four cardinal directions: East, South, North, and West. The other four ones were for the intercardinal directions. The pronunciation of the word “Vegvísir ” could be “VEEG-vee-seer” and its closest meaning was the “Path Finder”.

Image of Vegvisir Viking Compass
Vegvisir Viking Compass with Runes

Origin and Power

There were debates and various ideas about the Vegvísir’s origin and application though. People assumed that the accounts telling about Vegvísir were the later fabrication.

Anyway, the main power of Vegvísir was the power of protection and guidance on the going. The most famous lines of the symbol were that “If this sign is carried, one will never lose one’s way in storms or bad weather, even when the way is not known.”. They believed as long as one carried the symbol of Vegvísir with themselves, they would never lose their directions. Because Vegvísir would guide them back home anyway. In the ancient time, people would apply the symbol of Vegvísir in their eyebrows and often in blood. Somehow, it was like the third eye and its users just put the Viking Compass in the presumably highest positions to enhance the chance of guiding successfully.

As mentioned above, though the origins and first use of Vegvísir remain to be seen, many people believe the Vikings used this symbol for navigational purposes. The Vikings carried the symbol of Vegvísir during their voyages. The nail they put in the middle of Vegvísir would show them the directions to navigate the seas. Or the Vikings would draw Vegvísir symbol on the ships so that it would help their ships to go in the right directions.

Viking Compass Recently

In this day and age, Vegvísir still has much reputation and respect for its power and strong connection to the ancient people. Its main power has stretched above the power of geographical navigation, it has become the spiritual guidance as well. People nowadays have many ways to apply this symbol to their bodies: jewelry, clothes, tattoo, drawing, etc. That is to say, Vegvísir has stood the test of time and brought its power into the new era.

Image of Vegvisir Viking Compass
Vegvisir Tattoo on chest

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