A Vegvísir is an Icelandic magical sign intended to help the bearer find their way through rough weather.
The symbol is attested in the Huld Manuscript, collected in Iceland by Geir Vigfusson in 1860 (but consisting of material of much earlier origin)
The Icelandic word literally means ‘guidepost’ or ‘direction sign’.
In modern popular culture, the Vegvísir is often called The Viking Compass, The Runic Compass or See the Way.
It is often associated with the Viking Age, which is not entirely correct: this symbol is from the 17th-century Icelandic grimoire called Galdrabók (‘magic book’). But of course, this magic sign has an older origin
A leaf of the manuscript provides a drawing of the Vegvísir symbol, giving its name, and, in prose, declaring 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”
Magic symbols/signs – Galdrastafir are Icelandic and appear from around 1400 through to 1700.
They borrow concepts from pagan times, from Vikings, from Norse gods, myths, and folklore, and from runic characters,
but they also reflect issues current for their times and Christian beliefs.
It is likely that Galdrastafir gained popularity in Iceland after the symbols were seen in late-medieval European grimoires.
Today some people have this sign as an emblem or even a tattoo so the magical sign can help them out when in need.