In our shop, we pride ourselves on having a variety of beliefs covering from Buddhism, Paganism and even the Old Ways. So we wanted to give a little background on some of the symbols you may see around the shop but not know what they are.
In our first symbology blog, we are uncovering the Norse Symbol of Vegvisir. In the Icelandic language, Vegvisir means Wayfinder - ‘Vesur’ meaning Road and ‘Visir’ meaning Guide. It comes from the ‘Huld Manuscript’, an Icelandic spell book. It says “If this sign is carried, one will never lose one’s way in storms or bad weather, even when the way is not known.”
The symbol is made up for 8 rune staves. These represent the directions, including the 4 cardinal directions (North, South, East and West) and 4 ordinal directions (Northwest, Southwest, Northeast and Southeast). Another interpretation is that each stave represents the 9 realms in Norse Mythology, the 9th being the centre circle as Midgard - the realm of humans. The other 8 realms are:
- Asgard – Realm of the Aesir
- Alfheim – Realm of the Bright Elves
- Jotunheim – Realm of the Giants
- Muspelheim/Muspell – A fire-giant or the forces of chaos or their realm
- Nidavellir – Realm of the Dwarves
- Niflheim – Realm of Ice and Mist possibly with lower realm of Niflhel
- Svartalfheim – Realm of the Black Elves
- Vanaheim – Realm of the Vanir
Vegvisir is sometimes confused with Aegishjalmur - The Helm of Awe, the only difference being the runes at the end of each stave is different instead of the same. Vegvisir is also surrounded by the Runic alphabet.
Runes were believed to be discovered by the King of the Gods, Odin himself. It is believed that Odin hung himself front Yggdrasil, - the Tree of Life for nine days and nights. After suffering by his own spear the secrets of the runes were revealed to him. This is why they are so sacred and not fully understood.
So in summary, Vegvisir is a symbol of protection and aids to bring people back home safely. You will see this symbol on crystals such as Black Obsidian, and other protection crystals to amplify the sigils power.