Derived from Icelandic, the Vegvisir literally translates into Way guide. It is a representation of the different paths to take, and a guide to mortals. The Vegvisir is a symbol to help find one’s path. It is also known as the Viking compass and a symbol for protecting one’s self.
Nordic culture is heavily reliant on symbols, as it is a representation of their faith and beliefs. The symbols were associated with gods and mythology and a way to connect the deities to their powers. The symbols hold a lot of meaning and are meant to succinctly communicate Norse wisdom as well as the formidable power the gods were believed to hold.
These symbols were used both before and during the Viking era. While the meanings remain under debate, there is clear evidence to reinforce their definitions. There is also debate in the actual origin of these symbols and their creation. These symbols existed alongside their runes to create a rich tapestry of symbology that was grounded in both fortune-telling and preserving their mythology.
These served as a way to invoke the gods, and emblems to decorate their clothing and scare off the enemy. However, on a granular level, these symbols were also indicative of everyday life in ancient Nordic culture and what was most important to them. There are clear geographical elements that connect these to the larger culture, and these symbols depict the values that were most important to them during that time. Guidance, fate, destiny, power, and authority are just some of the themes seen in this symbology. These different elements tie back to powerful gods such as Odin and Thor, highlighting their importance in Norse mythology.