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Thread: The Vigvisir

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    Newbie Boduos's Avatar
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    The Vigvisir

    Hallo alle miteinander.

    I would like to discuss a rune stave known as the "Vigivisir". It is handed through the 17th century CE "Galdrbok" a handbook of icelandic magic the Galdr. Yes, the same book there you can fing the ægishjalmr.

    The Vigvisir is claimed to be a stave that, carved in oak or wearing on skin bewares one of getting lost.


    ***cant post an image due to missing priviliges***








    The questions are:

    - Are you familiar with the vigvisir and do you use it?
    - If you use it, how do you use it?
    - What in your personal opinion is the symbol of the Vigvisir meant?
    - How could a todays version of the Vigvisir work and look like?



    Hope you enjoy discussing.

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    Opinionated Rae'ya's Avatar
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    Re: The Vigvisir

    For an image of the Vegvisir: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/F...e:Vegvisir.svg

    Quote Originally Posted by Boduos View Post
    - Are you familiar with the vigvisir and do you use it?
    - If you use it, how do you use it?
    - What in your personal opinion is the symbol of the Vigvisir meant?
    - How could a todays version of the Vigvisir work and look like?
    I am familiar with the symbol, but I don't use it personally. My understanding is that it is a symbol designed to prevent one getting lost in bad weather, so I don't personally think that it's relevant to all modern practitioners. It's also my understanding that it isn't from the Galdrabok, but from the Huld Manuscript, though I believe that Flowers included it in his version of the Galdrabok, so perhaps that is where the confusion comes from.

    I am not generally a fan of appropriating symbols and using them for purposes that they weren't originally intended. I think that the Vegvisir would be a good symbol to use if you were a pilot, sailor, hiker, camper, truckie or some other profession/hobby that had you outside wandering around or traveling on a regular basis. But not for the average Heathen/Asatruar/NTer/whatever. It's not the sort of thing that I would use in my personal practice, especially given that it is actually a relatively modern symbol that is not attested to in the actual Viking age or earlier.

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    Newbie Boduos's Avatar
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    Re: The Vigvisir

    The Huld Manuscript is from 1847. The Galdrabok is not from the 17th century as I posted before, but from the 16th century. So I think that if we dont have some kinda timeloop Galdrabok came first. But its no problem, maybe I am wrong. I would really like to learn more about where the wisdom of the staves was handed down from.

    About the appropiate use of symbols, I am with you. For example, a ægishjalmur on the door is not appropiate to protect your house, but is very useless. The Vigvisir protects one from getting lost on a journey and come home unharmed. That implicates, that one is in a possible danger of getting lost and getting harmed and travels away from home.
    So, I agree with you.

    What I find very interesting is the idea of the Vigvisir of a compass guiding one on a journey. I ones follow the deeper thoughts of this, one can imagine a compass that is not directed by the wheel of the year or the cardinalpoints but the main directives of that journey. The Vigvisir is in itself an impressive symbolism by the idea itself.

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    Loud Mouth Heka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boduos View Post

    The questions are:

    - Are you familiar with the vigvisir and do you use it?
    - If you use it, how do you use it?
    - What in your personal opinion is the symbol of the Vigvisir meant?
    - How could a todays version of the Vigvisir work and look like?
    I am familiar with the vegvisir, but no i dont "use" it.

    The Vegvisir is a symbol for finding your way, eg when travelling or finding ones way in a storm.

    Todays version of the vegvisir could look like this:

    What I find very interesting is the idea of the Vigvisir of a compass guiding one on a journey. I ones follow the deeper thoughts of this, one can imagine a compass that is not directed by the wheel of the year or the cardinalpoints but the main directives of that journey. The Vigvisir is in itself an impressive symbolism by the idea itself.
    ... and this is kinda the idea behind me getting it tattood on my ankle.

    This time last year I did roll my car though and Im only home 2 weekend from now till July too so a bit of help in travel is still appreciated.
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    Opinionated Rae'ya's Avatar
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    Re: The Vigvisir

    Quote Originally Posted by Boduos View Post
    The Huld Manuscript is from 1847. The Galdrabok is not from the 17th century as I posted before, but from the 16th century. So I think that if we dont have some kinda timeloop Galdrabok came first. But its no problem, maybe I am wrong. I would really like to learn more about where the wisdom of the staves was handed down from.
    Boduos, my understanding is that the Vegvisir is not in the original Galdrabok manuscript, which is part of why it's a relatively controversial 'Viking' symbol from an anthropological standpoint. It is only attested to in the Huld manuscript, which is a much later document, although it still claims to be a book of Icelandic magick.

    Now the issue, I believe, is that Stephen Flowers (aka Edred Thorsson) published a translation of the Galdrabok, in which he includes symbols from other sources. In Flowers' book, the Vegvisir is listed in the appendix, under the section 'From the Huld Manuscript'. I can only assume that the there has been some misinformation perpetuated somewhere along the line that the original Gladrabok also included the Vegvisir (which it doesn't).

    My other concern is that we can't really assume that anything in the Huld Manuscript is 'Viking', because it dates from later than the Viking Age. We can't even really assume that anything in the Galdrabok is 'Viking' either, because it also dates from after the conversion of Iceland. Now I'm not inferring that you have claimed it's a Viking symbol, because you haven't... I just bring it up here because I think it's relevant to the fact that there's a lot of misinformation out there about the symbol. If you do a basic search rather than looking at original dates and anthropological texts, is easy to assume that the Vegvisir (and other symbols) are something that they are actually not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Boduos View Post
    hat I find very interesting is the idea of the Vigvisir of a compass guiding one on a journey. I ones follow the deeper thoughts of this, one can imagine a compass that is not directed by the wheel of the year or the cardinalpoints but the main directives of that journey. The Vigvisir is in itself an impressive symbolism by the idea itself.
    I agree that the idea of the Vegvisir as a compass is an interesting idea. It's a relatively modern one though, as the compass that we know today was not in use at the time these symbols were used or recorded. We cannot even know if that manner of representing directions was in use... it may be a complete coincidence that the eight-spoked wheel is similar to our modern way of drawing the directions. So I tend to agree with you in thinking that it is more about 'directives of that journey' rather than cardinal directions. The translation of 'Vegvisir' means something along the lines of 'sign post' or 'directional stave', depending on who's translation you use. Couple that with the idea that it allows you not to lose your way in bad weather and it seems like a symbol that is designed to help you 'find your way'... which is what we use compasses for nowdays.

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    Opinionated Rae'ya's Avatar
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    Re: The Vigvisir

    Quote Originally Posted by Heka View Post
    This time last year I did roll my car though and Im only home 2 weekend from now till July too so a bit of help in travel is still appreciated.
    You are on the road a lot, Heka, so I kinda think you count as one of those 'wandering around traveling a lot' sort of people I mentioned before

  8. #8
    Loud Mouth Heka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rae'ya View Post

    You are on the road a lot, Heka, so I kinda think you count as one of those 'wandering around traveling a lot' sort of people I mentioned before
    Not the original reason i thought to get it (its like, to help me find, like direction, in like my, like, life, and it's like, a compass and like, yeah) but the more traditional meaning is alao fitting haha
    ThorSon's milkshake brings all the PF girls to the yard - Volcaniclastic

    RIP

    I have never been across the way
    Seen the desert and the birds
    You cut your hair short
    Like a shush to an insult
    The world had been yelling
    Since the day you were born
    Revolting with anger
    While it smiled like it was cute
    That everything was shit.

    - J. Wylder

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