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The Real Meaning of the Vegvísir

  • Published on Jan 25, 2022
  • You may have heard that the Vegvísir is a Viking symbol representing a compass, mapping the winds with ancient runic magic staves, and whatnot. Well, let us explore the real historical background of this symbol and find what it's all about.
    At minute 05:37 I say a mistake, pointing that between the end of the Viking Period and the appearance of the first galdrastafir ("magic staves") "half a century" has passed. It's obviously "half a millennium" (500 years between the end of the Viking Period and the 16th century when the simpler and stylized galdrastafir appear for the first time). This is the second time I make this mistake. Starting to getting mad at myself. I'm tired and it is starting to show lol.
    Bibliography at the end of this video.
    Check the official site for the Huld Manuscript here:
    My Social Media:

Comments • 115

  • Arith Härger
    Arith Härger  4 months ago +64

    At minute 05:37 I say a mistake, pointing that between the end of the Viking Period and the appearance of the first galdrastafir ("magic staves") "half a century" has passed. It's obviously "half a millennium" (500 years between the end of the Viking Period and the 16th century when the simpler and stylized galdrastafir appear for the first time). This is the second time I make this mistake. Starting to getting mad at myself. I'm tired and it is starting to show lol.

    • Mark Fergerson
      Mark Fergerson 2 months ago

      I'm going to guess that English is not your first language.
      I am monolingual in English and make mistakes like that too, so it's not just you.
      Have some patience with yourself. I get that you want to hold yourself to a high standard of accuracy (which is highly appreciated by the way) nonetheless I give you a double pass on errors like that- first for doing presentations in English (one of the most inconsistent languages ever according to linguist friends) and second, for being human.

    • Keith Drummond
      Keith Drummond 2 months ago

      Those of us with an understanding of basic math, knew what you meant. ☺

    • Ray Jay
      Ray Jay 4 months ago

      All Good 👍 👌

    • Dupire Christophe
      Dupire Christophe 4 months ago +1

      I think it could be real helpful to have a tag that the creator of the video would put
      before the time stamp in the comments like for instance:
      {/display;05:37"blah blah..."}
      It would display text to say what was wrong in the video without having to redo the video and reupload it , losing comments and likes and all that jazz...
      You could even have special tags with x and y axis to know where to display the text, chose the fonts and how big they appear.
      (I thought the annotation feature was that, but I was wrong.)
      Because let's be honest with ourselves, we will never NOT do mistakes while creating something, you cannot put your attention in every little part of a project at the same time, that's not how the human brain function and there is always a detail you will forget and that will infuriate you when you find it.
      I've been proofreading quite a lot of texts and it's always the same stuff, (and it's worse according to how long a text even is) you always find new mistakes a day after and it drive you insane. You only have to see the errors present in books, and they have pro people doing the spell check on those... and even those guys will tell you how much of a headache this thing is, and if you do it yourself while writing your own stuff it's even worse on some case.
      I mean, there's a reason that even machines have such a hard time getting that shit right.

    • Dakini Dream
      Dakini Dream 4 months ago +1

      No worries, mistakes happens to us all. Good video over all, and i hope it will help to clear again some misconceptions still around. Thanks lot !

  • peyton kelly
    peyton kelly 4 months ago +31

    As someone who has this symbol tattooed on them, I am aware of the orgin and historical facts, however I still have a connection with it and like what it means.

    • Sara Zuffa
      Sara Zuffa Day ago +2

      Same for me: I have it tattooed because it means something to me.

    • nelius
      nelius Month ago +1

      Agreed. Also, I really enjoy the aesthetic. Like a piece of art

    • Lydia A.
      Lydia A. 2 months ago +1


    • peyton kelly
      peyton kelly 2 months ago +1

      @Crazy Jane hanging in there!

  • Nicholé Addair
    Nicholé Addair 3 months ago +8

    As a practicing nordic pagan I have this as a tattoo, I love it and it’s meaning despite it not being from the Viking age it is still very much nordic.

  • Hel
    Hel 4 months ago +15

    this is SO fascinating to hear about and learn, like. why isn't this common knowledge? (i have a few ideas why but still). thank you so much for your great work, i was happy to learn once again from you and your videos. have a nice day!!!

    • nelius
      nelius Month ago

      My personal theory is that the misuse and misinformation of the public about this symbol is linked to the mentality of the viking era. It was about building a legacy and reputation, not historic accuracy. Like, creating a good story that will be passed from person to person.
      I reckon that this transferred to popculure and how this time is portrait. It doenst matter that there are no historic connections between the viking age and Vegvisir. It fits and that's all that counts.

    • revelationreflection
      revelationreflection 3 months ago

      Why would it be common knowledge? It's been culturally surpassed and obsolete.

    GRINCH THICKUMS 4 months ago +10

    Thank you for clearing that up, I'm very appreciative of your knowledge and with you here I learn new things every video!

  • RoseWitchcraft
    RoseWitchcraft 4 months ago +8

    This is so fascinating and well researched. Thank you so much.

  • Revenant7n
    Revenant7n 3 months ago +3

    I appreciate this video. All others I've seen will identify that the Vegvisir is first seen in the Huld Manuscript (1860), but I've never been shown the striking similarity to the 14th or 15th century symbols found in the Key of Solomon. That firmly places the origin with Jewish / Arab magicians and wipes out any possibility that they have viking age origin.

  • Michelle Zenner
    Michelle Zenner 4 months ago +2

    It is said that Pythagoras had his stude-nts sworn to secrecy. It is also said that on Pythagoras death bed he asked to have a "symbol" placed outside the doorway to inform others of his presence. I can't help but think that at some point in time, symbology-languages became lost. I can cite several ancient BC texts-symbology that cannot be interpreted but must've been known at one time. We dont know all languages. We do know the nature of man, however, greed, power, war, etc. which includes the persecution of persons having different beliefs. Thank you. I hope we find out one day what was intended for some of the lost languages.

  • Defiant
    Defiant 4 months ago +3

    I did dna test im 30% Icelandic, so I had that tattooed on my whole hand ,an when I went in everyone kept saying viking, I kept saying what it really is ,it's surprising how much people really don't know then get it tattooed on them , it funny how many people say how much they like my tattoo, but when I correct them it's not viking the look I get 😂

  • Filo
    Filo Month ago

    Amazing ! I have a vegvisir and love the esoteric meaning, as a traveler i like to use it in that way, love ur Channel and all real history

  • Família Branquinho Branquinho

    For this year the themes promise I can see! Knowing in depth is clearly super interesting. Thank you Mr Arith!

  • Gunk Wretch
    Gunk Wretch 3 months ago

    thanks Arith, for separating history from modern interpretations... I remember you video on the similarities between the helm of Awe and African symbols.. but I have also found a Tantric Yantra which looks much like the Helm of Awe... I found no real explanation, but it appears to use Shiva's Trident/Khatvenga in the 8 directions.. The symbol at the bottom spoke of Vegvisir appears like an Angelic sigil from Christian Ceremonial magick

  • Kennard Klinebriel
    Kennard Klinebriel 3 months ago

    You are a great scholar. I love watching your videos. I always walk away from these videos with 10x more knowledge. Thank you so much for sharing your expertise.

  • Bruno Tonelo
    Bruno Tonelo 4 months ago +2

    Muito obrigado pelo excelente video!

  • Hristo Naydenov
    Hristo Naydenov 2 months ago

    Very interesting video. I am considering tattooing a vegvisir on myself, and found all the information you share here really helpful. There does seem to be quite a lot of misinformation on the internet about this symbol, and most people will associate it with the vikings. I have one question though - how do we know that the symbol was created more than 500 years after the viking age ended? Could it be possible that it was created earlier but evaded us for so long and we found it much later? Do you suppose it is in fact possible that it's connected to the vikings in some way? Or do we have concrete evidence that the symbol was created in 1860 (or thereabout)?

  • Iain Melville
    Iain Melville 4 months ago +8

    I am continuing to love your output. Great work, thank you so much.

  • Dacha.M
    Dacha.M 2 months ago

    Patagonian Tribes of both seas have similar symbols, highly compelling, great video like always, you are an endless source of clarifying knowledge my friend, keep it coming!

  • C. NoBle
    C. NoBle 4 months ago +3

    You're amazing.
    Thank you.
    Have you gone over Valkyries symbols yet?
    Happy Wodans Day.

  • Karkir-joharkarnt Kristkarkson

    The diagram to the right on the video's thumbnail is sooo cool. It's like the stars on each side of the eight pointed star depicts the nodes on a 3d sphere. It's as if the perspective morphs between a 2d diagram and a 3d spherical web globe.

  • riot
    riot 4 months ago +11

    Could this symbol be also used in non-literal sense - to find a way not n a real storm, but in a "storm" of life, for examaple? I guess it could be..

    • riot
      riot 3 months ago

      @broden mcdougall "so I don't lose my way" also could sound pretty for Thelemite.

    • broden mcdougall
      broden mcdougall 3 months ago +2

      I reckon the interpretation is subjective. I personally have a necklace not dissimilar to the ones this gentleman shows. even with letters of elder futhark around it. When anyone asks what it stands for I simply tell them "it's so I don't lose my way." as it's still within the realm of what the symbol represents. but for me it has a more personal, and figurative meaning. As for the futhark. well I'll admit I didn't know the Vegvisir was not of the viking age whent I bought it. That said, I am fascinated by that age and culture. and so wearing their alphabet is a good way of showing it. Despite the fact the two have no correlation, putting them on one necklace does accurately showcase something for me.

    • Megan Trish
      Megan Trish 4 months ago +2

      That is how I see it.

  • Vikrant vijit
    Vikrant vijit 3 months ago

    Thanks for caring to share deep and wide knowledge about Viking high Aesthetics Arts, Cultural Crafts and Technical Talents for Shipping, Sailing and Symbolic Magical Runes decoding futures, dominating Present and dealing dead past with respect.

  • Casey Thiessen
    Casey Thiessen 4 months ago +1

    Hey Arith question. In this video you mention the horizontal stave is part of the Vegvisir as a whole. So what then would the significance of the double line separation between the main symbol and the horizontal stave which also includes its own designated number of XXIX while the main symbol is designated noXXVII. Would this not indicate that they are in fact separate symbols entirely that just occupy the same page in the Huld manuscript? Was just a thought I had while looking at it more closely.

  • Tkazox
    Tkazox 3 months ago

    Just heard about this first here, super dope to see the dedication, love the videos 🙌🏽

  • Marcus Fridh
    Marcus Fridh 4 months ago +2

    there wasnt magnetic compasses in scandinavia in the vikingage, but there was the solar compasses

  • nuclearnic
    nuclearnic 4 months ago +3

    I've literally told this same nonsense to people who have asked. Thank you

  • Valeriya V
    Valeriya V 4 months ago +3

    Thank you!. Was waiting for this one 😊

  • revelationreflection
    revelationreflection 3 months ago

    Very interesting. My friend got like 5 different of these galdastaffir (or however you spell it), including this one, but without the bottom, horizontal element. Gonna see if he thinks it's from viking age as well. Then show this video.

  • WwAaNrDrEiRoErR
    WwAaNrDrEiRoErR 3 months ago

    Interesting and known by me but not very widely known. The relation of this symbol and those who follow the Norse path still makes sense to me. Especially for those that do ”workings” or magic probably a trigger point (as you always see) for those that stick to only symbols and workings from the Viking age and anything before it. There are the scholars and the doers. I am kind of in the middle.

  • so So
    so So 4 months ago +3

    Thank you very much for this video.

  • Teresa Figueiredo
    Teresa Figueiredo 4 months ago +1

    Excellent job! Good continuation!

  • Fabio Sombra
    Fabio Sombra 3 months ago

    Poxa sei que vc não deve falar português assim como eu não falo inglês, mas quanto mais estudo " cultura nórdica " mais percebo que não a nada de fato nórdico concreto, como se fosse uma cultura que se perdeu totalmente, se alguém poder me ajudar sobre isso eu agradeço, a minha pergunta é " existe algo de fato nórdico?"

  • D Seelenmagie
    D Seelenmagie 4 months ago +8

    You just made a lot of people mad with this one. I know that wasn't your intention, and they won't care. What can really be said...sometimes the truth hurts and modern day "vikings" just have to cry and get over it. But still, it's cool looking and sometimes that is all people want. You're one of the good ones my friend!

  • Mark Fergerson
    Mark Fergerson 2 months ago

    I had idly noticed the similarity between the vegvisir and ancient Jewish mystical symbology a long time ago but never delved into the history of the symbolism of esotericism since I don't believe in magic. It's simultaneously mildly amusing to know that some of the people I knew who did believe were "doing it wrong" as they say on the Internet these days, and disappointing to realize once again that people with a sincere interest can be so easily misled.

  • Rana McMahon
    Rana McMahon 4 months ago +2

    I'm learning so much from you. Thank you for sharing this. Keep growing that hair!!! It's beautiful. 🙋

  • Mr. Monster
    Mr. Monster 4 months ago +2

    I have the I have this as a vinyl sticker on my SUV but it's good to know more information about the symbol and that it's not very old

  • Duececoupe
    Duececoupe Month ago

    I keep posting links to your video, wherever I see it's necessary....keep up with your phenomenal work my friend! 🤜🏻🤛🏻🍻

  • travis bremer
    travis bremer 2 months ago

    Thank you I learned something today

  • Amy Chappell
    Amy Chappell 3 months ago

    Can you expand on the bottom of the Stav please. I'd like to know more about why it's in a single line and part of the one above it.

  • JK
    JK 4 months ago +3

    Thanke you for this info.

  • D Roberts
    D Roberts 4 months ago

    Have you looked into the so-called viking "sun stone"?

  • Keith Drummond
    Keith Drummond 2 months ago


  • Ashe Neve
    Ashe Neve 4 months ago +4

    Thankyou Arith….for making time before work for this

    • Ashe Neve
      Ashe Neve 4 months ago

      Make sure you take some time to rest….I have not seen you seem so tired ever…..we appreciate your conversation and contributions and efforts ….pulling all of the peices together for us …… thanks again Arith ….so much

  • Rogério FJ
    Rogério FJ 3 months ago

    I got so scared when I hear you saying ''Obrigado por hoje", didn't know you can speak portuguese, greetings from brazil to you ! 😄

  • to ravnerflyr
    to ravnerflyr 3 months ago +2

    There's a weird phenomena of people losing their minds getting "viking" tattoos, that have never read the Eddas. They seem to love the wildly inaccurate "Vikings" TV show. Get furious that an Icelandic Studies professor doesn't believe in "Rune Magic." I suppose they'll get tired and become Buddhist or practice Tengrism later in life. Anything to be different.
    Real history, mythology and religions are far more interesting. There's a look of commonality in polytheism and animism, even with different cultures.
    Det er som om alle nordmenn er tegneseriefigurer, ikke faktiske mennesker. Vi har en ekte historie.

    • Djurberg74
      Djurberg74 3 months ago

      I fully agree, and I must say that "Vikings" TV show have caused great harm to Paganism and everybody interested in old Scandinavian culture... Glada hälsningar från Sverige! :-)

    • Susan Kriste
      Susan Kriste 3 months ago

      For me, the Eddas are not a comprehensive gauge of Norse beliefs. The Sagas, etc. - oral traditions - have been told and retold for so long, that some "creative license" exists, as well as their being presented as a way to cloak political/societal ills and commentaries and get away with it. They were also written by a man who was not looking to hail the past - but more likely as materials that would convince pagans holding out on conversion to Christianity. "Oh look, how similar this is really." When St. Patrick came to the Druids in Ireland, he accounted to them the story of Jesus' hanging on a cross (tree) and the Druids basically told St. Patrick - they had that too.

    • Commander Shepard
      Commander Shepard 3 months ago +1

      It’s just a phase. Vikings are in right now. Eventually it’ll be the celts or the Romans, the knights or some other culture that has a strong warrior based theme

  • luciana Ferreira
    luciana Ferreira 3 months ago


  • Ruben Almighty
    Ruben Almighty Month ago

    Just found this Chanel…I love Nordic mythology and Vikings culture…I’m trying to learn. I don’t even know what to read, and if it’s true

  • Nurnu
    Nurnu 3 months ago

    Great video 😊👍

  • Morne Marais
    Morne Marais 4 months ago +1

    wow inspiring thank you brother i apreciate your aprouch

  • Sal Paradise
    Sal Paradise Month ago

    I suppose it's nice to be as accurate as possible. But also, booo, killjoy!
    I've had a similar experience recently. I found an explanation of a rune - it was said to mean many things, all of which spoke to me.
    And then I found an explanation from someone who purports to be an expert and he said, "this rune basically means "drizzle or light rain" and not "courage, freedom, persistence and territoriality"".
    I feel a bit like a character in a Terry Pratchett novel.

  • Lori gevoelig
    Lori gevoelig Month ago

    Does it really matter if this symbol isn't from the actual Vikings era? Nice background research, though. Some people wear "S" for Superman and the symbol has many meanings. I like the fact that, though not Viking origin, represents finding our way home.

  • no body
    no body 4 months ago +1

    Thank you for the leason.

  • Lance Robert Hough
    Lance Robert Hough 4 months ago +4

    Now this will bother me even more now knowing the particular runes used by people with these symbols predated the "Viking" age.

    • Shifty
      Shifty 3 months ago +1

      These aren't runes.....Runes mean workd and written language these are staves or magic symbols not Runes....

    • C. NoBle
      C. NoBle 4 months ago +1

      Tribe of Dannu in parts of Palestine 🤔

  • Stewart Thomas
    Stewart Thomas 4 months ago +1

    Love your stuff kick on love it

  • Exodus Eddie
    Exodus Eddie 3 months ago

    Look into the hindu and Chinese directional node gaurdians deities. The hindu symbol is similar to eagishjalmr.
    The symbol goes deeper.

  • Seveni S
    Seveni S 3 months ago

    I hope you have gotten some rest since this post!😘

  • Amethyst
    Amethyst 4 months ago

    I would still manage to get lost. It's a talent😂

  • morriganwitch
    morriganwitch 4 months ago

    A haven of intelligence has come around again xxx thank you xxx

  • Benton Middleton
    Benton Middleton 3 months ago +1

    Without all the references you have, I've known most of this for years. Upsets me when I see a newbie in a Facebook group posting pics of a new tattoo, not having a clue as to what it is, where it came from or worse, what it actually means.
    But I will say that once you understand these things it's much easier to differentiate between the Nordic staves and the Christian esoterica, then take what you need and create your own sigils and or markings for magical workings. If more Heathens would take this approach, we might find a lot more historical power and potential in our magical undertakings, and real material we can then further share with other Heathens and the world at large. Just sayin'...

  • Robert
    Robert 4 months ago

    I agree that gibberish is not helpful in any way. I wonder if and how we can reclaim this symbol of its actual meaning. Or is it something we should abandon altogether?

  • HekateRose
    HekateRose 3 months ago

    Holly shit what was that red sigil, 🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯

  • Ian Stukenborg
    Ian Stukenborg 4 months ago

    11:15 I'd LOVE to be able to sit back and watch some big dummy put that "magic" to the test! Ha

  • OrphanPaper
    OrphanPaper 4 months ago

    you opening stament Gilbert though the same thing
    half a millennia =500 years

  • HekateRose
    HekateRose 3 months ago

    I no this sigil ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ I will find my way home xxxx

  • The AdMinisters
    The AdMinisters 4 months ago +2

    How long do you leave UR Yule tree decorated and standing?

    • The AdMinisters
      The AdMinisters 4 months ago

      @Arith Härger by the way; UR work is fabulous. Listening to you helps me see where enunciation, accents, and speech patterns effectively cause minor miscommunications.
      Dialects cause some dereliction.
      Jews, Jinns, Jims, Gematria.
      I live in the middle of Indian Territory. The Tribes Surround Me.
      I AM a Modern Day Viking! It is beakcuz ov Odin’s Ravens that Oui have Crow and Kaw Tribes.
      Chi is the cross and Gods Mark X
      Rho: is the Greek P, and the P is Joy!
      Kee: the Egyptian Anhk ~ Key of Life.
      YaQui- Yahweh’s Quintessential Eternal Energy.
      Potowatomi references Ptahotep!
      Wat: monastery
      Om: sacred Hindu sound of creation!
      i: the minds Eye, single i, 3rd eye !!!
      Si, the world will be destroyed by fire; the flame of the transformed mind will vanquish all evil.

    • Arith Härger
      Arith Härger  4 months ago +3

      All the January videos were recorded a month ago, that's why the tree is there lol.

  • Ian Stukenborg
    Ian Stukenborg 4 months ago

    You should organize your videos so people can see in writing the preparatory videos. Just saying. I think it's nice you don't want to repeat, i can't stand that either, time consuming. However, you are repeating yourself about the preparatory videos all the time. Lol. Just saying.

  • Kjellberg
    Kjellberg 4 months ago

    ah shit i painted them on my shield, welp too late

    • John Hanna
      John Hanna 3 months ago

      Oih larpers face palms

    • Kamila Rosińska
      Kamila Rosińska 4 months ago +2

      @Megan Trish Exactly.

    • Megan Trish
      Megan Trish 4 months ago +2

      There's nothing wrong with using the symbol. Just because it isn't from the viking age doesn't mean it can't be meaningful for you.

  • Psymon1988Stark
    Psymon1988Stark 4 months ago

    19:16 Me: to late.^^

  • OG Community
    OG Community 4 months ago +2

    gibberish or googled...lol Arith, thanks again, if you come to Los Angeles...you'll end up hurting your neck from shaking your head in annoyance due to the absurd amount of miss appropriated use of staves, runes, Solomonic Sigils or any esoteric symbology. I literally can state that 93% of the so called occult community utilize anything to glamorize themselves as supposed practitioners of sacred knowledge/ magick: The common things I hear as a example "i'm not what you said a adept but im awoken to my inner witch, i was like ,totally a shaman in my past life my Guru totally told me after stimulating my tantric chakraa.....so im for sure getting every one of those solo-man sig-guys tattooed all 72 of them...i'm going to look soo witchy"....lmao that was a actual quote from one of my wifes friends...but thats what i'm surrounded with in LA.....Also in A-Merica when it comes to those who wear staves encompassed with runes on themselves, clothes, tattoos, or on their trucks...are not at all implying viking heritage or using them as intended but instead theyre used as identification as "Im a Aryan Nation /neo nazi hidden in plain sight"...I guess ignorance perpetuates ignorance....there are a very few i've met who do actually read, are actual adepts properly keep their knowledge hidden, and not parading for sake of some ego based identity. I personally think all those who practice any of the sacred with out actually being a apprentice or doing a lifetime of research prior to how they act or try to practice are extremely dangerous to themselves, to everyone around them, and most likely pissing off all types of the Unseen.. this is why I think our generation of scholars such as yourself and a small list of others...should have a meet-þing...to have a discussion on ways of getting real researched information out to the masses to put a end to this paradigm of misguided ignorance and ego based thought patterns...Hel if we have to write our own bible why not.. bless eigðu góðan dag í vinnunni

  • Surtulf
    Surtulf 3 months ago

    A thing many people should consider is that even though it isnt a "viking" symbol it is still a norse symbol rooted in norse ideas. Just because the viking age stopped it doesnt mean norse culture took a halt or vanished. Vegvisir is a neo-norse symbol with roots in other cultures, which perfectly follows the essence of norse culture. People went viking not only to pillage or trade, but to explore, get inspired, collect knowledge and sometimes adapt or assimilate that which they experienced/learned. A mindset that the author of Huld likely shared.
    We arent decendants of a godfearing culture, so being inspired by the mysticism of other cultures and even making it your own is not a sin or crime against any divinity. Our beloved Tor is the protector of mankind, not norsekind, so all of us here in midgard may have ideas worth adapting if you actually believe in the spiritual side of things. And given the concept of the Norns, the symbol popping up in the late 1800's may be fate. Reinvigorating the old ways with new symbolism and mysticism.
    Dont fall into the narrowminded abyss like those of the crooked cross.

  • Emma M
    Emma M 4 months ago

    it has no meaning

  • Kronos -
    Kronos - 4 months ago

    Love you bro but you’re way off. Heres what you wanna research. Squatterman. Saturnian polar configuration. Assembly of the gods. The divine council. Or you could watch my uploads