Veldismagn: Exploring this potent Galdrastafir Symbol


The ancient Icelandic magical symbol known as the Veldismagn has recently reemerged from centuries of obscurity to capture public fascination.

Historically used as a protective talisman and invoked for blessings of health, fortune, and safe passage, this geometric wheel-shaped rune was an important part of Norse mythology and medieval occult traditions.

Lost for many generations, the enigmatic Veldismagn has experienced a modern revival as a popular tattoo and spiritual emblem, shedding new light on its origins, symbolic meaning, and growing significance in contemporary paganism and Western esotericism.

In this post we’ll dive into the origins of the Veldismagn, its symbolic meaning, how it differs from similar symbols like the Vegvisir, and its growing popularity today in jewelry, tattoos, and modern pagan practice.


Key Points

  • The Veldismagn is an Icelandic magical symbol used as a protective talisman, invoking health, safety, and power.
  • Its name means “to give strength” in Old Norse, and it takes the form of an eight-spoked wheel.
  • The Veldismagn should not be confused with the Vegvisir compass symbol despite some similarities.
  • Originally drawn in rituals, today it appears in jewelry, tattoos, and pagan spiritual practices.
  • It continues to capture the imagination as a symbol of enduring human desires for security and mystical protection.

History and Origins of the Ancient Veldismagn Symbol

The Veldismagn traces its roots to ancient Norse mythology and the medieval occultism of the Nordic and Germanic peoples. These cultures had a rich tradition of magical symbols and protective runes.

The earliest known examples of the Veldismagn date back to at least the 16th century. Icelandic scholar Olaf Magnus (1555-1636) was the first to describe this symbol in his historical writings.

However, the true origin of the Veldismagn is unknown and may stretch back many centuries earlier, when Vikings and Germanic tribes worshipped Norse gods like Odin, Thor, and Freyja.

These deities were invoked through magical symbols to receive protection and guidance. The Veldismagn was likely ritually traced on the chest before embarking on sea voyages, to ensure a safe journey and good fortune.

Although its precise roots are obscure, the powerful meaning of the Veldismagn is clear. It embodies the ancient and universal human desire to feel protected in the face of uncontrollable forces.


What is the Veldismagn?

The Veldismagn is part of a larger tradition of Icelandic magical sigils known as the Galdrastafir. The Galdrastafir, meaning “magical staves” in Old Norse, are a collection of occult signs and symbols used for protection, healing, and spell work.

They likely originated from a fusion of Norse runic magic and medieval grimoire sorcery that was brought to Iceland during the Colonial period.

The Galdrastafir incorporate runes and letters from multiple alphabets, often arranged in geometric patterns, to invoke mystical forces. These sigils would be drawn or carved onto objects, walls, and even the body.

Specific staves were created for aims like safe travel, attracting love, averting evil, bringing prosperity, and guarding health.

The Galdrastafir comprise a unique branch of Norse-Germanic folk magic that endured well past the conversion of Iceland to Christianity.

The Veldismagn, meaning “to give power and strength,” is one of the key staves thought to provide protection and vitality. Its eight spokes contain different runic letters radiating from a central point.

Traditionally it would be drawn upon a person’s chest in blood to imbue them with magical force and fortitude. The Veldismagn exemplifies the blending of runic and grimoire magic within the Icelandic Galdrastafir tradition.


The Veldismagn was used to invoke good health, safety in travel, defense against evil forces, and an overall aura of power and invincibility for the bearer. As a potent defensive glyph, it shares similarities with symbols like the Aegishjalmur and Vegvisir.

Veldismagn Meaning and Symbolism

As a magical symbol, the Veldismagn carries a range of protective and empowering meanings:

  • Protection in travel – The Veldismagn safeguards travelers against peril, ensuring a safe return home. It offers stability and defenses against getting lost or befalling misfortune on perilous journeys.
  • Good health – By warding off curses, spirits, and illness, the Veldismagn promotes vitality and wellbeing. Historically it was drawn over homes for protection from disease.
  • Luck and success – The runic spokes invoke mystical forces of luck and good fortune, helping endeavors go smoothly. It brings general blessings for prosperity and growth.
  • Victory in battle – In the Viking Age, the Veldismagn emboldened warriors to prevail in combat through its magical strength. It confers boldness, resilience, and power.
  • Banishing evil – By repelling dark forces, misfortune, and all manner of harm, this symbol promotes security in one’s home, family, and community.

Like all Galdrastafir symbols, the Veldismagn reveals an ancient desire to harness the mystical elements for protection, healing, empowerment, and control over external forces influencing our lives.


Veldismagn vs. Vegvisir: Clearing Up the Confusion

The Vegvisir is easily the most famous and widespread Icelandic magical stave. Its eight-spoked wheel shape often leads it to be confused with the Veldismagn. However, these two symbols have distinct meanings.



The Vegvisir, meaning “That Which Shows the Way”, is an Icelandic magical compass. It was carried by Vikings to prevent getting lost at sea. The Veldismagn meanwhile is solely focused on protection and projecting power.

The symbols differ in their intended effects, but also their physical form. The Vegvisir is drawn within a circle, while the Veldismagn spokes meet in a central point. Their runic contents are also different.


However, both can function as general protection sigils for travelers. The Vegvisir navigates perilous seas, while the Veldismagn offers stability across land and water. Either can be invoked for safety in new experiences.

The Growing Popularity of Veldismagn Tattoos

Unlike past eras where it was drawn in rituals, today the Veldismagn is most often depicted as a tattoo. It has grown rapidly in popularity as body art thanks to its cool geometric design and deep spiritual symbolism.

Veldismagn Tattoo

As an emblem of protection, vitality, and sacred knowledge from antiquity, the Veldismagn makes a profound tattoo statement. It represents the profound human longing for power over external threats and inner spiritual harmony.

Veldismagn vs Aegishjalmur

In addition to the Vegvisir, the Veldismagn is often compared to the Viking era Aegishjalmur rune, also known as the Helm of Awe or Terror.

viking symbols helm of awe

While at first glance they appear similar, with their eight-spoke wheel shapes and mystical protective powers, the Veldismagn and Aegishjalmur have distinct origins and symbolic interpretations.

The Helm of Awe (Old Norse Ægishjálmr) is a powerful Norse magical stave that appears prominently in the Galdrabók, or Book of Magic. This 17th-century Icelandic grimoire contains numerous sigils, spells, and rituals from the Galdrastafir tradition.

Helm-of-Awe-Ægishjálmr in Galdrabók

Helm-of-Awe-Ægishjálmr in Galdrabók

It was primarily associated with providing supernatural protection and courage during battle, whereas the Veldismagn offered broader security in travel, health, and warding off misfortune.

The Aegishjalmur was typically traced upon the forehead, while the Veldismagn was drawn on the chest.

In modern times, as interest in Old Norse culture has been renewed, the Aegishjalmur remains one of the most prominent and recognizable Viking protection runes, often appearing in popular imagery and Norse-inspired designs.

On the other hand, the once little-known Veldismagn has steadily grown in recognition, gaining traction in the tattoo, jewelry, and mystical spirituality circles drawn to its unique eight-spoke glyph and more broad symbolic meaning.

While the Aegishjalmur continues to be more extensively known and depicted currently, the Veldismagn’s following and influence has widened over recent decades. Despite their overlaps as ancient Norse protective symbols, the two runes have distinctly captured modern imaginations.

Modern Meaning and Uses

Although the Veldismagn traces its roots to Norse antiquity, this magical symbol continues to play an important protective role even in the modern era:

  • Jewelry and Apparel – Bracelets, pendants, and other charms featuring the Veldismagn are popular as everyday talismans. T-shirts and clothing with this motif are also widespread.
  • Tattoos – Due to its profound meaning and appealing design, the Veldismagn has become a  popular tattoo. It symbolizes connection to ancient wisdom.
  • Pagan Spirituality – Many pagans and followers of mystical traditions like Asatru have adopted the Veldismagn as a symbol of protection and spiritual guidance.
  • Home Decoration – Drawing the Veldismagn on doors or walls continues the tradition of using it as protection for the home from negative influences.

Even in a modern, technological world, the ancient protective power of the Veldismagn continues to bring comfort and security to those who adopt it as their personal talisman.

Veldismagn in Modern Pop Culture

The rediscovery of the Veldismagn has also brought this runic symbol into mainstream pop culture:

  • The Veldismagn appears in the TV show Vikings, which sparked interest in Norse mythology.
  • It features in video games like The Elder Scrolls RPGs and the card game Hearthstone.
  • Fashion retailer Nordstrom sells Veldismagn t-shirts and hats, making it more mainstream.
  • The symbol is used by some black metal and pagan metal musicians, genres inspired by Norse mythology.
  • Available as an emoji on various platforms, to express protection, strength, and spiritual belonging.

From obscure magical rune to pop phenomenon, the Veldismagn’s journey across centuries proves its enduring power to capture the imagination.


The Veldismagn is a fascinating runic symbol whose origins are lost in the mists of time. Used as a potent protective talisman by ancient Norse peoples, today it is undergoing a revival as a tattoo and spiritual emblem.

With its intriguing geometric design and rich meaning, the Veldismagn is sure to continue having a profound impact on those who adopt it as their own. This mysterious rune reminds us of the enduring human desire to find meaning, guidance, and security in the face of the unknown.

See also:

Viking Symbols And Their Meanings The Complete Guide

Aegishjalmur (The Helm of Awe): Meaning, History, and Symbolism

8 Norse Tattoos To Avoid

The Vegvisir: A Symbol of Protection and Guidance

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