Skipping Stepping Stones

June 23, 2011

Björk, an Icelandic singer and actress, has a  tattoo on her left upper arm. It is a Norse magic symbol called Vegvísir, which has a deep meaning. The Icelandic word literally means ‘guidepost’ or ‘direction sign’. In modern popular culture the Vegvísir is often called Runic Compass or See the Way. It is often associated with the Viking Age, which is not correct: this symbol is from the 17th century Icelandic grimoire called Galdrabók (‘magic book’). The origin of this type of witchcraft is difficult to ascertain: to some extent it derives from medieval mysticism and renaissance occultism, but also has a few connections with the ancient Germanic runic tradition. Vegvísir was drawn on one’s forehead with blood to prevent a person from getting lost. [Read more at The Viking Rune]

The Viking compass (Vegvisir) painted on old slate and aged.

Image Raided From: Brent Berry Arts

tall grass and winding roads
that’s where the story grows
i’m skipping over my stepping stones
dead leaves and dried up goals
pass with the wind that blows
i’m skipping over my stepping stones
~ Castledoor



  1. Hmmm. Is its magic intact when it’s simply a tattoo and not drawn in blood on one’s forehead?

  2. May never have been drawn in blood on one’s forehead. That could have been a poetic way of describing a henna tattoo.

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