Vegvísir, VanCAF, and Tingly Hands


Beowulf, Eowyn, a friend of ours, and I went to VanCAF on the weekend. Beowulf and I did have to take turns chasing Eowyn through the halls (it’s expanded quite a bit since it started a few years ago), but I got to spend some lovely time wandering through and looking at pretty pictures. If you happen to live in the area or are passing through next year around this time, it’s worth checking out, and not just because it’s free admission.

There is a group of local artists working  on a tarot deck they’ve titled the Ostara Tarot. Prints from some of the cards were available, and I kept finding myself drawn to the artists with the tarot decks on display. Beowulf would probably blame this on my ability to find what I’m interested in at festivals and shows that don’t have much to do with whatever my thing is. I can find yarn and fabric pretty much anywhere, and I’ve had surprisingly good fortune with secondhand spinning wheels (which is why I own an antique Ashcroft Traditional that I paid less than $100 for even though it came with hand carders and a lazy Kate). This time though, I didn’t find the fiber. I found the magick. I didn’t buy one of the cute little matchboxes of magick spells available at Eden Cooke’s table, but I did consider it.

I did buy a print of one of Eden Cooke‘s pieces, “Vegvísir – The Signpost,” mostly because I swear it made my hands tingle when I got to that one in the stack of prints. She also had buttons available so now I have a button with a Vegvísir and one with the lífsstafur, to add to the purse I’m making out of wool blanket scraps next to my rainbow and bi pins (and yes, I am that kind of crafty sometimes).


“Vegvísir – The Signpost” by Eden Cooke, prints available to purchase here. She has a lot of beautiful work so you should check it out. Once I find a frame, this is going somewhere in one of the public areas of our house because I really like it.

The Vegvísir is an Icelandic rune stave (the word means “signpost” but it’s sometimes referred to as a compass), which, according to at least some sources, has mystical properties for guiding the bearer in the right direction even when they don’t know where to go. There are a number of variations of it out there, loads of various items with it on Etsy (pendants, coasters, etc), and it’s apparently beloved by a few different branches of the very large and diverse tree that is Neo-Paganism and also popular as a tattoo (and if I was going to get a tattoo, I’d probably want one like that). I found a fairly comprehensive take on the Vegvísir and other galdrastafir here, written by Justin Foster. Fun read, especially if you’re into languages like I am.

I kind of went down the rabbit-hole of reading about galdrastafir the other day after VanCAF. I haven’t read in enough detail yet, but I’ve gleaned enough information to know that I’ll be returning to the topic. For lack of a better explanation, it sings to me. Or speaks to me. But when a picture I’ve never seen before makes my hands tingle when I come into contact with it, I do try to pay attention (and hope that that doesn’t mean it’s been dusted with mohair fiber since that leads to hives). Based on that reaction, and a few other things, I think runes may end up being a part of my practice. I have to do more research, of course. There’s a section on runes in Buckland that I’d already planned to re-read, and then I’ll have to see what I can find next.


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