Thursday, March 29, 2012

Viking Compass

The Viking compass, sunstone, or Vegvísir was supposedly a magical bit of technology that allowed sailors (or pillagers, depending on how you want to write history) to find their way even on foggy days, when the sun was hidden. Visit Pantheon for a nice historical summary of the Viking compass. 

Regardless of the Vikings' behavior, you have to admit, they were brave, sailing around in the fog and the cold. It takes courage to follow a little compass when there's nothing but water around you and you have no view of the sky above. 

I think the Vegvísir a beautiful symbol of the philosopher's stone, which I would say is a beautiful symbol for something else. (But what that is, I'm not saying.) Visit Jeff League, who seems to get the connection, for some beautiful art featuring antique maps and encaustic painting. 

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