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Vitki (pl. vitkar) was a sorcerer and magician in Norse Heathen societies. Much of the contemporary information on vitkar are from a Neopagan interpretation, and therefore have various degrees of historical authenticity. Modern vitkar can be men who practice a magical art based on runes. A vitki may have been a shamanic figure during the pre-Christian medieval Scandinavia, sometimes compared to prophets and oracles, known as a vǫlva or völva.

Norse sagas[edit]

The Norse sagas are testimonies of various methods of runic spells and practices that required the intervention of magicians and völvas:

  • Bjargrúnar (Runes for birth).
  • Líknstafir and Audhstafir (brands for health).
  • Málrúnar (Runes of eloquence).
  • Sigrúnar (Runes of Victory), recorded that were used on garments, artifacts or weapons. Allegedly offered advantage in situations of risk and the battlefield.[1]
  • Gamanrúnar (Runes of joy or pleasure).
  • Ölrúnar (runes related to Alu).[2]

There were other less successful spells more related to the necromancy and is used to alter the lives of others as Myrkirstafir (dark marks), Bölstafir (evil marks) and Flaerstafir (brands of misfortune). In Old English the term Beadurun (Rune of conflicts) that was used clandestinely to wish misfortune. Many of these runes and spells are mentioned in Sigrdrífumál, although no other medieval evidence is giving support the existence of such magical signs.[3]


  1. ^ Michael P. Barnes (2012), Runes: A Handbook, Boydell Press, ISBN 1843837781 p. 193.
  2. ^ Edred Thorsson (2012), ALU, An Advanced Guide to Operative Runology, Weiser Books, ISBN 1609256328 p. 6.
  3. ^ Michael P. Barnes (2012), Runes: A Handbook, Boydell Press, ISBN 1843837781 p. 193.