Do you feel like you may be one of the ancestors of the witches they couldn’t burn hundreds of years ago? If so, you are well aware that witchcraft isn’t a practice that’s burnt and buried…In fact, witchcraft may be on the rise.
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Witchcraft has entered the mainstream, with many people being attracted to spirituality, manifestation, and pagan rituals.
“For most witches, witchcraft is seen as a skill set, and it’s not always necessarily a religion – this means that the practice of witchcraft is accessible to people of any spiritual background,”Learn Religions
There are many faces of witchcraft, and this practice has far transcended the idea of old women being burned at the stake for being different.
From tarot cards and numerology, to herbal magic and NeoWiccans, people are being pulled in through many different channels to embrace witchcraft.
Witchcraft has also become a form of feminism.
“The symbol of the witch has endured over centuries as a representation of female empowerment. As the outsider with uncanny power, the witch represents a challenge to patriarchal narratives,”Quartz
As such, ‘witches’ is a whole tattoo theme on its own, and there are many tattoo ideas to showcase your unique witchy personality.
1. Tarot Card Tattoo
Tarot cards date back to 15th century Europe and were used as playing cards and to tell fortunes.
A deck of tarot cards are split into two categories: Major and Minor Arcanas. Major arcana cards deal with important messages, whereas minor arcana cards represent more ordinary, everyday themes. Most tarot card tattoos focus on the major cards.
This tarot card represents childlike wonder and fun. Tarot practitioner, Imani Quinn, explained to Bustle,
“This card is eager and ready to take a risk and start a new journey, always with a youthful spirit.”
Are you a big believer in manifestation and want a reminder of your own power? The Magician card refers to all the tools you have within you to make your dreams come true.
The High Priestess
If you’re having a tarot card reading and The High Priestess is pulled, this is a call to follow your intuition and trust what your inner voice is telling you.
“Trust your intuition and see it as your superpower, allow yourself and others to move from an empowered intuitive place,”Imani Quinn
There are 19 more major arcana cards in a tarot deck with fascinating symbolism to inspire your witchy tattoo.
2. Black Cat Tattoo
According to medieval folklore, witches have an animal companion that helps them with their spells. And, the most popular type of pet for witches was a black cat.
Cats entered circles of witchcraft and superstition centuries ago, with one of the first famous witches, Hecate in Greek mythology. It was said that she had a cat as her own familiar.
Later in the 13th century, the Catholic church declared that black cats were an incarnation of Satan, which then snowballed into inky felines being associated with witches.
“Cats, like the women accused of witchcraft, tend to exhibit a healthy disrespect of authority. They don’t fawn, like dogs, upon even the unworthy. In the church, neither independent women, nor independent animals, were to be tolerated,”History
3. Crystal Ball Tattoo
Crystal gazing is commonly associated with witchcraft. The practice has deep, historical roots dating back way before Christianity.
“…crystal gazing was commonly practiced by the Pawnee, the Iroquois, the Incas, the Egyptians, the Persians, the Chinese, and the people of Yucatan…the earliest recorded use of crystals as divination tools dates back to the Celtic Druids of Gaul, Britain, and Ireland, who lived during the Iron Age and were pretty much wiped out by Christianity by 600 AD,”Vice
Back in the day of druids, a sea-green mineral called beryl was polished up to create the crystal balls, as it’s said to be more magnetically charged than other minerals and can connect with the psychic energies of the moon.
4. Witch’s Hat Tattoo
One of the most well-known witch accessories that are included in Halloween costumes every year is the pointy witch’s hat. But, why do witches wear hats?
The idea of the long, pointed witch’s hat didn’t arise with the popularity of Halloween. In fact, witches from ancient China were found in pointed hats.
“Mummified remains from the ‘witches’ of Subeshi, sisters accused of practicing magic in Turfan between the 4th and 2nd centuries BCE, were found with a pointed hat on their heads,”Instyle
From there, the Quakers of 17th century America were associated with these hats, then medieval female brewers who also moonlighted as herbalists wore pointed hats similar to what we know today as witch head accessories.
In the 20th century, The Wizard of Oz swept the world, and with it the look of a witch with a long black pointy hat.
5. “We are the granddaughters of the witches you weren’t able to burn.”
This quote comes from the book, The Witches of BlackBrook, by author Tish Thawer. This saying has permeated popular culture, with it gracing many a sign in feminist and women’s rights marches.
The so-called “witches” that were persecuted during trials in the 1500s and 1600s were mostly just women who weren’t conforming to what was deemed “proper” at the time.
Women who were independent and didn’t conform were looked upon with a suspicious eye. So, this saying holds deep meaning to nonconformists and feminists in our modern era.
6. Witch Burning Tattoo
In the history of witches, one of the bleakest chapters was the persecution of people who were said to practice magic.
The most famous witch trials were the Salem hearings which took place in colonial Massachusetts during 1692 to 1693. During this year, 30 people were found guilty of witchcraft, nineteen of whom were executed by hanging.
So, why is the concept of witches being burned at the stake so popular?
Because witches in Europe were often doomed to a different fate than their American counterparts.
“When people were accused of witchcraft before an ecclesiastical court [a court run by the Church], it was treated as heresy. The punishment for someone convicted of heresy was burning at the stake,”Live Science
The burning was said to purify the soul.
This could be the ideal tattoo inspiration for those who have a deep fascination with the history of witches and the unfair persecution they faced.
Witchcraft no longer needs to be whispered in dark corners while looking over your shoulder to make sure a Church elder can’t hear you. It has become a popular practice, with tarot cards, crystal balls, and herbal concoctions easily purchased online.
To pay tribute to your witchy beliefs and interests, there are plenty of tattoo ideas for your unique personality.