Many people who identify as pagans, Wiccans, or witches – or dabble in Norse mythology – often do certain rituals to protect themselves and their spaces from negative energy. You can take this idea further and give yourself 24/7 protection wherever you are by getting a protection tattoo.
A witchy-themed protection tattoo can take many forms, from flowers and specific tarot cards to ancient runes from the Norse religion.
Black Knight Butterfly Bush
This plant has a beautiful dark purple, sometimes close to black, flower. As its name suggests, this flower is popular among butterflies!
This insect is widely regarded as a symbol of transformation and new beginnings, as it goes through a metamorphosis from egg to larva to cocoon to butterfly. By extension, the butterfly bush is also associated with life changes.
Spiritual Desk points out that,
“This plant is often used in rituals and ceremonies that focus on personal growth and transformation.”
While this plant is attractive to butterflies, it is able to protect itself from most insects as well as diseases.
If you’re in a process of self-discovery and change, a butterfly bush tattoo can be a reminder to have courage and embrace the transformation while still protecting yourself from that which wants to distract you from your path.
Native to South Asia, Africa, and the Mediterranean, this soft pink flower seems unassuming, but it’s actually extremely toxic and one leaf can cause serious harm to a fully grown adult.
“In the Victorian era, if a person needed to warn someone they were in danger, they would present them with an oleander flower or plant, stating it was a gift,”The Fifth Element Life
If you’re fascinated by poisons, this could be the tattoo for you. An oleander tattoo’s most common meaning is one of caution – it can serve as a reminder to the tattooee to protect themselves.
However, as Noteworthy Tattoo discusses, a tattoo of the oleander can have another meaning,
“The flower also symbolises; desire, romance, charm, destiny, and never-ending love.”
This plant has a similar aesthetic to baby’s breath with its small white buds, but it should never be confused – hemlock is incredibly poisonous.
In ancient Greece, it was used to kill the philosopher, Socrates. Even just touching it could cause a reaction that would send you to the hospital. Due to this, this plant has long been associated with evil and death.
Hemlock has long been used in witchcraft. In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the three witches used this plant in their brew.
While hemlock can mean caution and danger, it can also symbolize resilience due to its hardy nature. So, a hemlock tattoo can represent the ability to persevere.
The High Priestess
If you’re in a tarot reading and pull this card, it could mean one of two things: If upright, it could be a sign to trust your intuition and dive into your subconscious mind; if downward, it represents secrets and a disconnect with your inner knowing.
According to Wiccan Witchcraft Blog, this card also symbolizes protection,
“This card’s protective presence guards your subconscious mind while presenting sacred wisdom and knowledge to uncover life’s hidden mysteries. The High Priestess also encourages awareness and defends you against people, especially women with clashing opinions from you.”
Six of Cups
The Six of Cups tarot card is all about support and happiness. When pulled upright, this card represents childhood memories and joy, while pulled in reverse it could mean that you’re living in the past.
When going through challenging times in your life, this card harks back to the protection we can get from our families and friends.
A tattoo of the Six of Cups can be a reminder to look for the lessons in life’s adversities while still remaining protected from danger.
Queen of Swords
The Queen of Swords tarot card depicts an older female intellect. A tattoo of this card can represent independence and remind you to stick to your boundaries.
This queen holds a sword which symbolizes protection against dangers as you go through the battles of life.
“As a determined, independent and resilient person, you have established clear boundaries, and you are quick to call out someone who crosses them. People do not mess with you…”Biddy Tarot
Rune symbols held multifaceted roles in ancient Norse societies; they were used for magical purposes, as a way of communication, as well as protection.
According to Mythology Merchant, the Algiz symbol is the oldest form of the runic alphabet. Algiz is used for protection and defense in magic rituals, as it can create an invisible shield of protection around the caster.
“… it is sometimes carved into amulets and talismans for this purpose. It can also be used to invoke the help of higher powers, such as guardian angels.”
Eihwaz is considered to be another protective rune symbol, as it is used to ward off negative energy.
This is the rune of the Yew tree, an evergreen that perseveres throughout winter. So, this Norse protection tattoo can represent strength and endurance.
“People held the belief that these runes were symbols that possess extraordinary forces of nature, and that these symbols had the power to overcome any obstacles preventing the harmonious prosperity of life,”Rune Tattoos
The symbolism behind this rune includes fertility as well as personal growth.
“Inguz signals the integration of the four selves: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. It is the drive toward completion and totality and acts as the catalyst for movement toward wholeness,”Rune Secrets
Mythology Merchant adds that this Viking protection rune tattoo is considered to be a powerful way to ward off evil and bring about new beginnings.
When it comes to protection tattoos, looking to mysterious plants, exploring the meanings held in a tarot card deck, and rediscovering the ancient symbolism of Norse runes can give you ample meaningful tattoo inspiration.