Wiccan Tattoos: Meanings and What You Need to Know

Tattoo artwork on an upper leg skin.
Tattoo of a triskele in progress. Moha El-Jaw / Getty Images

Are you thinking about getting a Wiccan tattoo soon, or one that reflects some other form of your pagan spirituality? Here's what you need to know before you take the plunge and get a pagan or Wiccan symbol permanently tattooed on your skin.

Did You Know?

  • There are plenty of options for Wiccan tattoos, from moon symbols to pentacles to images of gods and goddesses.
  • The pentagram is one of the most common Wiccan tattoos. For many people, it is a symbol of protection and power, in addition to representing the Wiccan belief system.
  • Tattoo art can help you share your spirituality with the world and come closer to your own idea of the sacred and divine.

Why Get a Pagan or Wiccan Tattoo?

People in the pagan community, including those who practice the Wiccan religion, get spiritual tattoos for a variety of reasons. Much like your Christian friend might have a meaningful Biblical verse on her arm, or your Buddhist coworker sports a brightly inked mandala, you might opt to get a Wiccan tattoo to symbolize your spiritual belief system and principles by which you live.

The practice of adorning one's body with spiritual symbols is hardly a new one. Although we don't know exactly when tattooing as an art form began, we do know that frozen bodies from as long ago as 5,500 years back have been discovered still displaying the ink on their skin. Although it's impossible to say whether these markings were done for ritual, protection, healing, or simply aesthetic reasons, it's likely that there was some sort of spiritual component.

Wicca certainly isn't that old, but that doesn't mean it's not valid. If you're thinking about getting a tattoo to celebrate your beliefs, you'll be carrying on a time-honored tradition. Many people find that through tattoo art, they can share their spirituality with the world, and bring themselves closer to their own idea of the sacred and divine.

Keep in mind, however, that a tattoo is forever—unless you want to go through the costly and painful process of having it lasered off a few years down the road. Before you get your Wiccan tattoo, make sure it's what you really want. If you've just started exploring pagan beliefs, allow yourself the privilege of waiting a while before you get inked; this will keep you from making a regrettable decision that has to be corrected later in your life.

Tattoo Choices and Meanings

The possibilities, when you're getting a spiritual tattoo, are practically endless. Here are a few to consider:

  • Some people choose to get simple conceptual pagan and Wiccan symbols that reflect their beliefs—this could be a triple goddess figure, stars, or nature images, like trees or power animals.
  • Others opt for elemental symbols to represent earth, air, fire, and water.
  • Phases of the moon—In addition to the popular triple moon design, there are plenty of people who have the various phases, from crescent through waxing to full and then waning, inked on their bodies.
  • Maybe you want to get really in-depth, and have a portrait style tattoo of the god or goddess of your tradition, or perhaps your favorite divination tools, such as your Tarot cards or a planchette.
  • Consider designing a protective sigil, or some other celebratory symbol that you can use to enhance your own magical ability.
  • Add symbols from a magical alphabet, runic design, or other lettering to create a piece of art whose meaning is only known to you.
  • Some people opt to get a full-blown spell tattooed on them. You might normally incorporate a moon phase, an herb, and a crystal into that spell. Find images of each of these things, arrange them artfully, and use that as a starting foundation for your tattoo image.
  • For some people, sacred geometry is a source of great spiritual inspiration and power. Sacred geometry is a catch-all term that describes the mathematical proportions which are considered the natural foundation of our universe.

After you've gotten your tattoo, you may want to even bless it or charge it for magical purposes. You can do this by waiting until it's completely healed, and then sitting outside under a full moon. Light your favorite incense, anoint your skin with an oil blend that supports your magical purpose, and focus your intention into your tattoo, effectively consecrating it as you would any magical tool.

Pentagram Tattoos

The pentagram or pentacle is possibly the most commonly seen Wiccan tattoo. For many people, it's seen as a symbol of protection and power, in addition to representing the Wiccan belief system. The pentacle is a five-pointed star, or pentagram, contained within a circle. The five points of the star represent the four classical elements, along with a fifth element, which is typically either spirit or self, depending on your tradition.

Although it's not something used in all pagan traditions, some magical systems connect different colors to the points of the pentacle. Why not get a colorful pentacle tattoo? In traditions that assign colors to the points of the star, the point on the upper right is associated with air, and is typically colored white or yellow, while the next point down, on the lower right, is fire, which would be colored red. The lower left, earth, is usually colored brown or green and the upper left, water, would be blue. Finally, the top point, representing spirit or self, appears in a number of different colors, such as purple or silver.

In addition to the pentacle itself, some people opt to highlight this symbol with leaves, ivy, stars, or other imagery.

Selecting Your Artist

When you've finally decided to take the plunge and get a tattoo, it's important to make an informed choice about who your tattoo artist will be. First, ask for recommendations from other people who have spiritual—particularly pagan or Wiccan—tattoos. You don't want to find yourself sitting in a tattoo studio with an artist who lectures you on why your belief system is evil.

Next, interview different artists to get a feel for their styles. Ask to see portfolios of the work they've done—many tattoo artists are on Instagram and other social media platforms, so you can look at their artwork from the comfort of your own home. When you finally select an artist whose style fits yours, be sure you tell them exactly what you're looking for. Your artist can either take a design you bring to them and use it, or they can draw something up for you based on your needs and wants—the key is to communicate what your wants actually are. If you don't tell them, they won't know.

Finally, make sure your artist is someone you like and feel comfortable with before you sit down in a chair. They may have suggestions for you as far as placement and proportions, but overall, you're the client and you're driving the artwork. If an artist insists on doing something you hate, or if their shop is dirty or they make you feel unsafe, leave.

Once you've gotten your tattoo, be sure to follow all of the proper aftercare instructions. When it heals up, you'll have a beautiful piece of artwork to help you celebrate your spirituality!

Resources

  • Donnelly, Jennifer R. “Sacred Geometry Tattoos: Golden Spiral & Sacred Knots.” Tattoodo, 16 Apr. 2019, www.tattoodo.com/a/golden-spirals-and-sacred-knots-geometric-tattoos-14452.
  • Mishulovin, Rubin. “Spellcasting with Tattoos ⋆ Lipstick & Quartz.” Lipstick & Quartz, 17 Oct. 2018, lipstickandquartz.com/spellcasting-with-tattoos/.
  • StormJewel. “Spell for How to Bless and Empower Your Tattoo.” StormJewels Gifts Spirit Blog, 7 Apr. 2016, magickblog.stormjewelsgifts.com/wicca-spell/spell-for-how-to-bless-and-empower-your-tattoo/.