Wiccan Symbolism

Wiccan Symbolism

The nature and spirit based religion of Wicca. It includes many ancient beliefs but was founded openly as a religion by Gerald Gardner in 1954, shortly after the ban on witchcraft in Britain was lifted. There is a large amount of diversity in practice among the Wiccan population. Beliefs vary from adhering to ancient rituals from older religions to relating much more heavily to the medicinal or shamanic practices of earlier "witches" (Witch having a negative and evil connotation in that era.). 

Many people among those persecuted during the witch hunting practices of Europe starting in the 1400's and reaching it's height in the 1600's, as well as in the Salem Massachusetts witch trials of the early 1690's were merely naturalists and early herbalists. Many mid-wives and herbal medicine practitioners were prosecuted in these "trials". There are many symbols that are modernly used in tattoos representing Wiccan beliefs.

Athame: An alter knife or blade which symbolizes choice and contemplation.

Bat: A night creature with an almost supernatural ability to travel in the dark. In the old days many rituals had to be carried out at night and these creatures would share the dark with the practitioners.

Broom: Used to clean away negative forces and, of course, associated with flight as well.

Cauldron or Chalice: These symbolize the womb (V), and thus, creation.

Fire: Fire symbolizes transformation. By jumping through the fire twice it is used to destroy the old and enflame the new.

Pentacle: A five pointed star within a circle, often called a pentagram and often confused with the Satanic inverted Pentagram. It is said to represent may different things, such as a human within an aura, the four elements plus spirit, or the interweaving of the womb symbol (V) making it a star of life.

Theban: A form of writing, attributed to Honorius of Thebes, which is used by some for the writing of spells. It was and is also heavily used in alchemy. Of course many others use Runes as well. (see Runes)

Triple Goddess- This is a very old idea that has not really taken on this name until the past century. It is a common theme within different cultures for there to be three women in positions of power or retribution (The fates, Norns, furies, etc.). The most commonly known within this idea actually refers more to a woman's own life cycle and is the Maiden, Mother, Crone. There are expansions of this idea that extend into the Quadruple (Child, Maiden, Mother, Crone), as well as the Quintuple (Maiden, Bride, Mother, Crone, Slayer).

These are by no means all of the tools and/or symbolic things within this belief system, but it's a good start.

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