What makes a ‘magickal’ tattoo? Why the “k”? And what does it mean to have a magickal tattoo? For some, tattoos are all about aesthetics, for others they’re all about meaning, and for a select few, they’re an act of ‘magick’.

More ink than skin

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Magick with a “k” refers to the occult, using your internal will and intent to shape the outside world. This can be done using symbols and objects that represent something either personally or within a more established tradition of witchcraft. Don’t worry though, signs, sigils, and the like are mostly used for protection, good luck, and aiding people in their everyday lives and have nothing to do with cursing anyone. Interest in the occult has increased a lot in recent years and many women especially are finding the archetype of the witch empowering. Witches do what they want and look how they want, much like those who choose to permanently ink their skin, so it’s no wonder really that one is inspiring the other.

One type of magickal symbol that is popular in tattooing is runes, an old writing system from northern Europe that has been and still is used in divination and magical workings. Each rune represents a letter but also has an inherent meaning like strength or safe travels. Not only do they look graphic and make great tattoos, but many are also getting tattoos of runes with the idea that it will help manifest the meaning of the rune in the wearer’s life. Icelandic magickal staves are a more complex form and often look like beautiful snowflakes guarding against evil and travel mishaps. Much like any tattoo, some get rune tattoos for their aesthetic value and others imbue them with a much deeper meaning.

Occult ritual objects such as athames (daggers) and chalices (cups) also make darkly beautiful tattoos and there are a lot of unique interpretations out there. Again, they have a personal and magickal meaning that some feel helps them in their magickal workings and others just think looks amazing. Another type of magickal sign is a sigil, historically used to summon angels or demons and later used to symbolise a thought or wish. Some people create their own sigils with their own personal meanings and turn them into tattoos to help give them form. Like runes, they look great as bold, simple tattoos.

Had a great time doing this Vegvisir today 🌲🌲🌲

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Finally, one of the most iconic magickal symbols is the pentagram, symbolising the five magickal elements: earth, fire, air, water, and ether (spirit). Worn by some to express their magickal inclinations and others for its iconic appeal, the pentagram is perhaps the most controversial magickal tattoo because many associate it with Satanism and devil worship. Whilst that may be the case for a minority, for most it shows their affinity with nature, the seasons, and the cycles of the moon.

Having a magickal tattoo, whether for aesthetic or spiritual reasons, can definitely raise some eyebrows, but what tattoo doesn’t? Tattoos can make you feel beautiful and the act of inking a symbol on your skin can definitely help to strengthen your resolve to embody what the tattoo represents. Have a look at these occult inspired tattoos and ponder, do you believe in magick?

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