Coven of the Catta Third Degree Tattoo
In our Coven of the Catta our teacher Lady Phoebe Athene Nimue had a tattoo of a crescent moon with three small pentagrams in it to represent her third degree. She had it tattooed on her upper thigh. I do not know where she got that idea and design from, whether from Sybil Leek or from Dr Frederick LaMotte Santee (who was definitely a “leg man” lol) who was her high priest Lord Merlin.
I have done some research and contacted from friends who are witchcraft history experts to try to trace back tattooing in our religion and specifically the design above.
Now we all know about the witches mark which was usually a mole or mark supposed to represent the witches third nipple on which she suckled the Devil according to the witch finders. But i doubt a witch back then would get a tattoo to give him/herself away. We do know from ancient mummies found and surviving tribes that tattooing had alot of meaning both religious, magickal and therapeutic. The witches mark in my lineage is a continuous piece of silver in the form of a ring, bracelet or necklace. There is also the tradition of the witches garter, probably based on the Order of the Garter in England.
I know that Gerald Gardner had several tattoos, and i quote a Wiki link here which quotes Phillip Heselton –
He (Gardner) also had several tattoos on his body, depicting magical symbols such as a snake, dragon, anchor and dagger. In his later life he wore a “heavy bronze bracelet… denoting the three degrees… of witchcraft” as well as a “large silver ring with… signs on it, which… represented his witch-name ‘Scire’, in the letters of the magical Theban alphabet”.
I am also aware that tattooing is used in the Cabot (skip down to the Mark of Avalon section) and Feri traditions. A large local Coven also uses this design, but i assume they got it from when their leader met Lady Phoebe and me in the past.
So since my teacher had this tattoo i decided to get it too once i reached my third degree. Mine is on my upper inner thigh. Note that in our lineage it is not required, but something one can do if one wishes. Just as sigils and symbols can be put upon an athame or other witch tool with oil, wine, salt water, incense and flame, even so can they be put upon one’s body without the permanent mark being applied. But me, well i got this one tattoo, and then had to get a pentagram on the other side, and then other magickal symbols, veves, snakes and runes until 31 tattoos later here i am, it became an obsession as anyone with a tattoo can attest. And here is a poor pic of mine.
If anyone wants to post a comment tracing back witch tattoos even further than i have here, specifically the design above, please let me know.