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What Is a Witch's Mark?

Author:

Born in deepest Cornwall, now living in wild Wales, Bev has been practising her personal brand of eclectic witchcraft for years and years.

A witch mark appears in various forms associated with witches and the practice of witchcraft.

The different types of witch marks are:

  • A mark on the witch’s body
  • A raised lump or teat-like protuberance
  • The Devil’s mark
  • A sign or symbol to ward off witchcraft.

We’ll take a look at the various kinds of witch marks, what they signified, and why they existed.

Marks on a Witch’s Body

A witch’s mark can be an irregular mark on the body that indicates that a person could be a witch. However, as there are very few human beings who don’t have some type of birthmark, freckle, wart, mole, scar, age spots, or other natural blemishes upon their skin, it would mean the whole global population is witches.

During the witch trials of the Middle Ages, "prickers" were employed. A pricker was an "expert" with a sharp tool that was used to test for invisible marks. It was systematically jabbed all over the witch’s body. If she didn’t yelp or cry out, that was a sign that an invisible mark existed in that place.

Some favorite places to search on the body included the armpits and even under the eyelids.

Sometimes hereditary witches claim that a certain mark has been passed down the generations within a family. Sybil Leek (1917-1982), the infamous witch and astrologer of the New Forest, Hampshire, England, and later of Los Angeles, claimed to have a hereditary mark that appeared on various female members of her family.

Today, symbolic marks are often made during Wiccan initiation rites. They may take the form of a pentacle or other meaningful pattern. They are traced with a finger onto the initiate’s forehead and/or other points of the body by the High Priest or Priestess.

Witch mark; actually a benign mole (nevus).

Witch mark; actually a benign mole (nevus).

What Is a Witch’s Teat?

The idea that people sought assistance from supernatural beings has been around forever. Witches had their "familiars". These entities had to be sustained, so it was said that witches had an extra, hidden nipple which fed blood to the familiar. According to the witchfinders, a teat could be any raised lump, bump, or skin tag.

What Is the Devil’s Mark?

Similar to the witch’s mark, the Devil’s version was placed upon the skin when the witch pledged allegiance to the Devil. The mark was made by the Devil raking his claws across the skin or by burning the witch with a branding iron.

Many people tried to disfigure themselves in order to remove a possible mark or teat, but the scars themselves were deemed evidence enough.

Harmless skin tags. Once they might have been designated as a witch's teats, where her familiars fed.

Harmless skin tags. Once they might have been designated as a witch's teats, where her familiars fed.

How Did the Idea of Witch Marks on the Skin Begin?

No one is certain where the idea of witches bearing certain marks began. They are probably rooted in ancient superstition as a way to explain birthmarks and blemishes. However, the idea really took hold during the witch trials of the late Middle Ages. Witches were ritually searched, both externally and internally in a humiliating and tortuous manner.

What If I Have a Witch Mark on Me?

Don’t worry for one second. As mentioned previously, it would be a very unusual person who hasn’t got one or more naturally occurring marks on their skin. Of course, if you notice that you have one of an odd or changing appearance, you must consult a medical practitioner. Having any kind of mark or natural skin formation does not mean you are a witch.

Apotropaic marking on a farmhouse from Niemelä Tenant Farm

Apotropaic marking on a farmhouse from Niemelä Tenant Farm

Signs and Symbols to Ward off Evil Witchcraft

Symbols and marks carved on buildings to ward off witch’s and curses were common in Europe throughout the centuries. Many superstitions were attached to them. Frequently the marks, also called "apotropaic marking" and "hexfoils" were a series of interlocking circles, daisy patterns contained within circles, pentagrams, or sometimes the intertwined letters V and M to solicit protection from the Virgin Mary.

These signs and symbols were placed on doors, window shutters and chimneys; anywhere that a witch could gain entrance to a home. They are still visible on historical buildings in Britain and across Europe today.

While such markings were often dismissed as ancient scribblings or attempts to add decoration, a recent book, Medieval Graffiti: The Lost Voices of England’s Churches by architect Matthew Champion reveals their true purpose:

"The world was full of dangers, both physical and spiritual," Champion says. "These markings were made simply as a way to make it a safer, less hostile place; the front line in the defence of the soul."

The fact that a great many of the markings were made on and in parish churches confirms that countryfolk superstition was due to the appropriation of pagan places of worship by Christianity. They were afraid of retribution by witches, even centuries later.

Historic England, an organization that preserves ancient and traditional sites, has called on the general public to search their homes and locality for evidence of apotropaic marks.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

Question: I have an oval-shaped birthmark on my left leg. My little cousin from my mom's side has the same birthmark in the same place. Is it a mark passed down in my family? Are we witches?

Answer: It may well be a hereditary mark, but no it doesn't mean you are witches. To be a witch, you have to make the decision to practice witchcraft. Witches are not supernatural beings, they are humans with free choice.

Question: Crescent moon on my wrist and on my side. And a rake claw which appeared on my right hand just yesterday. Sign of the devils mark. I need to talk to someone please. Do I have anything to worry about?

Answer: My best advice if you are concerned about the unusual and sudden appearance of marks, blemishes or lesions of any kind, is to go to your doctor and rule out any medical condition.

Question: I have recently gotten a raised mark on my thigh about 3” long and 1” wide. It very much resembles the mark of Cain. Any ideas?

Answer: Yes, get it checked out by a medical professional. It is nothing to do with witchcraft.

Question: I have a scar in the shape of a cross on my right eyebrow from two injuries I had in the same exact spot when I was young. I was also born on Friday the 13th in June. Does that have any important correlation or meaning?

Answer: No, it just means that you were unfortunate enough to injure yourself in the same place twice. I have two on my chin. Your birth date is cool. You could research where the Moon was in her cycle at the time.

Question: I have a raised bump located underneath my right breast. Is this a sign that I might be a witch?

Answer: If it's recent, it's a sign that you should visit your doctor. It is not connected with witchcraft.

Question: I have a raised mark on my arm and healing lines on my palm, are these signs?

Answer: No. You are only a witch if you practice witchcraft. There are no such things as witches' marks. Most people have a skin blemish or mark of one kind or another.

Question: My birthmark looks like a paw with extra circles, what does that mean?

Answer: Ask your mother if she was surprised or frightened by an animal during her pregnancy. I've heard it said that if a woman is startled or even befriended by an animal that sometimes a mark will appear on the baby's skin. Personally, I don't believe it, but you never know.

Question: What if my witch mark is flat?

Answer: There isn't such a thing as a witch mark. There are hereditary birthmarks, but having a patch of darker skin simply means there is a higher concentration of melanin in that area. It's extremely common, even in animals.

Should you think your flat mole is changing shape or texture, then have it checked by a physician.

Question: I was sitting on my porch and I looked down at my arm and it had glowing gold runes on it. At first, I thought it was a window reflection, I looked around and there was no reflection of anything. I looked down and they were gone. When they appeared, they were in rows of four and columns of about 12 on my forearm. Please explain?

Answer: I can't explain it as it's never happened to me. If you can remember any of them, you could look them up. If it was an important 'message', they will appear again.

Question: I have three in a triangle formation. Can you explain more about the devil's mark?

Answer: The Devil's mark was a made-up method of identifying witches in the Middle Ages. It was thought then that witches were almost supernatural beings with connections to the Devil. In truth, most were people who lived on the edge of society - easy targets. The witch-finders needed proof of their evil doings and marks, blemishes, scars, and moles were a simple way to make their accusations stick.

Your marks are nothing to do with witchcraft.

Question: I have a birthmark on my stomach that goes almost to the navel. It is a straight white line like a scar but without the appearance of one. My mom strongly believes in witches and Druid’s. She says she has Celtic blood. Is she a witch and am I one, too?

Answer: It's not a birthmark, it's a common thing among the population. It's called Linea Alba. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linea_alba_(abdomen)... Witches and Druids are human beings and refer to practices that they do. So witches do witchcraft and Druids carry out their own rituals and procedures. In other words, you can't be a witch unless you practice witchcraft.

Question: I have an oval birthmark on the back of my left leg, a bunch of dark freckles further down towards the middle of that same leg, on my ankle I have a birthmark in the exact shape of a spade and a red mole behind my head. My first daughter has a skin tag on her ear, my last daughter has a large oval mole on shoulder and a birthmark on the side of her stomach. She was also born feet first, three minutes after her twin. Are we witches?

Answer: No, birthmarks do not signify that you are witches. You can choose to be a witch and that requires study and the practice of witchcraft. Your birthmarks are simply birthmarks. As I point out in the article, there is barely a human alive who doesn't have some marks on their body.

Question: I have a few warts on my left arm that appeared outta nowhere but they bleed when I peeled them off and just come back. What should I do?

Answer: Go to your doctor as soon as you can. Recurring lesions shouldn't be ignored.

Question: What does it mean when you have a mole on the palm of your hand?

Answer: It means you have a mole on the palm of your hand. Moles can appear anywhere. However, if it is interfering with the use of your hand or causing irritation, do get it checked out.

Question: How do I protect myself and my house from witches?

Answer: Keep your doors and windows locked. As a witch myself, I have been unable to get through a locked door - even when it is my own. Also, you might think of getting a dog. As witches prefer black cats, they have an aversion to slobbering dogs and don't like it when dog hair gets on their nice clean black clothes.

Seriously, it's unlikely witches are trying to get into your home. Get yourself some black obsidian crystals and place them near entrances and windows. This article may be helpful: https://exemplore.com/wicca-witchcraft/Psychic-Pro...

Question: I have a white rounded mole on the medial side of my arm. Do you think it could be a witch's mark?

Answer: If you are asking whether it's a sign you are a witch, touched by the devil, or are able to feed your familiar, then no, that is not the case. Usually a mole is just a mole.

Question: I have a raised bump on the front of my belly. It doesn't irritate me and it hasn't grown. My mum has always said it's a hernia. Could it be a witch's teat? Also, I have a raised mole on my left side. Could that be a witches mark? Again, it doesn't hurt or grow.

Answer: No. If you read the article, you'll discover that there's no such thing as a witch mark. If it is a hernia, then you need to see a doctor because it means your intestine wall is weakened.

Question: I have a natural mole on my back and also on my right forehand. What does this mean?

Answer: It means you have a mole on your back and on your hand. It doesn't mean you are a witch.

Question: I have my suspicions that my grandma practices witchcraft. She’s always drawing spades on pieces of paper. She told me to put an 8 in my pocket and I would receive financial favor. Which indeed I did the very next day. I can’t find any obvious signs she may be a witch besides a large mole she has on her collarbone near her breast. Could she be a witch?

Answer: You will have to ask her. What you describe might mean she is psychic, though that isn't a great deal to go by. The mole is nothing to do with witchcraft, though she might say it is.

Question: I have recently got a scar like crescent moon on my forehead where we put tikka or bindi. A few days back I was diagnosed with herpes. That left a scar after it got healed. What does it mean?

Answer: It means that these scars will eventually fade away. They are nothing to do with witchcraft.

Question: I have a heart-shaped birthmark on the left side of my tummy. The size of my heart-shaped birthmark is the size of my palm. What does it mean?

Answer: It just means you have a pretty birthmark. Treasure it. It's nothing to do with witchcraft.

Question: I was born with an extra hole above each ear, they are called "preauricullar pits". No one else in my family has anything like this. My research into what these pits are, goes nowhere, except to say that less than one percent of the world population has one of these, yet I have two. I feel these marks are somehow related to a past life, (Egyptian royalty and/or the Queen of the Underworld), or it is a sign of the enlightened Annunaki chosen ones. Any thoughts on my witch mark?

Answer: As I don't believe there are such things as witch marks - as you can tell from the article, I highly doubt that they are anything other than a genetic anomaly. Of course, you may discover otherwise if you get the chance to explore your past lives.

Question: My family has moles that always shaped like triangle. Is this a sign?

Answer: No, it's just a hereditary trait in your family. Nothing to do with witches.

Question: I have a mole. I believe in witchcraft and want to know if a mole could be a sign of being a witch?

Answer: Okay, well you have to believe in witchcraft because it is a thing. People do practice it - it's not a myth or a rumor. Your mole, however, is just a mole. It doesn't mean anything. Most people have moles but most people aren't witches.

Question: Every female in my family is a witch and all have the same markings on their body, as do I. Could it be possible for me to be a witch myself?

Answer: That depends if you want to be a witch. It's a life path, a choice you have to make.

Question: I have several birthmarks and a big mole under my arm. Are they related?

Answer: If you are asking if they are related to witchcraft, then the answer is no, they are not.

Question: I have an extra nipple under my right breast and a tiny blue tattoo-like dot on my left hand above my middle finger knuckle. Could these bewitch marks?

Answer: No, they are not witch marks. If you read the article, you'll see that there are no such things. What you have is a 'supernumary nipple' (above normal number). It's very common. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supernumerary_nipple

The blue dot is probably where a blood vessel comes close to the surface of the skin. I have a couple of those.

Question: I developed a red mark on the back of my left hand. What does this mean ?

Answer: It means, if it is not the result of a minor injury such as a burn, that you should seek the advice of a doctor or other medical professional.

Question: I got a red star shaped “birthmark” when I was a teen. Doctors said they didn't know why I got it but it wasn't any concern. It disappears when I apply pressure to it and comes back a brighter red. Is it a witches mark?

Answer: No, it's just a mark. Nearly every person on the planet will be born with them or develop them over the years. If you read the article, you'll see there's no such thing as a witch mark. It was made up by people who wanted to 'prove' that someone was a witch and, therefore, have reason to imprison, torture, or kill them.

Question: While I'm sleeping, a mark appears on my body and it's painful, is this witchcraft?

Answer: It's nothing to do with witchcraft. The most common cause of a blotch or rash appearing overnight is psoriasis. Check with your doctor.

Question: I have a mark on my forearm and someone on TikTok said that a mark in that particular part of my arm means that I am a descendant of a witch. Is that true?

Answer: No, it is not true. There are no such things as witch marks. There are certain skin characteristics which can be passed down, the same as curly hair, or webbed toes, but that doesn't mean that witchcraft is a factor. Witches aren't born witches. It is something people choose to do.

© 2018 Bev G

Comments

Brooke on September 01, 2020:

My siblings and I (there's 4 of us) and my mother all have beauty marks on our left shoulder. We always joked saying it's mum marking what's hers.

Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on August 31, 2020:

Melissa, they have a perfectly rational explanation. It's not witchcraft, I promise.

Melissa on August 31, 2020:

I wish i could find someone who can tell me what these scratches i saw appear on my bf side and body i need a real spiritual guide rn. Im so confused at the moment i need a word.

Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on August 30, 2020:

It's just a mole, Marlon :) Everyone has them and/or some other mark, scar, or blemish.

MARLON BELTRAN on August 29, 2020:

Okay, now I know why the kids in school singled me out. This was in 3rd or 4th grade. Yes, I have a small mole, visible on the left side, a few millimeters in diameter. But it's always the evil kids who persecuted me.

Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on August 15, 2020:

Hi Moonica,

As you can tell by reading the article, the questions, and comments, I don't believe there are any such things as witch marks. Mainly because it was something invented by men who wanted to use blemishes as a way of identifying women as witches.

Over time, the idea has become a superstition. Think about how many people on the planet have a birthmark, or interesting pattern of marks, or blemishes - they can't all be witches.

However, if your pentagram holds a deeper meaning for you, then that's fine.

If you are concerned there might be something amiss, you should see a doctor or other medical professional.

Moonica on August 15, 2020:

Ok. I want to know if this is a witch mark or not. I have a almost perfect pentagram formed by my blood vessels on my left palm. Is this a mark, is something else ? I am little concerned now. Can i get a little help here ?

Blessed be ^^

gmgm on July 01, 2020:

i have been researching because i have since birth a perfect M marked between my back and ribs... i've never find anything about it, but i still have the doubt

Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on May 20, 2020:

To 'an actual witch', if you had read the article and maybe some of the questions, you'll realise that it's not about Christianity vs the (witches') Devil, it's about the mistaken middle-age belief that there were such things as witches' marks.

Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on January 26, 2020:

It's very pretty, Warley, I can see why you love it.

Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on January 26, 2020:

Hi Warley, it's a birthmark; its shape doesn't mean anything.

warleyx on January 26, 2020:

Hi there,

I was born with a giant red-purple-maroon port-win stain. It's most apparent on my right face, including neck, scalp and ear. It's texture is thicker and more bumpy. Now comes the fun part-scary of the history: It is the shape of my birthmark. Actually I realize yesterday, nobody realise this, Oh, my god, looks like it is a "witch flying with wand". I'm very scaried now.

Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on January 23, 2020:

I think it's a pretty birthmark. It's nothing to do with witchcraft :)

Marie on January 23, 2020:

i have a thumb print dark freckled birthmark in the exact place above my heart, slightly tilted to the left i feel like its special and a sign of something. what do think?

Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on January 18, 2020:

Hi Ruby, it isn't :)

Ruby on January 17, 2020:

I have a mark and I don’t know if that’s a witch mark or not

Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on November 08, 2019:

Ho Gp, If you've had it since birth, it's a birthmark. If it's recently appeared, have it checked out by a doctor. It doesn't mean you are a witch :)

Gp on November 07, 2019:

I have a mark im not sure if it's a birthmark or something else. It's a weird shape of a cirlcle but its squiguly. The color is a brownish greenish kid of thing

Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on October 26, 2019:

Hi Ismemoga,

I'm not sure what you mean by 'so many unwelcome visitors'. You didn't say how they manifest.

You may have some kind of psychic ability.

Your marks are birthmarks, nothing more. Keep an eye on the breast one.

Ismemoga on October 26, 2019:

My mother attended some Wiccan ceremonies before I was born. I have a brown spot on my back about an inch i do have a patch in my bigger breast like a extra nipple patch but no nipple . I do not follow any religious practice, but believe in spirits because of some weird happened. Even weirder was un my first born conception I felt as what I experienced, her spirit coming to me. On my second pregnancy as I was falling asleep I felt like I bumped it to a wall and when opening my eyes stuff fell at the distance. I just wonder if theres is a defect on my spirit, sometimes I think I am not well in line with my body and maybe that may be the reason I attract so many unwelcomed visitors, my mother told me some stories but the are not as intense as mines.

Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on September 22, 2019:

I don't know. But it is only a cyst, Tina.

Tina on September 22, 2019:

I have a raised mark on my head that's been there for years. It hurts once in a while. My doctor says it's only a cyst. Why did it show up only after i started reading up on wicca over 7 years ago

Tim Truzy from U.S.A. on January 03, 2019:

Excellent, Bev. G. This was very insightful. I've heard about "witch marks" on occasion throughout my life. This article is informative also about the hexfoils.

Thanks a lot and happy New Year.

Sincerely,

Tim