Witchcraft has been enchanting society since the 1400s. The first known witches started appearing in European works of art during this time. But instead of the mystical and ethereal image of witches that we know today, they were portrayed as demonic beings possessed by Satan. The fear generated by these gruesome images was the catalyst for the witch hunts which took place over 400 years resulting in 80,000 Europeans being slaughtered in the name of witchcraft. The vast majority of these people were women and today, we can still feel its effects on our divine feminine energy. In America, Asia and the Middle East witch hunts also took place and the exact number of global deaths is still unknown. Witchcraft art was used as a tool to control and provoke fear but now it provides us with a solid historical account of the unfolding events during the witch hunts.
How did witchcraft art evolve?
Witchcraft was deemed a crime and actions such as worshipping Satan and damage to properties are all thought to be the devilish work of witches. The first known artwork depicting witches is believed to be the “Le Champion des Dames” (1451), which was an illustrated poem by the French writer Martin Le Franc. The idea behind the work was to incite fear within society. In the 1500s the German painter Albrecht Dürer painted several famous paintings that grotesquely depicted witches. These artworks were painted at the same time as the German clergyman Heinrich Kramer published his pivotal treatise on witchcraft, the Malleus Maleficarum which spurred a massacre of witches and women in general. This fear-mongering style of witchcraft art continued throughout the witch hunts until the 18th century when people stopped believing in witches and their danger to society.
Modern fine art prints of witches
Increased literacy rates helped eradicate the fear of witchcraft which resulted in an artistic expression that focuses on the beauty of female empowerment. Paintings like John William Waterhouse’s “Magic Circle” (1886) depict an elegant, glamorous image of witches, a far cry from the works of art a few centuries before. This style of witchcraft art is perhaps a more trustworthy insight into witchcraft since witches were never gruesome figures in real life. Any single, unmarried woman was viewed as a witch. So were the women who created natural remedies to cure disease, who tended to animals, spoke a foreign language etc… no scientific or legal basis defined who was a witch or not. The problem was these women posed a threat to the patriarchal ruling of the world and their independent “corrupt” ways had to be banished. Yet, despite the massacre, women never lost their power, it was only suppressed.
Surrealist fine art reproductions of witchcraft art
As the second world war broke out across Europe, many creatives fled further afield to escape a new form of witch hunt that had broken loose. Remedios Varo and Leonora Carrington are two notable artists who weren’t going to let war dampen their need to connect with the spiritual realm. Their surrealist canvas prints reveal strikingly powerful witch-like characters inspired by their artist meet-ups in Mexico City where they exchanged countless ideas on spirituality, magic and the occult. Today, witches are still a common subject for artists who see witch art as a sign of rebellion against the patriotic constraints of modern-day society.
Unleash your power using witch prints
Now is the time to reclaim what is ours, what was violently stolen from us. This is the hour to unleash our magic for it is our power. Do you hear the call? It is time to wake the witch within. For centuries women have lived in fear of speaking their truth and embracing their divine feminine. Yet, seeing this sacred energy and feminine wisdom represented in witchcraft art stirs something inside of us, something that has been dormant for too long. It is time to rediscover our magic. It is our responsibility to step into the fire – the same fire that was used to burn us – and let all the anger, injustice and pain burn. Let’s reconnect with the feminine and masculine energies, the earth, the sea and the sky. It is time to be whole and restore the balance that has been absent all this time. Art is a powerful tool that we can use to reflect and manifest this transformation.
Call upon moon witch art to reconnect with nature
Women, like nature, are a force that cannot be tamed. The moon reminds us of how deeply rooted in nature our bodies are despite living in a modern world. The lunar cycle mirrors our internal cycle and reminds us of Mother Nature’s power and beauty. The light of the moon symbolises the realm of the conscious and the unconscious and is thought to provide good magic. In ancient Greek and Roman times, witches often used the magic of the moon to cast love spells or for creating powerful medicines to cure diseases. Moon witch art is a tool that can be used for personal growth, healing and blessing. Place a print depicting the lunar phases alongside a magical moon Goddess such as Selene to keep you protected during the night. Combining this with images of your chosen spirit animals is a fool-proof recipe for a dreamy night’s rest.
Beautiful witch art using the elements
Since we are all elemental beings, we must remind ourselves of this. Witchcraft art doesn’t need to depict spellbinding scenes for it to be powerful, but it does need to be steeped in nature. Honour the elements that sustain us and fill your home with their rejuvenating energy by placing prints throughout. The element of water cleanses and nourishes us while allowing us to explore the ebb and flow of our emotions. Fire ignites our passions and desires while also burning any pain and regrets, lighting up our areas of darkness. The element of air symbolises new beginnings and encourages us to allow the winds of change and not resist them. The Earth holds us and supports us so that we can grow and rise into the whole woman we were born to be. Ward off evil energy by placing a print of the Nordic Goddess Freya in your home. She is thought to be a Völva, a Nordic witch who brought magic to Earth. Bolster her powerful energy by placing smaller prints depicting rune symbols, the third eye and foxes close by. These objects are all strongly linked to witchcraft and the occult.
Create a shrine of witch art
Honour the feminine and remind yourself of the wisdom you carry within by creating a sacred corner of your home. This could be an altar or shrine or simply a space on your walls that lights up your spirit. In this space, place divination tools such as tarot cards, oracle cards and natural elements such as crystals and herbs to help align your energy with nature and the divine feminine. Every shrine needs a focal point and there is no better subject to take this spot than a Goddess. Since we can call on a different Goddess for guidance and protection, it is recommended to connect with and trust your intuition when selecting your spiritual companion. The one you need will present herself to you when the time is right. Once you have woken your inner witch there will be no stopping her power. Witchcraft art is a fantastic tool to use to discover your inner strength and begin re-writing your Her-story.