Devil’s Mark. Art download.
Devil’s Mark – Witches Mark
I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts about witch trials recently, which has led to me falling into some time consuming wiki holes. The things people did to women they thought were witches were absolutely barbaric. And the reasons for doing it, utterly bizarre. If it was suspected that you were a witch, you’d be stripped and checked all over for the Devil’s Mark (also known as a Witch’s Mark). This could be anything from a freckle to a mole. The Devil’s Mark was said to be where Satan had touched the witch’s body to seal their obedience to him. It was also thought that the mark was a third nipple that witch’s familiar would suckle on. If a mark was located on a suspected witch’s body, they would be dunked in water to see if they drowned – some had their hands bound, some had their pockets filled with stones to make them sink, some were put into a special dunking chair. If the woman survived, she was burnt at the stake.
But I’m not in the habit of painting submissive women. So this is Rosemary. She has a Devil’s Mark. She has a heavy, black witch’s knot pendant around her neck, decorated with carnelian stones – carnelian is said to promote sexuality, sexual confidence and self love, as well as having healing powers. All things that the patriarchy would have hated and attributed to witchcraft. On the other hand, Rosemary doesn’t look in distress. I wanted to do an alternate history in a way – this is a calm scene and it looks like she’s saying something; silently muttering an incantation or summoning spell, maybe. In my head I like to think when they drag her out of the water, she’s going to unleash merry hell on her tormentors.
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