Friday, August 26, 2011

The Mythology of Supernatural: Reader Question Response #1

My first reader question comes from Scott (no last name given), and he asks:
"In Season 3, episode 12, Jus In Bello, Sam and Dean reveal tattoos on the left side of their chests as a way of protection from being possessed. Did you decide to research the symbol? Can you give any information about it?"

Yes, Scott. I did research the origins of this symbol. Due to certain writing constraints regarding the use of images, however, it was not included in the book. However, I am more than happy to share that research here on the blog.

I looked for weeks before I found this (which, for me, is a really long time to look for something) in an excellent reference source, The Dictonary of Symbols by Carl G. Liungman (I've had this on my shelves for years, and it comes in handy far more often than one might expect).

The book offers a very similar (though, admittedly, not identical) symbol to the protection tattoo Sam and Dean have. Here is an image of that symbol:

This emblem is commonly found on clothing in regions of Ghana, and is meant to symbolize the Eastern Star (represented by the 5-pointed star), planet Venus (symbolized by the circle within the star), and the solar cycle/beginning of a new day (symbolized by the sun that surrounds the star, which is meant to represent rotation).

Linguistically, the symbol is supposed to mean Sesa woruban, which generally translates as "Change in life" or, more personally, "I change/transform my own life."

Now, please understand that there is no way to prove that the creators of Supernatural had this symbol in mind when they created the design of the protective tattoo used on the show. And I want to make it clear that I am making no such claim here. This is simply the most similar symbol that I was able to track down in my research.

Well, that's one response down. I will continue to do these once a week until I run out of questions. So, if you have a question related to The Mythology of Supernatural, send it to me in the comments here on the blog.

I'll also accept questions on the discussion board of my Amazon page:

Lastly, feel free to Tweet questions to me on my Twitter account: NatRBrown

Thanks for the question, Scott.

And thanks to all the Supernatural fans and readers who have helped to make The Mythology of Supernatural a success.

All my best,


  1. hello nathan,i am a 20 year old girl from india, a huge supernatural fan and i am planning to get the anti-possesion tattoo sam and dean have on my 21st birthday which is on 28th of this month,its going to be my first tattoo and its a big step for me,so its really important for me,i would love it if you could give me some more insight on this tattoo and its significance thank you :)

    1. Hey Sunanda!

      I have had the anti-possesion tatoo on me for a few years, just be prepared that many of the general public see a "pentagram" and think its a satanic symbol, so then I have to explain to them the meaning of the tattoo and what it does. At that point, they think im crazy for believing that it will actually stop me from being possessed, and here is my response to that...

      If ghosts and demons are real and are able to possess human bodies, would this symbol do anything to stop them? Probably not, it's a made up symbol from a TV show, loosley based off of religious and spiritual folklore.

      For me, the reason that I put this tattoo on my body, is to remind myself not to let my own demons and ghosts possess me.

      It reminds me that I can be stronger than the demons in my head, the urges to be a bad person, and that the ghosts of my past will never possess me to repeat the same mistakes. That is the meaning that I give to the symbol tattooed on my body, and I think it is the most realistic and symbolic meaning I have seen anybody come up with for this symbol.

  2. Man! Thank you! People kept bugging me about it whenever i drew it on a paper, arm, pie or a pumpkin, saying it was a satan-worshipping symbol! I had been cramping to find its origin for quite some time, thanks to you I dont have to look any further! #LoveSupernatural

    1. You are very welcome! Glad to be of service!


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