The Witch Heroes of Arlington

The Witch Heroes of Arlingtonfrom Arlington National Cemetery is hallowed ground for witches, too. Grave markers at Arlington National Cemetery carry the religious symbols of 38 belief systems officially recognized by the Department of Veterans Affairs, including that of Wicca, a k a witchcraft. Made up of a star — whose five points represent spirit, water, fire, earth and air — and surrounded by a circle emblematic of the sacred space in which practitioners of the religion sometimes perform spells, the pentacle is the most sacred Wiccan symbol. “You can’t just get anything,” Melissa Bohan, a spokeswoman for Arlington National Cemetery, told The Daily. “There’s a list of pre-approved religious symbols.” Since its addition in 2007 to a list of recognized tombstone icons, the pentacle has begun popping up on grave markers at Arlington and other government cemeteries alongside crosses, Stars of David and Muslim crescents. “There’s been a large increase over the past few years,” Jeanet Ewing, co-founder of Northern Virginia Pagan Network, told The Daily. “We’re up to near 80 grave markers nationwide.”

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