I have 6 tattoos on my body, all but one of them have been chosen for spiritual reasons, the odd man out being the Siamese fighting fish on my leg that I got simply because I turned 18…
Tattooing is an ancient tradition with archaeological finds leading back as far as 6000 BC. The art or transforming our bodies with ink is known in almost all cultures. The reasoning behind tattoos are many, but it all leads back to a feeling of identification and a telling of ones story, kind of like a living scrap book. In our own culture the art of the Tattoo has become much more acceptable with people of all walks of life adding ink to their bodies. It is no longer something reserved for sailors and motor cycle enthusiast, but a cross culture experience shared by the likes of doctors, teachers, police officers and mothers.
Yesterday I finished having Hawthorn tattooed on my left shoulder/chest & back. I began the process in the end of April, knowing that I needed to have it done during the Beltaine season. *Beltaine is the Celtic holiday celebrating fertility, the awakening of the Earth & the Fairy folk.. Hawthorn is one of the Sacred trees of the Celtic Ogham with a deep connection to the Fairy folk. I personally have a strong connection to Hawthorn, having a deeply spiritual experience with it while I was in England in 2011. I went to the UK to marry the land. While visiting Modrons Well in Cornwall, I went to place my ribbon on the Cloutie tree and found my name already hanging from the tree. This was an overwhelming experience for me as I saw it as an acceptance from Gaia (the EArth) that she accepted me as her Bride. (If you want to read more about this experience make sure to check out my blog article Cloutie Tree.). The layers of spiritual connection represented by this tattoo are many. And like all spiritual experiences it takes time to adjust and acclimate to the new energy.
How do we approach Tattooing as a sacred experience?
I see my Tattoos as a form of Spiritual Armor. They symbolically represent an attribute of my personality and are reminders of the spiritual energy I work with every day in my life. For me the whole process of getting a new tattoo is one deeply set in Spirit. Some of my tattoos have come to me in my dreams others have shown them selves to me in moments of Awen (the spirit of Creativity). When choosing a tattoo, I not only think about what I am putting on my body…but where I place it. Placement is key as our the outer surface of our body is like a map, connecting to organs and our energy body. When you have decided on what you want on your body and where it is to go you then need to choose an artist you feel is a good match for you. They do not have to share your spiritual beliefs, but they do need to make you feel comfortable. The energy you hold while receiving your Tattoo is important. Preparing yourself to receive a new Tattoo is also important, I highly recommend meditating on the image before you have it placed on your body. Spend some time thinking about how this symbol will effect your energetic body. When the time comes to actually get it inked on your body, remember you are taking part in a Sacred act. Some people are very sensitive to pain and do not enjoy the act of getting Tattooed, I personally like it. Remember to actively engage in receiving your Tattoo…as the ink bonds with your skin, you are being altered. Your energy is being enhanced by the symbols you receive. This is why you should be thoughtful in the whole process of adding art to your body, for it truly does have an impact.
I cannot express enough to you the importance of approaching Tattoos with a spiritual eye. You are making an adjustment in your energetic field when you place one on your body, so go into it consciously… explore the energy you are embracing before placing it on your body. The markings we place on our skin our part of our Energetic Armor and need to be seen as the powerful gestures they are.