The Sacred Scar...
For a moment, take a breath and step away from any preconceptions you may have about tattoos - and in particular tattoos on women.
For me tattoos are very natural, I'm not looking so much at the 'Victorian Freakshow', (whereas in reality tattoos were a real trend with the Victorian upper classes - Winston Churchill's mother was rumoured to have a snake coiling up her wrist. I guess Victorian clothing would cover up a whole manner of skin secrets... I digress!) I want to look more to our ancestors and to the older tribes.
In my heart and mind, the subversive nature of tattoos and body modification is relatively recent (i.e. within the last 200 years) if we go deeper into our past I believe that they would have been a sign of the warrior, of sovereignty and of status/rite of passage. If you look at the more remote tribes that exist today we can see that this probably would have been the case.
Body art can be many things to the individual, it can be, and most often is, something which marks a period of transition and transformation in our journey, like the butterfly emerging from the cocoon we often wish to visually show our transformation, with a symbol or image that means something to us.
And if your tattoo is there simply cos it's pretty - you know what that is fiiine also! Something pretty is very Venusian and helps is to feel more positive and uplifted about ourselves, if you look at something every day that makes you smile then I see no problem there!
I don't believe tattoos are for everyone and I don't at all expect everyone to like them, and that's absolutely fine. I've had some rude people making comments about my tattooed self: 'a lady shouldn't have tattoos, it's unbecoming' and that's not fine. A lady should have manners, and those ones obviously didn't...
But it's the sacred nature of a tattoo that I wanted to touch upon here, the ritual magick of transformation. Etching a symbol onto skin, onto self, which then becomes a part of the Self... personal and spiritual.
After being tattooed you will never be quite the same person you were before... you may not lose anything (except perhaps outdated beliefs), but you shift in a small way, sometimes in a huge way.
So it is important that you choose a tattoo that will mean something for you, or at least a design that you feel a fuzzy happy connection for. We don't need to intellectualise these things, if we deeply love a symbol, image, then that is enough, it connects with something very deep in us.
Even my first tattoo, which was to be honest, relatively quickly chosen from the wall of a tattoo shop in Newquay (as I just wanted to go for it after a few years of hovering), is not regretted. It's black and red, curvy and tough: I can still go for those things! And as importantly, it puts a pin on the map for where I was at that time. How I felt, what I wanted, and the seeds of who I hoped I could be (and am still hoping!)
On a brief side note- please don't call anyone's tattoos 'tramp stamps' even in jest... think what message that really brings, and the lack of respect those words echo, whatever your opinion of the art.
I had, as mentioned one tattoo in Newquay, which represents a time I was at Art College in Cornwall,
one in Leicester, my birth town, and several (ahem!) in London by an artist I was very fortunate to meet around seven years ago called Dominique Holmes, who works at the Family Business in London.
I have had extensive work with Dom, as not only did we hit it off, She is a wonderful and ever improving artist whom I feel has always completely 'got' what I wanted, and she has taken my ideas and sketches and created some beautiful magical artwork on my arms, feet and back, of nature, power animals, and goddesses.
In a further blog I will discuss, if it is of interest, the meanings of the tattoos, the myth and I'll include photos!
Last Saturday I took a further path in my journey of the sacred scar. I had my own magical design tattooed on my back in a beautiful ritual environment surrounded by people, most of whom I had only just met, who chanted, drummed and supported me through the experience. I felt I could truly dedicate this tattoo to a Goddess, and a powerful experience.
This tattoo was a further commitment and dedication from magickal experiences I have undergone this year, and over the past 10 years, that I'm sure I'll discuss in a video and/or on a further post.
The lovely Suzi Elen Edwards (and organised by the awesome Samantha Elen Marks) was the perfect tattooist for this experience, deep, connected, kind and funny!
In this sacred, ritual experience I feel the work was inked into my skin through beat and chant; devotion and intention. It carries very deep meanings for me, which I guess I'll be working with for a while.
Another pleasure and treasure of the day was designing a sacred scar for a lady, and seeing that design (her first tattoo) being permanently etched onto her skin. That was particularity mind blowing, and has encouraged me to create some more magickal tattoo designs.
Today tattoos are experiencing a real hey day. Men and women are increasingly expressing themselves and their journeys in ink and skin. We are rediscovering the ancestral power of transformation, of the deeper spiritual journey. Look at your current tattoos, or if you are planning one, mediate on the image/words. What beauty, power and change have they/will they bring?
If this topic interests people, I'll write and share more in the future, I have been asked on YouTube to share the meanings of my tattoos, and as mentioned I'll do that soon.
Take gentle courageous steps in the directions of your dreams and ideals.