The tattoo on my back is the first one I got. I scoured books and magazines and the internet for nearly a year before I found this design on some random webpage of uncredited Pagan symbols, and I knew it was what I wanted straight away. I've never seen another like it. When I showed it to my tattoo artist (the fabulous Dave Stevens at Electric Ink) and told him where I wanted it, he told me that I'd chosen pretty much the most painful tattoo I could for my first!
The main symbol is a pentacle. Clockwise from top-left, the smaller symbols are as follows:
- A six-pointed star, generally recognised as the Star of David
- Aum, which is a sacred syllable in several Indian religions
- Yin yang, a Chinese symbol that represents how opposing forces interact
- A triskele, an ancient Celtic symbol
- A sun cross, a prehistoric symbol that can be found all over Europe
As you can see, the symbols come from many cultures and religions. Without sounding too much like a stupid privileged white person, I tentatively interpret my tattoo to represent balance, harmony, wholeness, and the sacred nature of all things. I absolutely love it. My only regret is that it's not somewhere I can see easily, because I could certainly do with a reminder of those things every day!
When my first one was done, my tattoo artist asked me what I was getting next. "Nothing," I said. He laughed and gave me a knowing look and said, "You'll be back." He was right - I was back about 12 months later for my armband!
I knew I wanted an armband tattoo, but I wanted one a little bit different from everyone else. I chose this design from a book of Celtic tattoo designs I had. Sadly, the book doesn't say where it is from, but of the examples were from illuminated Bible manuscripts. It's a bit hard to tell from the picture, but the tattoo is interlocking dogs in alternating red and green. I chose the dogs because I love animals, and my tattoo artist helped with the colours - I knew I wanted colour rather than black like my previous tattoo, and he suggested the red and green as being traditional Celtic colours.
My remaining plans are: a small silver fern on the inside of my right wrist, a phoenix on my right shoulder (I'm hoping to cover my huge scar from removing my birthmark but apparently you shouldn't tattoo over a scar so need to think about that), and a quote, probably from Shakespeare, around my left ankle. Then I'll have to come up with some more.
I'm reluctant to try another tattoo artist because Dave at Electric Ink did such a fantastic job, but I am getting really desperate for a new tattoo, and making a special trip to Levin just for a tattoo pilgrimage seems a bit extreme!
Do you have any tattoos?
This post is part of my Big50 blogging challenge series.