Sunday, 14 June 2015

Brandings


I haven't mentioned it before, but I am tattooed.

I love tattoos. I would have a lot more if I had a lot more money! I think it's important to find an artist you want to work with, and pay them what the work is worth. All of my tattoos also have some meaning to me - they mark a passage or a connection, or serve a purpose. I love that tattooing is such an old art, the mix of pain and pleasure to create this incredible piece of art you get to wear for the rest of your life. It's a transcendent experience, because you have to put yourself outside of the pain, knowing that you'll get to experience the beauty of it forever.

A few weeks ago, I brought up the idea that our coven should get matching tattoos. Everyone seemed pretty into the idea. We decided that we wouldn't get exactly the same tattoo - we all have pretty different aesthetics, so trying to decide on one image was going to be next to impossible.

We do have a coven symbol - keys. A key is a literal symbol of opening or closing. It represents authority, knowledge, initiation, curiosity, and mystery. The key has been a pretty constant symbol for us, and we all have our own keys that we were given upon initiation. They key has been a very constant element of my own practice (just look at the name of my friggin' site!). We each came up with our own concepts and worked with the artist to design our own keys, and had them tattooed!



DisneyQueen designed an incredible moth tattoo to work in with an already existing tattoo. Moths have a very strong and personal symbology to her. She is a multi-tattooed lady, and has been present for all of my tattoos, so I was super happy to be able to share something cool and bonding with her!



D designed this nifty thurisaz tattoo with sweet antlers to honour his connection to Thor and the wild. It was his first tattoo, and he pulled through like a champ. I love the different elements in this one!




For mine, I knew wanted something with a skull on it - dancing the line between life and death, the here and after. I wanted it to look sort of old and otherworldly - like something that would be found at the bottom of the ocean and unlocked a really sweet chest, or found buried in a cave and unlocked a secret door. I wanted it in the neo traditional style. This is what the artist came up with - and I loved it! The ash sprig and ansuz rune represent my dedication to Odin (as well as all the additional meanings of ansuz - intelligence, inspirations, wisdom, and communications - it literally means 'mouth' or 'breath'), the rope binding them together with the mystery of the key itself. It is, in essence, both taking control and surrendering to my beliefs.

The second tattoo (the one at the bottom) I got was an add-on at the end, it comes from a video game. It comes from the Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, and it's a shadowmark from the Thieves Guild. Shadowmarks are kind of based on hobo signs, and denote and communicate certain things throughout the game. This symbol is the symbol of protection, meaning what is marked is under the protection of the guild. I thought it a fitting tattoo to get, surrounded by my own guild who always have my back and protect me. Also, it's just nerdy and I love it.

As for pain, I have another tattoo on my other forearm, so I knew what to expect. I kinda sat like a stone through the whole thing, I was pretty proud of myself. I was super happy to experience this very intense bonding experience with my coven, it's nice to have something we can look at and remind ourselves of our commitment to one another and our gods.

I am hoping to go in next month to get another one, but it will depend on the cashflow situation and the work situation. DPM, my spouse, has booked to go in for his first tattoo next month, and I'd like to be able to book in the same time and get something else. It is true what they say - tattooing is a gateway drug to more tattoos. :D

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