Tattoos have become a common form of self-expression. This article will explore the idea of tattoos as both a form of self-expression and also focus on the Spiritual Power of Tattoos.
Like tarot cards, tattoos were not part of the mainstream for much of the rise of popular culture. Watch TV shows and movies from the 1940s to the 1990s and tattoos were nowhere on screen.
You did not see them on sports figures or people who worked with the public. But today, you will see them as part of the everyday culture, in all forms of entertainment, public work, and sports.
My Personal Journey with Tattoos
There are plenty of websites to explore if you want to know the history of tattooing. You can learn about how art and practice work within various cultures around the world.
Suffice to say, tattooing has been part of human culture for quite some time, going as far back as 10,000 years. The history and use of tattooing are certainly a subject worth exploring, just not in an article this concise.
In the United States rules for tattooing, mainly by age, vary from state to state, but generally, a person is required to be 18 to get a tattoo.
When I was growing up and became old enough to get a tattoo (18 in the state of North Carolina) in 1986, the connotations for being tattooed were pointedly negative, unless you were in military service.
My First Tattoo
I did not decide to get my first tattoo until I was 27, in graduate school, and married. My then-wife went with me to a “hole in the wall” tattoo parlor in Greensboro, NC and I got a small tattoo on my left inside hip.
The procedure took about 40 minutes and I found it surprisingly meditative. Little did I know how much the experience would impact me, and how much I would enjoy it.
It certainly surprised my wife, considering she knew about my strong aversion to needles, primarily in a medical setting like a doctor’s office or a hospital.
One night when we were out for dinner, we met a server who had a dragonfly done on her forearm it was one of the most “alive” tattoos.
I had ever seen and I said to the woman, “please tell me that is a local artist who did your tattoo.” As it turned out, the artist was local, and even more unusual, the artist was a woman, Kathryn Moore.
I found her shop, Dogstar Tattoo, and went to meet with her about doing a much larger piece of work. In fact, when I went to her shop and met her, I said, “I am going to say what I suspect every tattoo artist wants to hear … I want a big, custom tattoo”.
What I had in mind was a tattoo of a black unicorn rearing in front of a full moon, which Kathryn created for me brilliantly.
The unicorn, specifically a black unicorn, is my spirit animal and has been since a lucid dream I had when I was 16. It is not my only spiritual animal, but it is my most prominent.
It took many hours and numerous sessions to complete the entire work. And where she worked on my ribs was one of the most challenging places to get tattooed.
However, after the piece was done and she asked me what I thought about the finished piece I told her this, “you took the image of my soul and raised it from inside me to the surface of my skin, thank you.”
Spiritual Power of Tattoos – Unicorn
The mythology of the unicorn mostly involves a white horse, who remains hidden from view, unless it allows itself to be drawn out by a virginal maiden.
The black unicorn, for me, is a creature for those of us who are not pure, but who still try to do what is right and good. Instead of perfection, there is beauty and strength in imperfection, so long as one is striving to improve and learn.
I found the tattooing process very powerful, on a deeply personal level. And I was fortunate to find an artist that connected with my visions in a spectacular way. Kathryn has done all my tattoos over the course of fifteen years since I got my first one from her at 29.
I eventually divorced my wife and ended up in a second long-term relationship with a woman who I would have my daughter with.
To signify our relationship, I had symbols of our astrology signs tattooed on my arm, the urn for Aquarius, my daughter’s sign; the ram for Aries, my sign; and the scorpion for Scorpio, her mother’s sign.
Whether you decide to get a small tattoo or cover yourself in ink, there should be spiritual power and significance to any of the art you put on your body.
It was a revelation to me when I realized that the art and the artist were channeling through my soul and onto my skin.
If you were to imagine the art of your soul and wanted it to rest on your skin, what would you want the artist to pull from your depths? I certainly never saw myself as a heavily tattooed individual when I was growing up.
Nor did I realize that getting tattooed would also prove to be a spiritual experience while the work was being done.
The sound of the machine, and the slow increase in my temperature as I went deeper into the process with each passing moment.
The connections I have and make with other people who are serious about their tattoos remains remarkable, even though significant time has passed since my last bit of ink.
I have chosen symbols that offer protection and enhance my personal and spiritual power. The history of significant times and people in my life resides in different locations on my body.
And the empowerment that comes from working with a highly talented artist who also understood the connection we made with the art, my body, her spirit, mine, and the spirit of others was and still is enlightening.