I love tattoos, I really do. Big, beautiful bold ones that cover arms especially.
I have one, just one, that I got when I was 27, it was drawn by my best friend and it is a symbol of magic, protection and being at the edges. I love it, for the most part it is never seen by anyone aside from my husband and me and it makes me smile every time that I see it.
That was ten years ago now and I desperately want a new one. I keep drawing different designs and editing them, and researching (my pinterest board is quite big now) and never hitting on the one that I really want.
I guess the question is – why do I want one?
My first tattoo is something that happened during the craziest year of my life, I was working in marketing and heading out to rituals, parties and all sorts in the evening, I even spent a week in Prague with an occult theatre company, possibly the strangest holiday I’ve ever had.
I was desperately unhappy at the time and partying extremely hard to make up for it, as well as testing my boundaries and my limits.
I loved the process of getting a tattoo, and the two piercings that I got in the same year and wanted to go out and cover my body in more, but I held off. I saw them as positive scarification, a claiming and a celebration of my body, as opposed to the self harm which had also marked my body and I was still battling not to do any more of.
Now, I feel like I want a tattoo to mark who I am, literally put a mark on my body stating this is me. This is who I am, a deeply spiritual person, one who needs water, trees, solitude, quiet and a lot of time in devotional practice. To remind me that this is the core of who I am.
But why do I need reminding? Well, because I easily forget that and get caught up in the every day things which can easily dominate a life. With my illness it is really easy for me to lose sight of the bigger picture.
A visible tattoo – e.g. on my forearm, rather than my hip, would mean I would see it multiple times a day, as would other people, who would hopefully ask and that would reinforce the message to me. It would also be a commitment to my sacred search for the divine, literally branded on me visible to all.
Am I ready for this? No…why not? Good question, I’m worried what people will think…yes, I know. I really shouldn’t worry about that. There is no reason to, for the most part everyone is wrapped up in themselves. I know that. And yet…and yet…
So, I’m still not rushing off to the tattoo parlour, ten years after my first, although I know which parlour I will use. I will continue to draw and design my tattoos and research them, but I’m not quite ready to take that final step just yet.