Tattoos As Spiritual Markers

I had a strange day yesterday. I never had any intention of ending up in a tattoo shop, accompanying friends to a piercing. But that is where my day took me, and it is funny how a funky tattoo parlor can feel safe and comforting. I stood back and watched as the artists worked and my friends got their piercing. One of the artists had a Crowley-style unicursal hexagram tattoo, and I found that random sign oddly comforting. I spoke to him a bit about his tattoo, and we exchanged business cards. There is always this cool vibe when you recognize an occult symbol in someone’s tattoo or jewelry, you comment on it, and for a moment you and the person are connected by this simple, shared, secret knowledge.

Mrs. M. Stevens Wagner. 1907 Library of Congress

I have passed a lot of milestones in my life so far, and I know I have more milestones to come. Some have left marks on my body: scars from surgery, ear piercings, stretch marks. But I have never gotten a tattoo. Now, as I consider gathering my belongings, and consider the times I have lost important things in my life, I’m finding the concept of a tattoo very appealing. It is something that you simply cannot lose. You always carry it with you. The story of your journey is written on your skin, and continues to speak even after you die.

I have more important things to be focusing on in the next few weeks than body art, but it’s definitely percolating in the back of my mind. There are symbols I already have in mind. Different styles of hexagrams, a torch, and maybe some Theban script.

I’m curious as to how other Pagans use tattoos and body art to celebrate their milestones. I’d like to feature these stories on the blog next Monday. So if you want to share a picture of your tattoo, and the story behind it, send it to me in an e-mail with TATTOO in the subject line: sfoster@patheos.com.

In the meantime, I am grateful and overwhelmed at all the support I have received. I am safe, and have been able to move up my flight date. Still some stressful days ahead, but all will be well, and that is entirely thanks to the kindness of my community. I sincerely never expected this outpouring of support and love. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

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About Star Foster

Polytheistic Wiccan initiated into the Ravenwood tradition, she has many opinions. Some of them are actually useful.


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