Africa Under My Skin – An Epic Sacred Tattoo Design Journey
I just completed a very unique sacred tattoo design that not only reflected my client’s life, but took me along on his epic journey in heart and spirit. I’m filled with emotion right now as I write this, so this will likely be a short post on this very powerful piece.
It wasn’t until the design came to closure that I suddenly was hit with the energetic magnitude of it.
This happens often, as while I am in the midst of channeling, I am in that suspended place of receiving and bringing forth. It is at the end that all that came through and manifested, suddenly integrates into experience. And when I step back to take it in, all of the encoded layers really knock on my heart.
Interestingly, I received the request for this piece and read the story while I was in transit, traveling. Very apropos, as you’ll read why.
I also have found it very interesting that this is the fourth sacred tattoo design that is connected with Africa. I have recently helped co-create three designs for male clients who live in Africa, and one that has a very strong connection to Africa and had been traveling there while I was creating his design.
Again, I’m not sure what the full meaning of this is, but I’m honored to be part of these journeys and to be assisting energetically in supporting transformational shifts in that part of that world. I also understand there is meaning for my soul history in this region from things I know in my past, which is why I have felt called there at some point soon too.
Anyway, needless to say, this was a beautiful journey and here is a little about the symbolism.
I took in the energy of my client’s journey and incorporated the specifics he wanted in a way that would emulate the essence of his desires and more. St. Christopher was one of those elements, along with a map of Africa. In the process, I came to see how much St. Christopher is part of his life, and in many ways also symbolizes an aspect of my client. He has carried with him a medallion of St. Christopher since he was one year old, given to him from his grandfather.
A little about St. Christopher: He is the Patron Saint of travelers whose name means “Christ carrier.” St. Christopher is depicted as a tall, robust middle-aged bearded man carrying a staff and Christ child on his shoulders as he wades across a river. He devoted his life to carrying people across an impassable stream and one day a child appears who asks to be carried across too. Surprisingly, the child steadily increases in weight as Christopher carries him across until the point his tiny burden becomes almost too heavy to bear. He then asks the holy child why he weighs so much, to which the child replies that he carries the weight of the world’s sins upon his shoulders. As a reward for his service, Christopher’s staff is miraculously transformed into a living tree, and Christopher himself became the Patron Saint of travelers.
As mentioned, there were many layers to this design, including St. Christopher. The child carried also symbolizes my client’s son, along with aspects of himself…the child who was born in Africa, his inner child, and the child at heart that has returned to Africa – both integrating healing at this time. St. Christopher’s robe flows as the outline of Africa on the left, he looks up at the child, but also up and towards Africa. The child holds the Earth globe in his hands, as the future of the Earth is in the hands of our children, but also as they say, the child replies that he is so heavy to St. Christopher because he is carrying the world’s sins upon his shoulders. The fact that St. Christopher is standing in the water, to me not only depicts his carrying people across waters in travel safely, but also is symbolic of cleansing and renewal, which is what my client is experiencing on his journey and what he is assisting in support of Africa’s people. His journey of helping to link tiny villages and communities for assistance through the bridging of roads is supported and protected by St. Christopher.
Within the map of Africa I also faintly made it somewhat topographic, but also the shadings could be seen as roads, as well as veins and muscle. I wanted Africa to feel alive and pulsing, the way my client explained her to be. So the way I drew it was to emulate almost a heart and veins and blood. I wanted to depict it as he felt it to, beneath the skin, part of him, and emerging out of from under his skin – and also creating in effect, an ancientness of his Mother country.
As my client shared, he feels Africa to be “under my skin and her dirt runs through my veins.”
He also explained that they have a saying there that the reason the soil is so red in Africa is because of all of the blood that has been spilled on her. He shares, “I believe this could be true, but I also have never seen kindness anywhere in the world in all of the places I have traveled to, as the kindness you will find in Africa.”
The whole piece is very “epic” in nature – passing down a legendary story of his life and a piece of Africa’s essence, through his spiritual skin.
As the title of my book goes, “Spiritual Skin – Sacred Tattoos: More than Skin Deep.”
This tattoo really emulates the spirit of this meaning. I am beyond grateful to walk with each soul on their journeys. It is TRULY an honor.
In Lak’ech Ala K’in
If you would like to partner in co-creating your own sacred tattoo design to embody the empowerment you desire, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the process and pricing please visit: What is a Tattoo Design Consultation
Some people have preferred to read my book, Spiritual Skin ~ Sacred Tattoos: More than Skin Deep, especially if they are new to sacred tattoo designs, before embarking on this journey.
If you are drawn to learn more about sacred tattoos you can order a copy of the book here: Spiritual Skin
It is also available in Kindle and PDF formats here: Spiritual Skin
Posted on February 13, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged Africa tattoos, custom tattoo designs, custom tattoos, map of Africa tattoo, Patron Saint of Travelers, sacred tattoo designs, Sacred Tattoos, spiritual skin, spiritual tattoo designer, spiritual tattoos, St. Christopher symbolism, St. Christopher tattoos, symbolic tattoos, tattoo design. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.
Tania this took my breath away!!! What a penetrating piece of work!
thank you SO much jennifer! that means a lot to me. xoox
It’s really looks like a painting, i have something in mind and i love to put it on me. Actually, it’s the picture of my deceased mother.