Today put to closure quite an epic sacred tattoo design journey, but it is so much more than a design and the process of pencil to paper. This design is the largest to date that I have had honor to help co-create, taking me 3 giant sized pieces of drawing paper taped together to be able to integrate.
Seems like a perfect send-off, as I get ready to leave tomorrow on another epic journey in the magical energy of Bimini.
I always have to admit that the left brain side of me never knows how I am going to create what each piece calls for, but the right side of my brain puts it in check and says, “You will know, just allow.” And then the left brain gets into its more productive partnership role as facilitator for the manifestation to actively take form, while my right brain and heart are able to weave the magick, unencumbered.
This is a huge piece at over 2 feet wide and 20″ tall on flat paper, however it will be sitting with the dragon in her fullness filling the back, and the tree/branch/root with lotus curving down and over the sacrum pointing towards the root and over the sacral chakra. The tail will start curving down the left of the lower back and wrap around and up the left rib cage and landing or pointing to the center of the left and right ribs and drawing the energy up to the heart. The flames from the dragon’s mouth will start to ascend from the right upper back/shoulder blade and curve up and over the shoulder and then down the center of the right arm, which will wrap on each side a bit.
It was quite a tricky process of logistics just to start off. So thank you left brain!
And thank you right brain for filling in the dots. Not only does this design have a strong foundation with the energy of balance being created, but it also was mirrored in my own process and all that has led up to it.
This is a very significant sacred portal for a courageously beautiful soul who is coming into embodying wholeness through what has been a story of many trials and tribulations. And she is rewriting a new story from this empowered place that is profoundly shifting her life in inspiring ways. Being able to observe and be a part of this kind of transformation is a true gift. I know she is going to be a source of profound inspiration for many others as she continues to write her new story.
There are so many aspects, layers, and symbolisms in this piece, I am not going to be able to even explain it all, as we’ll be here forever. But I will point out the key highlights and I’m sure you’ll discover things for yourself.
There is a lot to take in when viewing this piece, with some of the detail only fully experienced in person. The elements, both easy to see and hidden include:
- An empowered, graceful female dragon
- Inside the dragon there are little interwoven hidden symbols to include: a celtic designed horse at her heart chakra, a spiral at the place where her wing connects to her shoulder, a triple spiral design in the veins of her wing, and a spiral triskele at her root chakra pointing down (you’ll see the repetitive three a lot throughout and variations of the triple spiral, triskele and maiden, mother, crone symbolism
- Then the dragon’s tail turns into a flow of celtic knots, spirals, triskeles and within it also has a symbolic ladybug and a heart combined with the triple moon symbolism
- The dragon sits very solid and grounded on a tree root/branch with spirals, three leaves and ending at a lotus that sits at the in that the sacrum
- The violet flames then flow from the dragon and envelope a celtic knot butterfly atop a triple hare symbol that overlays a giant many petaled daisy and then transmutes into a four knotted symbol with sun-emanating and balancing energies
Without going into personal detail, I will just share the general parts of the symbolism I shared with my client of what was integrated into the design:
The dragon symbolism represents my client as creator, bringing a visual of her inner strength within reflected on the outside and of her higher self. Within this dragon, and at each end of the design, a story is woven and the symbolism that was chosen and placements were all to help integrate intentions, heal and release the old, moving into and to hold space for the new and continual evolvement into all that she can be.
The horse came through and not only, I realized, symbolized her as a Sagittarius, but represents unbridled freedom, passion and graceful strength, power and beauty. So I meshed the horse design into the heart chakra of the dragon’s scaled chest to empower her heart in this way and opening to that freeing experience of letting yourself fully free.
The spiral symbolism came through in the shoulder and at the wing. These areas are represent flexibility, soaring to great heights, unfurling your wings, the way you communicate and express yourself (arms symbolize this and winged beings are connected with the air element which is also communicative), all of this being enhanced with flow and the beauty of cycles as natural and easy to embrace.
The spiral triskele at the root chakra anchors, grounds and helps integrate all that is opening and balances by drawing that energy down into the body and into the Earth.
The dragon has beautiful spikey horns at its crown which also draw that energy from Source into the body and transmit energy out to the world.
The dragon is in an upright very confident, yet graceful stance and sits perched on the tree branch/root balanced easily and is supported by the branch and trusts this. The branch bends, but it does not break. It is strong and flexible and when in partnership with the dragon that knows how to work her alchemy and trusts, they are like one rather than separate and support each other. This balance is evident throughout the design and is that balance that when integrated within, then becomes wholeness.
I created the tree gracefully as well and with spiral branch and root ends for that continuous journey of cycles and perfection in all that unfolds and veined the tree in an almost leaf design that shows it is alive and like the tree of life symbolism. I wanted there to be connections to the Earth and the natural, which is why some of the design is organic and natural and others are ethereal, magical and visionary. The repetition of the three leaves (integration) on the branch at the end of the three small semi-spiraled branches and the lotus at the root, which came through as symbolically important.
The Lotus itself is a powerful and ancient image symbolizes harmony, spiritual illumination and unlimited potential. The lotus is a type of water lily which rises from the sludge of muddy waters and opens into a beautiful flower. Any way you use the Lotus in a spiritual practice, it will provide a resonant field that reinforces the concept of resurrection. Human mistakes and challenges are the fertilizer for brilliance and awakened creation as the Lotus shows us. Born in the murkiest of ponds, Lotus still emerges pure. Use the Lotus as a reminder that “this, too, shall pass.” Be assured that all fertilizer nurtures a beautiful new life. In the greater world, Lotus is a peaceful cosmic beacon for forgiveness, gratitude and compassion to prevail where the sludge of conflict has resided. Using this symbol on water invites a balance between humility and pride.
Then we move to the dragon’s tail that flows gracefully in a snake-like dance (serpents hold such powerful symbolism of transformation and life force) and is a connecting design of interlacing celtic knots, triskeles, and spirals all the way to the arrow-like end. It starts from the dragon’s base as a dark spiral that offsets the lighter spiral of the tree root (which looks like it could be a mirroring tail of the dragon curving the other way as well). Again the tree and dragon almost looking like one entity together and the light and dark spiral like that yin and yang and balancing nature. And journeying over the many intricate lacings of life, gingerly sits a ladybug who is content and easily rides in partnership with the dragon, peacefully, following where ever the knotted path may twist and turn. She is patient, trusting, and carries with her the light of blessings and luck that she will always find her way and is free to fly and return as she desires.
The contrast between the dragon’s strength and ability to crush something and the gentle fragility and grace of the ladybug make for a very powerful and interesting symbolism when put together. It speaks to our innate nature to master our energy and bring out the divine integrative nature of our being which is both aspects of power and gentleness, action and stillness, inner and outer strength, etc. It reflects an aspect of mastery of duality that is coming into balance – taming the inner beast, drawing out the creative force in an intentful and focused way, funneled through the heart, communicating strength in every utterance of spoken and unspoken even if done through the female graceful form, the ability we each have, no matter small or large, to conquer anything and to face all fears when we center in our wholeness and empowered authenticity.
There is also a loose heart design to the lower right of the ladybug on the underside of the tail that has the triple moon symbol in it and around it. They speak for themselves, as well as add to the journey being one you follow from your heart and full of the mysticism and power of that divine and sacred feminine wholeness and power.
And lastly, we come to the transcendent flames – the violet breath that morphs all things and takes them to their divine nature of wholeness and purity, to empower only the elements that are of benefit, and disintegrating the rest.
The flames emerge from the throat chakra and transmute all that is spoken into harmonious resonance with origin from the heart. The flames dance and intermingle and from them emerges the metamorphic, joyful, free and creative cosmic butterfly in a celtic knot design that sits at the top of a mandala of an organic multi-petaled daisy in its full blossom where the triple hares freely run, circling at center.
The triple hares are so powerful and represent the Trinity. Each of the ears are shared by two hares, but only three ears are shown.
Hares are symbolic of rebirth, luck, prosperity, creativity, quick-thinking, self-sacrifice, high fertility, agility, receptiveness, and speed, to name a few things. They herald a kind of waking life resurrection and a realization of increased vitality, energy, or a new-found excitement over life. Creativity is also a form of fertility and of ripening, fresh ideas so Hares can bring a message of nurturing your intuitive impulses and nudges from your heart and soul. Hares/Rabbits are powerfully profound in their transmutational energies. The Ancients found them one of the most mysterious and perplexing beings, thought to be hermaphrodites (male one month and female the next), with powers of self-impregnation. Since Hares reflect the idea of balance between masculine and feminine they are highly regarded as sacred, mediators of the sacred, and embodying actual creative powers of the Universe. Hares are also associated with the Moon, lunar cycles, and cyclical life, are considered creatures of fire – the “Sacred Fire” that is the same regenerative fire of the Phoenix – thus destruction and recreation of the heart of all life. They are connected with the dawn, enlightenment, Spring, the Cosmic Egg from which the Cosmos is produced, and embody balance, creative potency, eternity, androgyny, genius, and inspiration.
Then from the bottom of the daisy emerges a four petaled knot I created with balancing and emanating energy that flow through the bottom of the flames creating a stem like quality to the daisy, but also a sun emanating effect and the bottom of the flames at a point can either be ending there and releasing energy down and out through the arm and drawn from the root of the back and up, or can be an entrance point from the arm to draw in energy and up and through the center of your being…transmuting either way it starts or begins, through the energies of the symbolisms.
The four petaled knot felt important to bring in to solidify things and really manifest them at a very stabilizing level. The symbolic meaning of this number deals with stability and invokes the grounded nature of all things. They represent the four seasons, the four directions, four elements… all these amazingly powerful essences wrapped up in the nice square package of Four. Fours represent solidity, calmness, and home (home is where ever the heart is and is centered). It is an enduring number of strength and rootedness.
There’s so much more I could share, and yet this is just the impersonal symbolism that helps demonstrate how we can create such powerful layered portals of integrative energy through imagery. As I shared with my client, I love sharing this stuff to because I feel the symbolism is universally effective to helping the collective. I’ve had many people say they feel energy and get things from my own tattoos on my body, even though they are on my body and not theirs. That’s because symbolism is collective. Many feel they connect with the designs in synergy with their own similar stories. And I love people to understand how we can weave our stories and effect and support change energetically, while bringing people back to the sacredness of all things, not just this art form, but to our temple bodies and the sacredness of integrating our experience.
I hope you enjoy the energy of this magical sacred tattoo design. I am honored to have been a conduit for its manifestation.
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. Remember that there is currently a waiting list and price changes are going to be in effect at start of 2014.
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