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Sacred Tattoo Designs with Dual Symbolism Superimposed – Whale/Butterfly & Scarab/Earth Mother Goddess

I had the opportunity again to work with one of my cherished clients and friends, Mari. You may remember her from my post “An Inside Look At One Soul’s Sacred Tattoo Experience – Mari’s Journey with ‘Spiritual Skin‘”. It’s been so incredible working with her as she creates her own soul’s journey through sacred body art that speaks to her unique soul essence. We’ve created several pieces together and I was excited to work with her again to create a couple more, which are today’s highlights.

As always, I marvel at the divine timing and what aligns with the process when creating these sacred pieces. It’s always so beautiful when direct messages, confirmations and support come through, as with the recent Incan tattoo designs I created, when Moth showed up to chime in with her wisdom in agreement. The designs also seem to be aligned with Reiki workshops I teach, which then also adds to the potency of the energy imbued within the designs, as well as align with astrological influences like the Moon phases, Cardinal Cross, and other intensified energies.

reiki (3)I’ve been following my client wait list in order, but arrived at working on Mari’s in beautiful synchronicity. Her designs were also graced with these types of energetic influences, as I had begun the first of the two the day before teaching a Reiki 3 Master Teacher Workshop for which I was preparing. I thought that very appropriate and empowering for the essence of this “ring” we were co-creating. More on it below.


Silvery gray of whale shining in the sun at center/top, as she surfaces and spouts

And right as I had begun the second piece for her foot, I was called to take an ocean-side break and was immediately upon sitting down to relax on the beach and read, met by a mother Grey Whale and her baby swimming by, which was so supportive and inspiring, not to mention confirming for the piece that included Whale wisdom in it.


Here you can see a whale watching boat, as well as leisure boat have spotted the whale and her baby, as they move. Whale is in front of the left boat where you see the mist of her spout and darker body surfacing

Not long after, a large pod of Dolphins also came through and I just felt in the flow once again and also knew that the feelings and visions I was receiving from them were to be captured in the piece. More on that below as well.

So it was another interesting and beautiful journey, to say the least, in co-creating these pieces and I’m grateful for the energies the Universe aligns me with, in guiding support during the process.

Since I just shared the Whale images (although not all that great of photos), I thought I’d first share on the foot design that incorporates Whale energy.

When I saw Whale on Saturday it reminded me of that powerful day, just a few weeks back that I blogged about, when the whales were bursting through the waters and jumping and splashing and just in total joy and bliss.

I felt that a Whale (which Mari was wanting incorporated into the design) that is not just one swimming through the seas of experience, but one that is penetrating the very veils of illusions with pure joy of authenticity from heart, was to be. The Whale depicted in this piece is thrusting in joy through the ocean’s surface, but also penetrating the veils between Earth and Cosmos, between self and other, consciousness and unconsciousness – bringing a knowingness and beingness of both at once.

Whales are cosmic beings that use their abilities to communicate through sound and message us about our true origins and authenticity. For more on Whale symbolism please visit: Whale Song

Sacred Tattoo Design - Foot Healing MandalaBut if you look very closely, you will see that Whale is also a Butterfly. For more on Butterfly symbolism you can visit: Butterfly Messengers.

See how Whale’s tail fins are the body of the Butterfly and body is the larger part of her wing, and fin makes up part of her lower wing. I created a spherical shape, but organic in nature with use of flowing water, spirals, energy, leaves and Plumeria (as my client had seen this as a healing Mandala and I also saw it as a portal or gateway).

There are two planets to the right, or could be a Full Moon and Sun. I also felt called to include a simple version of the Hunab Ku to demonstrate the Galactic nature of this piece in harmony with Earth – a return to natural harmony within and without. Hunab Ku is also known as the Galactic Butterfly, which is what is created here both as this more organic Butterfly with Whale as part of her shared essence of her wing AND as the Hunab Ku cosmic essence Butterfly.

Air and Water elements being highlighted a bit more, along with Spirit yet with an Earth connecting factor. Mari already has a lot of Fire and Earth and with a serpent on her right leg, this felt very balancing on her left foot where it will go.

I immediately had mentioned to Mari that I was sensing this sort of Polynesian, Mayan, Cosmic quality to the design and that is what I feel manifested. I was also receiving Plumeria as inspiration and when I looked into more of what it symbolized, I realized why.

Plumeria symbolism includes natural beauty, charm, grace, new life, new beginnings, creation and recreation, the Sun, perfection of all things as is, dedication, devotion, love, immortality, healing powers, liveliness, life and birth. They span many cultures in their symbolic meaning and reverence including being very important to both Hawaiian and Mayan cultures 🙂 , but also Hindu, South Indian, Buddhist, Chinese, Vietnamese, etc…

So there is so much celebration of life from the heart of hearts here. And I see it as a gateway she will walk forward into with each step, bringing in a new, vibrant, joyous energy that is birthing with all the shifts and upcoming newness in her life. It is a beautiful new layer of the onion, so to speak, revealing more of her deep personal frequency that is of and beyond this world, which many may not have seen of her yet. Very powerful, but in a gentle and beautiful way of grace and flow. It is centered, but organic in nature and can bring the experience of always feeling centered no matter how things are flowing outside – movement with cycles rather than with a rigid plan. There’s also a sense of abundance and true joy as she activates her Galactic “Nature” even more.

Sacred Tattoo Design - RingThen we move on to the second which is created to be worn as a ring – a wedding band so to speak that celebrates the sacred union with self. Being a ring, it is done in very simple and clear lines (open design line work) – like the henna work I have on my own hand and fingers. Fingers and hands are tricky in being able to ink and how they will wear over time. So it is best to keep them simple and defined.

This design, like the Whale/Butterfly is dual in nature as well, which was tricky. I had immediately for this piece been feeling Egyptian and Earth Priestess/Divine Feminine energy, and that is what is represented.

It took me a while to get the right design that would work dualistically, but also be very simple, yet potent. But it happened and what came through was the energy of the Scarab and the Earth Mother Goddess (Gaia).

For more on Scarab symbolism please see: Sacred Scarab

Within the design at top is a simple Lotus that has a bit of an Egyptian flair to it. I created 3 dots around it, sort of providing a subtle Henna quality, but can also represent the Trinity, Triple Goddess energy, the Maiden, Mother, Crone, etc.

Now if we skip below that and you look at center of the band, there is a simple heart-like design (felt very important to have all things come and stem from the/her heart). This heart acts dually as the body of the Scarab and the body of the more primitive Earth Mother Goddess design. To the left and right are the wings of the Scarab that create the band and will come to a point at back under the finger. I kept them simple but they are spread open to produce freedom energy. They also balance the Scarab/Goddess.

Below, coming just slightly down over knuckle into hand, is a design that could be both a leaf (to draw energy in and be the grounding Earthiness, as well as root of the Lotus), but can also be another set of wings (as the mirror to each other) that have come to rest together creating hands in prayer position, much like that centering at heart we do in meditation, and in receiving and giving blessing and honoring to self and others (Namaste).

Above the heart design is the stylized head of the Scarab, as well as the Goddess. Coming out on both sides are the Scarab’s legs, but also the Goddess’s arms stretched above holding the Sun Disk (Source within her and representative of the Great Central Sun). This reflecting connection to it, honoring of it, and always walking in the reflection and grace of the truth within that Source.

It’s a small piece, but amazing what can be achieved with just the right tweaks. The ring band will sit where a band would usually, with the lower leaf/wings coming down into hand a bit (balancing a design she already has moving up the hand on the right), and reaching past the first finger knuckle to create an elongated design down part of the length of her finger, coming to rest in between the two top knuckles.

Really grateful to support Mari with her beautiful journey. And it looks like we will be partnering again down the road soon. So stay tuned for more with Mari and me. 🙂 I love that I finished writing this at 11:11 am here.

If you would like to partner in co-creating your own sacred visionary piece of artwork or tattoo design to embody the empowerment you desire, you can contact me at

There is currently a waiting list, which I am moving through as quickly as I can.  I can only provide a guesstimate on timing. You can easily make your deposit at the link provided below to embark on this journey in partnership with me.

For more information about the process and pricing please visit: What is a Tattoo Design Consultation

To enjoy a visual journey of some of the sacred tattoo designs I’ve had the honor and privilege of co-creating, please visit: Spiritual Skin for my YouTube video.

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 format here: Spiritual Skin

You can also order your personal copy here: Signed and Inscribed Copy of Spiritual Skin 

Whale Song – Creative Inspiration & Conscious Clarity from Within the Depths of You

whale-by-tania-marieWhales have been showing up a lot in my waking life since the end of last year – seeing whales breaching and spouting out in the ocean from the cliffs at the beach. However, Friday, as I was walking with a friend along the beach, a couple of younger whales came to play with us, just literally yards away from the edge of the sand, so that we could see them beautifully surfacing and submerging, over and over. It was such a rare gift.

It also reminded me how when I was a very young child, I had this recurring dream for years that continued into my late teens and early twenties that involved a very dark inner room that had a very large pool of dark water where a very large whale was that I would visit in my dreams. I can still feel the energy around this dream and the smells that came along with it, but it was very deliberate, exaggeratedly in slow motion, and at times some trepidation of this subconscious and primordial depth of shadow and emotion I was exploring and afraid of falling in to.

But fast forward to today, where I no longer have that dream, nor the trepidation, but instead am visited at perfect moments by living whales in conscious time.

Friday’s beautiful gift again had me reviewing their symbolism, which I like to explore each time I encounter an animal friend and guide in my day-to-day.

I thought perhaps you may enjoy to read a little about the messages of whales if you too are visited by them in dream and waking life.

Whales represent grace, power of song, strength, intuition, looking deep within yourself for clear answers, and knowledge from the past. Their songs signify creativity, teaching you to tune in to your creative inspiration and to use it to enhance your life and in service to others. When they show up they may be signaling you to be mindful of your choices and how to align with divine timing, as well as how to use what you have most efficiently.

The whale’s gifts include being a record keeper for all eternity, all knowledge associated with voice, all aspects of the sea, beauty of movement, psychic and telepathic abilities, wisdom, provider, inner depth.

Particularly of interest to me is their use of the rhythm and patterns of sound, as they teach us to hear our inner voices, to be in touch with our personal truths and wisdom, and feeling the heartbeat of the Universe within us.

Whales show you how to submerge deep within yourself to draw from your inner creativity and imagination, but in a practical way so as not to get lost in your imagination, but to live in every-day reality, bringing forth your creative expression tangibly.

When creativity is sparked through whale teaching, it is not simply for sake of creativity, but to awaken the depth of inspiration you can infuse with your own creative intuition to create magickal and powerful formulas for life. It is a reminder of sharing your unique self-expression through all that you do and make your own music, as you flow with the rhythm of you. Whales will teach you how to create with song – something very important in my life indeed.

Avia Venefica of always shares some great perspectives and deep explorations on symbolism and signs, and her feelings into whale symbolism I find to be really insightful.

ashes-and-snow-22Here are things she shares on the symbolism of whales and having whale as a Totem Animal Spirit Guide:

“Where the edge of land ends and the fringe of vast oceans begins is a threshold of mammoth proportions. To garner in-depth understanding of symbolic whale meaning, we’ve got to pay homage to its environment, the oceans of our planet.

The oceans, and water in general holds age-old symbolism of emotional depth. As humans, we all experience an array of emotions. Some are on the surface; we can experience these emotions easily because they float on top of our life-experience as driftwood on the surface of the water. We can observe these top-layer emotions clearly, they are familiar and we deal with them daily. Other emotions, however, run very deep within us. Some emotions we burry beneath the fathoms of our consciousness; these emotions are the leviathans of our being – the lumbering beasts we dare not let surface.

From this perspective, we can easily relate to the depth and breadth of water with the essence of emotions. Given its habitat is the water realms, the totem meaning of the whale largely deals with emotions too. The whale symbolizes emotional creativity, well-being, nurturing as well as emotional depth.

Those who are magnetized by whale energy will tend to be incredibly deep in sensitivity. The depth of feeling whale-totem-people endure can be overwhelming. Whale people are super-perceptive about the feelings of those around them, and this can manifest into an internal pressure that can be quite crushing. The whale can help with overwhelment of feelings and even temper the onslaught of emotions picked up from other people too. If you are extraordinarily affected by the emotions of others, or your own emotions are so intense as to cause discomfort, your whale totem can help.

Why? Because whales are masters of:

Navigation: Moving through emotional depths
Communication: Effectively expressing emotional experiences
Conservation: Using emotional energy for fuel and not being consumed by emotional floods

We’ve all had a scary task to set before us, a heavy task with potentially frightening responsibilities placed on our shoulders. When we turn away from these responsibilities (knowing what we should do, yet refusing) it churns up massive emotional upheaval. We become swallowed ourselves in an emotional quagmire. We stew in our emotional soup, until we reach a boiling point. We all struggle with emotional buildup over choices we need to make, or even those choices we cannot bear to execute. Some of us, after days and nights of stewing within the womb of the soul, finally emerge (spit from the whale, so to speak) with renewed determination and a rekindling of faith. Others of us return to the emotional abyss until we can process our fears and indecision into a more refined state of being.

This kind of emotional swallowing, digesting and processing is key to whale totem meaning. Luckily, the whale can facilitate emotional clarity, and help us navigate through the often ambiguous and confusing seas of emotion. Whales themselves are incredibly nurturing; we see this in how they raise their young as well as their close-knit connection to others in their community herds or pods. Whales, and those with whale totems have a natural affinity for helping, especially promoting well-being within their community. People who are attracted to the whale often feel devoted to a greater cause, and although they may struggle with their own personal emotions, they tend to naturally conjure healing powers towards others in emotional trauma.

Does this sound familiar to you? If you have these tendencies, I encourage you to swim deeply with the whale in your meditations and prayers. Navigating the emotional waters with the whale by your side will afford guidance and clarity.

Whales ask us to embrace the unknown, and that’s precisely why they are so connected to the emotional depths of the oceans. To be sure, our current circumstances are born from an emotional womb. In other words, our reality is intrinsically connected to our thought and our emotional choices. It can be frustrating and confusing to track down the emotional origin of the stuff that’s manifested in our lives, and the whale can help us understand, on a deeper level, the actions that have caused unrest in our daily life.

In many sects of Native wisdom, the whale is symbolic of the beginning, the creation of all life on earth as we know it. They aren’t the only ones. Countless cultures around the globe associate themes of creation, birth and rebirth with the whale. Other symbolic suggestions to add to whale totem meaning include:

Deeper Awareness
Cosmic Consciousness
Emotional Rebirth and Understanding
Nurturing and Devotion to Community
Appreciation for Beauty, (especially song and dance)
The Importance of Balance (emotional and otherwise)”

The whale helps you to find greater and more expansive clarity within your deep emotional world, which will lead you to creative inspiration that is wanting to surface into your life as an adventurous experience, rather than a safe-harbored “wish”.

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