Web of Time and Space Tattoo

On Tuesday I got my latest tattoo. It's an hourglass surrounded by a web and it represents the web of space and time, as well as being dedicated to the Spider Queen of Time, Purson, Thiede, and Elephant. I'd promised them and myself that when Magical Identity was published, I'd get this tattoo as a way to honor their contribution and as an affirmation of my work with space and time.

Shortly into getting the tattoo I felt the endorphins hit and I entered into a light altered state of consciousness, where I then evoked the aforementioned entities. My offering wasn't just the tattoo, but also the experience, and at the same time as I experienced it, they didn't just come for the offering, but also took me to the web of space/time and continued to instruct me in it, and in possible avenues to take it further. I'll just say for now a lot of it has to do with movement as a form of being, but it's given a me a lot of food for thought on how to take Magical Identity into new directions.

Of Wounds and Tattoos

In a previous post, I showed off my most recent tattoo. Since showing it off, I've had an interesting, if somewhat painful experience that I want to relate. A couple days after I'd gotten the tattoo, I had three sores appear around the tattoo. One sore was actually in the tattoo, but on a spot that hadn't been inked. Another appeared in a straight line below it, and another appeared at an angle, where you essentially had a triangle. Without getting into too much TMI, the sores ended up infected, with one becoming an abscess. The timing of this was interesting. Kat, my wife, thinks that my body was responding to the tattoo and releasing toxicity. Given that I'd gotten all the work done in a 3 week period, I can believe that, but at the same time I can't help but wonder if it was also a demonstration of what the tattoo represents: Balance in Identity. Achieving balance means facing and releasing toxicity in your life. It means recognizing where you've allowed yourself to be held up by your own issues.

In meditating on the wounds that appeared, I realized that they represented the work I'd done and continue to do with my elemental balancing ritual. I've worked through a lot of internal toxicity and cleaned it out of my life. It's been painful, but it's also freed me of so much of what I was holding in. Those physical embodiments of the toxicity reminded me of all that work. They're also a reminder that such work can be ongoing.

In other news...

Recently Immanion Press released its latest Anthology: Shades of Faith. You can order the book via this website or via Amazon. Here's a brief description of what it's about:

Shades of Faith: Minority Voices in Paganism is an anthology that encompasses the voices and experiences of minorities within the Pagan community and addresses some of the challenges, stereotyping, frustrations, talents, history and beauties of being different within the racial constructs of typical Pagan or Wiccan groups.

Tattoo for Identity

When I ended the elemental Emptiness working back in 2009, I'd switched to the element of Time, or so I thought, but I ended up realizing part way through the year that I'd really ended up with element of Identity, which makes perfect sense, because after emptiness I found I needed to establish a new identity. I'd cleared so much of myself out that I needed to rediscover who I was. Not to long after the emptiness year ended, I also got divorced, which brought its own change in identity with it. And in looking back at the years I'd done my different elemental balancing rituals it became apparent that much of my understanding of identity is wrapped in that elemental balancing work, because that work gave me the first opportunity to move past so much of what had held me back and replace it with what was healthiest for me.

As you can see the tattoo isn't finished yet, but this is what we gone done today. I hope to finish it up in a month, but I'm really pleased with the work the artist did.

I waited awhile to get this tattoo, partially because I had to decide if I was going to cover up a tattoo I already had. In the end I decided to cover up the old tattoo as the final part of a reclaiming/purification ritual for myself. Reclaiming my identity and my freedom to be who I need and want to be. I've pretty much done that already in my life, but this tattoo is the final part of that reclaiming, the last resolution needed to move on.

It's a lot more than that as well. I chose the Yin/Yang symbol surrounded by the five classic Chinese elements of Fire Water, Metal, Wood, and Earth. It represents the elemental balancing ritual and how much of a role it's played in my life, in terms of establishing and exploring my identity and place in the universe. And the yin/Yang symbol is representative of the Taoist meditation techniques I've used to help me do so much of the very needed internal work I needed to do.

Today as I was inked, I did the water breathing meditation and relaxed into the pain of the needle, letting it wash over, purifying me of the past, even as it helped me embrace the present and my promise to myself: Never to sacrifice my identity for anyone else. To always strike the right balance in all my relationships so that I can honor myself and the people I interact with. To be honest with myself so I can be honest with the people in my life.

I let the pain wash over me and I meditated on the pain of change and realized how good it can be. It's hurt while it's happening, but the end result, the realization is you're in a better place than you were before. And that's how I feel: I'm in a much better place than I've ever been.

Tattoos as magical oaths

I was looking at the green wolf paw tattoo that I got shortly after Lupa and I got married. We're getting divorced now, but it never once occurred to me to get the tattoo removed. In fact, I intend to keep it, because it's a very significant tattoo to me, as are all my other ones. I consider my body to be the most powerful magical "tool" I have. It is a physical embodiment of my life, and a record of that living. When I get a tattoo on my body, I am placing a record of a significant even, entity, or person in my life, but also taking a magical oath in relationship to that event, entity, or person, as it pertains to my life.

My first tattoo is a red orange phoenix with my symbol on it. I got it to signify my choice to move from the East to the West, to signify a Rebirth in my life. It marks my choice to rebirth my life completely and its fair to say since moving to the West coast, I have rebirthed my life in ways I couldn't even imagine.

My second Tattoo is the Green Wolf Paw, with an L in it. It represents Lupa. I got it because I wanted to mark in my skin the permanence of my relationship with Lupa. While we're no longer romantic partners and will soon be divorced, Lupa is a significant person in my life. She will always be in my life, in some capacity just by the fact that we wrote a book together. I'm comfortable with that idea.

My third Tattoo is a Blue Dragon. The Blue Dragon represents PDX and Northern Oregon. It's a magical oath that signifies the recognition that Portland and the surrounding area is my home and a place I intend to live for the rest of my life. While I have admittedly not visited many other countries, I have been all over the US and this is the one place that has always felt like home.

My fourth Tattoo is a pair of eyes and a phrase: From 0 to 1. It represents the year of emptiness work, my connection with my highest self and my vow to recognize and appreciate emptiness, instead of trying to fill it. From 0 to 1 also signifies the choice to manifest possibility into pro-activity, instead of reactivity.

All of these tattoos are powerful for me. They are something I can't remove, because even if I did remove them, something would be left. They are a record of my life, but also oaths I've taken. I've only realized that recently in a fully conscious way, but this recognition speaks mindfully to me of the choices I've made in my life.