CONSCIOUS INK: THE HIDDEN MEANING OF TATTOOS
SOMETHING IS SHIFTING IN OUR CULTURE
And a new tattoo enthusiast has been born. One who recognizes their ink as living body art that resonates with their body’s frequency. Undeniably there is something deep, profound, and boundless about tattoos and being tattooed. Getting a tattoo not only opens portals on your skin but also exposes the mysterious realms of consciousness.
In our society, which craves authenticity, individuality and self-expression, tattoos have made their way from subculture to pop culture. Tattoos have their roots in the indigenous and pagan religions, and their spiritual and magical qualities are the underbelly of today’s ink explosion. There is currently an overwhelming interest in tattoos. Many tattoo enthusiasts who ink up most likely don’t realize that they are imprinting a permanent talisman and conscious affirmation onto and into their body.
Deciding to get a tattoo opens the door for you to explore the deeper meaning of symbols, the cryptic language of your spirit. Tattoos are a meaningful form of self-expression and even more so when they are consciously inked. They not only transform your skin but also your consciousness. Your ink may even represent something from another lifetime that has come through for review. The Maori, along with other Polynesian groups, believe that a person’s spiritual efficacy, or life force, is displayed through their tattoo.
Tattoos are more than just body art. They are a self-proclamation of one’s consciousness, identity, and being. They are the outward manifestation of where the psyche meets the soul. The art has a spiritual or supernatural quality that surpasses normal comprehension. Looking at tattoos through the lens of consciousness gives you a new perspective, which reveals their undeniable roots in Shamanism, pure magic, mysticism, and the ability for self-transformation.
We embody the mystical energy of our tattoo symbols. They are spiritual birthmarks, soul prints of our consciousness. They hold space for an inner archetype to come forward and are also a modality for inviting new energy into your being. Their mystical value goes deeper than your skin.
Consciously tattooing can be a vehicle for self-empowerment. When you decide to get a tattoo, you are also taking part in a potent blood ritual that opens your inner pathways to self-awareness. Getting a tattoo takes you well beyond just capturing an image on your body; it also stirs up the emotional cellular memory that lies beneath your skin. You are crossing a threshold and making a commitment to an inked-on symbol that you not only outwardly wear but also embody.
Tattoos take on the vibration and intention that is imbued into them, including the transference of energy between the tattooist and the client. Your ink goes beyond the watermark of vanity, for there is also an edgy side that still serves as a modern-day ritual of drawing blood, piercing the skin, and revealing the cryptic messages of our spirit.
Where you choose to place your tattoo is significant in the language of energy. Certain places on the body take in and expel lots of energy. Your body has many chakras, or energy centers, along with 12 main meridians and over 350 acupuncture points located along the meridians. Your skin is the largest and most sensitive organ, and tattoos affect the energy that passes through it. The tattoo design and body placement should be carefully considered because it interfaces with the subtle body (aura) energy field.
Getting a tattoo initiates a change that ripples throughout every layer of your being, from spiritual to physical and vice versa. The symbol you choose to tattoo, in a sense, becomes a portal. It can be a wound which opens the tomb of emotional energy stored in your deep cellular memory or it can also act as a womb that births the crossing of a new threshold. Tattoos reflect the never-ending cyclical motif of death and rebirth.
Think about the images you choose to have inked onto your skin. Are you waking up an inner archetype that wants to come through or possibly integrating your shadow to release unexpressed emotions?
Your ink can also be considered tattoo medicine. Tattoo medicine is a tattoo that represents a return to wholeness, a shift into a new wave of consciousness that encourages authenticity, diversity, and presence.
Tattooist Daemon Rowanchilde, a transpersonal tattoo artist, and owner of Urban Primitive Tattoo Wilderness Retreat in Monteagle Valley, Hastings Highlands, ON, shared the story of one of his clients, a police officer struggling with PTSD: In Daemon’s words, “The client really wanted the lyrics of the song Shipwreck tattooed on the right side of his torso and front ribs. The song was the symbol of his struggle to not be drowned by the immensity of his trauma.
I added water features to carry the weight of the words and make them buoyant and surfacing. At the time, he came to me for a tattoo, he was processing a lot of anger over his divorce and issues at work, therefore his placement over the liver, which processes anger and also serves as our spiritual compass, was impeccable.” (you can read a more detailed version of this tattoo experience in Chapter 6 of Conscious Ink: The Hidden Meaning of Tattoos)
(Tattoo by Daemon Rowanchilde, Urban Primitive)
When you consciously tattoo, you are establishing that the intention, emotion, and image exist on all levels of consciousness without judgement. The tattoo symbolically marks the place on your body where you are able to hold space and be honest about who you are.
Tattoo images penetrate deep within the depths of our psyche. They symbolically link into the incredibly wise, yet playful aspect of our being. The Shamanic ancestral roots of tattooing remind us to connect with the profound, self-activating, healing abilities (on all levels) of our consciousness.
Deciding to get a tattoo also opens the door for you to explore the deeper meaning of symbols, the cryptic language of your spirit. My most recent tattoo nudged the archetype of my inner alchemist forward. I found myself relating to the planetary alchemy symbols that represent the threads of wisdom in my spirit. My experiences from working in the field of astrology and the esoteric arts served as an inspiration for the symbols I chose or should I say chose me. They are now respectfully inked on my upper left arm.
In the language of the body, the upper arm is where we hold our strength. The left side of the body, our intuitive side, asks me to be in touch with what I intuitively know to be my truth. The alchemy symbols for the Sun (gold), Jupiter (tin), the Moon (silver), Venus (copper), and Neptune, my ruling planet (platinum) now form an empowering matrix on my body. (you can read more about body wisdom and tattoos in Chapter 2 of Conscious Ink: The Hidden Meaning of Tattoos)
(Tattoo by Nick Santiago, Black Sparrow Tattoo)
The sacred, spiritual, and mystical elements of your tattoos hold the power of wholeness. They are the scars of healing, self-revelation, memories, and the stories of your soul. You can further explore the connection between tattoos and consciousness in my new book, Conscious Ink: The Hidden Meaning of Tattoos.
Available on amazon and where all fine books are sold
About the author:
Lisa Barretta is a member of the National Council for Geocosmic Research -NCGR, American Federation of Astrologers – AFA, and the International Society for Astrological Research – ISR. She practices as an intuitive counselor, certified Reiki practitioner, and researcher in the fields of consciousness and psychic sensing. Lisa is also the author of Conscious Ink, The Street Smart Psychic’s Guide to Getting a Good Reading and The Book of Transformation.