Sacred Samurai & Dragon 3/4 Sleeve Tattoo Design

Sacred Tattoo Design

Sacred Samurai and Dragon 3/4 Sleeve Tattoo Design – click on photo to enlarge

I just completed the first of three sacred tattoo designs I am in process of co-creating. These three new creations have been percolating the last couple of weeks, since my return from Bimini, as I have learned not to rush the process and that the perfect moment will reveal itself as to when the design can be channeled in its fullness.

These new designs are all being created with amazing male clients and each of these pieces are quite involved, large, and uniquely span Japanese, Native American Indian/Shamanistic, and African origins of essence. They are exciting to me because they feel to be symbolic representations of how each of my clients are empowering their Divine Female and Male into integration at this juncture on their life journey – a beautiful manifestation of the new energy we are in.

Interestingly, 2 of the clients live in South Africa and one has been traveling in South Africa. So they definitely feel energetically connected, despite their individual uniqueness.

Who knows…it may also be another confirming sign that Africa will be the next upcoming personal sacred journey (I have had a lot of Africa energy and connections taking place the last couple of years), as last year I had felt called there for this year, but the energy switched and Tibet came through, so hence I follow where I’m guided, as everything has a divine timing.

Regardless, I have been excited about these designs and today I share the first. The design is a large, just over 12″ long by 4 3/4″ wide, three quarter, left arm sleeve.

The focal points are the Samurai and the Japanese Dragon (Ryu). I added an extra boost of the element of water, based on what I intuited and my client shared, as well as interwove a very spiritually alchemical symbolism that holds much power for him in the celebration of essence he desired it to have.

For my client, the Samurai expresses the practices of discipline, respectfulness, loyalty and ethical behavior without fear – reminders symbolically to be able to face different and unexpected situations without fear and not to live in fear of loss.

Sacred Tattoo Design

Close up of Samurai and Dragon facing each other – click on photo to enlarge

I was drawn to depict a less armored Samurai than an example that I was shown by my client, still very traditional, yet for me and in resonance with the empowerment he was to symbolize. I felt this would represent moving into the courage in knowing all you have and need is within you, without the need to cover up and protect – a Samurai standing his ground, in the recognition of his power rather than in an angry fight. This symbolizing more of that Dragon Master or Magician essence that I speak about in my Reiki 2 classes where rather than fight something (although prepared for anything), you embrace its reflection as an aspect of you projected and when integrated back, creates wholeness and empowerment.

I added water designs all around the image to symbolize my client’s strong love for the ocean and to represent the ability to flow with the currents of life and be able to weather any experience by sailing through the ebbs and flows of the ocean energy with grace, rather than fighting it.

The Dragon, “Ryu,” rules the water and for my client represents obstacles humans face through life that must be overcome before enlightenment can be attained. So the Dragon represents much more than its literal depiction, but the many challenges, steps, surprises, obstacles, doorways one may experience on the journey of life. And how they are perceived and integrated can make all the difference.

Dragons are one of the four celestial animals and are more traditionally known to represent a very Yang energy of male vigor, courage, vitality, strength, and bravery. However, I feel the dragon to also possess a very mystical Yin energy, as a magickal being of cosmic forces. The Japanese dragon, which is what my client wanted designed, is much more slender and typically depicted as a large, wingless serpentine creature with 3 claws on each foot. Most Japanese dragons are water deities associated with large bodies of water and rainfall. Japanese dragons, interestingly, are a composite of nine different animals with chin whiskers.

  • Deer – Horns
  • Camel – Head
  • Rabbit – Eyes
  • Snake – Neck
  • Cockle – Abdomen
  • Carp – Scales
  • Eagle – Claws
  • Tiger – Paws
  • Ox – Ears

I was drawn to design this beautiful dragon holding a ball, or “pearl of wisdom,” in its clawed foot. In reverence, Eastern dragons are sometimes shown holding a pearl, which can symbolize success, victory, wisdom, prosperity, achievement, and good luck. This felt to be a powerful, tying-in aspect to include for this sacred tattoo design.

I noticed after completing it that the flow of the design created double infinity signs, which was a very cool, natural unfoldment and another magickal aspect added to its energy. 🙂 In ancient India and Tibet this symbol represented perfection, dualism, and unity between male and female. In tarot it is linked to magick and symbolizes balance of various forces. It is also linked to the Ouroboros of cyclicality and enternal rebirth and recreation. In general it is the endlessness,  abundant renewal, and eternity of Source.

This is a very empowering tattoo that depicts the mastering of the “Dragon,” as enlightenment is achieved, rather than a fight over or against it.

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

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, 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


About Tania Marie's Blog

Tania Marie is a Visionary Artist, Author, International Reiki Master Teacher, Intuitive Energy Guide, and Sound Channeler. Her motto is "creating life as a work of art" and her focus is harnessing magick as everyday alchemy. Rabbits are her consorts and the metaphysical arts are her realm. With over 25 years’ experience in healing arts and metaphysical studies, Tania guides people globally to remember the purity of their essence, draw forth inspiration and imagination, embody creative empowerment, live magickally and more abundantly with conscious awareness of the nature within being reflected without, and return to natural harmony.

Posted on January 7, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Mari Braveheart-Dances

    Dearest Tania,

    This is a powerful, energy-filled, potent design. I am so glad you shared it, along with the descriptions. This Sacred Skin is hugely potent, even just viewing it on screen is empowering. Truly amazing. Thank you so much for sharing it! Love always, Mari

    • you’re so welcome Mari! i’m glad you also feel its potency. i, of course, have a special place for dragons in my heart, wearing one on my left arm as well, but really enjoyed creating this powerful piece. i’m glad you can feel the energy too! thank you for sharing this. xoox!

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