A Dragon’s “Tale” ~ Sacred Tattoo Design Journeying
“Our intent is the creative process that reaches forth in the invisible field of potentiality, to trigger a mystical chain of events that can manifest the most seemingly impossible dreams into reality.” ~David Cunliffe
This design was another magickal journey to create. It really pieced itself together, and that came along with allowing the energy to speak through, rather than leading it, as is always best with this process and why I can’t always gauge the timing on them.
It was definitely interesting once again to have it percolating and creating itself under the influence of the Scorpio New Moon Eclipse and even the Mercury Retrograde period, because that all added powerful transformational energy, as well as the ground work for the journey that now is ready, since the Retrograde has moved out.
It’s always so hard to capture the designs in photos, especially with larger pieces like this one (about 20+ inches in length) because you just can’t get the lighting ever quite right, nor the details to really illuminate on a small computer screen. Nonetheless, I know that people like to see the images, so I’m sharing so you can at least feel the essence of it.
Anyway, that all said, what a beautiful challenge it was in creating this piece. And some interesting synchronicities along the way that never cease to amaze me, as I become so intimately connected to each piece and the energy, as if I am living through it myself.
I remember when I created the cocoon and emerging butterfly that I had synchronously been reading a book about caterpillars that turn into butterflies during those days, as well as when I was completing it had just been listening to someone mention rebirth, while I then smiled amusingly down on the paper where the butterfly was. AND, when I was drawing/finalizing the horse, I had music on that had these magickal horse neighs in it that came in just as I was working on it. LOVE that!!
The designs create themselves, but what I immediately received when I first tuned in was that this would weave a beautiful story that flows up my client’s arm, almost like a reality faery tale woven around powerful symbolism to support her journey into the intents and paths she is headed to, while also transmuting the past.
So it is a magickal and almost allegorical story, if you may (if one knew the full story behind it) – with many layers, of course.
As my client had envisioned, the bottom portion up to just about the horse is the inner forearm of her right arm’s design. The branches/leaves will gracefull wrap a bit at the wrist and along the sides of the forearm. Then it will curve outward from there in the area where the woman is and the rest of the piece will be on her outer upper arm with some extending into the inner with the sparrow and star, and then the branches elegantly gracing the shoulder and perhaps slightly reaching back a bit.
After reading my client’s life experiences and what she desired to shift in her life and empower, this is the story that evolved when I tuned in.
Step, by step…..as we journey up the dragon’s tail/tale these are the symbols we discover, although there’s always more that I don’t express and different things and energy as time goes on reveal as connections are made with what channels through and how that plays out.
Dragon/Wood Dragon/Tree of Life: What spoke to me a lot was the dragon symbolism for her and remembering she is a Wood Dragon in the Chinese Zodiac, as well as her love for the Tree of Life, the first thing that came to me was to create a Wood Dragon that would also merge as a Tree of Life symbolism for her to flow up her arm as her Path in life and the journey she is on, since the Dragon is made of wood like a tree. So, hence you see that there are branches with leaves stemming from the dragon’s body and all of his scales down the back are leaves, his body the trunk of the tree and his tail also ending in small branches that root her gracefully.
The dragon symbolizes transformation, wisdom, protection, infinite self, supernatural power, primordial power and mastering all of the elements, also balance, magick, mystery, wonder, a powerful guardian and guide. The dragon symbolism represents you as creator, bringing a visual of your inner strength within reflected on the outside and of your higher self. Within this dragon, 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 Wood Dragon is creative, imaginative, and inquisitive; both a thinker and a doer and is capable of brilliant new concepts. The Wood Dragon’s every move is guided by sound logic. Her drive and ambition allow her to put ideas into practice, knowing when to compromise if advantageous. The Wood Dragon is not as self-centered as other Dragons, but still outspoken and fearless when challenged.
Triple Spiral: this symbol anchors and begins the journey. I created one made out of leaves to stay with the theme of the tree/dragon, but also these aspects connect her with Earth and her love of Nature. The Triple Spiral represents drawing in the three powers of the Maiden, Mother, and Crone (which I felt was good to represent the aspects of my client, as well as her, her mom and grandmother, or her, her mom, and daughter) and is a sign of feminine power and empowerment through transition and growth and the unity of the three power. The Number 3 generally symbolizes creative power, growth, magic, intuition, expression, versatility, pure joy of creativity, celebration, very goddess energy connected and reflective of the Empress in the Tarot, overcoming duality, manifestation, integration, complete cycles, flow.
Little Girl Running up the Path: next we come to the little girl running freely up the path. I fashioned her after a drawing of a little girl my client liked so much, but added long flowy hair, as she had pictured herself when she was young. Might be hard to make out in the image, but in person easier. She is running up the dragon tail, along the leaf scaled path, joyously and easily letting go of the past, passionately running towards her dreams she is now ready to embrace whole-heartedly, and enjoying the innocence and purity of who she is in essence. She is not running “from” things, but running “toward” things with no fear. Her layered dress folding and flowing around her is the many layers of who she is that she is integrating/transmuting, and brings along with her as the complex beauty of her soul that she is.
Sunflower: along the path is a large, full blossomed sunflower in all of its glory, fully sharing its joy and vibrancy of life and life sustaining energy, demonstrating the fullness of my client embracing and standing in her power. Sunflowers are symbolic of the Sun, spiritual attainment, flexibility and opportunity (the way they move their massive heads to meet the sun), faith, longevity, healing, nourishment, focus, good luck, magick, worship, spiritual knowing, life giving force, vitality, warmth, pleasure, and light.
Wunjo Rune (looks like a P): Along the path ahead of the little girl/my client, amidst the leaf stepping stones, is the Rune known as Wunjo which carries the message and energy of joy, hope, harmony, perfection, right use of true will, well-being, contentment, relationship, strengthens bonding, optimism, effortless ease, fulfillment, wishes, accomplishment, prosperity, banishes alienation and inharmonious impediments to trust, law of attraction, and your soul’s true will and drive in life.
White Horse: of course the horse is literally symbolic of a dream my client had as a child with a love for horses, but represents the hopes and dreams she has in general, as her guiding force in life and what she is embracing more of into her life to actualize. The little girl is following her horse dream (or what it symbolizes). Horses symbolize strength, freedom of expression, grace, power, life energy, vitality, passionate desires, a driving force in your life to express your authenticity or what you thrive for, being in harmony with your primitive desires, and balancing those instincts with the more discerning tamed parts. They are transparent reflections of you and everything deep or hidden you hold within. White horses bring illumination, developing awareness of your instincts and intuition, resurrection, bringing things to light, seeing with clarity, and are messengers of rebirth. White is also about purity, innocence, wholeness, completion of a cycle in your life, awakening, elevating your spiritual aspirations, openness, growth, purification, creativity, moving in a new direction, new beginnings, fresh slates, and a blank canvas awaiting creative impetus.
Stylized Star Card Tarot Symbolism with Pentacle: as we curve around the bend of her arm we come upon a naked (free and pure) woman that is meant to symbolize the woman of the Star Tarot Card, which symbolizes personal transformation, renewed self-esteem, hope and faith, sense of knowing you are blessed by the Universe in all ways, provides courage, promise of fulfillment, inspiration, calm energy, mental stability, deeper understanding of self and others, and in general a loving phase in your life. There is the promise of a better future awaiting her and reminds her to trust that this is indeed true and possible. The Star Card realizes you have been through challenging times, but are now ready and open to healing and transformation that comes through letting go of damaging memories, patterns, and programming, while you have been strengthening your connection with your true self and essence through all of the difficult times. A time period of being able to forgive and embrace the new opportunities. Lasting happiness and new growth is upon you from a new purpose in life and through significant changes taking place with fresh perspective and increased trust in self.
The woman is the next part of the journey she is on and hovering above her hand is a five pointed star, or Pentacle. The Pentacle symbolizing the whole, the elements (fire, earth, air, water and the quintessential spirit), and its center – the meeting or bridging of heaven and earth with the four cardinal points. The five pointed star is also connected to individuality, higher education, and spiritual aspiration. The woman/my client is becoming master of the elements….sort of like a magician mastering and working her personal alchemy.
Raidho Rune (looks like an R): to the left of the “Star” woman is Raidho, connected to the leaf path. It symbolizes the journey or ride you are on. The journey of life, natural movement, motion, taking charge, being in control, initiative, adventure, decision-making followed by immediate action, direction, right path, following your inner compass, leadership, moral responsibility, integrity, respect for the rights of others, innate knowledge, rituals, in sync with natural rhythm, active presence, cosmic cyclical law, travel, rationality, freedom from imprisonment, self-mastery, living in the present, following your heart, and establishment of creative rhythm.
White Stag: we then come upon the white stag along the path. It symbolizes rebirth of light, creative life force, otherworldliness, purity, the quest, messenger between humans and the animals spirits of the Earth, healing, connects you to the other realms especially the unseen world of the Fae, helping you to establish relationships with the Faeries. The white stag is connected to the Sun (the antlers spread like the sun’s rays as well), and the stag in general is connected with other nature deities such as Cernunnos – pointing to power, strength, survival, sacred masculine in union with the feminine/Nature, transition/cycles, shamanistic power, connection with Nature and Time, longevity, abundance, endurance. (this design is going on the right arm – which is connected to the “male energy”, so is empowering the sacred masculine in integration with your wholeness). The white stag symbolizes creative life force of the universe, sex, life, death, prophecy, sign from great spirit of a major shift. The white again symbolizing higher thoughts, higher ideals, purity of soul, cleansing of spirit, attaining higher knowledge, and message that you are on a path of growth and expansion, leading you in a direction beyond your wildest dreams so get ready. Celts felt white stags as messengers from the other world heralding profound change in your life. Deer in general are sensitivity, alertness, awareness, gentleness, creativity, spirituality, renewal, grace, intuition.
Butterfly Emerging from Cocoon: to the right of the stag, maybe hard to tell on the image, is a cocoon resting on one of the branches, with a butterfly newly emerging from its cocoon. This represents being at peace with the process of evolution and coming into a new stage of your life that is ahead of you…new opportunities and potentials. It also symbolizes breaking free of old patterns and old self image/concept, releasing and shedding false masks, and freedom from confinement and inhibitions to your true self. Butterfly medicine symbolizes transformation, celebration, transition, lightness, soul, time, grace, elegance, freedom, joy and bliss, miracles, flexibility, cycles of life, creativity, gentleness, preciousness of life, as well as the medicine the ability and clarity of mind needed before self-transformation. The Butterfly also represents the more feminine aspects with her gracefulness and curved wings and design, and that connection with understanding both the strength and fragility simultaneously in life.
Swallow/Songbird: then to the right of the dragon there is a swallow, which is a songbird, and this came through to me as the symbol of my client’s “voice” and speaking her truth, finding her self-expressive truth, being willing to share her unique creative essence, banishing self-critical thoughts and words, speaking from the purity of her heart, and beautifully and joyously expressing that without fear or inhibitions. Swallows symbolize hope, fertility, renewal of life, a safe return home (home-coming to yourself), are a symbol of the love goddess Venus, and travel.
Eight Pointed Star with Kenaz Rune Spiral (looks like a V on its side): above the sparrow is an eight pointed star with a rune inside. The star sits at reach of the dragon’s paw/claws, symbolizing that what you seek is attainable and close at hand. The star above the sparrow at its crown is spiritual enlightenment, conscious awareness, and evolvement. The eight pointed star has many symbolic meanings of which some include astrologically with the roots of it symbolizing the four corners of space, the eight lines symbolic of north, south, east, west and time as well with the two solstices and two equinoxes. The first cross is the intersection of the Galactic Equator with the ecliptic and the axis perpendicular to this intersection. When the Earth Cross and the Galactic Cross are superimposed they form an eight pointed cross. It also represents the goddess Inanna or Ishtar in Babylon. In Hinduism it is the eight emanataions of the goddess Lakshmi known as Ashtalakshmi. These emanations represent eight forms of wealth: monetary, ability to transport, victory, patience, endless prosperity, health and nourishment, knowledge and family. Eight years is Venus’ (the lightbringer, brightest planet in sky) full cycle length in relation to the Sun in terms of her morning and evening star curves. The number eight is connected to regeneration, infinity, balanced duality emphasizing supreme state of strength and self-control, success, super-abundance, determination, business, resurrection, beginnings, integrating knowledge and experience.
A star symbolizing aspirations, dreams, hopes, achievement, divinity, intuition, the feminine, guidance, and the knowing that through our diligence and faith we can travel beyond our current limitations.
The Rune Kenaz symbolizes knowledge, a torch, illumination, searching for enlightenment, revealing truth by shedding light on it, skills, creativity, art, craftsmanship, intuition, clarity of thought, humility, opportunity, playfulness, enthusiasm in learning/teaching, transformation (phoenix fire), controlled energy, creative inspiration, exploration of paradigms, exposing the hidden to gain knowledge, reflection, strengthening abilities in all realms, female occult secrets, the light within, harnessing skillful use of fire, forces, and energies greater than ourselves for illumination, creating as nature does, creating our own path of light that flows through the darkness.
So, when you put it all together, I think you can see the journey that is being taken and created with the whole piece.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is currently a waiting list, and a monthly limit of only 6 additional clients I can take alongside that. 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: Life Changing Tattoos
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
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Posted on October 30, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged arm tattoos, commission art, commission drawings, custom tattoos, dragon tattoos, sacred tattoo designs, Sacred Tattoos, spiritual skin, spiritual tattoo designer, spiritual tattoos, symbolic tattoos, tattoo book, tattoo design, tattoos, unique tattoos. Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.