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Sacred Elephant Tattoo Design for the Heart Chakra


Sacred Elephant Tattoo Design for the Heart Chakra – Click on photo to enlarge

I’ve been so excited to see many of my clients having their sacred tattoo designs brought to life in the flesh this year. 2013 really seems to be an empowering opening for everyone and these Spiritual Skin symbolisms are helping the new energies to take form. I’ve enjoyed the images sent in, and shared, of finalized tattoos and tattoos in the process from my clients. It’s also been an honor to also see some of them in person.

The journey is always an individual one and based on a combination of divine and personal timing coming together synchronously. For this reason, some of the designs I helped co-create last year, are now just manifesting physically, but I’m also seeing the speeding up process, as my newest clients have all been immediately turning around their designs in ink!

This weekend I finalized the last of three sacred tattoo designs for 3 male clients I was working on this week. They have all been so powerful and really took me through quite a journey with each.

This last one is a beautiful marking point to end this energetic grouping with. It is the co-creation of  the design work I donated towards a vegan-themed tattoo to the silent auction at Farm Sanctuary’s Animal Acres in Acton, CA, which helped raise funds to continue the dedicated work Farm Sanctuary does in rescue, education and advocacy.

All three of these recent pieces were large, this one being the biggest so far at 10 inches wide by 14 inches tall in measurement. It’s intended to sit center of the chest with head at the Heart Chakra, ear to ear spanning from nipple to nipple, and then trunk tapering down to navel. Pretty powerful and offsets a sort of Yin/Yang energy to my client’s full back piece.

After much reflection on the energies and ideas presented, I felt very drawn to only focusing on the elephant that you see pictured here, as it has such a presence and strength to carry the energy of the symbolism, without a lot more. Integrating layers and aspects within the elephant, representative of a personal soul journey inwardly evolving into manifestation, rather than outside of the elephant, felt resonating. It also felt aligned to keep this design on the more organic and realism side, with some elements of magical and spiritual more subtle rather than poignant, as my client’s back piece was.

Less was more in this area of the Heart Chakra to come from a place of simplistic, yet powerful truth.

I focused on the elephant, a Swahili word, Furaha – which means joy, musical resonance (the Treble Clef), the Sun and Moon depictions, and a Gerber “Daisy” to symbolize homage for my client’s beloved animal companion that bears that name. These came through as the most important aspects to represent and convey.

The elephant depiction is an artistic representation of a beloved photograph by Nick Brandt, a favorite photographer of my client’s. The background, when inked, will reflect (as only a hint in the design template shows) will be like the background in the photo, keeping the elephant in a natural environment, and yet there is a sort of surreal aspect in the desolate plane and the clouds, with the elephant so regally and powerfully present. Darkening the shading near and around the elephant and then diminishing/softening, as it extends out so it is like something materializing, is my vision expressed for how this will come into being when inked.

I placed the Treble Clef in the trunk. You can see it, but it is also worked into the trunk to be a little hidden. I felt since the elephant’s trunk is the way it communicates through sound, this to be a mirroring place, plus the fact we often hear of the elephants “trumpeting” their sound, hence the music overlay.

In the elephant’s right ear (left when facing) I worked into the elephants folds of the ear, the Gerber Daisy in homage to the animal companion in my client’s life named Daisy. And in the elephant’s left ear (right when facing) at the bottom folds I worked in the Swahili word Furaha that was very important also this client. I wanted it not to stand out like a sore thumb, but to look like part of the design. The sun and the moon I placed at the Third Eye/Crown Chakra area of the elephant. The crescent moon supporting and cradling the sun image above and overlaying it (both worked into the folds of the skin a bit) with a infinite spiral center. This felt to be a way to bring integration into the enlightenment aspect (and the journey of ascending , evolution, and centered power) of the elephant and focused and emanating energy. I liked having the sun and moon together in a sort of Yin/Yang balancing way. It also felt to be creating a very intentful energy when you gaze upon the elephant that draws in and gives out from the center of “beingness”.

Close up of integrated symbols into the elephant – click on image to enlarge

A little more on the symbolism involved, as I love to share how very intricate things are, even in their seeming simplicity:

The daisy (a symbol of gentleness, innocence and sweetness of life) in the right ear lends its energy to that of the left brain (which is our more male/analytical/logical part of brain). So the daisy brings this softening to that aspect and lends an “ear” to listening compassionately to others. The word “Furaha” in the left ear, associated with the right brain of (female/intuitive/creative part of brain), brings the essence of joy to this process when we wisely let these aspects guide us in integrated balance with our wisdom. Here we listen to all aspects of life in presence, both within and without, giving and receiving joy in the process of embracing.

The Treble Clef trunk lends its energy to speaking, communicating, engaging, sharing, from the music of your heart and in harmony and synergy with your trueness, as well as to and with others. Understanding there is a subtle musical essence in how we speak and in everything we create and these tones are important in relaying the core essence and energy behind what is shared. So it helps to be mindful of integrating the feeling with the action and having them vibrate and harmonize as one. To speak from your truth and to share your individual song with the world.

The sun and moon help to keep that presence of mind and intention and to stay balanced, centered, integrated, mindful, and having that gentle strength that exudes from within.

Here is some information on Elephant symbolism for anyone interested:

Marveled by the Chinese, Indians and Africans as the most auspicious symbol from the animal kingdom embodying strength, dignity, virility, fertility, prudence, wisdom and intelligence, the elephant is worshipped and honored, sacred and loved. In Buddhism, the elephant is one of the eight precious holy animals and the India God Ganesha (remover of obstacles) is pictured as having the head of an elephant – signs of revered greatness.

In Feng Shui, the Elephant is considered a sacred symbol. Although it is often used to symbolize power, wisdom, strength and fertility, it can also be used to symbolize longevity and success. It can act as the grantor of wishes and as the protector of the household. For most feng shui applications, the elephants are usually depicted with the trunk up, as this symbolizes the showering of good luck, prosperity and victory.

Elephant Wisdom:

Strength
Royalty
Connection to ancient wisdom
Removal of obstacles and barriers
Confidence
Patience
Using education opportunities

There is always more than meets the eye in how I piece things together, than simply a drawing or putting things where ever they fit.

I’m excited to see this come into manifestation soon and excited that James Spooner, Los Angeles vegan tattoo artist, will again be co-collaborating on this one. Fun! James will, as he does beautifully, add his own artistic flair and tweaks to the piece and it becomes, as each sacred tattoo design does, collaborative effort of all three people together.

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 tania@spiritualskin.com.

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

Starfish Symbolism – Exploring the Magick of these “Star People”


Magickal capture of rainbow light around these beautiful ochre starfish at Crystal Cove

Every day of the weekend I get out in nature hiking in the mountains or hills and walking on the beach to be in the elements I love so much and to recharge. Each time is always a beautiful and invigorating experience, but yesterday had to be one of, if not the most magickal beach days yet.

The tide was out unusually farther than it has been in ages (according to the wildlife naturalist that strolls the beaches to educate, as this beach is protected as an underwater haven), which revealed a rare sighting of so many Starfish in one place in the wild that I have ever seen – had to be like a 100 or more! These particular ones we saw are “Ochre Stars” and range from orange to purple and every variation in between.

These stunning beings brought out the little girl in me that was in awe at each discovery, and exploring in wonder of these miracles and beauty all around. I was skipping, giggling, eyes popping out in welcome surprise…I was simply, SO happy inside. Intuitively this felt to be a sign of abundant inspiration, miracles, and rebirthing, but I also kept saying and thinking to myself – “Wow! Look at all these ethereal Star People I’m so blessed to be in the presence of that have decided to reveal themselves on this rare day.” – yes they actually ARE connected to all of these symbolisms, including our Cosmic family.

And as the artist I am, I love to photograph what I’m seeing through my heart and eyes, in order to bring the beauty and profoundness of life to others.

Starfish have always been one of my top five favorite ocean beings. Their symbolism is so magickal and beautifully powerful to me and in my life. So to see SO many all at once yesterday, and at this particular time, was a true gift reminiscent of the abundant stars in the sky they are mirroring.

A couple of the photos I took came out with spectacular captures of rainbow lighting that were surrounding these amazing Starfish. It really helped demonstrate the pure and magickal energy that was abound and what I was experiencing in the joy of this gifted encounter.

Because this was such a profoundly moving experience for me, I felt guided to post the photos and express a bit about the powerful symbolism of Starfish to share the magick with you.

The Starfish is a universal and celestial symbol of infinite divine love. It has been used to represent the Virgin Mary – or Stella Maris, which means Star of the Sea – an ancient title she goes by because she is believed to lovingly intercede as a guide and protector of those who travel over troubled waters or seek their livelihoods on the sea. For this reason she is also seen as an emblem of salvation during trying times, which the Starfish reflects in this mirroring symbolism. In addition to love, the Starfish also emanates the energies of inspiration, guidance, brilliance, intuition, and vigilance, with its connection to the stars.

In Egyptian mythology, the Starfish is one of the many titles of the Goddess Isis – a name by which tempest-tossed sailors adored and honored her as. It is thought that the attributes of a marine deity may have been bestowed on Isis by sea-faring Greeks of Alexandria and that this assumption is then thought to point to Sirius, the bright star of Isis, being the Stella Maris.

There is no coincidence, I feel, in this shared name by Isis and Mary since there are many similarities between them leading to a connection. In either and both cases, the Starfish comes to symbolize the same attributes that they convey and I found this very fitting to my personal connection with both.

The Starfish is considered a keystone species that affects many other organisms in an ecosystem and plays a critical role in maintaining the structure of an ecological community.

The Starfish is also a symbol of healing and regeneration due to its amazing ability to regenerate an arm and an entirely new Starfish. They are able to simply drop an arm and scurry away to safety at will in order to outsmart predators. Because quite a few of the vital organs are housed in Starfish arms this enables the possibility to grow an entire new Starfish from an arm and part of the central disc, if ripped off it.

So, it is thought if you see a Starfish in your dreams, this may suggest a period of healing and regeneration, as well as could indicate that you have many options to weigh and decisions to make.

Starfish wisdom includes a connection to the Star People :), regeneration, Moon magick, beauty, and tidal movement. They are a way for us to realize our potentials, promises of dreams, ways to connect with the mystical, and to flow with the waters of life in trust. For me, it was all of this and a warm communing with my Cosmic family that gave me great joy.

I was drawn to one smooth stone on the beach this special day that reminded me of a moonstone, of the hidden miracles of life, and the sparkling stars in the Cosmos because of the way it sparkles with shimmer and pixie dust at just the right angles and is pearl in color. A beautiful gift of the sea and my friends, as a reminder of this day and the energy I know is there around me to call on and tap into when needed.

I felt an overwhelming joyful presence that still carries with me today from this experience and am feeling that depth of connection continuing to journey further.

Everything around you is a miracle waiting to be discovered. You are always surrounded by support, love, and the ability to create anew. I hope you each find time in your life to take pause of the beautiful messages and presences around you. To listen when your intuition, heart and body take you on a journey outside of your normal routine, to honor the brilliance and magnificence of every Earthly and Cosmic gift, and to be in the joy of All That Is.

I love this poem by e. e. cummings that my dear friend Jenny Yemaya shared with me yesterday. It perfectly mirrors this day and the last line is so true!

maggie and milly and molly and may by e. e. cummings

maggie and milly and molly and may 
went down to the beach (to play one day)

and maggie discovered a shell that sang 
so sweetly she couldn’t remember her troubles, and

milly befriended a stranded star
whose rays five languid fingers were;

and molly was chased by a horrible thing 
which raced sideways while blowing bubbles: and

may came home with a smooth round stone 
as small as a world and as large as alone.

For whatever we lose (like a you or a me) 
it’s always ourselves we find in the sea

Surrounded by Serenity & Reflection: The Essence of a New Year Embodied in My First Day of 2013


First day of 2013

Gorgeous vista on the Bighorn Mine Trail

I always like to follow my own traditions and create new ways for celebrating that resonate with me. This year was no exception and having already felt like I had fully celebrated my idea of Christmas and the New Year while in Bimini just days before the holidays, I was feeling quite complete and ready to start integrating some of my inner journey that will hit come my birthday this year on February 26th, as I enter a #7 personal year in numerology.

I’ve consistently found that I am a couple months ahead in starting to integrate and process the next year’s energy right before it actually hits, always experiencing literal shifts that start to trickle in, as I put to closure the previous year’s energy.

Me on the Bighorn Mine Trail

For me, the trip in Bimini was closure to many things, as well as the beginning of a new journey. I foresee the promise of much beauty for all, as we enter a new cycle of our collective journey.

Violet energy surrounding a light orb

Moving into a 7 personal year promises to bring more deep reflection, introspection, contemplation, meditation, pause, and time spent exploring life’s deeper truths and how these convey through my actions. This seems perfectly aligned with how I have been feeling after quite a full year of experiences, focused work, and an integration of Yang that brought trials and tribulations and Yin that through embracing the process and doing the work, created a sense of harmonious peace within.

Glowing light orb as it moves from the violet

#7 years provide opportunity to come to a greater awareness of your full potential and to honor and understand when personal time is needed to be within one’s own experience or in quiet activities. A time for letting things come to you, realizing the power of intents and the foundations of hard work invested, so as to experience thoughts and ideas materializing now from all your efforts. Definitely it’s a time for gaining greater insight, efficiency, and powerful centeredness, to fully understand and experience the full circle of being alone, without every being or feeling lonely. In general, gaining depth of understanding, refinement of skills and talents, knowing when to withdraw or free yourself from outside responsibilities to find the balance needed for wholeness and inner peace, and a time when integrating clear thoughts are at a high. Cultivating these skills will produce valuable results.

Each birthday cycle we all enter a new personal year that carries with it the energy of the number it corresponds to numerologically, as well as do we collectively enter a new year of shared experiences at the birth of each New Year. I shared a bit about the collective #6 year we are entering in yesterday’s post on Reiki Workshops that support the energy of 2013.

As 2012 neared end, I was already feeling the shift into this more reflective mode and the need to bring in even more within time to myself or away from the outside world, so as to hone in on truly integrating and bringing fullness and depth to all that is being cultivated right now with my soul integration experience. Really honoring the need to balance the energies and what the body and soul desires to be of greatest benefit to it (being mindful of where to place focus and energy), is not only reflective of my personal 7 year I’m moving into, but is truly the way we are all moving into needing to learn to understand and honor to reach great potentials.

Of course this inner journey reflects through the type of work I will be focusing on and how that work also manifests, including the way things will come through me in the process – all really resulting in a deepening experience all around and the need to sit with the quietness in order to receive what wants to be shared and how. Definitely a tapping in to Source with greater conscious presence, as there are always unlimited ways to further our experiences. Sometimes I am able to be amidst tons of outer things and be fine, as the energy calls for that, but now there will be a weighing of what works best with the energy currents I am experiencing both inside and in mirror of the collective Earth’s energy, so reflection and recharging will become more prevalent.

Small light orb has now moved to base of left tree

Interestingly, this is the year I am feeling called to Tibet, which chimes perfectly in tune with my energy vibrations. On New Year’s day, I felt like the experience chosen to have, to honor the first of 2013, was in direct alignment with all that I’m expressing and what I am preparing for in Tibet.

Welcoming in the first day of the New Year immersing in the serenity and purity of the snow at Mt. Baden Powell was a beautiful way to kick start things. It was perfect and magickal to get away from everything in the mountains and be with the stillness that surrounded both within and without. Dave and I drove up to the San Gabriel Mountains to an area south-west of the town of Wrightwood with a packed picnic lunch of raw vegan goodies for the day and set out on a two mile trail that scaled the mountain side and then trekked another 4 miles in the snow on the Bighorn Mine Trail, perched at 7,000 feet, where we explored some old gold mines dating back to the early to mid 1890’s.

Bighorn Mine – notice sort of a rainbow energy coming from the mine shaft hole to the right

Bighorn Mile Trail: The trail starts in the Vincent Gap Parking lot, along with the Mine Gulch Trail. Soon after the start, the Mine Gulch Trail drops down into Vincent Gulch while the Bighorn Mine Trail continues around the side of Mt Baden Powell. Less than half way through the trail there is a mining tunnel on the side of the mountain, right on the trail. As you continue around the side of the mountain, eventually you will hit the main Bighorn Mine, which has mining structures and tunnels. This area is rich in history, as mining played a role in the past of the town of Wrightwood. The mine itself is closed off, however the views from this area are amazing as you peer over Mine Gulch, down toward the San Gabriel River Basin (East Fork). Like most places in the Sheep Mountain Wilderness, you can also see Pine Mountain, Dawson Peak, Mt Baldy, Iron Mountain, Blue Ridge, and Pine Mountain Ridge.

Rainbow energy inside the mine now – do you think there’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow they are leading me to? Certainly felt to be elves and faeries present on this hike

The first mine is closed off with a little flow of water coming from it. The second is no longer fully closed off, as a hole has been created large enough to climb inside and so we did indeed explore the first section of it where there is also some water run off. Enter at your own risk! Getting to this area in the snow was quite a trek and with areas of very narrow trail, snow and ice, with steep drop off on one side, it definitely is one to take with great care and patience, but well worth it for the serenity, majestic views, and to visit this old mine cradled in the side of the mountain.

There was indeed a presence of energy felt on this day and in and around the second mine, which showed up in a few of the photos. (See photo captions and click on each photo to enlarge for detail). The experiences and photos really seemed to tell the energetic tale of what I feel to come and what I received in my annual New Year’s Eve tarot reading share trade 😉

The signs are clear, the support is there, the foundational work has been laid, the commitments and responsibility embraced….This trek on the Bighorn trail was very reflective of my current journey, the orbs of support met along the way, both the ease and some of the integrated challenges still to come, and the destination of the gold mine at rainbow’s end, was a beautiful message of continued trust, gratitude, and patience, for all things are coming together beautifully in the bigger picture of creation.

Always grateful for the supportive guidance and love experienced, felt, and making itself known.

On the way home we were detoured through the Mojave Desert, which lies on one side of the mountain. It was definitely the out-of-the-way longer route home, but seemed to add to the energy of patient reflection and being able to take in the desert and mountain experience.

Red orb energy with something inside it showing up next to me inside the mine looking towards the opening

Same vantage point looking towards the opening of the mine with no red orb

The day was a beautiful experience within, reminding me of my beloved Lake Tahoe home I miss and how much I love to “be” in the stillness of nature’s beauty, as well as how much I love and thrive at high altitudes. Another foreshadowing of my soul connection to Tibet and how much I enjoyed trekking in the high altitudes of Peru up to 15,000 feet and living at the glacial, crystalline, and alpine lake of Tahoe.

It was the perfect way to experience and honor the new energy of 2013 and to anchor in the integration of a new experience personally and collectively.

I hope you all spent the welcoming of 2013 in your own sacred way. ♥ It is going to be a beautiful year.

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