Another sacred tattoo journey births into being. I had A LOT of fun creating this piece and enjoyed being able to work with the Egyptian energy again, for part of it, as that is rich in my own soul history.
This is one of those times I was given creative freedom and liberty to fully channel from that connective heart space of tapping in to the energy received and how it wants to manifest. I was also given a whole back as my canvas to work with.
The original of this drawing is done to scale and is quite large (stretching into a space of 20″ long, 13″+ across at top and 11″ across at bottom) and will fill most of my client’s back. We may integrate more into it down the road, or flowingly extend into her sides as her journey of evolution continues.
But for now, I tapped into what was most supportive and empowering for where she currently is in life.
There are always so many elements intertwined in these soul tapestries that are created. I felt into the things that were shared and then intuitionally pulled from this, the things that felt most important at this time, along with some new elements that came into awareness through the tuning in phase of the process. It was so fun to hear how the parts I intuited, had a tangible experiential connection and stories that were shared with me after I presented the piece to my lovely client.
And of course, as with the designs I co-create, there is a visual story layered in symbolism – more than I can even describe. These designs act as portals, as well as are sacred ingredients for the recipe of soul integration and wholeness.
I will share the basics of the elements and symbolism involved (gathered from several resources and myself) for anyone wanting to know more meaning on these. I find people enjoy knowing how these elements are much more than simply images and things they may have found pretty, or that they were drawn to, but not ever really knowing why.
The Goddess Isis: Her main roles are Mother and Fertility Goddess and Goddess of Magic and Healing. She was a great magician. The titles: Great Goddess, The Divine One and The One Who is All are a testament to the power and appeal of this Egyptian Goddess. She was described as the Goddess of Magic, Great Lady of Magic and Lady of the Words of Power. This was in recognition of her magical gifts and understanding of power of magical words. Together with Osiris she ruled the Gods. Isis was called the Mother of Life, but she was also known as the Crone of Death. Her immense powers earned her the titles of “The Giver of Life” and “Goddess of Magic”. Her best known story illustrates why she is simultaneously known as a creation goddess and a goddess of destruction. As the personification of the “complete female”, Isis was called “The One Who Is All”, Isis Panthea (“Isis the All Goddess”), and the “Lady of Ten Thousand Names”. The goddess Isis, a moon goddess and goddess of rebirth, gave birth to Horus, the god of the sun. Together, Isis and Horus created and sustained all life and were the saviors of their people. The ancient Egyptian goddess Isis has many gifts to share with modern women. Isis embodies the strengths of the feminine, the capacity to feel deeply about relationships, the act of creation, and the source of sustenance and protection. At times Isis could be a clever trickster empowered by her feminine wiles rather than her logic or brute strength, but it is also the goddess Isis who shows us how we can use our personal gifts to create the life we desire rather than simply opposing that which we do not like. The myths of Isis and Osiris caution us about the need for occasional renewal and reconnection in our relationships. Isis also reminds us to acknowledge and accept the depths of our emotions.
Dragonfly: The Dragonfly symbolizes prosperity, good luck, strength, peace, harmony, purity, but also change, change of perspective, going beyond the surface to the deeper meanings of life, power, poise, maturity, elegance, grace, defeat of self-created illusions, clear vision into the realities of life, discovery of your own abilities and your true self, removal of doubts, self-discovery, removal of inhibitions, living in the moment, living to the fullest, and ability to see beyond human limitations. I created the Dragonfly as a mixture of magickal and organic to be that energy of Divinity within the Human Temple Body where physical and spiritual meet, and created it in a more flowy quality to bring in that femininity and natural elegance.
The Goddess Bast: Egyptian goddess of sensual pleasure, protector of the household, bringer of health, and the guardian saint of firefighters — she was the original mistress of multi-tasking. Also called Bastet or Basthet, the goddess Bast is widely known today as the “Cat Goddess”. Legend has it that, by day, Bast would ride through the sky with her father, the sun god Ra, his boat pulling the sun through the sky. Ever watchful, she protected Ra from his enemies. Thus she became known as the Lady of the East, the Goddess of the Rising Sun, and The Sacred and All-Seeing Eye.But by night, she was a different creature entirely! Bast transformed herself into a cat (renowned for its superb night vision) to guard her father from Apep (also known as Apophis), a serpent who was her father’s greatest enemy. Ra’s priests burned wax models of the snake and wrote his name with green ink, trying to put a “hex” on him — but to no avail. Finally, with her cat eyes shining in the dark, she managed to kill the evil serpent. Credited with killing the vile Apep, the goddess Bast ensured the warmth of the sun would continue to bless the delta of the Nile with fertile soil and abundant crops and was honored as a goddess of fertility. Because of her all-seeing sacred eye (called the utchat) that magically saw through the dark, Bast is one of the few sun goddesses that is also classified as a moon goddess, with her glowing cat’s eye reminding us of the moon that it reflects. She holds the title of Goddess of protection. In this role she became Goddess of the rising sun and holder of the Utchat, the all seeing eye of Horus. Statues of this Goddess would be placed in households to protect them from thieves. In the Book of the Dead she is mentioned as destroying the bodies of the deceased, with the royal flame, if they failed the judgment hall of Maat. Later she was depicted with the head of a domestic cat, representing her more nurturing aspects. Woman of the time would buy amulets of this Goddess illustated with different numbers of kittens, representing the number of children they wished to have. The links to fertility and childbirth were further strengthened by the Greeks. They likened this Goddess to Artemis and she also became associated with the moon and children. As a cat Goddess she also protected houses from rats and snakes and so ensured the health of the occupants. The Goddess was linked to the music and dance due to the special rattle that she carried known as the Sistrum. The rattles were used to celebrate her festivals. She was connected with perfumes as she shares a hieroglyph with that which represented the bas jar. These were ceramic vessels used to hold expensive perfumes. A Patron Goddess of fire fighters due to the Egyptian belief that if a cat ran through a burning household she would draw the flames out behind her. The Egyptian goddess Bast reminds us of all that is feline and feminine. Her gifts, very cat-like in nature, include the refusal to be at everyone’s beck and call and an insistence on the freedom of expression. She teaches us to relax and never waste energy, reminding us to luxuriate in beauty, perfume, and to sway in graceful movement. Bast refuses to take anything too seriously. But most importantly, Bast leads us to accept the true nature of things (ourselves included) and helps us remain unswayed by the opinion of others. Curled up like a cat lying in the sun, the goddess Bast foms a complete circle – a symbol of the eternal.
The Eye of Horus/Thoth (as Bast’s eye): an ancient Egyptian symbol of protection, royal power and good health. It is also known as ”The Eye of Ra”. It has great healing and protective powers. The Eye of Horus represents a sign of power given to the wearer by the gods of the time. It can also be a symbol that you are protected from harm by the god represented in the eye. The Egyptian word for this symbol is Wadjet, which literally translated means god or goddess. Horus himself was the falcon headed Egyptian god that originally represented the sky, but also came to be recognized as the sun and moon god as well. His right eye was associated with the sun god, Ra. The eye symbol represents the marking around the eye of the falcon, including the “teardrop” marking sometimes found below the eye. The mirror image, or left eye, sometimes represented the moon and the god Thoth. The eye of Horus was often used to symbolize sacrifice, healing, restoration, and protection.
Elephant: 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
Tiger: Power, Energy, Vitality, Health, Royalty, Protection, Generosity, Illumination, Unpredictability…Tigers are considered a yang energy, and are also a solar animal which associates them with symbolisms of the sun, summer and fire. In ancient Chinese myth there are five tigers that hold the balance of cosmic forces in place and prevent chaos from collapsing into the universe. The primary meaning of the tiger spirit animal is willpower, personal strength and courage – ability to overcome obstacles and fears, your personal power, strong positive expression of your sensuality, helps you to be aware of your aggression, shadow or part of you that you would normally try to hide or reject, unpredictability in life, actions or feelings. Tiger helps you to learn how to deal with strong emotions that once felt threatening, but are becoming more and more manageable.
Lotus: The Lotus is a powerful and ancient image symbolizes harmony, spiritual illumination and unlimited potential. The lotus is a type of water lily which rises from the sludge of muddy waters and opens into a beautiful flower. It is often used as a mandala, or circular symbol, but any way you use the Lotus in a spiritual practice, it will provide a resonant field that reinforces the concept of resurrection. Human mistakes and challenges are the fertilizer for brilliance and awakened creation as the Lotus shows us. Born in the murkiest of ponds, Lotus still emerges pure. Use the Lotus as a reminder that “this, too, shall pass.” Be assured that all fertilizer nurtures a beautiful new life. In the greater world, Lotus is a peaceful cosmic beacon for forgiveness, gratitude and compassion to prevail where the sludge of conflict has resided. Using this symbol on water invites a balance between humility and pride.
Heart: the source of the most powerful energy – unconditional love and compassion that helps to integrate, balance, and create harmony within all experiences
Spiral: symbol of creation, movement, fluidity, surrender/releasing, holistic growth, and awareness of the one within the context of the whole. It reveals the cyclical nature of life, the consciousness of nature from core center expanding outward, and the relationship between unity and multiplicity. It is the limitless spirals that move both “inward towards the Source of creation and eternally outward with Source’s continual self-creation.” In this way, the spiral reflects the contiguous journey home to who you really are and the journey to be one with Source.
Portal energy vortexes: doorways or gateways to access new dimensional experiences. The swirling energy also mirrors the spiral energy and the spiraling of the Chakras when they are in flow, unobstructed – a good example for how to flow with life naturally.
Some connections with it all, but there is more than I can share:
Isis came to me immediately for this particular client, feeling there was a strong Egyptian tie from past lives and the sense of her being a priestess of Isis. So this felt like an important aspect to bring into the mix. Isis to me not only represents an aspect of her in her highest and wholeness, but holds the space for her to continue that evolutionary journey, integrate soul gifts into the now, as well as supports the process and enchants with her magic along the way. Her wings are not only of the nurturing aspects within my client to mother others, be of service, etc., but to take care of herself and mirror her intents towards helping others. The wings also double to me as an angel and therefore represent the angel energy she so resonates with and has around her always, guiding, protecting and watching over her.
I have surrounded Isis with many of the magic animal spirit guides connected to my client and that hold a wisdom and power for her life. The also represent her love for and connection to animals in general, and the connectiveness of all living creatures on earth. In one wing she gently cradles an elephant with trunk raised (for good luck) and gently also nuzzling her neck in reciprocation. This depicts her being of service in greater ways and of course the elephant holds the energy explained above. I love that her delicate wings shows that there is strength in tenderness, vulnerability, and grace, as it is able to support the very powerful and substantial elephant. And the elephant shares his trust knowing he is supported by her and therefore these qualities are available for the soul who wears this as her spiritual skin.
Her other wing she opens, revealing her heart energy spiraling and emanating outward from which a magickal dragonfly emerges, carrying its messages as shared above, and represents her coming into and living to her fullest. Isis’ wing also opens revealing her magickal healing energy that emerges into the spiraling portal vortex from which she can create from her intents into manifestation. This portal will sit at the higher heart area (between throat and heart) empowering it.
To her right sits the Goddess Bast enraptured by the dragonfly and shares an innocence and “joy for life” energy that is playful and youthful, despite all of the wisdom and power that these symbols all represent and despite all of the challenges and hardships that may have otherwise hardened her. This also is stemming from the heart energy, bringing forth that vulnerability mixed with strength. Bast here not only represents the energy as shared above, but came through to also represent the beautiful cat companion she has in her life, named Raseya. This was another immediate intuitive hit to have Bast. And when I learned of Bast’s father being the sun god Ra, I knew instantly why. Ra is part of Raseya’s name and also so closely tied to the special friend, Ras, from whom Raseya was named after and came from. Seemed very appropriate that Raseya is coming through as Bast in this piece, as her familiar from beyond just this life, who is providing so much to her in support. Seemed fitting to have her in this aspect, as part of the guidance and protection that is empowering her life, as well as having Bast as a part of her own energy to access.
She of course has the Eye of Horus, but in this case, it being the left eye, is really the Eye of Thoth to many and represents this great alchemist, hence providing the doorway to her own personal alchemy to create what she desires.
There is an opened lotus and a lotus bud at the bottom in the second chakra area, which represents aspects of her and her journey – coming into her fullness and the continual evolution of birthing and cycling into new aspects of herself and her experience. I added its stems and the roots turning into another whirling portal vortex at the base, which not only anchor a very integrative energy of this lower chakra in balance with opening the upper one, but of course the roots and lotus story – coming from the depths of the murky waters and mud, sharing how my client has risen above and out of the darkness and will continue to do so and always come into the light. This reminds her to trust she will always be ok. The roots also anchor her into the lower chakra and Earth chakra.
And to the left, lies a powerful tiger amidst the lotus leaves in this second chakra area as well, in a more restful and vulnerable state, demonstrating that strength in vulnerability, but also ready and alert, able to take on whatever comes and isn’t taken by surprise as all senses are still and focused. In this second chakra area he helps her to manage emotions, her sensual aspects, and bringing this through her creative power in a focused and strengthened way. He helps to tune in to feelings, senses, and instincts, and embrace all parts of herself, including the shadows, and then integrating them in productive ways. The tiger also assists in creating more independence and liberation from sense of duty and responsibility, bringing it back to the responsibility of her path to keep focused on.
The whole energy of the piece moves in a flow from left to right, to left and then again back to right, creating a sublet “s” shape and like that spiraling up of the serpent and kundalini energy. All of the beings are looking up, while the dragonfly looks down and the tiger stabilizes at center focus. This provides all seeing in and anchors in presence of as above, so below.
I’m grateful for the opportunity to be able to support others with the gift of these channeled and sensory-encoded, frequency-shifting “spiritual skin” portals.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember that there is currently a waiting list and price changes are going to be in effect at start of 2014.
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 ~ 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
It is also available in Kindle format here: Spiritual Skin