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The Essence of You – Do Tattoos Support or Hinder Your Personal Essence?


Spiritual Skin

Since putting out my book, Spiritual Skin, I get an influx of questions from readers, clients and curious enthusiasts and I notice themes and their energetic timing. One such theme I’ve wanted to address for a while and got another nudge recently to do so, is on the topic of inner confliction and how tattooing hinders or supports one’s personal essence.

Questions emerge when people have been facing the prospect of getting their first tattoo and then an inner and outer dialogue begins that comes to the surface to process and integrate. Many then begin to feel unclear about their decisions and start questioning if this is the path for them, wondering…Does it really mirror who I am? How does something seemingly harsh or “non-organic” translate into the essence of what I and others see myself as, in being more pure? Will this change how others see me? Will it change who I know myself to be? Is this really aligned with what I am trying to create and embody in my life? Is this really the right expression for me or should I choose something less permanent? How will others feel about me after I do this? Will I be ostracized or judged and if so, does that matter?

All of these are valid and valuable questions and in my opinion, very normal, when faced with what I’ve come to see as a huge step in the journey of self-empowerment and ultimately, collective awakening. Does this mean this path is for everyone? No. Does it mean it may not be the right timing or there may be a more suitable personal channel? Yes, potentially. Does it mean there are shadow aspects and potential unauthentic and conditioned beliefs and fears you are weeding through still? Yes, most likely. Does it mean you are remembering and empowering who you really are. Yes, definitely.

What I’ve come to see is that when someone in question begins the journey to find answers to those questions and seeks those answers out from others, the plot seems to thicken. I have found that others mirror you and your own inner dialogue and will play that out for you in the way that you need. So you will always find the answers you want or need to hear and they are accurately sharing based on what is coming through. However, the question is, to which voice are they answering and mirroring? Others are always a good and timely sounding board to ourselves and will reflect what you need to hear and play out the shadow aspects for you that will best serve your personal growth, path and the choices you make along it.

The key then is practicing wise discernment as to which voice is of your heart of hearts.

I wanted to write a blog on this for a while and when I recently answered this theme again for someone, I felt rather than piece together a long drawn out dissertation, (I’ll leave that for my book when that comes to be and address all these aspects specifically then) I’d share my response and allow that to speak as it may to each of you that may have similar questions and experiences. It doesn’t address each point specifically, but in essence covers this theme through my own story. Here is a version of what I shared:

The best way for me to share this is through personal experience.

Everyone throughout my life has held a very pure and ethereal feeling of what I portray, both physically and energetically. In some ways that may have at times felt like a lot to live up to in terms of other’s expectations and what they deemed those definitions to translate as. They would never have thought that my getting tattoos would be part of their observational idea of what that translates into as, or looks like to them. The key being, when they share an opinion, it is based on their observational viewpoint separate from the object (me) being viewed. It is channeled through that person’s conditioned funneling system and interpretative ability to formulate what someone/thing (I) energetically manifests as through their personal experience of me. This observation and conclusion is also based on what I have revealed, or allowed to be revealed to them, that they go by, coupled with that personal interpretation of how they see me to be through their filtering system that is unique to them.

When I first got my tattoo there were levels of depth I needed to penetrate within me to understand how all of this translates and where “my” desires stemmed from outside of what others shared or even how I might have bought into thinking, based on the constant mirroring of what people would share and how that “should” relate and translate to “them.” Seeing where I may have attachments to their concepts and definitions, because of the emotional acceptance bought into and felt comforting not to diverge from, and how those varied or conflicted with my own personal beliefs and feelings that made more sense in my heart and soul, was key.

This was a continued process that went deeper and deeper with each tattoo experience. So many things to transcend and break as patterns and conditioning and even sabotaging within myself or hiding from myself because as a Pisces I was, and could be, so vulnerable to taking on what others feel and think (having no boundaries and being collectively ultra-sensitive and mutable) and could easily misinterpret it as me, when in fact it wasn’t at all. That discovery was an unfolding process of taking very courageous steps in challenging myself to discover me and learn how to discern, understand the energetic nuances of what was real and authentic to me and what was not, and to still yet maintain my collective connection while empowering self.

My serpent tattoo

This especially was so when I got my serpent on my hand that at first I found myself subconsciously hiding and pulling sleeves over because of the connotation of serpents and how others have come to view (misinformedly) the serpent symbolism. Once I integrated the understanding of this beautiful and powerful symbolism and shadow aspect that I had come to know and resonate with, then I saw the direct and beautiful mirroring of my integrated embodiment of it in other’s experience of it as well.

Stories could go on, however, in the end, I STILL have the same mirrored feelings from others about how my energy is pure, faery, ethereal, otherworldly, earth goddess, nature connected, how vibrant or healthy they see me as, despite AND because OF my tattoos.

The reason why? Authenticity and because I have learned how to transcend all of it and connect within me as to who I am and putting out the vibration of that through my heart. And that emanates through anything that may or may not be on my body, as well as shifts perceptions, helps transcend judgments, and has helped others to expand their definitions of what pure looks like. Every time I may take things up another notch with tattoos or anything in general, as I like to challenge myself to greater expansion, there can be that time period of integration, which now is much swifter and more natural than black and white.

Everything is energy and the energy is what comes through my tattoos and is what they are made of – magick. Not separate, not defining, and not altering of who I am at the core, but are an extension of my energy expressed through me so that others can feel who I am and see with new eyes a whole picture that exists. They also help to activate and empower more of who I am at the core in the power of their intentful symbolism and ability to assist in DNA shifting/aligning and accessing portal experiences, which in turn collectively has healing benefits and openings.

Who I am at heart and how I embody that, reflects how anything I do, say, or wear translates. Everything stems from me and when the truth within is embraced and honored, it shifts everything outwardly as a direct mirror.

This is why I have experienced others being very drawn to the tattoos I have as sacred body art, not simply because they think the designs are cool or are done in a way that aesthetically resonates, but because they emanate an energy that alone they could not do, but they have because of what is emanating through them FROM me and the intentful and heartfelt energy I’m connecting with when I share myself with others. The deeper I go with myself, the more energy exudes. I have been stopped by the most arbitrary people, including those who aren’t normally attracted to tattoos, and even mothers with children in stores who show their kids my tattoos, who in turn are fascinated. Kids are connected with more purity and this is not a usual behavior of a mom to share.

I may be unique in my experiences and my path is not everyone’s, but for me this is how I have seen the process play out.

It’s all a beautiful process into ourselves. It’s valuable to ask these very important questions to go deeper within so that you come to honor that place within “you” most heartfully.

If interested in reading more on this topic you may find resonation with my book, Spiritual Skin. If you would like assistance in co-creating your own sacred tattoo design, you can email me at tania@spiritualskin.com

A Shaman’s Journey – Weaving Integrative Healing and Magic with Sacred Tattoo Designs


Sacred Tattoo Design by Tania Marie

I just completed another sacred tattoo design and it has been a beautiful journey, to say the least. When I am provided with the ability to let the designs work their own magic, in their own time, I love to see how they flow with what I have going on in my own life that ends up connecting beautifully with the client I am designing for. With this particular design, I was able to let the energy percolate while I was away in Big Bear and Lake Tahoe/Reno, taking in the energy of the mountains, forests and lakes. Perfect energy to connect with and through for what I was channeling.

Interestingly my computer had blown out when I arrived in Big Bear on the 4th of July and with everything I had in terms of information for this tattoo, on there, I was unable to work on it. So, I knew it was the first sign to let the energy work its own timing. Much time I spent out in the forests hiking and biking by the lake, where I connected with the Earth, nature, elements and animals – the Divine wholeness and bigger picture of everything. When I returned, I had to get a new computer up and running and in the meantime, catch up on other work, so I would tune in and do some channeling work with this design, when I felt the intuitive hit to do so without anything interfering. Then I was off to Lake Tahoe and Reno, where again, I was immersed in the beauty and magic ofnature and experiencing an integrative healing journey personally, as well as receiving collective messages as well. I had printed out the info for the design I’d been provided, so I could read it while in the plane there and back, so that I could allow it all to percolate and emerge in vision through me with what was flowing in energetically on this trip.

My intuitive feelings from the start would become more and more clear and upon returning, I knew the time was right to finalize the process and bring it into manifestation on paper. The day I began to have the flow emerge, I also took an evening walk on the beach where I was met by a pelican that allowed me to get as close as I wanted. I connected with it and knew it was communicating and had waited for me and the messages mirrored things for myself, but also reiterated the shamanic and shapeshifting, healing energy I was working with for this sacred tattoo design.

And yesterday, it all just flowed with grace and ease, as I played music to accompany my process that held the right energetic resonance, along with having my new smokey quartz heart crystal I got in Reno, alongside me to aid the channeling creation.

What I love is how the images emerge. I usually get a sense of the energy and even the exact symbolism/images that will be incorporated – the essence – but how they will look doesn’t really happen until I sit down and put pencil in hand and allow. Then it is like a channeling process and that guides me, by something beyond myself that comes through and things just magically start to appear. It’s the same with my paintings. But my process used to be that I would receive the exact vision in my head and then work towards creating that vision. Now my process has shifted where I receive the essence and how that comes to be is a beautiful and vulnerable journey of letting go and allowing that divine image to come through, unencumbered by any thoughts. A purely in-the-moment creation of heart expression that comes from tapping into that neither here nor there place and flowing freely – stepping out of the way and having Spirit move through me.

This is the process of sacred tattoo designing, for me, and what emerged with this one. And it is always so beautiful to hear the reiterations from those I co-create these designs with, in how so many elements synchronize with things in their lives or how specific things manifested that they didn’t share with me, but are in the image, etc. A mirror of open heart channeling between souls. More and more this whole process is deepening and collaborative team efforts are emerging in this partnering and people meeting each other heart to heart with courageous vulnerability. It really moves me to experience all of this with others. And it is a learning process for each of us in how to communicate and meet at that very revealing and authentic place that is honoring of each other during the journey. I go through my own evolution each time and with the different people I work with and what each brings to the table that challenges me on many levels to push myself to that space in which I can be bigger than myself. I am grateful for that journey and the integration it provides both of us.

This design that came through was special to work with. Each always is uniquely special in their own way since they reflect the individual beauty of each person, but I truly was honored in this journey, as it’s one of those times the soul I was working with basically revealed themselves in naked truth to me by choice of laying it on the table. I still get to do the intuitive work to see how things come together in the most empowering way, in circumstances like this, but it’s really indicative of how many are finding that self awareness and comfortability to expose their naked skin to others (me in this case) and in so doing I can assist in transforming it into spiritual skin that mirrors that beauty (and in general, that equates to people being able to truly interact at a heart and soul level without masks or hindrances.)

Usually I share a lot of the symbolism in the designs, but this time I wanted to share more on the journey. What resulted was a reflection of this client’s soul to me that revealed her shaman/healer/magical/shape-shifter/earth keeper energy. It was definitely a shamanic journey to receive it and what resulted was a beautiful tapestry of her soul that will empower the integrative healing and magic into her life she needs, as well as provide the energy to grow into. It will also help to balance the very male energies she has to bring in the divine feminine to integrate. The placement of her left hip/thigh, helping to integrate that feminine energy (as it’s connected with the right brain) and also the hips and thighs are about moving forward without fear and keeping one in balance.

The symbolism included were a mixture of ones that were important in her life, that she had connection with, or that I intuited based on what she shared and I received. I loved hearing how when she read my explanation to her of the design, that her Raven friend came to visit her at her window while she wrote back to me, she also had recently gotten some smokey quartz earrings (connecting with the one I was working with in channeling this), and some other cool synchronicities with what I designed for her. I originally had created four similar feathers as the four directions, unknowingly about her connection with feathers and then that opened up her sharing about her 3 feather collection she had given to her by special people and coming from powerful birds. She then realized that those 3 feathers would be powerful to incorporate and I agreed! So I took her photos and redid three of the feathers to match hers and the last remained as the one I created – a gift now from me. I intuited which feather was to go in which direction and used my pendulum to verify, which it did. I love the result and I can’t wait to see this in the flesh.

I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of people’s journeys and to assist in empowering others.

If interested in a sacred tattoo design for yourself, you can contact me at tania@spiritualskin.com and visit this link to see if my work is an energetic match for you: Spiritual Skin

Doorways to Liberation – Sacred Tattoos as a Tool to Access New Realities


As mentioned in my last post, there has been an influx of experiences not only for myself, but with clients and friends going through their own personal shifts and amping up. It’s exciting to watch and support! I’ve seen more and more people ready to take those leaps and needing to have that reflected in their life in varying ways that mirror their personal trajectories that are awakening in alignment with collective needs and shifts. This is a very active time for people to step into more empowered authenticity and one of those ways has been through personal and symbolic expressions to hone in on those energies – sacred body art being one tool many are drawn to.

Those who never had been drawn to this form of art or personal expression (or had secret connection with it), are finding themselves drawn to it now, as they awaken those natural parts of themselves reflective of “their” authenticity and in resonance with what speaks through their heart as supportive, regardless of the environmental factors that have had their influences until now. I love to see people finding liberation through all the different channels available to assist – and mostly I just love feeling peoples’ lives on fire with the embracing of their own truths. I feel it to be an honor to be able to assist this liberation of others’ gifts, through the gifts I have available.

I’ve been a bit behind on posting as much, especially with new creations. I recently helped design a pair of tattoo designs for a client that spoke to her own personal evolution, which has been quite a journey. And I love how her first, and idea for only one tattoo, turned into two at once! It’s also always interesting for me to watch the evolution and processing that takes place in helping to assist with these designs and what it reflects, reveals, and challenges in each of us upon stepping into the realm of courageous and vulnerable self-expression and open liberation.

I’ll be posting more, as I’m working on some amazing pieces right now. I’m also excited about my next tattoo (yes another has evolved for me) that I”ll be getting at the beginning of August. VERY symbolically potent in terms of my personal experiences into a new reality. It has a connection with one of these I’m posting today, but through my own personal expression and needs, will manifest as is reflective of such.

I’ll be posting her designs when they come to life in the flesh, but wanted to share a bit about them for now. The first is a lovely hummingbird (the client’s animal totem and symbolic of much for her) with a magical rune embodied within it) and the other a custom made Seven Pointed Faery/Elven/Pleiadian Star (gateway to the Otherworld) to suit her energy and personal expression. Synchronously, this symbol has been showing up a lot for many, including myself since the beginning of the year, and is being fitted to my own energy as my next tattoo as well.

We created two versions of the hummingbird’s tail, so she could play with how it would flow on her inner forearm/wrist – one more hovering and one more in flight – along with a simple, elegant tail for one and one more airy and feathery. These are some of the tweaks that take place in the process for those that need visual support in feeling out what reflects best and gives choices to play with when taken to their tattoo artist.

Interestingly, but never surprisingly, as I had completed the Faery Star, an earthquake hit immediately after. Definitely creating energetic shifts and opening doorways to other realities, which was exactly what I was personally working on and everything we focus on is collectively linked. I love to see the direct manifestations of our creations. Rockin’ and rollin’! 🙂

If you are interested in having me assist with a custom sacred tattoo for your own personal liberation and symbolic empowerment for the new reality you are creating, you can contact me at tania@spiritualskin.com to co-create one together.

If you would like to read more about sacred tattoos you may enjoy my book Spiritual Skin.

In love!

Sacred Tattoo Co-Creations – The Beauty of Embracing


Original wrist sacred scarab tattoo design

Many have been drawn to the blog and design I posted in May of the Sacred Scarab Tattoo for my amazing client, friend and business partner, Allison Jacobson. This was the original post of the initial design we co-created: Sacred Scarab Goddess Tattoo Design. And at left you see the original design that resulted, which was intended for her wrist.

My initial sense, knowing and intuiting Allison’s energy and what she wanted to create in life and where she was headed, was that something “bigger” would be appropriate and was feeling her upper back.

The new sacred scarab tattoo design that emerged from the shifts, thus becoming a MUCH larger upper back/back of neck piece

Knowing my own processes, which I’ve shared some of in my book Spiritual Skin, as well as the collective processes and challenges people go through with embracing things in life, let alone tattoos (part of the reason for writing the book), I understand and support divine timing for each individual and what they are ready for. There are always those that are exceptions to things – like myself, Allison, and several of the clients that are drawn to my spiritual design work and my work and services in general – who are in temporary process of catching up to the parts that are already where they intend to be. I call these designs “space holders” that allow one to grow into the energy, while supporting that rapid shifting and experience we desire to manifest (and can) immediately.

Allison’s tattoo in process – black lining and some color done, with added drop shadow (the man behind the inking pictured right – James Spooner)

So, while we both loved the design that emerged from our first creation, upon its completion things rapidly started to mirror the immediate shifts.

Different things started to not feel right for Allison and there was uneasiness about the challenges presented when we were discussing the design with our mutual vegan tattoo artist, James Spooner. And as we held the space to allow for the embracing of the shifts to take place on the inner plane, within a day we were already on the new trajectory of creating a MUCH larger piece for her upper back/back of neck area. he he!

Allison’s tattoo in full color completion – minus last fine tunings

The feelings were unanimous and Allison’s tattoo transformed into one majorly potent piece. Every design is uniquely beautiful because they mirror the unique beauty of the individual that is being projected, but Allison immediately felt renewed and on fire as her new reflection blossomed and was allowed to emerge. yay!

It was such a beautiful meeting of minds, hearts and souls between the three of us in co-creating this together, as I see each design as a co-creative process – me providing the intuitive vision and spiritual insight to reflect the “template” design, Allison providing her unique soul imprint, reflection and courageous vulnerability to transfer the projected imagery via the channeling between us, and James providing his gifted artistry, vision, experience and ability to fine tune both my and Allison’s contributions to bring forth the end result. A  beautiful merging of ingredients and partnering souls creating the perfect recipe for potency!

Allison’s tattoo and closeups

I see the design process to be like a spiritual coaching session, transformative healing and shamanistic, sacred ritual. And the entire process truly is reflective of the now and working together by embracing our individually unique gifts and inviting others to assist and contribute theirs in order to create a collective tapestry of authentic heart. The result is pure, LOVE MAGICK!

I am sharing the process that took place, feeling that it would be supportive for others, as I see this kind of thing happen a lot (moreso recently). Even in the process of assisting with designs, there can be challenges the designs present for the individual to process since they are mirroring a depth that can sometimes be scary (in a good way). As mentioned, these are not JUST drawings. They are SACRED tattoo designs that have healing magick and I’ve seen how what one’s soul transfers to me, even through semi-conscious transference, can sometimes take a while for the conscious to embrace. This can present shifts to the designs with tweaks, major changes, or simply time to sit with, meditate, and digest in order to come to realize it IS exactly what was desired, but was scary or sitting behind the veil awaiting full conscious embrace.

Allison’s tattoo – check out the cool floating effect – gorgeous!!!

After four tattoo inking sessions, Allison’s Sacred Scarab Goddess Tattoo Design is reaching completion. She only has one more half hour session to just fine tune some of the colors/shading. It has been so amazingly cool to be able to be there from start to finish in this process, as usually my clients are from around the world. So this was the first time I was able to actually be there in person to see the design I helped to co-create, come to life in the flesh!! I love to see the final results of the designs I create and encourage people to send them in so I can celebrate with them, the birthing of this beautiful leg of their journey, as well as will use them in an upcoming edition of my book.

I shared the story, the images and the process in hope that it will be insightful and supportive to those on this path of creating sacred body art.

My designs are meant to be templates created in black and white (pencil) and then it is up to you if you desire colors and to relate that to your tattoo artist to find the perfect ones that work for you, as well as to add things like the drop shadow James did. Some tattoo artists will add their own unique flair and fine tuning to the designs I provide, depending on their visions, as well as may adjust sizing if needed (which is easy).

My work is in the spiritual process, sacred symbolism, manifesting the abstract visions/essence into form and to help pinpoint the energies most supportive (including, if desired, the placement) through an encoded creation of sacred body art. It’s a very involved process.

If you are interested in having me assist with the co-creation of your own personal sacred tattoo design I provide both stand-alone consultations via email or design consultations to create the perfect custom tattoo reflective of you. For information about both of these and my fees please visit Sacred Tattoo Consulting and Design

You can contact me at tania@spiritualskin.com or visit Spiritual Skin.

The Sacred Tattoo Process – Creating the Perfect “You” Tattoo


It’s exciting to bring to life the creations that are flowing with these sacred tattoo commissions, as it is an honor to be able to help support others with manifesting the perfect design that can help enhance their life intents. I just completed this tattoo design of The Dragon Power Symbol for a client, which was an unfolding journey into accessing deeper levels.

This image will be posted larger on the link provided, shortly, and you can also find more design examples by visiting the tattoo gallery here http://taniamarie.com/paintings.htm

I get questions a lot about the process of commissioning a tattoo design and what is entailed, so I thought I’d share the info here to help answer those questions.

As a visionary artist, Reiki Master Teacher and intuitive, I am able to tune into a person’s essence and bring to life ideas to mirror creative visions. After countless requests to do custom tattoo designs and people’s desires to have my creations on their skin, I decided to offer this service and have ongoing requests I continuously support. I then finally launched my book, “Spiritual Skin,” which had been nudging me for a few years, as I wanted to help others to understand this sacred process and how tattoo were much more than meets the eye. For more information and how to order your own copy of the book please visit Spiritual Skin ~ Sacred Tattoos: More than Skin Deep

If you have an idea and are not sure exactly how to bring it to life, contact me for help and I will be happy to support your visions, infused with spiritual potency. I will need to know what you have in mind, whether specific or abstract and anything about yourself to help me tune into what would best portray the energy and image that would be most powerfully mirroring for you.

The design process, including consulting, is $125/hour. I only charge for the actual design time, meaning pencil to paper time. The consulting (usually done through emails, sometimes phone), research, meditation, and any extra goodies I add to the process are not part of the hourly. That is just the gifts I add to the very intensive journey. The process of designing is a very intricate, deep, sacred, detailed, time and committed dedication that I take seriously and put my heart and soul into to ensure the right energy and detail that reflects your own heart. Sometimes I am creating out of thin air if a client doesn’t know exactly what they want, and only shares essence qualities, so I then need to figure out how that translates. This sometimes comes exactly right the first time and other times, it comes in stages, as it depends on how clear the energy is that is being channeled. Sometimes it takes time to go deeper and access that pearl that is hidden. It is quite the spiritual process and the more we unravel and dig deeper, the more I uncover the truth below the surface and get through the layers.

Usually tattoos run 1-4 hours to design, from my experience. Intricacy, detail and size will be the deciding factors. Whenever dealing with symmetry it can be a bit more complex and timely as well, so this all is taken into account when estimating time frames. I can usually give close guesstimates, but they can run shorter or a little longer. It is most important we get it right than to rush a process, however, I am mindful of people’s budgets and will work with what you can afford, staying within a timeframe you need, as well as can offer payment plans if necessary.

I require a one hour deposit upfront, as all tattoos take at least one hour, and the balance, due upon our agreement of its closure. Consulting back and forth is no extra charge, nor is the meditating time I do to tune in and receive. I clock my work from start to finish. After we agree, I will begin the design and then once done, email the scanned design to you to see what you think. Many times we get it the first time, but it is not unusual to have a couple tweaks and goes at it. It’s important to get things just right. I don’t charge for a couple of minutes of changes, but if it is more involved than a few minutes of change, or constitutes a redo, then I charge the same rate and of course if it’s partial hour, I charge accordingly as that equates from the normal hourly rate.

The design is done in black and white, meaning pencil, as it is up to your tattoo artist and you to incorporate colors you may desire. This is just the design template that they will use to copy and place on the transfer sheet to your skin, of which they can easily up and down the size on the copier if you end up wanting it sized differently.

The whole process is a magical one and I’m constantly amazed at how synchronously and divinely it always unfolds. It’s like being a catalyst or channel to help bring forth the visions my clients have in manifested form and in so doing, creating magical gateways or portals in a sort of alchemical process.

I am grateful for the opportunity to assist you with your own “spiritual skin” and welcome any inquiries you may have.

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