I have hesitated for awhile to post about my tattoos and what they mean to me because they are so personal in a magickal way. But i was quickened by Cassie’s post on Tattoos which explain why she has them, what they mean to her, and gives some advice (which i will expand on at the end) about taking this step. Only a handful of witches i actually know face to face follow this blog, and they have all seen most of these, so i am not worried about revealing too much to anyone who could be considered magickal enemies who could use them against me because each tattoo is an egregore of power and protection.
All of my tats have meaning to me i the paths of Witchcraft and Magicke that i practice. I do not wear much jewelry except for some earrings and a silver serpent wrist band, so my tats are my body jewelry. Until i got a snake on my right wrist a couple years i could wear scrubs or a t-shirt and shorts and none of them were visible. It all started with my late elder teacher and initiator Lady Phoebe who had a crescent moon with three small pentagrams tattooed on her upper thigh to represent her three degrees. This was a tradition in our coven so when i got my third degree i got this tattoo on my left groin. Since then many thirds in our coven have carried on this tradition. I guess it is our substitute for the witches garter.
Most of my tattoos with few exceptions are in woad blue with black outlines to represent the tribal Celtic ways. I designed all of these except for the double Thai dragon-naga which i redesigned. I was lucky to find a skilled artist who did exactly what i told him to do and did all of these except the dragon-naga and i will list the artists below. I have a total of 28 tattoos.
These pictures were mostly taken by V. Latta down in their grove in mottled sunlight, and since my tats and skin are older they did not come out as crisp as i would have liked despite her skill, so i have manipulated them to a higher contract to bring out the line designs better.
I will start off with some crude drawings i did a couple years ago of my torso (but not of my extremities) and the placement of various tattoos. Note they are mostly depicted larger than they are on my body. Excuse the explicit nature of the drawings, and No i do Not have my lingum tattooed, lol. I will post the pictures and underneath will be the explanation.
Note – All drawings and photos Copyright 2013 GLHoke and V. Latta.
Front of torso with tattoo placements
Back of torso with tattoo placements
My first tattoo of my third degree in my left groin area.
(excuse my old skin and some hair!)
To balance that i had this pentagram tattooed on my right groin.
Crow tattooed on the top of each shoulder near neck.
Thelemite unicursal Hexagram over heart on left chest.
Seven pointed star on right chest.
Thai double Dragon-Naga with lotus, tattooed to cover up a dragon which i did not like. This hurt like hell on my sternum!
Two symbols in one – the astrological Dragon’s Head Rahu and Dragon’s Tail Ketu, and the double lingum of the Vodoun Lwa Babaluaye. On right lower rib cage.
Erzulie Dantor lower left rib cage
This is a Helm of Awe and also a Veve for Exu above my groin.
Witches pentagram with Runic initials of my three degree names in center, on upper right shoulder.
My totem, the Serpent, right upper arm.
Astaroth / Astarte upper left shoulder.
The dragon Angelina Jolie used to have and twin Ouroboros serpents left upper arm.
Blue serpent right wrist.
And now for my Back:
Thai spirit tattoo lower neck in back.
Magickal number in Mobius left shoulder
Magickal name in Mobius right shoulder.
Black Sun between shoulders.
Damballah and Rainbow on back.
Rahula tornado upper left hip.
Vajrakilaya thunderbolt upper right hip.
Tau cross with Serpent in Triangle base of spine, unfortunately distorted by surgical scar.
And now my feet. I had my feet tattooed with various Vodoun Veves for protection. I took traditional veves then manipulated them a little, especially the ones i combined. The ones on the ankles hurt like hell but fortunately only took about 5 minutes to do:
Exu (zigzag) and Pomba Gira (spiral) top right foot.
Exu inverse pentagram inner right ankle.
Exu outer right ankle.
Inverse cross with Serpent. There is a story about some French Satanist from the late 1700s who had crosses tattooed on his feet so he would always be walking on Jesus, lol.
Pomba Gira top left foot.
Double Venus Pomba Gira left inner ankle.
Ayizan left outer ankle.
Swirling Earth symbol bottom left foot.
And that’s about that. Gods this has taken hours to put together.
Below is some advice for those of you thinking of getting a tattoo:
Think long and hard before you get one, because they are permanent and very expensive to laser off later. Go to the tattoo artist’s shop first thing when they open and see how clean they are. Make sure they have an autoclave and their trash cans are not still filled with bloody paper towels. Never get a tattoo when drunk or out of peer pressure. Never get a tattoo of some cute cartoon character. Never get your face tattooed unless you plan on working in a circus. Never ever ever get the name of your lover or spouse tattooed on your body. Never. Children’s names are OK. Do not get a tattoo that shows at work unless you think it is OK for this and future jobs. Note that in nursing in the US all tattoos have to be covered up. Men – keep your tats shaved as no one likes hairy dragons. Women – do not get anything circular tattooed on your breast as by the time you are 60 it will look like a comet. Girls – never get a sunburst tattooed around your navel as when you are pregnant it will look like a supernova and when you are no longer pregnant it will look like a prune or a paintball splat. The sun is one of the greatest enemy to keeping a tattoo fresh and bright, so use sun screen if you are exposing them on a sunny day. Getting a tattoo that has great magickal meaning to you is a tribal experience and it will become as powerful as you make it.
Like i said earlier i was lucky early on to find a great experience tattoo artist who did Exactly what i said, nothing more and nothing less. Jeff runs and works at Permanent Impressions. He did 27 of my tattoos. The Thai dragon-naga cover-up was done by a Brandon who is overseas right now in the Merchant Marine so does not have a shop open. He trained with the legendary Buffalo Bill since he was a teenager, and on his travels with some Buddhist monk artists in Thailand and is excellent.