♦ Self Expression. Tattoos are works of art that can be used as a vehicle to display your unique sense of individuality to the world. For instance, if you are into the "undead scene" others will be able to identify you by the ghostly spirit tattooed on your arm. If you are an art lover, an Andy Warhol or Leonardo Da Vinici inspired tattoo will deliver the message to others. The tattoo can also give others some idea of your occupation.
A good example of a tattoo expressing an occupation or a hobby. "Sparkplugs' Tattoo courtesy of Stacey Sharp www.sharptattoos.com
♦ Tribal Identity. The original intention of a tattoo was to mark an individual as part of a tribe or a group. This type of tattoo warns others if you happen to belong to some kind of gang (good for them) and allows other kindred spirits to identify you (good for you.) For instance, an iron cross can identify a Goth individual, the Serenity Prayer an AA member, a Harley Davidson logo a biker, a crucifix a Christian, an anchor a member of the Navy and so on ...
♦ Spiritual Growth. Many individuals will get a tattoo after they experience an epiphany or leap of faith that has led to their survival against great odds. Examples of this kind of tattoo are the lung cancer survivor who gets a tattoo of the wind blowing and the student of Buddhism who gets the "ohm" symbol tattooed on his chest after receiving teachings from a master.
♦ For Spiritual Protection. Cab drivers will boast a tattoo of St. Christopher on their arms to prevent accidents on the road. A very familiar tattoo for protection is the eye within the hand or the eye within the triangle that finds its origins in the ancient Mediterranean. Crucifix's, sacred hearts, St. Michael and gods or goddesses are often used for the same purposes.
♦ Marking Important Events. Weddings, anniversaries, divorces, surviving a war and other occasions sometimes warrant a tattoo. Some couples are getting tattoos marked around the fourth finger of their left hand rather than opting for the traditional engagement ring.
♦ Paying Homage. Sometimes a tattoo is in order after the death of a celebrity, favorite pet or relative. Usually these tattoos are portraits commissioned by a very talented artist who can reproduce likenesses of such personages as Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, John F. Kennedy or Malcolm X.
♦ To Enhance Luck. Getting a tattoo to enhance your luck is as old as primitive man. Today you can see everything from pairs of dice to four leafed clovers to the Greek Goddess Fortuna marked on the arms of those who wish to court Lady Luck.
♦ To Express Commitment. Getting a tattoo in this day of "disposable everything" is an expression of commitment to yourself that is forever. The sages say that making an irrevocable decision is good for the soul!
♦ Totem Symbols and Animals. Some people consider a tattoo to be an expression of their soul or spirit guide. Fairies, hummingbirds, butterflies, angels, wolves, tigers and other animals are popular examples of this kind of tattoo.
An example of a tattoo used as a totem animal. Photo courtesy of Little Joe http://www.geocities.com/tat2byjoe
♦ As a memorial. Some tattoos are used to remember a beloved family member or pet that has passed away.
A good example of a memorial tattoo. Photo of "Angel Baby" courtesy of Dave
♦ Enhancing Sexuality. There is a theory that getting a tattoo on the lower back helps open up the base chakra (near the bottom of the spine) and enhances the kundalini (life force) that governs such matters as survival and sexuality. A tiny tattoo on the female hipbone or on the inner thigh is considered to be very sexy.
♦ Multiple Births. In this age of fertility drugs, more mothers than ever are giving birth to identical twins, triplets and quadruplets. Tattooing the bottom of the newborns' feet is one way to guarantee that you will always be able to tell your children apart from each other.
♦ To Make People Laugh. Tattoos do have a way of "breaking the ice" when it comes to starting a conversation. There is nothing wrong with adding a little levity to the world. After all humor dissolves all karma.
An example of a modern style tattoo used to enhance sexuality. "Sunflower" tattoo courtesy of Sean Donovan www.tattoosbysean.com
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