Tattoos and other body modification

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Nokkonen
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Tattoos and other body modification

Postby Nokkonen » Sat Jun 04, 2016 4:46 am

I am curious if many people here are tattooed or have other body modifications, and if so, do you feel that your tattoos/bm have spiritual or some other kind of significance for you. I know people who take tattoos for purely aesthetic reasons (because tattoos are just that cool) but oftentimes the images or placements, or the act of body modification in itself holds greater significance for people.

I myself have pierced ears and a couple of tattoos. My parents allowed me to get ear piercings when I was 15, and for me, it was some kind of a sign of adulthood to be able to wear earrings. Then in 2000s, I took a couple of (now a bit embarrassing) tribal tattoos that I thought resembled flames. They weren't highly spiritual -- I was an atheist at the time -- but they did mark some kind of attempted turning points in my life since one of them was on my arm to cover up some older markings. My bigger and more elaborate tattoo came to me in a dream and it felt rather like I already had it but I just had to go to the tattooist to uncover what was already there. I also ritualized the taking of that picture and it made the whole experience more powerful, making it feel like acupuncture treatment of the soul. It really marked a turning point between my old and new selves.

So, what's your story?
Yinlong
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Re: Tattoos and other body modification

Postby Yinlong » Wed Jun 08, 2016 8:18 am

I had to contribute into this topic, since I'm going to continue to get my skin inked more later this month, and obviously everything related to tattoos has been on my mind a lot lately.

I became interested in tattoos already somewhere in my teens. I used to sneak to our library after school to read tattoo magazines (among a good selection of comics). However, it wasn't until latter part of my 20s when I got my first tattoo. Not surprisingly to some people who know me, I have an octopus inked on my back. Though, the process started somehow similarly as Nokkonen described in the following quote:
Nokkonen wrote: My bigger and more elaborate tattoo came to me in a dream and it felt rather like I already had it but I just had to go to the tattooist to uncover what was already there. I also ritualized the taking of that picture and it made the whole experience more powerful, making it feel like acupuncture treatment of the soul. It really marked a turning point between my old and new selves.
So, my story of my first tattoo also begins in a sort of half-meditative and half-dreamy state of mind, when an octopus came to me holding certain symbols. I considered it kind of a riddle, so I drew the symbols and the octopus to my book of thoughts, and suddenly it also inspired me to write a poem, which I also wrote down. Luckily I found quickly a tattoo artist whose style I liked and she totally got me and drew the poem and the octopus holding the symbols to a more artistic form of a sketch and now its on my back. As a side note, it's good to find a tattoo artist that gets you, since the hours spend with him or her are quite too long if you don't have good topics to talk about :)

I like Nokkonen's description tattoos being at best "acupuncture treatment of the soul". Though having the vision first, like Nokkonen described, my being tattooed process seems to follow after the vision the following formula: I continue investigating the topics related to the theme, then while the tattoo closes to be finished, I usually have the theme solved (enough) on my mind. So, in a sense I could say that having a strong vision and then having it tattooed, it kind of forces me to investigate and solve the theme and the vision. The process and feeling of being inked gives some magical extra to it, it is kind of treatment of soul - and at least makes it very concrete that I'm serious about the topic.

My second tattoo is an Asiatic female warrior arising from waves. It's inspired by onna-bugeisha, the Japanese female warrior. It's also related to my interest in Yamamoto Tsunetomo and has some light Buddhist themes in it. It covers most of my left arm. This wasn't maybe as strong vision as my first one, and I also let the tattooer do her job relatively freely.

My third tattoo is going to cover my right arm. Actually I haven't seen the sketch, so don't know yet exactly how it is going to look like. Again, not surprisingly to people who have read my posts on the Finnish side of SoA's forum, the theme is based on, among other things, snakes and dragons. :) Also, a poem included. Maybe next project after that is going to be unifying the arms tattoos somehow. Probably it is going to involve getting some parts of my chest tattooed as well.

For some reason I haven't been very interested in piercing myself, although some such body modifications look very neat. It would be interesting to hear from the process and what it means to you. I do like contemporary circus, which often involves artists doing quite extreme stuff with hooks and piercings.
Quaerendo Invenietis - Na dìomhcuimhnich a-chaoidh - Feuer frei!
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Invitus
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Re: Tattoos and other body modification

Postby Invitus » Thu Jun 16, 2016 9:43 pm

I myself see tattoos as a part of my "spirituality", even when the reasons for taking a certain picture may be more aestethic.

The first one I got was/is on my left shoulder, a (inverted) pentagram with a Ouroboros intertwined.
Balance, stability and symmetry as ideas are very dear to me. So mixing known LHP images to my idea of universal stability (and satanism) was, in my oppinion, a good way to start.
(Quick point here, the same balance I try to keep with takin my LHP and RHP tattoos on their own sides, or hands...get it...)

Tattoo 2. chest, right side. A sigl of Lucifer on the background with the falling angel from Gustave Dore's "Michael Casts out all of the Fallen Angels" on front.
Tattoo 3/4. both hands. Solve & Coagula, written in two seperate types of runes. Left hand has a medieval latin rune alphabet and R.hand Elder Futhark. (Taken ritualisticly)
Tattoo 5/6. Chest, left side. Anatomic-style heart, and a Chaos star on top with scarification.
Tattoo 7. Left hand, below number 1. Gustave Dore's "Death on the pale Horse". Symbolizing death as a beautiful, yet certain, thing. (My tattoo artis also said, while turning the image around, that: "now you have the same direction...").

Edit: Piercing has never been really my thing, but with the right consept...maybe.
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Jiva
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Re: Tattoos and other body modification

Postby Jiva » Fri Jun 24, 2016 7:21 pm

Currently I only have three small tattoos. I have ‘grand plans’ but as I’m terrible at organising anything and money is an issue, I don’t know how long this will take.

The first was an Alu charm on one wrist. Norse mythology has been a longstanding interest and I liked the dual meanings: it literally means “ale”, but also has connotations of ecstatic states, protection and so on. As people used to inscribe it onto swords and shields I thought having it tattooed on an arm would be fitting as, at the time, my life revolved around martial arts. In fact, I think I had it tattooed after walking past a friend’s tattoo shop after being injured during training.

The second was the first verse from Mana Mana’s Valtatie on the right side of my stomach. A Finnish guy I used to know recommended Mana Mana by sending this song to me when I was sixteen. When the lyrics were later translated for me I somehow felt that I’d always known their meaning. It uses pretty standard psychological imagery (high and low roads, sun and moon), but is also quite modern in the way they’re expressed. Plus, as someone interested in Nietzschean philosophy, I like how it beings with emotional or spiritual pain and ends on a question.

The third was a bindrune on my other wrist. I got this one after I started to become interested in the psychological/occult/whatever but before I joined the SoA. It’s quite New Agey I guess, but I roughly took the words for “unity” and “separate” from as many Germanic languages I could think of until I had every letter of the Elder Futhark represented. Then I fit them together so every letter is clearly visible while making the overall shape a representation of these interlinked concepts.
'Oh Krishna, restless and overpowering, this mind is overwhelmingly strong; I think we might as easily gain control over the wind as over this.'
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Heith
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Re: Tattoos and other body modification

Postby Heith » Sat Jun 25, 2016 2:10 pm

Without being too detailed about it:

I've had quite many piercings in the past. This was and wasn't a spiritual thing; there is a spiritual experience in pain, but the aesthetics held no spiritual meanings to me. At one point I recall it was more like a test to finding my limit in physical and psychological discomfort. I also liked the control aspect related to this kind of things, which I still find appealing as it can be quite ritualistic.

I've some tattoos but only the latest are meaningful spiritually. But then again, I wasn't a spiritual person when I was younger. From now on, each tattoo is spiritual. I don't regret my old ones though, they represent different eras.

Struggling with the same money issues as Jiva, so new tattoos have to wait some.
Otava
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Re: Tattoos and other body modification

Postby Otava » Wed Jul 06, 2016 12:01 pm

Jiva wrote:The second was the first verse from Mana Mana’s Valtatie on the right side of my stomach.
I like Mana Mana a lot so this caught my eye. I have some pictures taken from old zine called Lihanukke where Jouni Mömmö was interviewed. It's in finnish but let me know if you want them.

My relationship with tattoos is a bit complicated. There's a sleeve project still going on on my left hand. Apocalyptic visions, death, dead bird with a part of human skeleton inside, carousel from Katatonias Lethean single cover. Probably 60% done. I am pretty satisfied with these but still... If I'd got a second chance I would decide to not to take a single tattoo. Since I've gotten this far there's no turning back, SO there's going to be a lot more, haha.

There's no spiritual meaning in these tattoos but the next ones will have. There are some ‘grand plans’ as well.
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Jiva
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Re: Tattoos and other body modification

Postby Jiva » Sat Jul 09, 2016 6:41 pm

Anthony wrote:I like Mana Mana a lot so this caught my eye. I have some pictures taken from old zine called Lihanukke where Jouni Mömmö was interviewed. It's in finnish but let me know if you want them.
Thanks for the offer, but I think I already have this interview as part of the Totuus Palaa re-release that Svart put out last year :P. I actually stated learning Finnish last year sometime and started translating some of the interviews as practice and a way of learning vocabulary. Unfortunately, I’ve basically had to stop this as I’m moving to the Netherlands for at least a year and have prioritised learning Dutch, but I guess I’ll probably return to Finnish again someday.
'Oh Krishna, restless and overpowering, this mind is overwhelmingly strong; I think we might as easily gain control over the wind as over this.'
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E.Velestie
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Re: Tattoos and other body modification

Postby E.Velestie » Thu Jul 14, 2016 10:12 am

I had quite many piercings a bit younger but not anymore.
Can't use them in my current job so I took all off.
About tattoos - I don't have any and probably never will, since I can't imagine a image I would like to carry on rest of my life.
But who knows, maybe I change my mind someday :)
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Thelithiz
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Re: Tattoos and other body modification

Postby Thelithiz » Fri Jul 22, 2016 1:04 pm

I have been almost proud never being tatooed or pierced even on ears, since almost everyone have bm of some kind these days. But time to time having a tattoo seems very tempting, and I am interested in other's tattoos also, and what do they mean. I tend to draw/write runes or whatever comes on my skin. Maybe in a proper point of my life if I have some money...
(And sorry my bad english again)

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