I've been considering this idea for some time now. By profession I am a tattooist, and considering how sacred the act of tattoo is despite how the media portrays it, and how many adorn their body without seeing it in such regard; I myself hold deep reverence for it as I do my spiritual belief. I would like to open a discussion on the subject, and hear the thoughts of anyone whom has thought/experienced/performed such rituals or spells. I understand not many may have experience in this department, so any thoughts, advice, or general musings on the subject from anyone are more than welcome. I'm not looking to perform anything specific, just a thought as to perhaps incorporating it one day into something.......maybe.
As it happens, I am actually working on a sigil of sorts on my arm. It's only in it's basic form as of now, but I plan on adding detail to it as I go. One thing about tattoos is they are pretty much permanent. If someone wants to ink a spell, I would recommend that they make it as original as possible. Draw it by hand, as I did, and make sure it contains all the meaning/signs desired. My next addition will be incorporating the design on my circle onto a shell of a turtle. The turtle is my spirit animal, and the design I have now counts for protection against spirits, the three cardinal emotions, the ever-watchful eye of god, as well as other things. After the turtle is complete, I will continue my path as usual, and contemplate the next addition to my "living sigil". Hope this helped.
The only thing wrong with tying magic into tats like that is that as you grow, those influences or symbols that you place on you now may not be appropriate. We all grow and change, and who you are now may not be who you are ten or twenty years from now.
I personally have never had any tattoo's done. (I have enough people who want to stab me with things. I don't need to pay someone to do it. Lol!) I would rather show off that part of me that can't be seen, that inner light, rather than have someone distracted by the images I have put on my body. But, that is just my view. It may be right for some people, and I don't judge anyone.
I completely understand one not wanting tattoos, I also see it on a regular basis that people make these permanent decisions without reflectionof how they may view themselves in the future. I do always try my best to help people in thier tattoos, almost counciling them you may say lol. I love the points of view here on this subject, and of course if I ever did intend on following through on one my myself, say an empty spot on one of my legs, I would definitely plan, design and reflect for several months, maybe even a year on the subject before followg through. Again all hypothetical, and let's keep this going, I'm loving the replies!
I totally agree with Tiredofgaggs, permanent tattoo's for spells may not be ideal for the fact the over time we as people change as well as our intents and even spirituality. SIgil drawing and Three Hand drawing (which is a Vodoun concept) can be done on the body with out being permanent with the use of Henna. Henna is great! it comes in various colors, from black to orange and red. When properly taken care of they can last up to 3 weeks. But if your not mindful then it can fade with in the 1st week. Before using henna test a little bit on your skin to make sure your not allergic.
I have always liked the idea of a tattoo but have never been drawn to an image enough to have it done.
As for tattoos in spiritual belief as I'm sure you know goes back into the darkness of time before written record. The overwhelming factor that comes from many of the enduring tattoos is the theme of protection. From the Maori fish hook to western sailors having navigation means tattooed on them they were all believed to offer the person good fortune and protection. So I would have to say if I was going to have one for spiritual belief I would go with imagery from that belief that was to do with protection. I know many will consider such things superstitions or even fluff and not worthy of being discussed along with magick but no one here I would hope would deny the power of images.
I spent five years doing dedicational work to the deities I work with inside the Norse pantheon. After five years, as a reward and symbol of my work, I started getting tattoos to represent each of those main deities I worked with.
Across my ribs and front of my chest is a symbol I came up with to honor Loki. I used the tattoo experience, and the pain, as ordeal work and as an offering. For me, it went really well. The state of mind I reached not only was good for my working, but also distracted my mind from the pain of the tattoo. I look at it proudly in the mirror every day.
Next tuesday I am getting another tattoo. Eventually most of my body will be covered. I plan to have Nidhogg, Fenrir, Hel, Skoll/Hati and more inked into my skin. And each time I do this, I plan to use it as an offering.