Spiritual tattooing or sacred ink, falls under the umbrella of body modification along with scarification, piercing, and branding. It is often believed that it cleanses or purifies, and for many who endure these processes, see it as a step on their spiritual journey. There are many purposes in applying spiritual symbols on the skin, whether in permanent or temporary markings, these include the need to protect, heal, cleanse, empower, connect with spirit, enhance abilities or magical skills, and unify further the mind, body, and spirit.
To date, evidence of tattooing has been found in many cultures as far back as 5,200 years. It seems to have more significant purposes than merely beauty enhancements. Originally, “nearly all indigenous people who tattooed practiced shamanism, the oldest human spiritual religion.” “Shamanism is animism: the belief that all life – whether animal, vegetable, or human – is endowed with a spiritual life force. Sacrificial offerings, especially those made in blood, were like financial transactions that satisfied spirits because they were essentially “paid off” for lending their services to humankind or to satisfy debts like infractions of a moral code which most indigenous peoples around the world observed.” (http://larskrutak.com/shamanic-skin-the-art-of-magical-tattoos/)
When we consider the early exchange or offering of blood as a transaction for protection , healing, or other purposes, it brings an enhancement in the connection with spirituality and magic that so many modern pagans, among other cultural groups are seeking when placing tattoos on their bodies. It is in itself a form of blood magic, an ancient and powerful practice. Blood is the life force of beings and with it and the combination of the soul, it is truly the only commodity in the spiritual realm that has value.
When we think about energy work and the concept of body memories being carried on in lifetime to lifetime through not only DNA, as recently proven in research with the grandchildren of Holocaust survivors, but also in the body memories of trauma from the atrocities endured during that period, we realize that the act of receiving protective or other types of spiritual or sacred tattoos becomes not only part of the flesh in this physical realm of this lifetime, but also as part of a protective energetic shield connected with the soul, the DNA in every lifetime thereafter.
It makes me wonder, that if we were to envision these tattoos as being visible with a black light of sorts, peering through lifetimes, would not our entire bodies be covered with the multiple of tattoos upon the soul, but also, scars, wounds, and injuries etc., most of which hold some sort of power either positive or negative upon our spiritual beings.
So far this sounds incredible and only power enhancing, however there is a negative perspective as well that should be considered. There are also beliefs from other cultures that do not support tattooing, and alternative have either a negative energetic effect on us or are in violation of spiritual laws.
Some of the possible negative effects are that tattooing is vanity and beauty focused and therefore enhances the ego rather than supporting an attitude of humility which is desired to maintain a lifestyle of gratitude and alignment with spirit.
Another reason is that the actual designs are not truly spiritual in nature and carry a negative energy or intent and therefore are actually disruptive to the subtle body’s energetic field. It is because of these reasons, the tattoo actually creates a negative environment on a permanently level that the spirit has to exist in and it creates distress, bringing down the overall vibration which can lead to physical disease.
Marking the body in these ways increases, or draws negative entities toward you and increases instances of vulnerability which can lead to disease. Also, this “damage” to the body increases “heat” within the body which is a negative and undesirable condition resulting in a body imbalance.
In Jewish culture, tattooing is strictly forbidden for the following reasons:
- “The human body is G‑d’s creation, and it is therefore unbefitting to mutilate G‑d’s handiwork. It is especially unbefitting for members of G‑d’s chosen nation to mutilate their bodies. One must believe that G‑d, the greatest artisan of all, formed him or her in the most fitting way, and one must not change this form. Changing one’s body (unless it is for health reasons) is tantamount to insulting G‑d’s handiwork.
- In ancient times, it was customary for idol-worshippers to tattoo themselves as a sign of commitment to their deity—much like an animal that is branded by its owner. On many occasions the Torah forbids practices that emulate pagan customs, considering that following their traditions is the first step towards subscribing to their idolatrous beliefs and services.
- The covenant of circumcision is unique in its being a sign in our bodies of our relationship with G‑d. Making other signs in one’s body would weaken and cheapen this special sign.”http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/631046/jewish/Why-Does-Judaism-Forbid-Tattoos.htm)
So, depending on your perspective, spiritual path or inclination, receiving a tattoo on your body warrants some considerable thought, not only in the design and location, but also in its purpose. You must weigh the value of the art and its meaning for you.
I personally have several tattoos, all spiritual in nature. They work for me, they do certain things and impact me on a deep spiritual and energetic level. It is the right choice for me. It may not be for you, but whatever the consideration, whether for protection, healing, empowerment or other purpose, be sure that you are ready to endure the process as well as are confident that the design you choose will resonate with you now and as you age, as well as for every lifetime thereafter.
2016 copyright by Katie Pifer, available at http://www.witchpetals.wordpress.com