Sacred Tattoos: More than Skin Deep

It brings me great pleasure to announce (albeit somewhat belatedly) that my dear friend and colleague Tania Marie has released her first book, called “Spiritual Skin.” When I interviewed Tania for this blog in May 2009, I asked her to write about her tattoos. Little did we know that her interview would become so popular! People began to email Tania with more and more questions about her process, designs and how tattoos could become part of one’s spiritual journey. Even back then, I urged her to write at least an e-book, and after much work, she has done a beautiful job!

“Spiritual Skin” is now available in both e-book and on Amazon. It offers a thorough, inspired and empowering look at spiritual tattoos from ancient history to deciding what or if to tattoo now. Tania helps readers discover themselves and their deepest yearnings for self-expression. I have already referred clients to this book and they love it! (Please note: Tania does offer an affiliate program for the e-book, but I’m not affiliated with it. I just love her book and know from helping clients decide about tattoos that Tania has really covered every angle in a heartfelt, inspiring way.)

Here’s an excerpt about portals, which blog readers know I love (and paint!):

…A growing body of literature supports the idea that portals can transport spiritual practitioners into altered states of consciousness.

American psychologist Charles Tart believed that through the study of altered states of consciousness, the apparent gulf between science and spirituality could be bridged.

“We cannot ignore data that is not physical,” Tart wrote.

After several years of research, Tart came to believe that there are several universal techniques used by varying figures, which can access alternate realities through portals. These include use of the senses, mandalas, voice and musical instruments, body movements and decoration, physical pain and olfactory and tactile stimuli.

Of significance to those interested in tattoos is the fact that visual symbols can act as portals accessing altered states of awareness. As commentator Nevill Drury has noted, “visual symbols may be employed to expand sensory awareness. Here a key point is that the inner, meditative experience of an image or symbol can be as ‘real’ to the individual as the perception of a more tangible object in the physical world.” This confirms that tattoos can serve as portals to transport their wearer to altered states.

Different forms of spiritual healing or more extreme situations directly affect tactile portals (points of contact or penetration on the outer surface of the body that create altered and spiritual renewal experiences).

This leads to another area of significance for tattoos as portals – their use in the ceremonial infliction of pain. For example, ritual flagellation in some branches of medieval Christianity was believed to enhance devotional connection with the suffering Christ. Modern day tattooing, body piercing, bondage, sensory deprivation, fetishes and body rituals are believed by some to serve as portals to altered states of consciousness and designed to “transform the body” to allow one to experience a “greater reality.” Workshops led by people such as Fakir (California-based, modern day primitive, shaman, master piercer and body modifier) are held to facilitate this and said to induce transformational experiences, to be physically freeing and similar to near-death experiences.

Thus, there is significant support for the idea that tattooing can help one access altered dimensional states and experiences of energetic portal opening for healing and spiritual renewal. Body art can greatly affect your daily experience, whether through intentional meditational practice or simply the awareness of its symbolism.

The specific images and symbols you choose in a tattoo can help enhance specific things in your life, strengthen energy that is operating at less than its potential, open points that feel blocked, enhance and create potency to specific chakras, convey healing energy to specific regions, reveal your essence to others, heal karmic energy, connect with past lives, and tap into your subconscious and latent gifts. All of this can be done through the ancient art of tattooing, a means of rewriting your soul’s history, empowering your experience through “spiritual skin,” and creating an auric resonance to the energy of your choosing.

The significance of tattoos lies in the beliefs and intents we place upon them. And when imbued with our experience, our beliefs and intents yield deeper potency that can support personal empowerment.

When you allow your tattoos to empower you in this fashion, you are not only tapping into specific energies personal to you, but you are also tapping into the Collective Consciousness energy as you embrace and apply universal symbolism.

Images and art are universal means of communicating where words fall short, and they convey much more than language allows. They unite people beyond the color of their skin and what others see as their outside reflection. Tattoos, while controversial to some, are like fine art, transcending all boundaries and holding individualistic beauty and meaning relative to each person.

It’s no wonder so many feel drawn to this personal art form of expression and that it has been carried on throughout the ages. With tattoos, we can definitely say that a picture speaks a thousand words…

For more information, reviews and links to buy the book, you can check out the Spiritual Skin website here. Even people like me who have no intention of ever getting a tattoo will find gems of wisdom and love embedded in this gorgeous offering. Blessings and thanks to Tania Marie for this special contribution.

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