Inspired by a post a friend wrote on his blog a while ago I have decided to write about my tattoos. Most people choose their tattoos for particular reasons and most of mine have meanings that link into aspects of my spiritual path, some were done as acts of devotion. I currently have eight separate tattoos with more planned although I didn’t expect to get hooked the way I have been.
About ten years ago now I got my first tattoo. I picked something that I couldn’t imagine ever not liking and that’s a horse. I added to this fairly small stylised horse a six spoked wheel above it like a sun. This six spoked wheel was the symbol of the Brythonic community I was part of at that time, Dun Brython. Dun Brython faded as an active community but the website and much of the material developed lives on. I included that symbol because Brython meant to much to me at the time but the most important aspect of that first tattoo was and still is the horse.
It was several years before I got my next tattoo and that one is on the inside of my left forearm. I choose my next tattoo for mental health reasons. The meanings of the Ogham symbols I choose are a reminder to me of the challenges of change.
The first Ogham Fid I chose is Uath or Huathe. This Fid has a meaning linked to terror, fear and horror. It’s also linked to the tree hawthorn. I suffer from anxiety. Social anxiety is the main aspect of this but I sometimes feel a more generalised anxiety. Anxiety at it’s core is fear. The tree hawthorn has sharp thorns and in the UK at least it’s often used for hedging and field boundaries. This symbol reminds me to recognise my own limitations and boundaries. I can either work with these limitations or ignore them and let things overwhelm me and send me spiralling into fear and anxiety again.
The second Fid I chose is Ruis which is linked to reddening of faces caused by intense emotion and in modern druidry it is linked to the elder tree. The elder is a lovely little tree frequently the first to come into leaf in my area its flowers are delicate and its berries are rich. It’s a tree that grows easily in neglected ground. The lore around it is full of magical links and stories connecting it to fairy queens and witches. It is a tree of protection if treated well and a potent symbol of change. I chose it to remind me of both the need for change and the beauty that can be found in change (even if the changes are challenging).
The third Fid I chose is Beith which has the meaning of birch. Birch trees are known as a coloniser tree. Birch twigs have been used for both brooms to clean and switches to beat people with in the past, they are still used for brooms now. Birch sap can be gathered and used to make syrup and wine and the bark has a range of used from the outer peeling layers being used for fire kindling to thicker bark strips being used to make containers. It is a tree linked to cleansing and new beginnings and I chose it to remind me to look forward for new beginnings.
This second tattoo looks fairly simple but it’s layered with meaning for me and it a constant reminder to me to take care of my mental health.
It was this second tattoo that seemed to open the gate for me to wanting more tattoos done and although at one stage I thought that third or forth one would be the last I now know I am hooked. My next post about my ink will introduce my first coloured tattoo and my growing love of colour.