Express Yourself

Welcome to Rudan Thursdays where we talk about…things! Anything from books and movies, to blog posts and authors, to food and drink.

Tattoos and tattooing have been around for probably as long as we have walked the earth. They are part of many cultures, and can be an artistic expression of self, an expression of belief such as religion or spirituality, or a way to memorialize values, people, or events.

“…the island of Great Britain takes its name from tattooing, with Britons translating as ‘people of the designs’ and the Picts, who originally inhabited the northern part of Britain, which literally means ‘the painted people’. British people remain the most tattooed in Europe. Despite some taboos surrounding tattooing, the art continues to be popular in many parts of the world.” ~ Wikipedia

My good friend Diana Murdock blogged about tattooing and body art several months ago, and that post has stayed with me since. Definitely check it out; there are several beautiful photos, including one pretty badass triskele  🙂

I’ve always wanted tattoos. Not one. Many. I have just never been able to figure out what I wanted to express. A tattoo is for life. My thought is, if you’re going to ink your body you’d better make sure what you choose is meaningful, and that ‘meaning’ is going to last – forever.

I’m a Sagittarius. For those who know and understand the signs, you right away see my dilemma. My thoughts, opinions, interests…they change with the wind! I’m constantly growing, learning, evolving. So for me, the decision of getting inked is a fairly monumental one.

Discovering the depth of my passion for the Celtic traditions has provided a starting point for me in this particular area. This passion (or obsession, depending on how you look at it) is soul deep. It is so much a part of me that no matter what happens in my life or how many times I change my opinions ~ this will never change.

Normally I cringe at words like “never,” “always,” “forever” because those are too confining for me. I like room to move, room to change…I’m like Baby – no one puts me in a corner 😛

But this…saying “this will never change” is like giving myself a gift. I am free to express myself in such a way that will always bring me joy and comfort. Plus, there are SO many aspects to the Celtic tradition that there is plenty of room for me to grow and stretch and evolve.


So…I’m getting inked! I haven’t quite decided where to start or exactly what to get first ~ I have so many ideas, they’re all crowding my mind, vying to be chosen first. But I’ll share my ideas with you as I move forward…and maybe you can give me some ideas 🙂

So talk to me. What is your opinion on tattoos? How do you express yourself?

~*~ Psst…remember that Author Spotlight I hinted at several weeks ago? Well, stay tuned, it’s happening soon! ~*~

18 thoughts on “Express Yourself

  1. I have 3 at the moment, I’ve designed the 4th, just looking now for a good artist/studio in Germany to go to. So I suppose you could say that I like them. 🙂 I don’t understand people (let’s use the stereotype of the 18-year-old kid who goes out and gets a butterfly or a tribal design) who just go out and pick on a whim. Because they usually regret it. Tattoos are for life, and it’s something to think on before you go off and get something.

    Mine all have a deep meaning to me, even though one seems trivial. Another no one understands. I made sure I wanted them though, that they were deeply meaning, that I wouldn’t regret them. They’re expressions of part of me. One is a deep passion of mine, another is a memorial for my grandma and yet also it’s got a hugely important meaning for me outside of that. Mine are all meaningful, just not how other people think.

    As for ideas – any particular Celtic symbols you’re particularly fond of? Any meaning to them that you like? Colors that hold particular meaning? Because if you had a particular symbol, and a certain color that has a deep significance, you could think about pairing the two. That’s what I did with my triskele tattoo, it’s a special design of a pendant of mine, paired with a shadowing of turquoise, because that was my grandma’s favorite color and it reminds me of her. 🙂 I like the 2 photos there though, they’re both very interesting and striking.

    1. Thanks for sharing, Gamayun. I am considering something with oak leaves, perhaps a sprig of heather (for my Scottish roots), a triskele, and knotwork – to start 😛 I’m looking into phrases as well, and ways to incorporate my children’s names into it. I recently saw a woman with a paraphraph on her shoulder and I liked the way that looked.

      I also REALLY love Celtic swords, knives and dirks, so I’m thinking of getting a sword along my side…not sure yet though, I don’t want it to look too masculine.

  2. I have one tattoo on my lower back. It’s an ink bottle with feather quill. My sister-in-law invited a tattoo artist over to her house and he did tattoos on a few of us that day.
    I want another one but I’m not sure what to get.
    Celtic designs are beautiful. Where on your body would you get it done?

    1. It’s so funny that you shared that – Diana Murdock (her link is in the post) got a feather quill tattoo! I LOVE it! It’s the perfect writer’s tattoo. I thought of maybe doing something like that as well, incorporating a Celtic design, of course 😛

      I’m partial to the shoulder-quarter sleeve tattoos. I really like how they look. I also like the back of the shoulder, the side/hip area, inner wrist, and ankle.

      1. If you get it done and feel brave enough, post a pic and let me know & I’ll do same. Maybe we could convince lots of bloggers to do it 🙂

  3. I have three tattoos. Hope to get more some day. Mine are all linked to crosses and faith and probably the next one will be to. That’s just me. I love asking people what their tats mean when I see them. There’s always a story…well, not always, but usually a story behind them! 🙂

  4. Thanks for the shout out, Kate! I just happened to be back after getting another tattoo, this time it is the symbol from my latest book cover! I’m an ink addict….. Great post!

  5. I’d love some ink, but I can never decide what I want. 🙂 Can’t wait to see what you get!

  6. Check out Pat Fish of Lucky Fish Art Kate! She specializes in Celtic art and you can buy a design to take to your local artist. At the very least it’ll give you some ideas. I’ve already bought the Maiden-Mother-Crone design I want for my lower back. I just need to save up the $$ 🙂

    I also plan to get something around my left ankle to represent the wee beasties. I’d love to do some kind of knotwork, maybe like an anklet, where every other ‘charm’ either has initials or DOB. But oldest thought it would be cooler if I got four stylized suns…which I have to say is also a great idea 🙂

    That man was having lunch with his boss the other day, happened to be next to a tattoo shop. So afterwards he stopped in for a card for me. Of course, his boss razzed him when he said he didn’t do needles. Apparently, this shop uses a different process. Definitely will be calling them 🙂

  7. Hi Kate! Congrats on deciding to get your first ink. I have two tattoos. My first was a tigerlily (about the size of a quarter) on my upper right outer thigh. A friend of mine designed it and I got it because tigerlily was a nickname of mine at the time and also because the qualities of the flower are a lot like me, innocent and wild at the same time. My second was a triquetra (same as on the cover of the book of shadows on Charmed) on my lower back. I loved that symbol from the moment I first saw it and also that it has both pagan and Christian meanings. The artist who did mine must have known the meaning, because when he put roses around it for decoration he made their stems into a triskele at the center. My next will definitely be a red quill pen and ink pot, but I’m not sure if I want writing with it or not. Best of luck to you in search to find the perfect image.

  8. You know, I see your dilemma as your biggest plus! A tattoo can also be a reminder of your past, a time when something meant greatly to you or you dreamed of becoming such and such. I have a tattoo of an Anais Nin symbol, whom I don’t read everyday, but when I first found her, she depicted everything I wanted to be as a writer. Now, the meaning has changed for me, it’s more about living life to the fullest and being unashamed of who you are. But I love thinking back of the girl I was, using my independent study time to read naughty works by Nin. 🙂

    Go get a tattoo! But I warn you, it’s exactly like If You Give a Mouse a Cookie…

  9. Tattoos ARE for life, but more than that, I think tattoos signify, catalyze or testify of change within. The old wisdom of the mystics was “as above, so below” – but this extended far beyond just talking about the heavens and the earth. As the new mark becomes a part of you, adding something new to your body, it also adds something new to the inner you. Realize that you want this tattoo because you are ready for a change and listen to your inner voice as to what that change is/needs to be. Choose your tattoo accordingly!

  10. I loooooove tattoos. In fact, I had about 14 at one time… they have all since been removed (the last one is still in the process of being removed. Ouch!) Diana has some gorgeous tattoos ~ I wish I’d thought about mine more than just being spur of the moment. Only one of my tattoos was thought out and it killed me to remove it. I still miss it, but I’m glad that I’ve removed them all. It was a deeply personal decision, as is yours to get the tattoos. I think it’s a good thing that you want to make a permanent declaration on your body. I’m excited to see what you end up with and where!

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