I have two tattoos at the moment and will have more (mix tape, sanskrit phrase, cello strings with f-holes, whorehounde/deer, some tribal trees, mushrooms on my right foot) as time, money, and ideas permit. I like tattoos. They're tribally symbolic to each individual. You ask anyone with a tattoo and they'll tell you a story about what it means to them. I think it's a cool cultural tradition.
This was my first tattoo (on the back of my neck, in case you can't tell) that I got about two years ago (give or take months, not sure, but I think it was in 2007). It's a tribal representation of a triskele (also called a triskellion, etc). This symbol has been used in many cultures, almost always to symbolize some sort of trilogy of elements (earth, wind, fire or peter, paul, and mary, ha ha) or other mystical forces. My favorite interpretation of the symbol is the three stages of womanhood: Mother, Maiden, and Crone. It's one of my mom's favorite symbols and a few years ago my mom, sister Cara, and I went to see a tarot card reader (I think he calls himself a shaman) we have gone to a lot over the years named Shane (I grew up in a pretty New-Agey environment). It was a ceremony celebrating our relationships to one another; a coming of age ritual (with custom-made herbal incense and dirt and everything) celebrating me as Maiden, Cara as new (Gavin was still in the womb!) Mother, and Mom's passing of the torch of Motherhood onto Cara and accepting the wisdom of heading into the Crone stage of her life. I think at the time, I was embarking upon veganism, but THAT didn't take. Anyway, the triskele tattoo (done by then fledgling tattoo artist Cory of Electric Art) was meant to be an homage to not only these three stages of womanhood (and any other three things I may like at the moment--peanut butter, jelly, and rye bread!!), but also to this dorky little ceremony we had right before Gavin (my nephew) was born. I really liked getting this tattoo. It was a strange vibratory pain that was more soothing than painful. It was a really positive experience and since Cory was just starting out, it was a free tattoo as well!!!
My second tattoo is one of legend, as in, not many people have actually SEEN it, as I don't like to pull my pants down to show people very often. Here it is, for those that knew OF it, but hadn't actually seen it!! This one's based on this little glass unicorn I've had since I was really little. Also done by Cory. It needs a little touching up and I want to add little black hearts to it as well. There's nothing really symbolic about this one. I just thought it would be funny if I got a unicorn tattoo and I used to joke about it with my old friend Zach Miller, that he would get an "evil" unicorn and I'd get a "good" unicorn, but he never held up on his side of the deal (yet).
Here's the little glass unicorn that the tattoo is based upon. As I get more ink, I'm sure I'll post it.