My Secret Meanings of Tattoos: Life, Death, and Beyond

It seems like now-a-days everyone has tattoos. As more and more pop culture icons ink their bodies, the more we see tattoos emerge world wide. The question is, "where did they originate from and what exactly do they mean?" The oldest discovery of tattooed human skin to date is found on the body of Ötzi the Iceman, which dates to somewhere between 3370 and 3100 BC.  Tattoos have also been found on Egyptian Mummies and, I'm sure tattoos even pre-date historical records back to the days of legendary Atlantis or Lumeria.

But What Do Tattoos Mean?

Tattoos can mean numerous things to each individual. In Egypt, the majority of tattoos were found on women, indicating their social status. In many cultures prostitutes would even have tattoos much like a branded scarlet letter. Many cultures also used tattoos for healing, religion, and as I mentioned, a form of punishment. Some even believe tattoos have magical qualities. In many tribal cultures all over the world tattoos are used in sacred ceremonies and are sometimes used as a way to link the tribe together in union. 

In the modern world, people still sometimes get tattoos as a means to link themselves together. Tattoo engagement rings, having a lover's name tattooed on your body, or even getting the same tattoo with a friend are perfect examples. I believe it's a way that we can express ourselves through art. Personally each of my tattoos has a deep meaning, but more recently I've come to wonder whether my tattoos my have actually been predestined.

I got my first tattoo when I originally moved to LA.  It's a small tramp stamp on my lower back. At the time I was boxing on a reality TV show pretty similar to the original "Glow" called "The Wild Girl's Fight Club." I desperately wanted a tattoo because I felt pretty bad ass. The Producer of the show told me they'd pay for it if I got it in the nude, while licking a lolli-pop. I know, but being 21 and completely brand new to LA, I said sure!

I didn't get my next tattoo until over a decade later after my ex-boyfriend passed away. My heart was shattered and I was in the greatest amount of pain I had experienced in my life. My recently deceased lover had a strong connection to dolphins. He was a surfer that even believed he was a dolphin in previous lifetimes. I decided to get a heart with a dolphin on my arm, because I will always have a piece of his heart.

During this time of heavy grief I was not very grounded and spent a lot of time meditating and connecting to the higher chakras. I got a message that I should get 6 tattoos and then love. So, I began tattooing my body. I remember going into the tattoo parlor at 8pm at night feeling the pain and yet somehow knowing it was helping to heal me.

I ended up getting a purple eye on my wrist, which I've always wanted. I had an outer body experience once when meditating and saw a giant purple eye. After that experience I always felt a strange desire to tattoo it on my wrist. After the eye, I even retouched my tramp stamp. I thought about getting it removed, but decided that it was a part of my past.  The truth is, you can't hide from who you were, you can only embrace it as part of your journey. The next tattoo was a delicate piece that wrapped around my foot like an anklet. Next was a moon hidden on the base of my neck and finally, I wanted an armband with a hanging mandala.

The Mandala Saga

I loved all my tattoos and was so happy I got them all, until the very last one around my arm. After I got it some tactfully, kind person told me that the mandala "looked likes boobs." After that comment, I realized, "OMG, my tattoo DOES look like boobs on my arm."

I didn't know what to do. I went back to the artist and tried to have him fix it, but even after adding more to the mandala it STILL looked like boobs. I began to hate my arm. If you've ever gotten a tattoo you didn't like, you know what I'm talking about and it's horrible.

I decided there was only one option: I needed to get it removed. So, I made an appointment and began the lasering process. I made it through 3 treatments with little to no results before the doctor told me there was a good chance it might not be able to be removed. I was about to try more treatments when a friend of mine told me her boyfriend was an artist. I was skeptical at the time but open to meeting and talking to him.

When I met with him I told him I wanted something that honored the Native American spirit and had an Intergalactic feel.  Two days later he showed me this magnificent drawing he had drawn I loved it! I had to wait a month to get it tatttoed because my arm was still healing from the laser. 

After I got the tattoo I loved it! But, I'm not going to lie, sometimes I do miss my arm. And, in certain outfits I wish it didn't exist. The other day during a meditation I did get a message that the tattoo was destined. It's here to remind me that I am not just Jacqui, I am a compilation of many different energies, lives and journeys. From intergalactic princess, to priestess to warrior, I possess these archetypes and their truths, as do we all. Tattoos can help us express the energies that make us unique. Much like our scars, they are a beautiful part of us and mark the chapters of our human journey.