.. this is my homage to Caroline’s hard work and artistic talent, without her I would not have had my vision realized..
.. And not just the wrinkles (or the saggy skin, and don’t get me started on the old lady arms).. not just of my age or my delicious croneholio-ness.. but of my choices and of my spirituality.
My first tattoo was a small rose on my hip. I was eighteen years old and quite rebellious for a nerdy girl. It started out as a mark of being freed into adulthood, soon to embark on my newly married life.. one that turned pretty quickly. I am a survivor of domestic abuse and although I do not detail it much – I am very proud to be so. It is but a small part of who I am, and so my little rose became a reminder of the folly of giving up too much of oneself.
I have added to it a crescent moon and a small crow for this freedom hard earned.. crow being the one mine who brings the hard lessons. The husband now has seen me through those 20 plus years of freedom and this not so new beginning has been reworked into another rose.. for a relationship true. A compass rose, which Caroline helped me to figure, and which I’ve come to think of as finding my way.
I had been asked by several about the amount of tattooing that I have undergone recently. I waited a good many years to be sure that I had the money, the time, and a good artist. Why these, why so many, why now.. for spirit, it was necessary, and I wanted to be sure. I didn’t wish to repeat the mistakes of my youth. Enter Caroline.. I wanted someone that I could trust – I don’t just shed my clothes for anyone. I also wanted them tied to my personal and my spirituality.. a giving of the flesh.
I had actually started these a bit before.. the spine for my voice, a pentacle moon for my path, the dragonfly mine, and my first spirit animal – the white one on my chest. At that point came an unscheduled break due to finances and family.. followed by the discovery of my ancestry and the death of my father. I knew a mermaid would be next.. whose strong folklore calls to those ancestral lands. The last trip off with my father before the sickness took hold was to the ocean, he also loved the water. Caroline was the only one I’d trust for such an undertaking.. so eventually I made my way back.
Following the mermaid was Bear and the one wing. Bear is one of mine and ties closely to Walking Bear.. at least in my mind they intermingle at times. The one wing ties to my journey work and a specific set of workings, which brought to me dragonfly. My girls have since filtered out of my life and further on to their own (which is much the point), and the wing is there to remind me of all that I have learned. Spider, the weaver of paths, has been added.. as has my favorite (and most important) one.. the seer’s sigil and the spirit hare. Yes, there are those wrought with emotion, those covering past mistakes, and those more beautifully intricate (again, a testimony of Caroline’s talent) but this one.. this one is my favorite as it is the completion of my pair. The white one and the brown. The one who holds the gate and the one who travels with me.