Spiritual Skin

  Sacred Tattoos:         

Sacred Tattoos:

More than Skin Deep


By Tania Marie

Read an Excerpt

...A growing body of literature supports the idea that portals can transport spiritual practitioners into altered states of consciousness. 


American psychologist Charles Tart believed that through the study of altered states of consciousness, the apparent gulf between science and spirituality could be bridged. 


“We cannot ignore data that is not physical,” Tart wrote.


After several years of research, Tart came to believe that there are several universal techniques used by varying figures, which can access alternate realities through portals. These include use of the senses, mandalas, voice and musical instruments, body movements and decoration, physical pain and olfactory and tactile stimuli.


Of significance to those interested in tattoos is the fact that visual symbols can act as portals accessing altered states of awareness. As commentator Nevill Drury has noted, “visual symbols may be employed to expand sensory awareness. Here a key point is that the inner, meditative experience of an image or symbol can be as ‘real’ to the individual as the perception of a more tangible object in the physical world.” This confirms that tattoos can serve as portals to transport their wearer to altered states. 


Different forms of spiritual healing or more extreme situations directly affect tactile portals (points of contact or penetration on the outer surface of the body that create altered and spiritual renewal experiences).  


This leads to another area of significance for tattoos as portals – their use in the ceremonial infliction of pain. For example, ritual flagellation in some branches of medieval Christianity was believed to enhance devotional connection with the suffering Christ. Modern day tattooing, body piercing, bondage, sensory deprivation, fetishes and body rituals are believed by some to serve as portals to altered states of consciousness and designed to “transform the body” to allow one to experience a “greater reality.” Workshops led by people such as Fakir (California-based, modern day primitive, shaman, master piercer and body modifier) are held to facilitate this and said to induce transformational experiences, to be physically freeing and similar to near-death experiences. 


Thus, there is significant support for the idea that tattooing can help one access altered dimensional states and experiences of energetic portal opening for healing and spiritual renewal. Body art can greatly affect your daily experience, whether through intentional meditational practice or simply the awareness of its symbolism.  


The specific images and symbols you choose in a tattoo can help enhance specific things in your life, strengthen energy that is operating at less than its potential, open points that feel blocked, enhance and create potency to specific chakras, convey healing energy to specific regions, reveal your essence to others, heal karmic energy, connect with past lives, and tap into your subconscious and latent gifts. All of this can be done through the ancient art of tattooing, a means of rewriting your soul’s history, empowering your experience through “spiritual skin,” and creating an auric resonance to the energy of your choosing. 


The significance of tattoos lies in the beliefs and intents we place upon them. And when imbued with our experience, our beliefs and intents yield deeper potency that can support personal empowerment. 


When you allow your tattoos to empower you in this fashion, you are not only tapping into specific energies personal to you, but you are also tapping into the Collective Consciousness energy as you embrace and apply universal symbolism. 


Images and art are universal means of communicating where words fall short, and they convey much more than language allows. They unite people beyond the color of their skin and what others see as their outside reflection. Tattoos, while controversial to some, are like fine art, transcending all boundaries and holding individualistic beauty and meaning relative to each person. 


It’s no wonder so many feel drawn to this personal art form of expression and that it has been carried on throughout the ages. With tattoos, we can definitely say that a picture speaks a thousand words...

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