Aug 4, 2008

Tattooing what do they say?

The art of tattoos is in fact a very ancient sacred way of conveying a message to the world.

When native people tattooed their bodies they did it as part of a social norm, the tribe members shared this kind of visual language to say something that had a profound meaning for them and for the other tribes at their surrounding.

Everyone that saw the tattoos knew that this person belonged to a certain tribe and that they stood for something.

Today people use tattoos as a way for making a personal statement or just as a aesthetic choice in which they use the body for their art.

The statement is still there but most people in modern society use other means to declare who they are maybe because the written language is so developed.

Still there are things that can be said in a graphic way and the body is the bearer of these messages.

We no longer use tattoos for declaring our connection with the divine and to some extent we can "blame" organized religion. If we use language to say who we are then it is not just the words that we say or the art that we create but the media that we use for such declarations that counts.

Some of the things that organized religions brought are separation from our bodies. Unlike the ancient people that hold a very natural connection to nature, the body and sexuality the modern alternative took us away from this state of unison and created a stigma.

The body is either a temple to be kept spotless and dedicates to god or it is something dirty that the less attention we give him the better.

We don't see ourselves as part of the earth anymore even at a period when at least on parts of the worlds religion is getting weaker the art of tattoos is still a sign of rebellion and rejection of social values at least to some extent.

Being at one with our bodies, the earth, the sky and the divine around us should mean dissolving the duality of morality and returning to a more natural way of being and living allowing ourselves to feel our bodies, our sensuality and our connection to all that there is.

I can't tell anyone whether a tattoo is the right thing for him but I can tell that part of the social stigma on tattoos is due to fear that people or societies feel from the intensity of celebrating our bodies and the threat that this seems to hold for the social religious norms of "acceptable behavior" and the separation from the natural flow of love, sexuality, sensuality and creativity.

This guest post is by the lovely Ann from Tattoo Designs 101. To read more of her posts, click here.

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