I went back and forth deciding whether to write this article or not.
I’m just over one year into being a tattoo blogger. Starting to mentally piece together this particular blog post, I envisaged the title ‘My New Hand Symbol Tattoos & Their Meanings‘. I shuddered.
After spending the last year absorbed in this industry, I’ve gotten to know all of the things it loves, and things tattoo geeks often look down on.
The world of tattoos has changed vastly in recent years. A mass market has arrived. One of beautiful, young, Instagrammers who wouldn’t think twice about tattooing prominent areas of their bodies. Face and hand tattoos are much less controversial and many don’t think twice about inking these visible areas. Much to the dismay of many reputable tattooists in the industry.
I didn’t want my article to place me in any cliché-shaped hole, I guess.
Since wandering down this uneven path of thought, I have come to one solid conclusion. The world is a much nicer place when you don’t care what people think.
My journey as a tattoo writer is to bury myself within the viewpoints of those who are central to this bright and beautiful industry. I’ve sometimes got to remember to find my way out again.
So, back to symbol tattoos.
I was always fascinated by symbols from an early age. The concept of something being metaphorical and meaningful is why I have an interest in writing, and in tattoos, in the first place.
My first ever tattoo was an ankh symbol…
Some of the tattoos on my fingers are not fresh. The pentacle and element symbols are by the wonderful Emma Garrard. I also blogged about this truly memorable experience which incidentally took place this time last year (ish).
Since then, I had another symbol added by Dave Condon. The letter F, quite possibly one of the most memorable weekends of my life, actually. This F represents my connection to my favourite band, Foo Fighters.
The dots on my fingertips were hand-poked by Mike Love.
So… since these other hand tattoo experiences, there has sat 12 holes of skin on my fingers. I know tattoo lovers that will know what I mean when I say that these empty spaces become really annoying! We can’t help but focus on what isn’t there, rather than what actually is!
Well, these little 12 blank canvases have just been filled by Warwickshire-based tattoo artist Dan Metcalfe, and I absolutely love my completed hand symbol tattoos. In these photos, they are a few months old but have healed so perfectly!
Here are what these symbols mean to me personally…
Taurus, latin for ‘the bull’. Astrological sign. To remind me to always have the good qualities of a typical taurean – ambition, perseverance, determination and loyalty. To be independent, stubborn, a raging bull, but to accept those often negative qualities, and accept myself.
THE EGYPTIAN ANKH
The Egyptian hieroglyphic character that meant ‘life’ in ancient Egypt. A symbol for eternal life, the afterlife, and life after death. A symbol to give comfort, in times when death seems to overcome all else. To falsely give hope that we might live on once this is all over.
A five pointed star used in paganism, witchcraft and wicca. A talisman, a sacred symbol. To give me the strength to channel spiritual power for my own use and benefit in what we conceive to be the physical world.
THE ANSUZ RUNE
A symbol for communication and words. To remind me to listen to my inner voice, understand it, and communicate it coherently in all writing.
WICCAN EARTH SYMBOL
To represent the quarters of the earth and of nature. To communicate the balance of life… Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn must exist together to support the circle of life. After the dark, always comes light.
THE INGUZ RUNE
The rune of new life and new beginnings. To give me strength and courage for new projects, new chapters, new versions of myself.
Has meaning in many different cultures and belief systems. To represent journeys, constant motion, the path of life that can sometimes feel like it will never end.
Just as the sun sits at the centre of our solar system, we sit at the centre of our own individual spiritual world. Find a steady state, central to everything going on around you, and there you will find happiness.
One of the most interesting elements in our world, the moon is always changing and effecting us in ways we don’t even fully comprehend. A symbol for cycles, for movement, routines and journeys.
SPADE, DIAMOND, HEART, CLUB
Four very recognisable symbols. Partly for my family and to remind me of the best memories and great places on earth. Mainly, to convey that the most important thing to remember, is to always take risks. Life is only fun if you truly believe you’re going to win.
Do you have any symbol tattoos and what do they mean to you?
Since this article I have gone on to have another sun and moon tattoo (above)! Read about it here.
Words: Beccy Rimmer
Photos: Beccy Rimmer
Categories: Tattoo Thoughts