It’s been a couple of months now since getting my tattoo. I’m just about getting used to it. It’s a bit higher than I had expected it to be so is on show a bit more than I thought it would be!
It’s been a long time in the making. It’s been just over ten years since my last one, which I got when I was 18, in the Christmas break of my first year of uni. Like many awkward teenage girls, I was struggling with self-harm, and I decided a tattoo would be a more positive way of marking myself. I was studying Celtic Culture at uni and loved the artwork and mythology. I decided to get a triquetra over my sacrum (yes, a ‘tramp stamp‘, get over it people!), as a symbol of things that are threefold. At the time I felt I was moving into a new stage of my life and so it felt like a good representation of the triple goddess: the maiden, the mother and the crone.
That was a whole decade ago, and although perhaps I am still in the ‘maiden’ stage of my life, I felt drawn to get another tattoo. You know those times when you notice something, and then you keep noticing it everywhere? Last year, I kept stumbling across representations of the tree of life. In science books, in Michael Chabon’s Summerland, in the silhouette of the tree on the common I can see from my bedroom window, and in particular while I was doing some early morning yoga in a yurt on the hooping retreat I went to last year. Not many people were up and about, and I was the only one in the yurt, which had a big celtic tree of life mandala wall hanging. It was a really lovely peaceful moment that I wanted to remember.
To me, the tree reminds me that we are all connected and also reminds me of my roots, and my family in particular. I like how the concept has been used by so many different philosophies, religions as well as science. You can only see the tree quite faintly within the mandala, as the tattooist was inspired by the dotwork of Thomas Hooper.
They’re a bit addictive, although it might be another ten years before I get round to deciding on another one!