As an artist, I do love tattoos. Especially when they are well-designed creations painted with skill.
However, this isn’t quite how I would describe my initial four small tattoos which were impulse purchases between the ages of fourteen and eighteen. Absolutely no thought went into them whatsoever. I literally would just rock up the nearest tattooist and with a few quid in my pocket, pick out something from the book of designs and go for it!
Fast forward 30 years and things have changed dramatically in the UK. For a start, it is illegal to tattoo any minor under the age of eighteen and conditions of the studios are subject to stringent health and safety regulations. A far cry from when, at age fifteen, I popped my boob out of my bra in front of a waiting room full of people and told the old tattooist to paint a rose on it!
I want to be a painted lady. I love tattoos
Last November, in Goa, I decided it was time again to make that mark on my skin . This time, however, it was going to be different. This time, I wanted my skin to be permanently painted with a design which meant something dear to me. A design which demonstrated who I was. A reflection of my inner mind, of what makes me tick.
The child of Shiva and Shakti, The Remover of Obstacles. The elephant headed God.
Understanding the metaphor of Shiva and Shakti is an understanding of great spiritual wealth. Adam and Eve, Yin and Yang. Parusha and Prakruti. The Divine Feminine and Masculine energies from whenceforth we have all been created are Universal Truth and I wished to have this truth etched on my skin whilst I am alive and living in this 4D reality we call life.
I browsed various tattoo studios in North Goa but they were all shit. Less of a studio and more of a back ( or front ) street hovel. Side by side, these tattoo parlours line the tourist drag with nothing new or authentic to offer. The shop fronts all display the same photoshopped images of models with incredible tattoos which the artists can only dream of creating. One guy in a shop was so fucking stoned he couldn’t even make eye contact. I wasn’t going to let him loose on my arm!
And then I found Mandala Tattoo in Arambol. I noticed the painted sign hanging from up high so I climbed the stairs and entered into a proper art studio. Painted designs of manadals adorned the walls and I knew I had come to the right place.
I talked with Suraj, the beautiful Nepalese guy and the creator of the designs. He spoke with such creativity and with such passion for his work. I was hooked. I was in. This was the guy for me! We discussed the initial Ganesh design but what followed flowed from Suraj’s own beautiful and creative mind. He is a true artist.
My initial sittings were of Lord Ganesha. I slept. I actually SLEPT whilst being tattooed. I felt sooo relaxed! I knew I was supposed to be feeling pain but I didn’t. The sound of the gun and the pulling sensation on my arm was hypnotic.
During the mandala sitting I experienced a higher state of consciousness. Suraj tattooed my mandala with dot work.
I layed on the bed and felt the pain of that needle making minute dots into my skin. I knew I could overcome this pain, Instead of fearing this pain I knew I could make peace with it. And at the moment I decided to do that, at the moment I released my egoic mind, at the moment I decided to be completely present with this pain energy and to view it as my friend, I overcame it. I became one with the pain. I realised the pain as pure energy. And in the moment I did that, the energy of pain ceased to exist. The pain became an entity which I knew I had control over. And with this realisation, wonders happened.
Suraj and I became surrounded by pure light. It was Divine. My senses became extremely heightened. I could hear people talking on the balcony of the studio. And then I could see them even though a wall divided us. White light burst forth from my hands and fingertips.
And then I felt nothing, No pain. I could feel the tugging on my skin but the pain was completely numb.
Mandalas are very powerful energy forces. When we think about them, draw them, create them, we are, energetically, allowing ourselves to tap into a Universal truth. The Universe wants us to experience these truths. The Universe wants us to align with it’s forces because those forces are OUR forces because we ARE the Universe. Every single cell in our body is a mandala, is a Universal Truth. We are the microcosm of the macrocosm.
Please enjoy the photo’s of the unfolding of my tattoo.
Love Heidi xx