I didn’t really even think about getting tattooed until my father passed away. Once I had just posted something dumb on Facebook, about writing an essay or something, and my father commented “Jaksaa jaksaa” (in English: Keep going, keep going) on my post. After that comment I never heard of him again, so they ended up to be the last words he ever said to me. That’s when I really began to feel I have to tattoo those words on my skin. My graduation party was just approaching, and as a graduation present I got a gift card to a tattoo shop. I find this tattoo the most low-quality of all my tattoos, and I’m not completely happy with it. But at that time I wasn’t sure whether this was a good tattoo or not.
I’m planning to keep my left leg as a place for memorial tattoos only. I feel like tattooing anything else there could turn out to be a bad sign. Even though I’m not a superstitious person by definition, on some occasions these kind of ground rules are important to me. So, at some point this leg is going to get more tattoos, but I hope that won’t happen in a long time. I like the idea of memorial tattoos, as they are something you can’t regret. It’s really impossible to regret the fact that you miss someone.
It took maybe two or three years before I got my next tattoo. It was January, I had my birthday coming, and suddenly I just thought damn, I want to get a small tattoo as soon as possible. I was lucky to have a tattoo appointment for the next weekend, so I went there and got these wrist tattoos. Writing has always been my thing, and at first I thought I would only have text tattoos on my skin. But as soon as I got my first image tattoo, I felt they would be the only kind of tattoos I wanted to have anymore. So, here are the only text tattoos that I currently have. In the future I might get some more text tattoos, but if I do, they have to be about something that really matters to me.
These two words together are like a scale, and I must remember to keep these both sides stabilized. I have lots of passion but no patience at all, so I have to balance these two features in me. The funniest part is that the patience tattoo has faded over the years, whereas the passion side has just spread and got darker. So, they seem to appear just the way I thought they would – not very balanced.
I got this tattoo on Halloween 2016. Originally, I had booked the appointment together with my friend in order to get similar tattoos, but eventually she couldn’t attend. Nevertheless, I didn’t want to cancel the appointment, and since I also had this other idea in my mind, I ended up getting this tattoo. These are chakras, the seven focal points of a human body. They start right above your head and end up at the base of the spine. The lowest one is the root chakra, which keeps you rooted in the earth. After that comes the sacral chakra, solar plexus, heart chakra, throat chakra, third-eye chakra, and as the topmost the crown chakra which keeps you linked to the universe.
I’m not the kind of person who would truly believe in these sorts of things. However, for me this tattoo has become a symbol of mental well-being, and it reminds me that I must take care of myself and maintain my own well-being. This is absolutely my favorite tattoo and very dear to me. After all, only few people pay attention to the meaning of these signs. This tattoo looks a bit like jewelry, so it looks nice even when you aren’t familiar with the meaning.
The owl is still my biggest tattoo and the second favorite of my tattoos. I love owls, they have been my favorite thing since I was a kid. When I was little, we had this sort of “Bring your own favorite toy” day at the kindergarten, and whereas everyone else had their cuddly dog or cat toy with them, I had my owl toy. And all the other kids laughed at me.
Of all my tattoos, I think the owl represents myself the most. This is like a self-portrait with no deeper symbolism behind it. I also wanted to include a mandala on this tattoo, but I didn’t want it to be too obvious somehow, so it became a part of the owl. Many people have said that this mandala looks more like a pine cone, which I actually wouldn’t mind at all. A pine cone owl would be great, too!
I’ve noticed that my right side has become the one that reflects what I truly am. So, in a way, it’s more like my real side, whereas my left side has these themes of my ideal self. All the spiritual-related themes and goals are here on my left side, and then my true nature, with passion and things like that, are located on the right side. My tattoos are placed like that just by an accident, I really wasn’t planning it at all.
My mother wasn’t very fond of tattoos to begin with. I suppose she felt like tattoos were only for prisoners, so she needed to process the idea for a while when I said I wanted to have tattoos. But nowadays she likes tattoos, and she actually has one on her skin, too. After my father died, she decided to have a phoenix tattoo on her leg. Then there’s of my course my granny who is threatening to leave me out of her will every time I get a new tattoo, haha!
Vegvísir derives from an Icelandic book of spells. It’s meant to serve as a guide, so it’s a kind of a rune compass. The one who carries Vegvísir will never go astray, even though she wouldn’t know her exact location. It is important that the Vegvísir is made precisely in the right way because if it’s made wrong, it will bring a huge misfortune to the one who’s carrying it. Actually, my life started to go in a wrong way right after tattooing this! But I’d like to think that now that I have this tattoo, it’s okay to wander without reason from time to time. In the end, nothing bad can happen, since I’ll never be completely lost now that I have my Vegvísir.
My husband has this same tattoo, we got these at the same time. Earlier I was against couple tattoos, but then we ended up thinking that this tattoo holds an own personal meaning for both of us. Even if we decided to break up one day, this wouldn’t remind us of anything bad. It would still tell both of us that we had a good time together. We’re just that kind of people.
I find it important that my tattoos have a meaning, and I’ve noticed that whenever I see a nice image somewhere, my brain immediately begins to develop some sort of meaning for it. I love finding a meaning in everything. I aim to have tattoos that would represent different kind of spiritual aspects, and I try to avoid tattooing images of only one certain belief or tradition. My next tattoo will be a Wiccan protection rune, and I’d also like to have some large tattoo on my thigh at some point.
My tattoos are grayscale for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I find it more aesthetic that the style of my tattoos remains unified, even though from time to time I wish I had color tattoos on my skin. Secondly, I’ve been avoiding colors because of my allergy. I have a severe atopic dermatitis, and I’ve been told that it may not be a good idea to have any tattoos at all. Well, I do have tattoos, but I’ve learned that the red color, for example, may cause allergic reactions on some people, so I’ve figured it would be wiser to stay grayscale, just to be sure.
There are times when I have pondered whether I should enhance my first tattoo or not, since it has become blurry during the years. But then again, I feel like maybe it can fade as the sorrow goes on. The tattoo is like the sorrow itself: in the beginning it’s so sharp, but little by little it fades and develops into something different. At some point, when the tattoo is nothing but a black and shapeless form of ink, I will know that things are okay now. That I have finally moved on.