Kanji tattoos

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Dragons tattoos: designs and ideas

Hi, everyone.
In this post I'd like to present you the most recent tattoo gallery available on my website, www.seiza.ro: the Dragon tattoo designs gallery.

Dragons tattoo / heart tattoo / chinese writting tattoo

The first tattoo-design of this category is a tribal tattoo depicting two dragons forming a heart-shape. The text between the two dragons is written in Chinese and means "eternal love" or "everlasting love" (I think this text is quite appropriate for this tattoo-design, due to the fact that dragons were believed to be immortal creatures.

tribal dragon tattoo / heart tattoo / kanji tattoo

Next: a dragon coiled around a tribal heart. In the left side of the heart is I've written a japanese word: 智勇, which means "wisdom and courage" (in the ancient beliefs dragons were the symbol of both wisdom and courage).

lower back tattoo / tribal tattoo / japanese writing tattoo

The 3rd tattoo-design of this section is designed specifically for a lower-back tattoo. Between the two dragons is written a short text in Japanese: 龍の魂, which means "dragon's spirit" or "dragon's soul".

black and white tattoo / dragons tattoo / Yin Yang tattoo

Next: A tattoo design which depicts two dragons facing each other and the symbol Yin Yang in the background.

dragons tattoo / chinese writing tattoo: Year of the Dragon

The last image for today is a tattoo design which depicts two stylized dragons facing each other. Between the tho dragons is a slightly modified version of the Yin Yang symbol - instead of the two little inner circles I've written the Chinese word 龙年 - the Year of the Dragon.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Santa Muerte tattoos: several questions

Previous posts:
1. Death tattoos: Santa Muerte - origins and significations
2. Death tattoos: portrayals of the Santa Muerte
3. Santa Muerte tattoos: various elements which can occur in these tattoos

What could be the reason for getting a Santa Muerte tattoo? The first reason is the belief that Santa Muerte, being the saint of death, has the right to decide when one should die. By pleasing Santa Muerte, one can delay the moment of his / her death, can escape from deadly problems, etc. Besides, many of those who believe in Santa Muerte think that she can decide not only the moment of one's death but also the way in which a person will die and, consequently, a man need to gain her goodwill in order to receive a peaceful death.

Who are those willing to get a "Santa Muerte" tattoo? Initially, the Santa Muerte tattoos (just as the Santa Muerte worship) were popular only among thieves, drug-dealers, Mexican Mafia members, etc. For a stranger this might appear strange but most Mexicans and other Hispanic people, even though they are involved in gangs or other criminal activities, are deeply religious and rely on their Christian symbols to both identify and protect them. Moreover, they are exactly the people for whom the risk of death is always present and, quite obvious, they were the very first people willing to seek the Santa Muerte's protection. However, with the spread of the Santa Muerte worship, these tattoos ceased to be a symbol of the criminal underworld and nowadays there are hundreds or even thousands of ordinary Mexican Catholics who have an image of Santa Muerte tattooed on their bodies.

Are those tattoos "satanic tattoos"? On this issue, opinions are divided. The Roman Catholic Church has denounced the worship of Santa Muerte, considering it as a black magic and the Santa Muerte's followers as devil worshippers. On the other hand, many, if not all, of the Santa Muerte's followers consider themselves good Catholics. Santa Muerte figurines often stand near the statues of Jesus Christ or the Virgin of Guadalupe because the devotees to Santa Muerte do not see any contradiction between the Catholic faith and the worship of Santa Muerte. In many ways, a ritual dedicated to Santa Muerte is very similar to a Catholic rite, including procession and prayers for power healing, protection and favors.

Although there are many similarities between the two worships, Santa Muerte should not be confused with San la Muerte: San la Muerte is a "he" and is portrayed as a male skeleton, while Santa Muerte is a "she"; San la Muerte is venerated in the South America, not in Mexic; it seems that the San La Muerte cult is based on punishment and submission, etc. For more details about the San la Muerte cult visit this page: San La Muerte - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Santa Muerte tattoos: various elements which can occur in these tattoos

Previous posts:
1. Death tattoos: Santa Muerte - origins and significations
2. Death tattoos: portrayals of the Santa Muerte

Santa Muerte tattoo: Santa Muerte carrying a scythe, a globe and a scale

The two most common objects that Santa Muerte carries are a scythe and a globe.

The scythe can symbolize the cutting of negative energies or influences. Also, as a harvesting tool, it can symbolize hope and prosperity. It can represent the moment of death, when a scythe is said to cut a silver thread. The scythe has a long handle, indicating that it can reach anywhere.

The globe represents Death’s dominion and can be seen as a kind of a tomb to which we all return. Having the world in her hand also symbolizes vast power.

death tattoo: Santa Muerte portrayed as a skeleton queen of the world

The crown - the symbol of royalty.

The presence of this symbol may be explained in two ways: firstly, the cult of Santa Muerte was highly influenced by the aztec cult of Mictecacihuatl, the queen of the Mictlan; secondly, Santa Muerte is ofted portrayed as a skeleton version of the Virgin of Guadalupe - Queen of Mexico and Empress of the Americas.

mexican death tattoo: Santa Muerte surrounded by flowers (roses)

Flowers (especially roses)

Just like in real life, where Santa Muerte's shrines are adorned with flowers, the Santa Muerte tattoos are usually highly decorated with beautiful flowers. Another explanation for the presence of the flowers in these tattoos could be that the ephemeral flowers are reminder of the ephemerality of the (human) life.

Santa Muerte tattoo; Holy Death mexican tattoo

The halo

The halo (also known as a nimbus, aureole, glory, or gloriole) - being a catholic saint, the presence of a nimbus is mandatory. Usually, the entire body of the Holy Death (Santa Muerte) is surrounded by a halo, but there are situations where the halo surrounds only the saint's head (a well-known visual convention in the representations of the saints in the Christian iconography).

mexican Death tattoo: the beloved Santa Muerte, queen of the underworld

Beautiful coloured hearts

The presence of the hearts in a death tattoo can seem strange to someone who is not familiar with the cult of Santa Muerte. The explanation is quite simple: Santa Muerte is not feared but loved. Santa Muerte's worshipers send her requests for love, affection, luck, money and protection, as well as malicious requests regarding their enemies.

mexican tattoo: Santa Muerte holding a hourglass

The hourglasses

An hourglass indicates the time of life on earth. It also represents the belief that death is not the end, but rather the beginning of something new, as the hourglass can be turned to start over. The hourglass is also a symbol of the patience.

mexican tattoo; Santa Muerte tattoo/ skulls tattoo

Human skulls, human bones, skeletons

The presence of the human bones (skulls or skeletons) in the depictions of the Santa Muerte is another proof of the link between the Santa Muerte worship and the ancient Aztec cult of Mictecacihuatl. Unlike the Christian beliefs about Death (Grim Reaper, Angel of Death, etc), according to which the role of the Death is to separate the human soul from the body and to guide the deceased to the next world, the Aztec deity Mictecacihuatl was the queen of the Mictlan; according to the Aztec religion she was living among her subjects and was keeping watch over the bones of the dead.

mexican Death tattoo; Santisima Muerte tattoo; Grim Reaper tattoo

The scales

The scales allude to equity, justice and impartiality, as well as divine will.

Grim Reaper tattoo; mexican death tattoo; Santa Muerte tattoo; owl tattoo

An owl

The owl symbolizes her ability to navigate the darkness and her wisdom. The owl is also said to act as a messenger.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Death tattoos: portrayals of the Santa Muerte

Previous posts:
1. Death tattoos: Santa Muerte - origins and significations


Santa Muerte / Death tattoo
Santa Muerte portrayed as Grim Reaper

Most of the Santa Muerte tattoos, especially those which are made by unskilled "artists" or those made under improper conditions (like prisons) are usually cheap depictions of the Grim Reaper: a skeleton dressed in a long hooded cloak, carrying a scythe.

Santa Muerte tattoo: Santa Muerte portrayed as a skeletal version of the Virgin of Guadalupe
Santa Muerte portrayed as a skeleton version of
the Virgin of Guadalupe, the patron saint of Mexico

More original images actually portray the feminine aspect of the character, and a look that often resembles a skeleton version of the Virgin of Guadalupe (the patron saint of Mexico, Patroness of the Americas, Empress of Latin America, and Protectress of Unborn Children).

mexican dead tattoo: Santa Muerte portrayed as a young woman

If she's not portrayed as a skeleton version of the Virgin of Guadalupe, the Holy Death (Santa Muerte) is very often portrayed as a dead young woman. In this case, one can identify a Santa Muerte tattoo by the presence of certain elements: an aura around the head or around the entire body, the presence of the human skulls at the bottom of the tattoo, the praying hands, the presence of the flowers (Santa Muerte worshipers are supposed to offer her flowers along with food, tobacco, money, prayers, and, of course, their faith).

The clothes:

coloured Santa Muerte tattoo

Usually, Santa Muerte is depicted wearing either a long robe or (less commonly) a long dress, covered from head to feet with only the face and hands showing. The color of the dress can be white, yellow, blue, black or red (in exchange for a peaceful death, the Aztecs used to offer blood to the king and the queen of the Mictlan - Mictlantecahtli and Mictecacihuatl; because blood offerings were considered of utmost importance the color red became intimately associated with the king and the queen of the Land of the Dead). However, due to the fact that coloured tattoos are quite expensive, very often the entire tattoo is made only with regular blue or black tattoo ink.