I am going to admit something to you that might be surprising. I like tattoos; I have two, in fact. One on my shoulder of a stag, which is a replica of the one found on the ‘Lady of Pazyryk’, a mummy found in the Pazyryk region. I recommend Googling it, because this lady’s history is very interesting. The other is on the inside of my left wrist, consisting of three lines, like this /|\, topped by three dots and three more beneath in a triangle. It is the Welsh symbol for Awen, or divine inspiration, and it means a lot to me.

Getting them was a rite of passage for me, and any art I get will have a spiritual meaning for me. I thought long and hard about each one, why I wanted it, would I regret it, and my reasons for having it done. I see tattoos in a sacred sense, more than just body art. I don’t want any frivolous designs that I will regret later in life. My parents were none too pleased ( I was in my mid 20s, for Pete’s sake!).

They got over it. So, why the phoenix? Certainly it’s been overused as a pagan magickal name ( I know at least a half dozen people named Phoenix), and there’s all that silly fluff in new age books that make me want to hurl. The thing is that I’ve learned some interesting things about the Phoenix symbol and mythology. It has a lot of meaning in my life as of late, trying to start over, reinventing myself, recovering from past traumas. It has appeared from time to time in my dreams, especially when I was in some of my darkest moments. It has been my beacon in the gloom so many times lately. I also learned that the Phoenix is also connected to my zodiac sign, Scorpio, not that I understand a blasted thing about astrology. I had absolutely no idea, though, and the timing of hearing that was enough to make me wonder sometimes about coincidence or messages from a higher level. So I’m going to get a phoenix tattoo, most likely on my right shoulder. I intend to design the thing myself, because I want it to be my own creation. I spent some time Googling away for pics, trying to get an idea of what I want. I don’t plan on any color, because I’m actually partial to simple black designs. Color fades after a while, and I’m not in the mood for touch-ups.

Will I get stares? Probably. Will some sneer at why a young (relatively) woman would mark her body up that way? Sure. I chose to do this, because to me they are totems, as in symbols that have a purpose in my life. I see myself as a phoenix, because of all that I have gone through. I have been taken apart and reconstructed, reborn, renovated. Not just physically, but emotionally. I have been suicidal, hurt myself deliberately, beat myself down emotionally. This is to remind myself I have the ability to recover from those falls. It’s made me stronger. The spirit of the Phoenix has touched me, resides in my heart and gives me courage. That’s what I mean by bearing the Phoenix.

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