The Power of Tattoos – An Ancient Healing Art.
Dating back far beyond modern skulls and roses, tattooing is an ancient art form linking us back in time to our ancient ancestors. The ancient power of tattoos is still as strong today as it was in the past.
Through history, we find tbrief glimpses of ancient tattoos and techniques. These show that tattoos have always marked important times in life and offered healing, both physical and mental.
Tattoos for healing
Otzi, the 5300 years old iceman discovered preserved in an alpine glacier, has 61 simple tattoos outlined on his body. These are the second oldest tattoos ever found.
Tattoo anthropologist, Lars Krutek, found that 80% of Otzi’s tattooed marks aligned with acupuncture points related to the ailments he suffered from in life, predominantly arthritis.
This use for tattoos has been seen in some ancient tribes such as the Kayan. This tribe still tattoos in this context today to treat sprains and aches.
Tattoos as a right of passage
Tattoos have long been used as a right of passage, to mark transitions between states. When Europeans first saw Samoan tribes in the 1700’s they discovered that for the young men of the tribe, becoming tattooed was a right of passage from boyhood to maturity.
The Maoris of New Zealand have a custom dating back two thousand years where men and women receive the Ta Moko tattoo. This was created during an elaborate ritual. The Moko marked a readiness for adult duties, strength and fertility. To receive the tattoo was a high honour and extremely significant. The practice was lost during colonialization in the mid-1800’s but is now being revived by new generations anxious to reconnect with tradition.
Tattoos as life markers
Both Samoan and Maori tattoos are used to mark significant events in the life of the wearer. The patterns used each have individual meanings which can be read by the viewer.
In modern times, tattoos carry their ancient powers through into marking significant events in life. Many tattoos are often requested to mark births and deaths. Many clients find that the act of receiving a tattoo in remembrance of a loved one is a significant part of the grieving process. It helps them begin to heal.
These are just a few ways in which receiving a tattoo can be a transformational process and a significant and strengthening marker in our journey through life.