My Ink

Tat Retouch 032908 02I call this tattoo Balance.  At the center is the black and white yin and yang symbol.  Yin and Yang in Taoist philosophy are two poles that ebb with one another until balance is found.   The rose represents the beauty that will arise from the ebb and flow of life and death.  There is an ancient belief that a seed is dead when it is buried; it comes alive as it sprouts.  Thus, the rose is life.  The rose grows out of a thorny vine reminiscent of the crown of thorns Christ wore as he was tried, beaten, and crucified.  Upon his death, he was raised to new life from the grave – much like a rose.

I call this tattoo Protection.  I got this tattoo at a pivotal stage in my life – I had been approved to graduate from seminary, was approved to be ordained to vocation of Christian ministry, and had accepted a call to Union Ave. CC (DOC).  As if I need a reminder, it symbolizes God’s hand of protection that has protected and guided me through life. This is a hamsa hand – aka. hamesh hand, hand of Miriam, or hand of Fatima. It symbolizes the hand of God.  Hamsa means 5 and the number 5 has been said to be symbolic of the Pentateuch (the first 5 books of the Bible) and the 5th letter of the Hebrew alphabet represents YHWH. The symbol in the middle is the Hebrew word meaning to be.  It refers to the essence of being human as Divinely created.  It is also the root for YHWH which means “I am/was/will be who I am/was/will be.”

RiseMy third tattoo is the third person of the Trinity, which I received on the third anniversary of my ordination, June 19, 2013. Her name is Rise. Often the Holy Spirit is depicted as descending from Heaven or upon someone. Rise is ascending as if she is ascending from the ashes of my past. She reminds me of all the Spirit has helped me rise above. Many Christians often think of the Holy Spirit as a male counterpart to the other male God and Son; however, the First Testament reveals the Holy Spirit is a feminine spirit named Sophia who is the Wisdom of God. The tattoo is inspired by a Pentecost piece by Rev. John Stuart. Check out his work at:

This is Guardian. She is my guardian angel. We are surrounded by angels that protect us. All of my other tattoos are original artwork and #2 & #3 were planned for important days in my life. This tattoo was not planned and didn’t necessarily mark a specific day. I had had a heart-breaking bad day. I had been thinking about this tattoo, so I got her to cheer me up. This is a duplicate of a tattoo I found online; however, I added pink to her dress. It is symbolic of a breast cancer survivor ribbon for my great grandmother Alta who was a breast cancer survivor. Who knows? Maybe Alta is my guardian angel.

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