When Denise marks a friend with black symmetrical ink, it is not an assault on the senses. There is no buzzing gun, no intense lingering smell of disinfectant and no aggression into the skin. In its place is a journey of unity, inclusion and ceremony.
Denise had never tattooed until this year. But she had been collecting images in her mind’s eye for years. These images appear during meditation and spiritual immersion – a tapping of the higher consciousness. The images are geometric, straight, circular, symmetrical and precise. They remind me of the beauty in spider webs, honeycomb and seashells. Designed natural symmetry. She knew these images had a purpose and with a quick demonstration from a friend, Denise hand poked her own thigh. Her conscious visions would live beyond her mind.
I met Denise through the serendipitous nature of the universe. She had just met Ash in a similar manner. Together we would live a moment as one.
Incense smokes, candles glimmer, Denise prays. We sit and meditate and set an intention through the heart. A deck of tarot cards is spread on the floor and Ash feels their energy. We translate the Spanish cards and discuss their significance. Little is needed for much to be heard. Guatemalan sage is smudged on Ash. Then on me. The Ash reciprocates on Denise. The thick smoke is sweet. The air is calm and we are all peaceful and together.
This is sacred.
Her placement of the tattoo is as precise as her visions. Rollerball ink dots, rulers, protractors and tape ensure alignment. Deep breathing and gently closed eyes bring unity and agreement. The design is always left open for other artists to add their inspiration. There is no ego.
This is meditation. The skin reacts, emotions arise, calm permeates and we all witness. The camera simply captures the image. The magic lying within them is the divine.