[PREFACE: If you think people with tattoos are going to H-E-double-hockey-sticks, don’t talk to me about it if you have earring holes. Just re-read the verses, and think about it real hard.]
I have one tattoo that I am keeping (which I may yet modify to more accurately reflect the changed nature of its inspiration) and one tattoo that I am apparently very slowly having removed, and I have two that I have carried around on paper for the past 15 years or so that I have decided to NOT get. (I may post those here later, and I may yet get one of them.) It is this topic that I am writing about today so as to not get too focused on
- the growing list of reasons of why I am growing more afraid of Americans, which I hope to not dwell on long enough to specifically delineate;
- how we’re filling up the oceans (and killing sacred life that we’re supposed to steward) with oil from a hole we poked in the Earth that we don’t know how to seal up, and with the known-bad “dispersant” chemicals that our government and its most wealthy set of special-interest groups have stirred in with the hope that most of the worst part of it will stay where they can forcefully and illegally keep stupid snooping Americans and their meddling news helicopters and environmental activists from letting average citizens from knowing how bad it really is;
- thinking about the effects of the recent flooding in Middle TN on the local economy, and the role all of that plays into my sense of job security and sense of place — not to mention the 45 days worked between days off;
- the irritations and bureaucratic false starts of disentangling the last 5% of the business aspects of a 20-year relationship and the corresponding changes in extended family structure, regardless of whatever level of amicability or faultlessness;
- and the daily irritations of living in someone else’s space –which is also inhabited by a couple of free-ranging and untrustworthy cats (actual felines, not hipsters) — until the remaining 5% mentioned above is officially disentangled.
So I’ve decided to get a new tattoo to commemorate the changes I’ve seen over the past little while. I am steadfastly fixed on the concept, but am still working on my preferred style of the image.
The image is one of the by-products of my recent extremely detailed and highly accurate horoscope reading. I am generally a skeptic, and do not generally put a lot of stock in astrology, but my friend 17 Words for Yeah gave me about 20 pages of printed materials describing the traits supposedly attributed to people who share the exact date, time, and precise geographic location of my birth.
This reading turned out to contain a scarily accurate description of many facets of my mindset and the way I interact with others at various levels. The reading went on to mention that the Scorpio sign actually has three animal signs, with a personal transformation occurring between each phase: The Scorpion, The Eagle, and the Phoenix. Readings from other sources also mention a fourth, The Old Gray Lizard. This is an aspect that The Scorpion could choose (out of some sick preference or due to circumstance) over The Eagle, but I am a fan of raptors and do not see my outward self as expressing the characteristics of The Gray Lizard, so am sticking with The Eagle for the purposes of the tattoo.
The first reading led me to some other articles about the topic of these aspects and the transformations between, and these got me thinking about my personality and my personal interactions with others throughout my life so far. More specifically, after much introspection throughout the past 12+ months, it seems to me that the events of my past year (and the several leading up to it) qualify as a transformation the likes of which changes The Scorpion into The Eagle. As the Scorpion with its eyes so low to the ground, it was difficult to aspire to be anything other than The Scorpion. However, thoughout the events of the last year, The Scorpion was forced into a change that The Eagle recognizes should have been made long ago. When finally embracing the change I was thrust into (after years of fearing or suppressing the need for it), I made a conscious decision (without knowing the metaphors used in this sentence) to be The Eagle rather than The Old Gray Lizard. The Old Gray Lizard hates what he is and curses how he got that way, but The Eagle spreads its wings and sees further from a lofty vista. As The Eagle, I can see the attributes of The Scorpion within me and consciously choose to be The Eagle. As The Eagle, it is my want to see further and to fly higher –and to learn to become The Phoenix.
So enough with the symbolism; now to look at the imagery:
I want the design to depict the transformative path from Scorpion to Phoenix. The outer edges of the image will be that of The Phoenix. Inside the fiery aspect of The Phoenix will be the body of The Eagle. Part of the body of The Eagle will contain the body of The Scorpion, and The Scorpion’s body will contain an image of the Scorpio constellation. Current plans involve the tattoo being applied up one of my arms, with the tail near the elbow and a one wing onto the front and back of the same shoulder.
What I haven’t decided is the style. Basically, I can’t decide between the 2 styles shown below of representing The Phoenix. I have always been fond of the Chris Claremont representation of Phoenix in The Uncanny X-Men: the fiery “shell” surrounding the solid body of the underlying Jean Grey character, and I am considering having the only “color” (other than black linework everywhere else) being the flaming outline that depicts the Phoenix.
Selecting the appropriate Phoenix style will determine the Eagle style, and should lend itself to the selection of the proper style of Scorpion. Notice that both bird designs I am considering have space within their wings to house the pincers, thorax, legs, and tail of the Scorpion design it will contain.
The Scorpion designs I am considering will be along the lines of the ones shown below.
And of course the Scorpio constellation will be across the thorax of the Scorpion.
I am leaning toward the image of The Phoenix shown on the right above, with the exterior portions going from black to red to indicate the flames. This would be a mostly black design, where the other Phoenix would likely be rendered in mostly in reds, oranges, and yellows.
Any observations, comments, or suggestions?