Second Tattoo Picture

There are times in our lives that we contemplate what it is that we are more than other times. Having spent the past year out of work not because there aren’t jobs but more because I am so over qualified for the jobs that there are no one wants to give me a position (ex. Mc Donald’s politely told me that they had no management positions open while I was applying for a burger flipper position) I am likely to quit at the hint of something better. It is also probable that my last real employer and I have to distinguish since the state of NC does not consider self employed as being employed, but he is probably black listing me in my chosen profession as the few positions that have shown real promise have inexplicably dried up and disappeared soon after they expressed interest in hiring me. I state all of this so that you might understand my frame of mind as I contemplated what I think I am.
So I have had inordinate amounts of time to think about all of the things that make me me. The childhood stories that shaped my thinking, the times I did one thing or another where choices where involved and the things done to me by others whether they were done with kindness or with sin in the doers heart. The long and short of all of that is that we are what we have experienced and the stories that we have been told belong to us. That being the case some of the stories whether true or not are what we are. One of those stories comes to me by way of a meeting when I was 22 with the woman who gave birth to me and then subsequently gave me to an orphanage and then two weeks later to a friend of hers. This was the first time I had meet in person the person who (it took me a while to figure this word out) placed me upon the mortal coil for the time that I may walk it in the husk that to soon shall be given back to the dust from which it came. It is to poetic and not really a word more than it is a phrase, but it expresses the relationship between her and I. In any case one of the few things I came away with from that meeting is a story of her biologic father, as she was adopted for reason currently unknown, who came to America off a boat from Denmark as a young man. He married or had a physical relationship with a Seminole woman hence my mother.
Now this gives rise to two items, first that I am ¼ Danish and second I am also a ¼ Native American the second of which was not something that was news, but was something more closely true now that it was confirmed by a biological parent. However neither may be true and yet they are in so much as they are part of the psyche that makes me me. So after sixteen years of thought on how to express certain ideas that I hold to be true and the symbolism of the cultures I am claiming as my own we have the two tattoos that now adorn my left arm. The first I have already described that text is here:
“I have all ready had many people who have asked me what it all means...

You could probably ask anyone who has known me for a while and they could tell you I have a fascination with dragonflies. There is the fantasy element for the dragon, but more importantly there is an actual story that goes with it.

When I was six or seven and my parents at the time decided to join the catholic church my siblings and I were put into Sunday bible school. They told us wonderful stories about faraway places that excited my imagination. There was one story though that disturbed me and really is probably the foundation of my issues with the Judaeo-Christian concept of god. We were told the story that went something like this "
And he went up from thence unto Beth-el: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them." II Kings 2:23-24. This seemed to me to not be the act of a loving god and through various misadventures found myself invited out of the room. I instead spent the rest of the morning annoying the inhabitants of a small pond out back of the church. There I found one of the ugliest bugs I had yet seen. The nymph stage of the dragonfly.

Not the most attractive thing, but as it turned out it was working on becoming one of the most beautiful flying machines I have yet seen. Of course it was a dragonfly. It took me years of thought to realize that if there was any proof in my admittedly limited experience that there was something greater than myself at work in the universe this was a clear example of it. Call it god, geia, zhu, aum, universal conscious or the great spaghetti monster in the sky. To me it amounts to the same thing, something I can't prove is there but might be and I had one small example of what I would think a thing greater than my self my do give the bent to do so.

Now there is the story and the reason behind the dragonfly. The ouroboros is one of the more ancient symbols for eternity and in a way represents my belief in life after death or that I have an eternal soul but more specifically it is a symbolic representation of the first law of thermodynamics. This is an expression of the universal law of conservation of energy. This law simply means that energy cannot be lost it can be changed from one state to another but can never be lost. So to me this means that the electrical energy my body is currently running on and makes me me will continue in one state or another after my body dies. Thus the ouroboros's guise of infinity. The double helix represents what I believe to be our greatest achievement as man during my life time. I was tempted to do something related to the space race of the 60's but that was before my time. Even still I probably would have chosen the double helix for the same reason.

The zodiac signs incorporated into the dragonfly's body are representative of my two sons the first a Gemini and the second a Virgo. There is an obvious omission at the tail of the dragonfly which I have purposely had left that why for the incase that my wife and I have another child that will need to be added. This has actually had a second Virgo symbol added for my third son.

There are three other symbols more "hidden" though not purposefully. The crescent in the dragonfly's wings has a double meaning. It is a symbol of the female aspect of that "force" if you will in the universe that embodies the creation aspect of things. It also is the Egyptian symbol for the god Thoth. Who in ancient Egypt was described as follows: "He was considered the heart and tongue of Ra as well as the means by which Ra's will was translated into speech. He has also been likened to the Logos of Plato and the mind of God. (see The All) In the Egyptian mythology, he has played many vital and prominent roles, including being one of the two gods (the other being Ma'at) who stood on either side of Ra's boat. He has further been involved in arbitration, magic, writing, science, and the judging of the dead." Wiki. "He can be represented as the reckoner of times and seasons by a lunar disk sitting in a crescent moon being placed atop his head." Hence the crescent and his most important attribute is that of judge or giver of justice.

There is a second Egyptian symbol not meant but it was pointed out to me while I was on vacation in California. It is a stretch but not to big a one. But move the dragonfly south far enough so that the head intersects the ouroboros and you get the Ankh which is the symbol for eternal life from the older kingdoms and still used for various aspects of its self today.

The last bit of expressly intended symbolism is that the dragonfly lies beneath/under the ouroboros stating my belief that science and logic are more important to myself image than my faith in something greater than my self.”
Now the new tattoo and its symbolism is built on an amalgamation of those two cultures my grandparents come from. From both the Scandinavian pantheon and the Native American beliefs the Raven figures prominently. So the Scandinavians have a deity named Odin which is from an older Anglo-Saxon name Wōdin from which we get Wōdin’s-day or Wednesday. Which is from yet an older Proto Germanic name Wōdanaz. In any case he had two ravens named Huginn and Muninn, sometimes Americanized as Hugin and Munin. Wiki has this to say about them: In Norse mythology, Huginn and Muninn travel the world bearing news and information they have collected to Odin. Huginn is "thought" and Muninn is "memory". They are sent out at dawn to gather information and return in the evening. They perch on the god's shoulders and whisper the news into his ears.
So they are a reminder to me that I am what I think and what I remember; hence how I started this explanation out. However I like to think that mixing in the Native American traditions also gives me perspective since the Raven as the Native Americans believe: Sometimes considered a trickster like the coyote. It is also known to be a teacher, hoarder and the mark of a shape shifter. He is creator, deity, clown, caretaker and mischief-maker; in this case he is representing a trickster and mischief-maker where the mind can play tricks on the memory changing thought. Though the teacher and shap shifter as well as other aspects bleed back to the Odin myths. Which isn’t surprising since genetically there is evidence of Caucasians in North America at least 9000 years ago, and this was likely lost sailors from the Vikings and other peoples of the northern Atlantic that where sea faring.
The “upil” is made up of the rising sun and a blood moon split by a horizon line demarking a “twilight zone” which is my homage to the concept of the duality of force in the universe which has also been called yin-yang by the Chinese. However I think there is a third force not recognized by this or other duality of the universe forces. This is the balance of the two. That “twilight zone” where each force must like a glass of water seek a level point.
The symbols on the ravens backs are: ODROERIR - Horn triskelion: A variation of the valknut, many believe this to represent the three cauldrons in which the sacred mead Odroerir is kept. An ancient Teutonic symbol with shamanic roots, which shows the 3 cauldrons in which is brewed the mead of poetry called Odroerir (meaning "frenzy stirrer") made from the fermented blood of the wisest of the ancient Gods, KVASIR. Holy to both the Asir and the Vanir, whomever drank of this magical mead received the gift of divine inspiration, great wisdom, esoteric knowledge and poetic eloquence of speech. And the VALKNOT: Appearing in ancient sacred images associated with Odin. The "knot of the slain" is the symbolic sign of the coming together of the powers from the 9 worlds of the universe. This is the symbol of Odin, showing his power to bind or loosen the minds and souls of man, subtly affecting the knotted web of fate as he lays bonds upon them, so that they become helpless in battle, or he could loosen the grip of fear by his gifts of intoxicating battle-madness and divine inspiration.
Both of which are Odin’s symbols for obtaining and using the knowledge he paid for with the loss of one of his eyes hence my calling this the Eye of Odin or Odin’s eye.
I hope this explains my reasoning behind the two tattoos I have chosen.
God and Ruler of the Sea
God of Blindfolded Justice
Second Tattoo