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Tattooing as a Ritual

Humans have had rituals for years.  Rituals mark the end or a beginning. It is a time to put your mind and body at one and to be consciously in the moment.  Examples would be graduating from college, getting married or how we prepare our morning coffee.  The Masons are famous for there secretive rituals.  Most of the individual pursuits we go through do not have formal rituals.  Getting a tattoo can provide that for people.

I’ve listed a few of the most common types of events that utilizes the act of tattooing to mark stages in one’s life.

Physical Accomplishments.

Losing weight, running a marathon, or hiking the Appalachian Trail.  Sometimes we set goals for ourselves that very few can understand. Setting personal goals that require dedication and persistence can be primordial.  As we reach down deep in ourselves we find a something that has been hiding within us.

Quitting and Unhealthily Habit.

Marking an anniversary of when we quit drinking or committing to quit eating poorly, having a small reminder helps guide us.   Sometime saying, “I am going to quit smoking!” is not enough.  Getting a tattoo is a ritual that can start the transformation in a new way of thinking.

Mourning a Loss

Feeling out of sorts when a loved one passes or when a beloved pet dies is normal.  In this state of emptiness, the tattoo gives us a physical manifestation of our emotional pain.  It is an act that makes us feel not so helpless.

Completing a Quest

This is for those crazy adventures we bond over.  Traveling across India on the Railways or a weekend in Las Vegas with your best mates.  The quests that turn into unscripted adventures are the ones that start new chapters in our lives.  You will never be the same person that you were before.

Starting a new Journey

Marriage, the birth of a child or starting your own business.  These monumental moments are commitments we enter with the future unknown.  Not knowing what lies ahead but confirming you are 100% dedicated is shown with a permanent tattoo.

As Tattoo Artist, it is my job to make sure that the design and the experience fit the occasion.  Adding your personality into the image is what makes the Client/Artist relationship special.  After years of working with people, I know what they are trying to say even if they can’t put it into words.

-Matt Hodel

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