I forgot to show you my new tattoo! It was inspired by the Medusa garden plaque I have hanging in my bedroom, pictured above. She watches over me whilst I slumber….talk about sleeping like a ROCK. (AHAHAHA……oh, the comedy, the comedy!)
My awesome tatt dude (loudest, shoutiest shout-out to Reid at Yoni Tattoo in Tarzana, CA, who is The. Best.) helped me to modify it a bit. My main request was that the eyes be whited out. My brain immediately flashed to this interview in which one of my favorite Tarot peeps, James Ricklef, interviewed Joanna Sherman about the creation of her Sacred Rose Tarot deck artwork. When he asked her about the mask-like effect created by the blank eyes of the figures in the cards, she replied:
“……these are archetypal energies, and I didn’t want to confuse the issue by trying to humanize or make them too mundane. When we use the Tarot we are delving into the realm of the gods, something that should not be forgotten.”
Having been a huge fan of the mundane since NEVER, this quote nestled into a small nook of my brain and took up permanent residency. It has since earned its keep, because I now have an epic tattoo for the ages!
Yes, it hurt. A bit. But, gentle reader, ’twas not unbearable, because I like to stick to a theme, and the theme on this particular day was STONED……
Which eventually lead to the tattoo that I am now madly, deeply in love with:
She’s a beauty, isn’t she?
Why Medusa for a tattoo subject? I’ve been working on a Medusa-themed creative project, and in studying the evolution of her mythology, I discovered another glaring example of patriarchy trying to keep a bad-ass woman down. There’s a lot of evidence that certain ancient cultures worshipped variations of a powerful serpent goddess. (Here’s a great article from the fantastic ‘Goddess Inspired’ blog about this earlier mythology, including reference to a Libyan triple goddess called Anatha, who encompassed both Athena and Medusa.) Alas, when the Greeks and Romans appropriated this piece of mythology, they reduced this incredible myth to a petty catfight between two caricatures – in essence, an uptight virgin (Athena) and a monstrous bitch (the Divine Miss M).
As a writer, a woman and a feminist, for me it’s a powerful reminder of what happens when we let men tell our stories for us. I’m not saying men’s voices don’t or shouldn’t count – my favorite pop culture heroines, weirdly enough, have been given life by men (Joss Whedon, Luc Besson, Ridley Scott, to name but a few).
This tattoo simply reminds me that I deserve a place at the table, too.