I dared to try tattoo design and had fun designing these two. As a kid, I was fascinated with fireflies. I always thought of them as means of direction in nature. By nature, we all have our own light, but sometimes that light is dimmed if we allow negative forces from our surroundings to influence our psyche and fireflies remind us to turn the light on in dark times. The semicolon shape of the firefly’s body represents mental health. When facing mental health disability, one’s sense of direction can spin out of control, like a never-ending cycle. By observation of fireflies during girl scout camps, I noticed that sometimes fireflies themselves wander around in circles, but at a gracious pace with peaceful energy. I constantly wanted to be able to decode their luminescence and twinkle (like morse code). This made me want to edit the tattoo to have a morse code pattern around the lighthouse, but haven’t decided if I wanted it to say SOS or something else. I figured “seek” or “aspire” would be the right word, representing an urge I’d always have just when I was about to enable myself to get out of the vicious cycle of overthinking. Also, it would represent my need when I’d follow fireflies deep into the woods as if I’d be looking for my Patronus. Morse code can save your life when lost without means of communication or direction. With that said, another reason I brought this association to the meaning of my tattoo is that when looking for the right support group, you need to make sure they understand not only your light but also your twinkle. In the Czech Republic, one imaginary character would be a firefly in a form of a human, kind of like a fairy. In the Czech language, we would call them “bludicka”, meaning a mythical creature always on a quest, lost, and seeking light in the darkness, not necessarily aware of their own light. To me, it is very psychological and I love JK Rowling’s further elaboration of this with the symbolic application of Patronus and Dementors.
Lighthouse is a representation of a support system – those who will stay with you and direct you the right way towards your healing and dreams. I believe that we all have our own place for our consciousness in the timeless universe, and it is a blessing if you find those who will help you sustain your light. I also love the lighthouse symbology because of my love of sailing, it reminds me of this concept every time I sail at night as well as reimagining my horizons.
I never really believed that astrology is real, but I was curious about it and found out I actually truly related to my moon sign. Whether astrology is real or not, I found it very interesting. My moon sign is Sagittarius – an adventure and freedom-seeking adrenaline junkie with an appreciation for different cultures and nature. Reaching out to those from different backgrounds, traditions and beliefs will help to create an open-minded support system that will help you get reconnected with your light by reminding you to be yourself. Saturn is the planet of hard work and destiny, and when it falls in Sagittarius in a natal chart, it often indicates that success will be delayed until you learn to buckle down and focus on what’s important and that is health first and foremost. One of the most important relationships you’ll have in your life is with yourself and making health your priority is essential to keeping that relationship a positive one, nevertheless staying connected to nature.
Not all those who wander are lost, but when and if they do get lost, finding and trusting a lighthouse in the middle of the storm strengthens its light’s compass. In addition, if you keep trusting in your own natural light, you will add to the strength of the lighthouse by sharing your stories of triumph, adventure, and survival. When running a marathon, your mind dies before your body. When facing a storm on a sailboat, hope dies before you do. I always felt as though mental health stigma added a thick cloud that would prevent the sailor to see the lighthouse. Lighthouse is a symbol of human presence and safety and transparent communication is necessary to make the light visible. Like rock climbing, sailing is a great teacher in creating a support system you can trust when lost, and usually friendships for life after sharing a rope with one another. The swallow is a symbol of a sailor. Like a swallow, a sailor travels the world but eventually returns. A collarbone is a typical place that sailors put this tattoo on after a certain amount of sailing experience. I also decided to add this tattoo despite being a beginner, because I get seizures and unconscious while I am seizing. My seizures are pseudoseizures. Seizures can temporarily erase the memory and make you experience mental time travel through vivid dreams and flashbacks. The last seizure I had was at home. I dislocated my collarbone as a result of the fall. This was to remind me to take it easy and focus on my health, hopefully making this spell one of my last ones. The picture of the lighthouse was taken during one of our sails at night here in Chicago 🙂
This one is in the back of my neck. If I did something silly, my father would do this pinch with his knuckle at the back of my neck and it made me laugh. I know there are parents out there who use some horrible forms of punishment without letting the child know about the “crime”, to the point that there are cases of child marriages and child sex slaves when they get sold by their own family. I find this absolutely horrific. In a way, I created this tattoo because I cannot stop thinking about those children. Cherishing your inner child innocence is so important, and these children are robbed of this at a very young age. I was lucky to have a loving family with an appreciation of nature and animals as means of direction and being alive. I was lucky I got to interact with animals nature and life through so many adventures that I would wish for these children to experience more than anything. As a child, I loved the movie Neverending Story and once recited the full movie to my dad, he was probably laughing in his mind. My dad’s dad, who was a veterinarian, would call me a golden girl, meaning a “bee”, because I was the only girl in the family of cousins. Therefore the tattoo. The symbol represents letting go of anyone who stabbed you in the back or any painful experience from the past. Throughout my life, I have experienced this, and many of us do. The bee represents a hardworking, important species that not only make honey but also makes sure that there is a sustainable growth cycle of flowers. The yellow dandelion represents my mother and me making honey from the flower when I was a child and the delphinium flowers are a symbol of rebirth, grace, and dignity. The tattoo is a message that if someone stabs you in the back, they need to realize that their assumptions about you can also be who they are themselves, that you can become even better from the lesson you learn through the experience and the stab will only backfire. It represents my wishes for justice that these children deserve. It also made me think of architecture and the mile-high structure proposed by Frank Lloyd in 1956. To me, the two lines opposite to each other represent a mirror of who you really are (kind of like in the Neverending story) and I always wondered the real reason why they never built the skyscraper, because apparently, it was possible. Everyone has their own interpretation of it, but sometimes I get reminded of nightmares I had as a child and how much I connected not only to Atreyu and Bastian but also the childlike empress. I think of it when I think of the children who have been trafficked.
It should also remind you to be careful what you wish for. I view the moon shapes as means of protection and your shield when you come to the point where you have to face yourself and that there is always a way to begin again. There is also a message to watch out for thorns when given roses, therefore the bee is facing the one dropping from the ceiling… not to give in so easily. However strong the authority is, you have the right to ask questions and use them for creativity as a means of transforming that thorn into something wonderful. Also, to avoid this thorn the bee would have to fly below – meaning to always stay humble and observant in order to see things clearly. Then it is a maze… if you submit, hoping for a reward, you may face a wall… but, if you take the other way and explore the surroundings, you’ll find yourself at a place that will expand your horizons and show you what you are capable of. You may shock yourself.
It is the connection to my hand tattoo, one that stirs to the right to avoid Voldemort’s tattoo (snake stab) and to show that you cannot face negative forces without your friends and to be watchful of who your friends are. The two colors of the bee also show our dual nature as humans. I also designed this, because my father has had recent surgery and has been dealing with strokes for a while. I was present during one when I was about 10 and with him for the weekend (my parents are divorced). He woke up and wrote on a paper that he cannot talk. First I thought it was a game and laughed, asking what I need to do, but he shook his head, then wrote that he needs to go to a hospital. I was in shock and started crying, but took our dog and then walked my dad to his brother’s place. I’m glad he’s still around because I have not seen much of him in the past 20 years and wanted to spend more time with him (even if it’s just virtually). I always had this scare about his health as a child, maybe because he smoked a lot, and I tried to throw his cigarettes away, or because one day he came to pick me up from kindergarten with a black eye from some fight to protect a girl somewhere at a nightclub, or because he has a full beard and I couldn’t stand seeing Jesus on the cross when visiting any church, watching people drinking red wine as a symbol of his blood. Sometimes I felt like punching them in their noses, no matter what the Bible said. There weren’t many people with a full beard, and frankly, it made me feel better and safer when I saw it become a fashion in the tech community for the past few years. I equally loved my first stepdad, whom I had a nightmare about when I was five. He was falling down from a tall building (maybe it was the mile-high building). Sometimes I think I’ve had these scares because my mother is such a pistol, but about two months ago I also dreamt of outdated space ships running into building in Chicago, destroying the city, while I was being taken underground for investigation. Then I was taken out of my body and saw my underweight self giving my overweight self a face mask. I love talking to others about their crazy dreams and nightmares as well. Human minds are an interesting subject I have to admit. 😀