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Intentional Tattooing

What is intentional tattooing?


Intentional tattooing is most simply a tattoo that has been thought about and makes an individual feel more comfortable in their own skin. 


Intentional tattooing can be used in several different ways. 


Some of the following are:

  • Memorial Tattoos- getting a tattoo to represent a deceased loved one can help an individual heal from the loss. 

  • Cover-up tattoo- Covering up a tattoo that no longer feels comfortable on your skin. This can allow the individual to feel comfortable in their skin again, move on from the past, let go of old energy, and start again. 

  • Storytelling tattoos- these tattoos tell your story. They are usually made up of symbols, objects, animals, etc that represent who you are. These different representations can represent a chapter or moment in your life that has significance. This is a tattoo that represents YOU!

  • Symbols- These tattoos are intended to create a spiritual experience for the individual. You would get this tattoo for personal/ spiritual growth. Some examples of this would be:

    • Getting a symbol that represents something to you. This could be an ancient symbol, spirit animal, sacred geometry, numerology, astrology, etc. Tattooing a symbol that already has a specific meaning will allow you to carry the energy that symbol holds with you forever, as well as, bring that energy into your life.  

    • Getting a geometric piece that has a focal point. This is more about the tattoo experience itself. A day filled with introspection of the self. Usually placed in a specific energetic point to release and/or bring new energy into. This can also be used as a spiritual practice to sit with pain, examine awareness, release trauma, or open a blocked energetic point.

    • Ultimately all the above intentional tattoos can be energetic tattoos as well. 


What is the Intentional Tattoo process? 


The intentional tattoo process can look very different from person to person. This is because everyone is on their own journey and desires different things. The following intentional day can be broken down into any way that is comfortable for the individual. 

  • Start the day with tea. This allows the person about to get tattooed and the artist to establish a connection with each other. This also can help calm any nerves and gives us some time to get to know each other. Having tea allows me as the artist to get a feel for how you are doing that day.

  • During tea we can pull Tarot and/ or Oracle cards. I have some of my own or you can bring your own deck if you prefer.

  • Once tea is finished is it time to smudge. Smudging is usually done with palo santo or sage. I prefer to use palo santo. This is a ritual designed to clear and cleanse the individual, room, and artist. It is also used to establish connection, release nerves, and cleanse any energies that do not serve us for the day. 

  • Set intentions. At this point, we will each write down our intentions for the day, the tattoo, that moment, or whatever you would like. This step will establish the connection with the tattoo and help the individual have a clear idea of their intentions. 

-Intentions can then be released by burning them, taken home and buried into the earth grounding your intentions or keeping the intention to look back onto later down the road. It is also fine to do one or even all three different intention rituals. 

- Releasing an intention can help an individual let go of past energies, any anxieties of the day, ultimately anything that does not serve you at this time. This may be best if you are closing a chapter. 

- Burning an intention is best used for manifestation and grounding. Think of this as a way to bring something into fruition. This may be best if the tattoo represents the beginning of a new chapter. 

- Keeping the intention is a good way to remind yourself of the progress you have made. It is a mark in time that allows you to reflect on what your mindset was and what the tattoo represented to you in that moment of your life. This would be good for either a closing or opening of a new chapter of life. 

- At this point, we will put on the tattoo stencil or draw on the tattoo design. It is more desirable to draw on the design if possible. However not all tattoos can be drawn on. The drawing on process can take anywhere from 30 mins to 2 hours depending on the size of the design and what it is. 

- The last thing we will do before starting the actual tattooing is either a guided visualization, energy work, or a combination of the two.

- A guided meditation is a visualization of sorts. It allows the individual to drop into the space, calm their mind, become present in their body, and have time to reflect on their intention(s) and tattoo.  

- Energy work can be used in many different ways and is best discussed between the artist and individual during the consultation and again throughout the beginning process of the day. I will create an experience that is unique to the individual, tattoo and their intention. 

- Finally it is time to start the tattoo! 

- Most people enjoy talking during the tattoo. And we have created a safe space to talk about and feel whatever they want. 

- Others may just want to listen to music or watch a movie and relax.

- While some may want to sit with their pain, work on breath, meditation, or reach a new level of awareness. 

      -This would be done by putting on music and tattooing in silence so the individual can focus on their pain. Allowing them to go as deep as they want. This practice can be done for any amount of time during the tattooing. 

- To close an intentional day, we will do a short guided visualization and smudging. Finishing in this way, allows closure from the experience and the day. 


How long is an intentional tattoo?


An intentional day can be anywhere from 6-10 hours when all is said and done. This all depends on the size of the tattoo and how many of the above steps an individual wants to do. There are no right or wrong ways to do an intentional tattoo, just a lot of different ways to do an intentional tattoo. If you’re not sure what is the best for you, no problem! We can discuss everything over a consultation. 


When you start working with tattoos in this way, it is important to take off the appropriate time to allow yourself to integrate the experience into your life. That is not up to me to decide but I recommend being able to take off the entire day of your tattoo and the day after. Allow yourself the space and time. In our busy world, we have forgotten that it is important to take the time to work on ourselves. No matter who you are, you deserve to dedicate time to personal growth and connecting to yourself. 


Any recommendations to prepare yourself for an intentional tattoo?


  • Taking the time to write down or think about your intentions before inquiring about the tattoo.

    •  Here are some questions to ponder:

      • What does the tattoo mean to you?

      • Why are you getting this tattoo? 

      • What does the tattoo represent for you?

      • Where do you want the tattoo placed? Why?

      • How long have you wanted the tattoo?

  • Don’t take Intentional Tattoos too seriously! It is easy to overthink this process but it is best if you can trust the process and surrender. Even if we have a plan for the day, some things may change because of whatever reason and that’s okay. The more you can let go the more we can flow! 

  • Journaling before and after an intentional tattoo practice can be very profound and helpful in the integration process. This is also another way to refer to how you felt on this day and where you mindset was at that time. It will give you more material to reflect upon. Journaling can be done no matter what direction you take your intentional tattoo and is highly recommended. 

  • Allow yourself the time and space required to process and integrate the tattoo. 

  • Do not be in a rush. Divine timing is everything. 

  • Think of it as a spa day! It’s a day solely dedicated to you and you can make it into whatever experience you want. 

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