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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in tattoos

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

A man in a horned hat who displayed tattoos of Heathen religious symbols is among those who stormed the US Capitol. As an Asatru heathen I condemn him and his white supremacy cohorts.

For those who are new to my blog: a Heathen is a member of one of a group of related religions based on the pre-Christian religions and cultures of Northern Europe. Asatru is one sect of heathenry. Heathens share many religious symbols, although some are specific to certain sects.

The man is Jake Angeli, also known as Q-Shaman or Q-Anon Shaman. He had to have made a choice to show his tattoos since they would have been hidden if he had worn a shirt. It is winter and it would be normal to wear a shirt now. There are three sacred heathen symbols on his chest. He has a Valknut tattoo over his heart. In some forms of heathenry, that particular tattoo in that particular location is considered an invitation to kill him in battle. Showing this tattoo while carrying a spear into the Capitol may indicate that he desired to be shot and killed by police or National Guard, on the assumption that death in battle would take him to Valhalla.

In heathenry, that destiny is not guaranteed to all who die by weapons but rather is subject to the choices of the Valkyries and of Odin and Freya, so even if he succeeded in dying in combat that does not mean he automatically would get into Valhalla. It is a necessary but not sufficient condition.

However, a Valknut tattoo is considered by many heathens to mean "insert spear here." Angeli may or may not know that. The man may not be heathen at all considering that wore a horned helmet like a cartoon Viking, which is not what historically based heathen religious garb looks like.

I must mock his ridiculous hat since No Horns on These Helmets is one of my books. Since Angeli calls himself Q-Shaman, some commenters suggest that his hat is supposed to be a Native American buffalo headdress. It may well be that it is supposed to be buffalo rather that a Wagnerian silly opera hat, but as Shamanism is Siberian in origin, and influenced heathen cultures via mutual contact with the Saami, his chosen name does not necessarily refer to Native American spirituality. He may have chosen the name to refer to Northern shamanism, or an eclectic mix. He may not have meant it as a religious reference at all, and may have used it as some people use "wizard", for example "computer wizard," an expert in computers, "Q-Shaman" an expert in Q-Anon.

The other two heathen symbols among his tattoos are the Thor's Hammer, which is a protective symbol and also the symbol of Asatru, and Yggdrasil, the Tree of Life. The Tree tattoo is surrounded by a circle. His tattoos are real religious symbols, just like a cross tattoo would be for a Christian. It pains and infuriates me to see them in this context. His other notable tattoos are brick wall tats on his arms. Those are not heathen symbols. Brick wall tattoos represent prison life.

He also had his face painted like an American flag and was using his spear as a flagpole for an American flag. As an American I say: I had felt we had left the bizarre times behind us in 2020. I am tired of living through interesting historical events. Not that our system couldn't use a few changes, but not in that direction.

Here is a link to the best photo showing his tattoos:

Those interested in learning more about heathen symbols and how to tell the difference between heathen symbols and hate symbols can read my article Heathen Vs. Hate in the latest edition of Witches and Pagans Magazine. My fellow heathens who are interested in preserving our symbols, please check out my prior post Heathen Visibility Project Year in Review 2020, which includes a short history of the Project with links back to previous news and explanations.

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  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    "Never trust a man with horns on his hat." --Granny Weatherwax

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Asatru FAQ: Authentic Viking Tattoos?


A frequently asked question is: How do I get an authentic Viking tattoo? There are lots of art designs that Asatruars and other heathens wear, but if you you want something historically accurate to the Viking Age, there are a few things to keep in mind.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Tattoo I'd Get, If I Had the Cojones

I know exactly what tattoo I'd get, if I had the cojones to do it.

Well, tattoos.

For shockingly close on 50 years now, I've been godsman to Him of the Horns. They've been good years, even the bad ones, hard but good.

So I'd wear the horn for Him: ram's horns, I think, curling elegantly over and around the ears, as the Horned Apollo (Apollôn Karneîos) wears so jauntily on this silver didrachma (circa 250-225 BCE) from Kyrene in North Africa, as Two-Horned Alexander wore as Son of Ammon. As god, they say, so priest.

In a pagan world, I'd have done this long since. For now, I'll bide the while. I'm planning to make it (be warned) to 113, so there's plenty of time. I'll need something to look forward to when I'm 85, after all, and well beyond caring what they think.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Tyger
    Tyger says #
    Do it while your skin is still young and can handle the ink and the needle.
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    (Cackles.) Let's!
  • Chris Sherbak
    Chris Sherbak says #
    I want to get a pair of runes on my forearms that Jack designed to look like whittled branches: Ansuz and Isa. I'm not entirely gi

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Asatru FAQ: How Do I Design a Runic Tattoo?

Frequently Asked Question: I want to translate or tranliterate a phrase into runes. How do I do that and how do I make sure it's right?

My answer: There are some decisions to be made: 

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Posted by on in Pagan News Beagle
Faithful Friday December 5

In today's Faithful Friday post of the PaganNewsBeagle we highlight a Goddess blogger interviewed on the HuffPo; indigenous Saami of the North; "Celtic knot" tattoos; tattoos of the ancestors; Pagan Christmas history.

PaganSquare blogger Karen Tate discusses liberation theology and the Goddess in this interview at the HuffingtonPost.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Tattooed Pagans - A ritual in ink

The time for preparation is over. I have eaten. I have stripped down and am bare from the waist up. I have been washed. I have been shaved. I have stepped into the circle I have cast and taken my seat. I've sent words to the gods that I' d like protection and ease and fortitude of mind and body. This ritual is a test. This is my journey to make alone.

Then the buzzing starts. "Are you ready?" I'm asked. I nod and I feel the first sting of the needle as it pierces my skin. Long strokes up and down my spine. The weight of another's arm on my back holding me in place. The concurrent thoughts of "What the hell am I doing?" and "Oh I've waited so long for this, I can't believe it's finally happening". 

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  • Sable Aradia
    Sable Aradia says #
    Hi there Gwion! Thanks for reading my Altars post. I read yours too (nice piece, btw,) and then I saw you had a link to a Tattoo
  • Gwion Raven
    Gwion Raven says # or you can post it over at the Witches and Pagans face book page if you like. There are now hundreds of tat
  • David LeBarron
    David LeBarron says #
  • Gwion Raven
    Gwion Raven says #
    Hello David, Now that's a great story. I'd happily send you my email address if you'd like and you can email a picture to me. I'l
  • David LeBarron
    David LeBarron says #
    I just got an addition to an old tattoo. I added some sacred geometry, smoke and pentagrams. The best part was the tattooist is al

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

I apologize for my absence this month. My husband was in a bad car crash just before New Year's. Our car was totaled. He's doing well now, but January was a hectic month!

I'm about to start a new series in February about ancient and contemporary tattooing as related to goddess spirituality.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • DiAnna Stephens
    DiAnna Stephens says #
    I don't have any spiritual tats right now, but my next tattoo (planned to be done in the next couple months) combines my spiritual
  • Twilight Kallisti
    Twilight Kallisti says #
    I have three tattoos and all of them are for spiritual reasons. I'd be happy to be interviewed.
  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    Emily, I'm just glad that your husband is well. Be careful out there!
  • Emily Mills
    Emily Mills says #
    Thank you. I'm so grateful that he wasn't hurt worse. Our car was hit in three places by an old Dodge Ram. We are avoiding that wh

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