Around the Cauldron · For the Gods

Final Rite of Dedication

I really want to show off my new tattoo. I’m not someone who jumps at a tattoo for the sake of it – as it’s been nine years between my first and second. My first is a simple pentacle on my back below my neck, and this makes my second. Tattoos are something I meditate on, and decide if I really want this on my skin forever.

This marks my dedication to Herne the Hunter, and my final ritual in the series. This design was drawn by me, and approved of by Herne (such as six tines on the antlers, having ears, the green glow). It was done Friday night, as close to the new moon as I could get an appointment. I almost fainted (twice) during the outline, but I was fine once I asked Herne to lend me his strength to get through it.

I won’t lie – it hurt. I forgot how tender that part of the arm is! I had some idea (I was a cutter for ten years and this part (of my other arm) was a favourite spot) but this was different. I handled it, no worries, and my arm still slightly hurts. But I love it. The guys at the studio couldn’t understand why I wanted it “upside down”, but when I raise my arms to the sky in ritual, it’s the right way up. And when I pull my sleeve down to look at it, it’s the right way up.

My muggle hates it. Actually, hate isn’t a strong enough word. He despises it! For starters, he wishes that I hadn’t gotten it. But knowing that I would, he wishes I had chosen a spot I could more easily hide it. He doesn’t care about the symbolism behind it, so I’m now waiting for him to not be angry at me. Yes, I’m aware I’m whipped. But this wasn’t his choice to make – it’s my skin, my decision, and I wouldn’t chose otherwise if I had to do it again. My muggle will get over it eventually.

It is on my right arm because that is my power arm. My relationship with Herne is often like finding my way out of a dark maze of tunnels; and he’s there holding my hand, helping me through it while I carry a torch in the other to see where I’m going. As I mentioned it was as close to the new moon as I could get it, to symbolise new beginnings – the final page of one chapter and the beginning of another. Six tines as approved by Herne, along with a human face and ears rather than a stag head. Forest green glow, representing his forest where he is the Lord of the Hunt.

I love that my design is on my arm. I love my relationship with Herne, and he approves of it. This isn’t a fad, but a life long commitment.

I am a Daughter of Herne the Hunter!

2 thoughts on “Final Rite of Dedication

  1. Yep – he can get over it. This is something you’ve done for you. A tattoo can have fantastic symbolism. It doesn’t change who you are and that’s what he’s your muggle for – who you are, not what you look like, wear or get tattooed on your skin.
    My only caveat is that I made a life-long commitment to Jesus once and renewed it several times over the years…you know where I stand now! But if I had ever got a tattoo and it was something like a triskell, that would have been.symbolic of my initially being drawn to Celtic spirituality within Christianity, it would have been a symbol that was translatable. Who knows – perhaps one day I’ll yet get a tattoo…:)

    1. Yeah, that’s something I really had to consider. What if I do lose my connection, what if I do go “insane” and go back to my Catholic upbringing, or something in between. Either way, this represents where I am now. My skin is a storybook of my life. My pentacle is of when I first came to the craft, my scars from self injury represents the “dark days”, and this represents where I am now.

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