I thought about saving this for a while, but it’s fresh on my mind after reviewing The Urban Primitive.
I’ve known a lot of pagans and polytheists with body art, and a fair handful of them acquired it with a specifically spiritual intent. Personally? While all of my tattoos are especially personal, only a few have any spiritual meaning, and most of that few only really acquired it after the fact. Across my back, running approximately shoulder to shoulder, is tattoo’d the maxim “Nothing is real and everything is permitted”, which is from the anti-Fascist novel Alamut —or rather, it’s an approximate translation. Of course, when I got that done, I was eighteen and saw it in the liner notes(?) to a Cradle of Filth album, and had no idea of its original source; a few people told me it was Alistair Crowley, but nobody knew from where. I have to say, since learning of the source, I’m a lot less embarrassed by it.
On my left arm, I have an exact replica of the “Je t’aime” tattoo that Rozz Williams, founding member of the bands Christian Death and Shadow Project, had on his left arm. I was really insistent that it looked exactly the same and was placed in the same location, and while initially, I took this on as a form of hero-worship and tribute, after having lived in Los Angeles, since, and after making friends with some of his friends, the man has become so ineffably human, in my eyes. He said a lot of what I needed, at one time in my life, and it’s easy to attribute the creation of the Dark Cabaret genre to the second and third Christian Death records (sorry, the origin of Deathrock goes to the first two Alice Cooper albums), he was so human in ways I have yet to see from others I still place on some impossible pedestal or another. Don’t ask me exactly what it was that did it, it was probably a lot of things, though if anything stands out, especially, it’s gotta be the decade plus of heroin abuse —like, to the point that it’s harder to find a song he wrote in 1992/93 that’s not about junk than it is to find a Pansy Division song that’s not about cock; stay away from heroin, kids, it makes Heroes into mortals. Still, the translation of “Je t’aime”, I love you, is something that indisputably marks me as Eros’.
The piercings I currently have are my ears (though I only wear jewellery in the right ear, lately, and only the first two holes), my left nostril (or, if you’d rather “side nose” LOL), and a beauty mark piercing on the right side. The nostril has largely been aesthetic; for a couple years, I had it out and needed to get it done again —I took it out some time between chest surgery and HRT (yes, mine were in that order, cos fuck you, that’s why) cos I thought it was somehow hurting my “passability” as male; turned out the bigger culprit was living in Ann Arbor, MI, where I had been living for most of the previous decade, and apparently no-one notices things like losing a massive pair of tidders. June of 2010, I just gave up on the whole idea that I needed to “butch up”, cos frankly, not only had I always identified as somehow male, I’d also always been pretty fem, and I was almost as unhappy with making pathetic efforts to “butch up” as I was with trying to force myself to be happy as a woman. The previous December, I cemented my relationship with Eros in ritual, and so December of 2010, I decided to get a beauty mark piercing to commemorate it.