Today a father came in to have his second daughter's footprint placed on his chest, playing yin-yang footsie with the print of his first daughter that I installed many years ago. In addition we placed a tiny Navajo Naja symbol in the center of his chest. It is an exact size replication of the one he has worn for 25 years, a gift from a beloved cousin who committed suicide. The Naja symbol is found in various forms throughout the world, and is a central part of the squash blossom necklaces of the Navajo. It is seen in Paleolithic art, and is even mentioned in the Book of Judges as an ornament worn around the necks of Moorish camels and on the browband of horses and mules to ward off the evil eye. It is thought to have been brought by the Moors to Spain, then to Mexico by Spaniards, then with Mexicans up to the Navajo.
This pattern combines the two forms of spirals that are the most important stylistic element in Celtic art. The spiral built of two elements is akin to the yin-yang pattern in Eastern cultures, representing dualism, black and white, yes and no. But the triple spiral is the Celtic way, it allows for black, white and grey........ yes, no and maybe. Because in the shape-shifting world of the mists, things are not so clearly divided.
A husband and wife traveled far to acquire a set of symbolic tattoos to celebrate their mutual 50th birthdays. The Celtic triquetra with a knotwork ring now graces the wife's hip, and it forms the center of the cross now installed on the husband's calf. The best sort of matching tattoos: each is unique, and stands alone, but they are obviously a set when seen together.
The beauty of butterflies is unquestionably one of the inspirations for tribal tattoo design. This pattern captures the swooping lines of butterfly wings in a simple tribal graphic.