Today in celebration of affinity with the Pictish Painted People of Europe, a father and daughter came and both got enigmatic ancient symbols. The best thing about this kind of tattoo is that you can make up whatever "meaning" you wish..... because the academics can speculate all they want, but no one really KNOWS what the people who created them had in mind.
This z-rod and double disc is from the Dunnichen Pictish symbol stone, currently on display in Forfar, Angus, Scotland. The pattern appears on many carved stones found across Scotland, and this one was probably carved in the 7th century. The way it is rendered, with a combination of line and "woad blue" dots on a blue-eyed girl, makes it come alive in skin.
The most charming of all the Pictish animals is the Pictish Beast, also known as the Pictish Dragon, or Swimming Elephant. Some people even say that it might be the Loch Ness Monster!
This version is from the Strathmartine Castle stone, now on display in Dundee, Scotland. I chose to render him in pointillist dots, to mimic the hand-pecking tapping technique that would have been used to create his image in sandstone so many centuries ago.
This animal makes up forty percent of the Pictish animal carvings, so he did once have great importance to my ancestors. And now, he lives again on this man's leg.
Visit the PICTISH TATTOO PAGE to read more about the Picts and the imagery that inspired these tattoos.