In this article we are going to explore the reasons why people get tattooed. Learn the history and common practices of this body art.

Self Expression. Tattoos are works of art that can be used as a vehicle to display your
unique sense of individuality to the world. For instance, if you are into the “undead
scene” others will be able to identify you by the ghostly spirit tattooed on your arm. If
you are an art lover, an Andy Warhol or Leonardo Da Vinici inspired tattoo will deliver
the message to others. The tattoo can also give others some idea of your occupation. On the other hand Japanese tattoos have their meaning tied to the various creatures, plants, and people depicted in the tattoo. This goes beyond the typical metaphoric or implied meaning inherent to all art– These images are used to convey a person’s beliefs, aspirations, or character traits.

Tribal Identity. The original intention of a tattoo was to mark an individual as part of
a tribe or a group. This type of tattoo warns others if you happen to belong to some
kind of gang (good for them) and allows other kindred spirits to identify you (good for
you.) For instance, an iron cross can identify a Goth individual, the Serenity Prayer an
AA member, a Harley Davidson logo a biker, a crucifix a Christian, an anchor a
member of the Navy and so on …

Spiritual Growth. Many individuals will get a tattoo after they experience an epiphany
or leap of faith that has led to their survival against great odds. Examples of this kind of
tattoo are the lung cancer survivor who gets a tattoo of the wind blowing and the
student of Buddhism who gets the “ohm” symbol tattooed on his chest after receiving
teachings from a master.

For Spiritual Protection. Cab drivers will boast a tattoo of St. Christopher on their
arms to prevent accidents on the road. A very familiar tattoo for protection is the eye
within the hand or the eye within the triangle that finds its origins in the ancient
Mediterranean. Crucifix’s, sacred hearts, St. Michael and gods or goddesses are often
used for the same purposes.

Marking Important Events. Weddings, anniversaries, divorces, surviving a war and
other occasions sometimes warrant a tattoo. Some couples are getting tattoos marked
around the fourth finger of their left hand rather than opting for the traditional
engagement ring.

Paying Homage. Sometimes a tattoo is in order after the death of a celebrity, favorite
pet or relative. Usually these tattoos are portraits commissioned by a very talented
artist who can reproduce likenesses of such personages as Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, John
F. Kennedy or Malcolm X.

To Enhance Luck. Getting a tattoo to enhance your luck is as old as primitive man.
Today you can see everything from pairs of dice to four leafed clovers to the Greek
Goddess Fortuna marked on the arms of those who wish to court Lady Luck.

To Express Commitment. Getting a tattoo in this day of “disposable everything” is an
expression of commitment to yourself that is forever. The sages say that making an
irrevocable decision is good for the soul!

Totem Symbols and Animals. Some people consider a tattoo to be an expression of
their soul or spirit guide. Fairies, hummingbirds, butterflies, angels, wolves, tigers and
other animals are popular examples of this kind of tattoo.

Author's Bio: 

My name is Elaine and I'm a self proclaimed "do it yourself addict". I am the mother of the best 11 year old boy ever and my husband's not too shabby either