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Crossing the Abyss...[Da'ath on the throat]

I seem to have some weird luck with tattoo studios. Every time I go in with a deposit, though they were booked for weeks when I checked earlier, I always manage to get in on the following morning. The deities want me to have ink - swear to god.

So I went in for my sixth and seventh tattoos early in the morning - early for me, anyway, and as the first appointment. The first tattoo was on my hip, as a private symbol, and was more or less like all the others - pain numbing into warmth...though I found out that a tattoo gun does, in fact, tickle.

After the first was finished, we prepared for the second, the Hebrew word "Da'ath", meaning knowledge, but representing in the Qabala the Abyss before Kether and true enlightenment. In Da'ath, the ego will fall away before you progress to the Crown - or you will stay there. It can stand for the balanced power of Binah and Chokmah, but it also leads to the Qlippoth, the 'cracked shells' of reality. Da'ath is a dangerous symbol.

I decide to get it in white ink on my collarbone, as the chakra corresponding to Da'ath is the throat chakra, and though I had considered getting it under my jaw, I elected not to push my pain tolerance up that many octaves at once. He prepared the stencil, placed it over my collarbone; one letter on either side and one in the very centre, in the little hollow. He places them there, peels them off, and waits for my approval of placement and look; then he stops a moment and looks at me seriously. "This is a really dangerous place to get a tattoo." I smirk, thinking he means pain; I've gotten tattoos on my sternum and the ball of my shoulder and the bone of my hip...but he shakes his head. "No, I don't mean pain, I mean that if I go too deeply at this spot, it could kill you."

Very briefly, I consider changing my mind; in a ten-second burst, I weighed the value of the tattoo to me against the risks involved. I raise my head and grin at him. What could be more appropriate for Da'ath than an element of real and present risk?

Then the artist frowns and begins adjusting the 'dentist's chair' for appropriate positioning, while I sit up in the middle, and finally pulls the headrest off and gestures for me to lie down. My heart is racing a little faster, from his little jibes about pain, and the warning about esophageal tattooing; I let my head fall back over the edge, exposing the collarbone, and I breathe very deeply.

He says, "Here we go..." and begins applying the outline to the left letter. It's sharper in pain than any of my other ink, but short, and I know I smile when he's halfway through.

"Okay," he murmurs, taking a deep breath. His hand presses down suddenly on my throat, and I find myself breathing into the downstrokes of the gun as it travels over that little hollow. The pain is sharp, but no sharper than the first letter, and perhaps even a little less - but when he drags the tip over the higher point in the throat, it becomes harder to breathe. "This's going to take a little longer, because I have to do it level by level." I'm relaxed, smiling, forcing my mind up a register and holding my breath until he pauses to wipe the work and check his lines. He moves onto the third letter, and I wonder - could it be over that fast? The needle pulls back, and he says, "Okay...outline's done." Grunt. Suddenly I smile, and say that it's fortunate I don't smoke - a trach tube would really fuck this tat up. He laughs, I laugh, and we're on again. The big needle moves down on my skin and I relax into the warmth of it until it crosses my throat, and then I simply hold m y breath as he works until he pauses, inhaling and exhaling deeply enough to make me feel light-headed; that, combined with my head-down position, makes me relax wholly into the rest of the fill as he works it over slowly, layer by layer, moving to the last letter and quickly stroking the white in - and I'm done.

He raises the chair up, I swing my legs to the floor and look in the mirror - perfect tat, perfect placement, perfect idea for me. Amazing. He slathers on plenty of ointment and cuts down a couple of bandages to fit along my collarbone. I'm grinning like an idiot, and I laugh at him and say, "I remember my aftercare instructions. I let everyone lick it, right?"

He laughs. "This time, try Saran Wrap over it - wash it, you know, lots of Goo, and then keep it bandaged in Saran Wrap when you're at home." The occlusive bandage technique is new to me, but I'm happy to try it.

I can't wait to take the bandages off tomorrow morning! Namaste and be well.

Details

submitted by: Anonymous
on: 19 March 2004
in Hebrew Tattoos

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Originally written by Nyx

Artist: Jerry
Studio: Dragonheart Tattoo
Location: Lloydminster, Alberta, Canada

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