77 Cross My Heart and Hope to Die Completely True Facts

1. If you put your finger in your ear and scratch, it sounds just like Pacman.

2. The YYK on your zipper stands for “Yoshida Kogyo Kabushikigaisha.”

3. Maine is the closest U.S. state to Africa.

4. Anne Frank, Martin Luther King Jr., and Barbara Walters were born in the same year, 1929.

5. The name Jessica was created by Shakespeare in the play Merchant Of Venice.

6. Cashews grow like this:

7. And pineapples grow like this:

8. Cleopatra lived closer to the invention of the iPhone than she did to the building of the Great Pyramid.

9. Russia has a larger surface area than Pluto.

10. Saudi Arabia imports camels from Australia.

11. Hippo milk is pink.

12. The toy Barbie’s full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts.

13. Woody from Toy Story has a full name too — it’s Woody Pride.

14. And while we’re at it, Mr. Clean’s full name is Veritably Clean.

15. Oh, and Cookie Monster’s real name is Sid.

16. Carrots were originally purple.

17. The heart of a Blue Whale is so big a human can swim through the arteries.

18. Vending machines are twice as likely to kill you than a shark is.

19. Home Alone was released closer to the moon landing than it was to today.

20. Oxford University is older than the Aztec Empire.

21. Not once in the Humpty Dumpty nursery rhyme does it mention that he’s an egg.

22. France was still executing people with a guillotine when the first Star Wars film came out.

23. Armadillos nearly always give birth to identical quadruplets.

24. Betty White is actually older than sliced bread.

25. The unicorn is the national animal of Scotland.

26. A strawberry isn’t a berry but a banana is.

27. So are avocados and watermelon.

28. New York City is further south than Rome, Italy.

29. North Korea and Finland are separated by one country.

30. Mammoths went extinct 1,000 years after the Egyptians finished building the Great Pyramid.

31. There are more fake flamingos in the world than real flamingos.

32. Nintendo was founded as a trading card company back in 1889.

33. The man who voiced Fry on Futurama, Billy West, also voiced Doug on Doug.

34. The last time the Chicago Cubs won the baseball World Series, the Ottoman Empire still existed.

35. And lollipops had not yet been invented.

36. And women did not have the right to vote in the United States.

37. If you shrunk the sun down to the size of a white blood cell and shrunk the Milky Way Galaxy down using the same scale, it would be the size of the continental United States.

38. John Tyler, the 10th president of the United States, has a grandson who’s alive today.

39. Will Smith is now older than Uncle Phil was at the beginning of The Fresh Prince.

40. The show the The Wonder Years aired from 1988–1993 and covered the years 1968–1973. Today, in 2014, if one were to make a similar show, it would cover the years 1994–1999.

41. Humans share 50% of their DNA with bananas.

42. Duck Hunt is a two-player game. Player two controls the ducks.

43. The difference in time between when Tyrannosaurus Rex and Stegosaurus lived is greater than the difference in time between Tyrannosaurus Rex and now.

44. One more fact about the Cubs: The last time they won the world series, Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Oklahoma, and New Mexico were not yet states.

45. Speaking of Alaska — it’s simultaneously the most northern, the most western, and the most eastern state in the U.S.

46. Pluto never made a full orbit around the sun from the time it was discovered to when it was declassified as a planet.

47. A thousand seconds is 16 minutes.

48. A million seconds is 11 days.

49. A billion seconds is 32 years.

50. And one trillion seconds is 32,000 years. A trillion is a lot.

51. But the good news is: Honey never spoils. You can eat 32,000-year-old honey.

52. There are more stars in space than there are grains of sand on every beach on Earth.

53. And there’s enough water in Lake Superior to cover all of North and South America in one foot of water.

54. There are more public libraries than McDonald’s in the U.S.

55. For every human on Earth there are approximately 1.6 million ants. The total weight of all those ants is approximately the same as the total weight of all the humans on Earth.

56. An octopus has three hearts.

57. Mario hits blocks with his hand, not his head.

58. The CEO of Food For The Poor is named Robin Mahfood.

59. One in every 5,000 babies is born with a condition known as “imperforate anus.”. This means the baby is born without an anus and has to have one created manually in the hospital.

60. You can’t hum while holding your nose.

61. It rains diamonds on Saturn and Jupiter.

62. Also, this is what Jupiter would look like if it were as close to us as the Moon is:

63. And this is what sand looks like under a microscope:

64. If a piece of paper were folded 42 times, it would reach to the moon.

65. The pyramids were as old to the Romans as the Romans are to us.

66. If you dug a hole to the center of the Earth and dropped a book down, it would take 42 minutes to reach the bottom.

67. There is 10 times more bacteria in your body than actual body cells.

68. And 90% of the cells that make us up of aren’t human but mostly fungi and bacteria.69. Every two minutes, we take more pictures than all of humanity in the 19th century.

70. Peanuts are not nuts. They grow in the ground, so they are legumes.

71. Turtles can breathe out of their butts.

72. The dot over an “i” is called a “tittle.”

73. There are more atoms in a glass of water than glasses of water in all the oceans on Earth.

74. The probability of you drinking a glass of water that contains a molecule of water that also passed through a dinosaur is almost 100%.

75. At the time the current oldest person on Earth was born, there was a completely different set of human beings on the planet.

76. And at the time you were born, you were briefly the youngest person in the entire world.

77. And, finally, “dog food lid” backwards is “dildo of God.”

Viva Mi Raza! A Brief Look at Aztec Art and Tattoo Body Art Design

Aztec/Mexican tattoos have seen a remarkable boom of late, which shouldn’t be too surprising seeing as the mark- ing of skin was an integral part of the ancient Aztec culture. Since religion was essential to their daily lives, Aztecs worshipped myriad gods and goddesses, and would tattoo the chest, wrist, and stomach of children with very specific designs and symbolic patterns in order to show dedication to gods such as Chalchiuhtlicue, Huitzilo- pochtli, Uitzilopochtle, and the more popularly known Quetzalcoatl.

Unfortunately, the true meaning of a great deal of Aztec art is lost it was written in the ancient script of Natuatl, which was a language so complex that it defies proper translation to this very day. This, of course, is a minor setback for the tattoo artists of today who have created interesting and unique tattoos revolving around sun designs. Why the sun, you ask? For the simple fact that the sun was extremely vital to the Aztecs as it was worshipped as the giver of life. They even designed their calendar with the sun in mind, decorating it with various images including skulls, gods and animals.

Another popular design is the Coat of Arms found on the Mexican flag, which is an eagle, holding a serpent in its talon. The serpent is perched on top of a nopal which is situated on a rock that rises above a lake. This image actually stems from the legend of Tenochtitlán, which tells us that the Aztec people were sent on a quest by the war god Huitzilopochtli to travel across Mexico in search of the divine sign that would let them know where to build their new home. The sign, of course, was the eagle and serpent on a prickly pear cactus that grew on a rock in the center of a lake. In case you’re curious, the Aztecs finally came across the divine sign two hundred years later on a small island in Lake Texcoco, and their built their home that today is called Mexico City.

And rounding out the most popular Mexican/Aztec tattoo designs is the scripted phrase, “Viva Mi Raza” which loosely translates to “long live my race”. A variant of this is “Viva La Raza” (“long live the race”). “La Raza” as a proper noun which refers to the Mestizo (or Mestiço) race, a term that usually refers to persons with mixed Latin, European and Amerindian ancestry.

Copyright ©2005 Rhyan Scorpio Rhys

A Heavy Cross to Bear – Choosing The Right Cross Tattoo

Crux immissa. Crux capitata. Crux commissa. Crux immissa. Crux ansata. Cruz gammata.

The cross. It is the most ancient and universal symbol, which in pre-erudite cultures often symbolized a duality. Associated with the horizontal beam of the cross were the symbols of the feminine, which included the characteristics of passivity, earthiness, destruction, and death. On the other hand, the vertical beam suggested its masculine counterpart, which was considered celestial, eternal, creative, positive, active, and full of life.But before the cross became a religious and holy symbol, it was used in a cruel method of execution called crucifixion, where a victim was tied and nailed by the wrists and feet to a large wooden cross and left to hang there until dead. This practice was believed to have begun with ancient Persians, and Alexander the Great introduced crucifixion throughout his empire when he crucified a general who disagreed with his campaign plans. Later, the Roman Empire adopted the custom from Carthage and used it for slaves, rebels, enemies and criminals. After Jesus of Nazareth had been put to death, Saint Helena was said to have discovered the cross that Christ died upon in the fourth century AD. Helena was instrumental in converting the crumbling Roman Empire into the Christian Holy Roman Empire, and when Christianity became the state religion, Emperor Constantine abolished crucifixion.

Now, when it comes to religious symbol body art, the cross tattoo is by far the most popular tattoo design.

What Cross Tattoo Designs Represent On A Man Or Woman

Cross tattoos have the distinction of being one of the few tattoo designs that are, for the most part, unisex. It represents that same thing for women and men, as the symbol of the cross deals with the spiritual rather than the physical.

What Type Of Person Gets A Cross Tattoo Design

People who get cross tattoos are in tune with their spirituality and they know that they’re more than just their physical bodies. Their intuition and faith factor in heavily when the solution to a problem is beyond reasoning and thinking. Most of the problems we face day to day are intangible, so in seeking answers, these people transcend physical limitations. Cross tattoos also help spiritual people be at peace with themselves, and they seldom feel alone. The cross tattoo serves as a reminder that they are loved by God all the time, and feeling this love, they are peaceful, compassionate, open and loving to all human beings. With cross body art, a special relationship with God is implied.

Different Types Of Crosses

The Crux Immissa is shaped like a lower case “t”, with the horizontal beam inserted (which is what immissa means) at right angles to the upright post. This is the most common form of the Christian cross, and it was on a cross such as this that Christ actually died (for that reason it is sometimes referred to as the Passion cross). This cross is also called Crux Capitata (“with a head”) and the Latin cross.

The Crux Commissa is shaped like a capital “T” (commissa means “joined” or “attached”) and it is more widely known as the Tau Cross or St. Anthony’s cross.

The Crux Decussata is an “X” shaped cross (decussata comes from decus, Latin for “distinction”, “honor”, “glory” and “grace”). The crux decussata is seen in the elaborate Chi Rho Cross and Baptismal Cross, and the simple St. Andrew’s cross.

The Crux Ansata, or ansated cross, is most commonly known as the Ankh (a looped Tau cross that serves as the ancient Egyptian hieroglyph meaning “life”). The hieroglyph itself is a sketch of the womb and the sexual union of male and female genitalia, which signifies zest, energy, reproduction, regeneration, and immortality. The symbol closely resembles the Hindu depiction of a Hermaphrodite standing on a lotus flower.

The Cross of Triumph is similar to the design of the Latin cross, only it adds a large circle to the base with the outline of an upside-down T inside. This cross is a symbol that testifies to the universal triumph of the Gospel throughout the world.

The Calvary Cross is like the Crux Immissa on it’s mounted on three steps (which represent the hill of Calvary or, more often, “faith”, “hope” and “love”. It is also known as the Graded cross.

The Eastern Orthodox Cross (also known as the Russian Cross and Byzantine Cross) is another cross that is similar to the Latin Cross with two additional cross beams that sit above and below the original horizontal beam. The upper is shorter in length and runs parallel to the original cross beam while the lower slopes down from left to right at an angle.The top beam bears the plaque conveying Pontius Pilate’s inscription, “INRI” (Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum) which is Latin, Greek and Hebrew for “Jesus the Nazorean, King of the Jews”. The true meaning of the bottom beam is a little more of a mystery. One popular theory (circa the eleventh century) is that it represents a footrest and the slant symbolizes a balance scale showing the good thief, St. Dismas, having accepted Christ would ascend to heaven, while the thief who mocked Jesus would descend to hell. In this interpretation, Christ and the cross is a balance of justice.

The Templar Cross features horizontal and vertical beams of equal length, the ends of which are flared. To fully understand the history of the cross, we must go back to the year 1118, when a military order was formed by nine French noble knights, whose ranks included Hugues de Payens and Geoffrey de Saint-Omer. The founding knights of this order, known as “The Poor Knights of Christ”, took monastic vows and were devoted to the protection of pilgrims and the defense of the Holy Land. When the King of Jerusalem, King Baldwin II (circa 1118-1131), installed the order in a part of the Palace of Jerusalem called, Solomon’s Temple, for their residence and armory, the order became known as Knights of the Temple or Templars.In 1128, the Knights of the Temple were confirmed by Pope Honorius II, and they received the white vestment as a symbol of the purity of their life, to which Pope Eugenius, in 1146, added “the red cross with two bars”. Despite many years of sacrifices and rendering service to bit Christianity and civilization, Philip the Fair, King of France (who was in the Order’s debt), arrested all the Templars in 1307, and seized their goods and possessions. But Phillip was unable to judge the Order, as it was answerable only to the Pope, so he set about to coerce Pope Clement V to act against the Order. The Pope eventually yielded to pressure in 1312 and the Order was forced to revert to its original status of a Secular Military Order of Chivalry.In 1314, noted Templar Grand Master Jacques de Molay was burned at the stake near Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris. And in England, though Edward II did not take immediate action against the Order, he permitted the Inquisitors to judge the Order at the Church of All Hallows By-the-Tower, and then set about seizing the Templar lands and possessions, including the Temple in London, for himself rather than passing them on to the nominated custodians, the Knights of Saint John.

The biggest misconception regarding the Knights Templar is that they always wore the cross as part of their raiment, when in actuality it wasn’t until 1147 that the Pope Eugene III granted the Templars the right to wear a red cross, sewn above the heart on the left side of the Templar garment. Before this time the knights wore only a white coat and their sergeants wore a brown one.

The Crusader’s Cross (also called the Jerusalem Cross) is symbolized as the crux immissa surrounded by four smaller crosses and usually represents Christ’s command to spread the Gospel around the world, a mission that started in Jerusalem. Although the true meaning of this cross is unknown, the most popular beliefs are:

* The larger cross represents the Old Testament teachings and the smaller crosses incorporate the New Testament teachings. The four apostles, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, surrounding Christ in the center Christianity (the center cross) being broadcast by missionaries to the four corners of the world
* Five crosses representing the five wounds of Jesus on the cross (hands, feet and side)

It is believed that the name Crusader’s Cross came about because the symbol was on the papal banner given to the crusaders by Pope Urban II.

The Maltese Cross is comprised of four triangles who apexes meet to form an eight-pointed star that has varies shapes (blunt, curved and sharp). Originally used by the Knights of the Hospitaller Order, so known due to their charity toward the sick and poor in setting up hospices and hospitals, the symbol is still in use today by fire and ambulance services. During this time, battle armor was often extensive, covering bodies and faces and making it difficult in battle to differentiate friend from foe, so the need for an identifiable insignia for the knights became vital. Since they fought for a holy cause, they selected the symbol of the cross and when the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem moved to the Island of Malta, the emblem inherited the island’s name. The Maltese cross represented the principles of charity, loyalty, chivalry, gallantry, generosities to friend and foe, protection of the weak, and dexterity in service. Because of its connection with the Knights of St. John, this cross is also called St. John’s Cross.

The Celtic Cross is simply a Latin cross with a ring in the center, and as is the case with most of the other crosses listed here, this cross is called different things by different people. For example, Episcopalians and Anglicans call it the Celtic cross, whereas Catholics refer to it as the Irish cross. Sometimes it’s even mistakenly identified as St. John’s Cross (see: Maltese Cross). Equally ambiguous is the meaning of the ring in the center of the cross. Interpretations range from it being a symbol of eternity that emphasizes the everlasting love of God, as shown through Christ’s crucifixion, to the symbolization of Christ’s resurrection, to the simplified explanation that it’s a halo. Then there’s the theory that when St. Patrick converted Druids to Christians, he took one of their standing stones etched with a circle that symbolized their moon goddess, and scratched a Latin cross mark over the circle, to show that Christianity had replaced their pagan beliefs.

The Celtic cross also contains plaitwork, which are patterns of interwoven cords that symbolize the “Thread of Life”, since the human soul was thought, by the Celts, to be a fragment of the divine, which would ultimately return to its divine source, after ridding itself of its accumulated, inherited impurities (see: Celtic Knots for more information regarding plaitwork).

The Anchor Cross is also known as St. Clement’s Cross, named after the fourth Pope who was banished from Rome in the first century by Emperor Trajan. Clement was forced to work in a Russian stone quarry and he caused trouble for himself when he located a spring of fresh water from the ground that quenched his fellow prisoners’ thirst (believed to be miracle, which aided in his later sainthood), and since no good deed goes unpunished, the prison governor ordered Clement’s death. He was subsequently tied to anchor and tossed into the Black Sea to prevent Christians from recovering the body. Clement later became the patron saint of anchorsmiths, blacksmiths, mariners, marble workers and stonecutters.

Which Cross Tattoo Is Right For Me?

Believe it or not, this is a difficult question to answer, because there is no logical thought pattern behind the choice (with the exception of the choosing the cross symbol that identifies your religion). The design could be a traditional Christian cross, a tribal cross, a Celtic cross, a gothic cross (being “goth” doesn’t make you a bad person), or a Latin cross with either a rosary, wings or praying hands. The only thing that matters is that the cross tattoo design you select, speaks to you spiritually. This decision is between you and God.

How will you show your faith and love?

Copyright ©2005 Rhyan Scorpio Rhys

O Butterfly, Beautiful Butterfly

In the brotherhood, or in this case sisterhood, of ink (once you get a tattoo…you’re a card-carrying member) the most popular design sported by women of all walks of life from all over the world is the butterfly. Whether combined with a flower tattoo design (roses, lilies, daisies or sunflowers) or a vine tattoo design (typically done as a butterfly armband) or a wispy-thin tribal tattoo design, butterfly tattoos have a versatility that few tattoo designs have. Aside from the beauty of symmetry, shape, hue and infinite variety in pattern (like snowflakes, no two butterflies are totally alike) of these imaginative designs, butterfly tattoos can literally be placed anywhere on the body.

Why Do So Many People Get Butterfly Tattoo Designs?

The main reason is the human/butterfly connection that has existed for centuries and recanted in the mythologies of many ancient civilizations. It’s a widely held belief that that butterflies are the physical symbols of the human soul and just as the night butterfly is attracted by flame, the human soul is attracted by heavenly truths.

But even when you look at butterflies scientifically, the metamorphosis of butterflies and moths is one of the great mysteries of Nature. Think about it, these insects have the ability to change from crawling caterpillars to flying adults. If that isn’t magical, then I don’t know what is. In fact, many people are so awe inspired by the metamorphosis that they believe that butterflies and moths could never have evolved over millions of years without the power of God behind it.

What a Butterfly Tattoo Represents on a Woman

A butterfly tattoo on a woman usually acknowledges “woman as the free spirit.” Like butterflies in nature, the female “blossoms” from a girl to a woman, equipped with the gift to create and harvest new life. No matter where the butterfly tattoo is placed on the body, it serves as a portal to release and draw in the energies of life, the essences of human souls. A butterfly tattoo is a talisman that focuses the awesome power that is contained within all women.

Now, the types of women who get butterfly tattoo designs are as diverse as the patterns on the butterfly’s wings. These women can be creative, delicately lovely, patient, observant, and intelligent, in tune with nature, deeply committed to friendships and virginal. But they can also be pedantic, shrewd, judicious, aristocratic and reserved.

Does a Butterfly Tattoo Represent Different Meanings On Different Parts Of The Body?

Most definitely. What’s amazing is that a good number of women tend to place butterflies on one of the seven chakra points without even realizing it. The seven points are: the crown (the top of the head), third eye (the forehead above and between the eyebrows), throat, heart, solar plexus, reproduction (lower belly or lower back), and tribal root (beneath the groin). Now, some of you might not think of placing a butterfly tattoo on your crown, third eye or throat, but we have seen it and depending on the design, it can look pretty hot.

On the shoulder blade, the butterfly tattoo represents the dreamer, whose head is usually in the clouds. On the chest, butterfly body art signifies unconditional love for all living things. On the lower back, the butterfly symbolizes stability, survival, self-preservation, physical health, prosperity, and trust.

Below the belly, the butterfly tattoo design typically represents virginity. This stems from the longstanding tradition of branding virginal maidens as an act of tribute and respect to the gods (and not always as a sacrifice or offering, either). Later, a butterfly tattoo in this area came to mean a vow of celibacy or a “return to innocence”. It has since been modified to designate the reproductive region as a vessel of true love. Love enters and love is produced from this area.

WHAT BUTTERFLY TATTOOS MEAN THROUGHOUT THE WORLD

Greek and Irish Butterfly Mythology

In Greece the belief is that a new human soul is born each time a butterfly emerges from its cocoon, while in Ireland, people believe that butterflies are the souls of the dead waiting to pass through purgatory, and while Germans have a similar belief, they hold that the dead are reborn as children who fly about as butterflies, bringing childbirth to childless parents.

European Butterfly Mythology

Believe it or not, early Europeans viewed the butterfly with great respect and fear because they thought that the human soul took the form of a butterfly (and fearing a butterfly isn’t as crazy as it sounds. To this day, people still fear moths, especially in their homes, because they believe moths are an omen of death).

Asian Butterfly Mythology

Butterflies have been used by the Chinese and Japanese cultures for centuries as symbols of joy and the essence of happiness.

Native American Butterfly Tattoos

In general Native American legends speak of the belief that butterflies would carry the wishes to the Great Spirit in heaven to be granted. Individual tribe beliefs include:

  • The Shoshone believe that butterflies were originally pebbles into which the Great Spirit blew the precious breath of life.
  • Zuni tribes believe that butterflies can predict the weather. The Zuni also believe that the white butterfly predicts the beginning of summer.
  • The Blackfeet believe that dreams are brought to us in sleep by a butterfly.

Aztec, Mayan And Mexican Butterfly Mythology

Born out of the caterpillar in the chrysalis, butterflies are a symbol of fertility, rebirth, regeneration, happiness, and joy to Native Americans in Mexico.

  • The Aztecs believed that “the happy dead” visited their relatives in the form of beautiful butterflies to assure the family that all was well. These butterflies flew around the house and around bouquets of flowers, which were carried by Aztec men of social rank.
  • The Mayans looked upon butterflies as the spirits of dead warriors in disguise descending to earth.

Indian Butterfly Mythology

Among the Nagas of Assam the dead are believed to go through a series of transformations in the underworld and are finally reborn as butterflies. When the butterfly dies, that is the end of the soul forever.

Did You Know?

Did you know that butterflies have a connection to the Holocaust? Concentration camps contained barracks designated for children and the walls of these barracks are covered with butterflies. Hundreds and hundreds of butterflies, all scratched into the walls with fingernails and pebbles. It turns out that the children, knowing they were going to die, decided to leave a message of hope. Although their bodies would not survive, their immortal souls would live on in the form of butterflies.

So what are you waiting for? Find the perfect butterfly tattoo design and set you immortal soul free on a wondrous journey of metamorphosis. You will be transformed!

Copyright ©2005 Rhyan Scorpio Rhys

A Star, You Are – Selecting The Right Star Tattoo

Tribal Star Tattoo Image Vector Clip Art Online Royalty Free Design 600x580 Pixel

Understanding Star Symbols And How They Relate To Star Tattoos.

“I am a star which goes with thee and shines out of the depths” —– Mithraic Saying

What is that light shining in the darkness? A star, of course. The star has long been considered a symbol of truth, spirit and of hope. Their very existence speaks to the struggle against the forces of darkness and the unknown, and their fixed nature brings the suggestion of order and destiny, and it is on this structure that astrology is founded. In the Tarot, “The Star” is the seventeenth card in the Major Arcana, which signifies hope and the uniting of spirit with matter though the mediation of the soul.

So, how does this relate to you and me? Just ask Aleister Crowley, who once wrote, “every man and every woman is a star”, which is a concept that associates the symbol of the star with the divine spark within each of us.

Does The Number Of Points On A Star Tattoo Change Its Meaning?

Most definitely. A star design’s meaning depends on the number and sometimes orientation of its points. The differences are as follows:

Four Point Star, depicted as an equilateral cross with sharpened ends, was especially popular with various early Native American tribes. The star design appeared in their rock art, tipis, shields, clothing, robes, and pottery. People who choose the four point star tattoo tend to be trustworthy, practical, and down-to-earth individuals. They are the cornerstone members of society, who perform their duties with dedication and perseverance, and have the kind of will power that is often mistaken for sheer stubbornness. Once a decision is made, it will be followed through to the conclusion, right, wrong, or indifferent. “Four star tattoo” people are very set in their ways and determined to handle things the way they know they should be handled and their tenacity of purpose and ability to get the job done borders on obsession.

Five Point Star, also known as a pentacle or pentagram, is commonly depicted with a circle enclosing the star and is a popular symbol among pagans and wiccans. The five points typically represent earth, wind, fire, water, and our spirit, which takes its proper place above the four elements. The pentacle (the five-point star drawn as overlapping outlines) is considered a potent sigil of protection and balance and is worn as an adornment by pagans just as the crucifix is worn by Christians. There is also something called a “pentagrammaton” (a Greek word that means “five-lettered name”, which refers to Yeheshuah, the Hebrew name of Jesus) that has many representations, one of which is a pentagram that incorporates a yin-yang symbol to emphasize its harmonizing nature.

People who are attracted to a five point star tattoo are usually very versatile, adventurous, progressive, and always striving to find answers to the many questions that life poses. Since the five point star is the sign of freedom and independence (just take a look at the American flag), these people want to be totally unrestrained, and know how to motivate people around them. Five point star tattoo design people also love adventure, are apt to be multi-talented and happy-go-lucky, and have an innate ability to think through complex matters and analyze them quickly.

The Six Point Star, can be drawn two different ways, as an upside-down triangle overlapping an upright triangle or as one continuous line that angles to create six points (credited to Aleister Crowley). In the first example, when used in alchemy, the upright triangle represents fire, the upside-down triangle is the symbol for water and together they symbolize the unity of opposites.

Although the pentagram is widely recognized as the symbol of witchcraft, the hexagram is actually a very ancient and one of the most powerful symbols used in occultism and the casting of zodiacal horoscopes by astrologers. In fact, magicians and alchemists believed that the hexagram was actually the footprint of a demon called a “trud”, which they used in ceremonies to both attract and repel demons. It is believed that the word “hex” or “curse” comes from the hexagon.

The hexagram, in addition to appearing in the Great Seal of Solomon, is also a common symbol in Judaism, as there supposedly was a 6-pointed star on the shield that David carried to battle Goliath. However, despite the popularity of the Star of David, there is no Biblical or historical evidence that connects the hexagram with King David of Israel, although it can be traced to King Solomon when he turned to pagan gods in his later years.

People who get a six point star tattoo design tend to be idealistic and have a strong sense of responsibility. Quick to offer advice, these people often take on the burden of leadership, which they temper with strength, compassion, wisdom and sympathy. They are always willing to carry far more than their fair share of the load and feel that the most important thing in their life is the home, family and friends.

The Seven Point Star, aside from being a septagram or septacle, is also known as the “elven” of “fairy” star, since it is the star associated with the magick and spiritual realms. Not surprising, the septacle is a sacred symbol to Wiccans who follow the “Faery” tradition, and is also important in Western Qaballah, where it symbolizes the sphere of Netzach, the seven planets, the seven alchemical metals, and the seven days of the week. The seven pointed star is also a significant component of the seal of the Astrum Argentum, the inner order of Aleister Crowley’s esoteric magickal order Ordo Templi Orientis.

Seven point star tattoo people are peaceful and affectionate souls, who are by nature rather reserved and analytical. Intellectual, scientific and studious, these people don’t accept a premise until they have dissected the subject and arrived at their own independent conclusion. Since this is a spiritual star, it often denotes a sort of spiritual wisdom that becomes apparent at a fairly early age.

The Eight Point Star or the octagram represents completeness and the regenerative cycle, which is also seen in the eight Sabbats of the Pagan year, and the eight-fold systems such as the trigrams of the I Ching, the pagan wheel of the year and the Ogdoad (the eight deities of the creation myth) of ancient Egypt.

Eight point star tattoo people are apt to be very independent, forceful, competitive, powerful, confident and materially successful individuals. These people are involved in practical, down-to-earth affairs, and they use their ambitions, organizational ability, and efficient approach to carve a satisfying niche for themselves.

The nonagram or Nine Point Star is a symbol of achievement and stability, and is related to nine-fold systems, such as kundalini power and the nine Taoist kanji (psychic centers) which are similar to the seven Hindu bodily charkas plus the Earth-star and Soul-star. In Qaballah, the nonagram symbolizes Yesod, the Earth, the Moon and the power of imagination.

People who choose nine point star tattoo designs are compassionate, generous, very trustworthy, honorable, and unlikely to harbor any sort of prejudice. These people feel very deeply for individuals less fortunate than themselves, and if they are in a position to help, they certainly will. Generally equipped with an artistic nature, nine point star tattoo people are able to express their deep emotional feelings through painting, writing, music, or other art forms.

In closing, now you realize that there’s more to browsing through a selection and picking the right star tattoo design for your personality than it just looking pretty, spiritual or patriotic on your body. As stated above, stars connect us to the celestial aspect of creation and speaks to that soul-spark that exists in each and every one of us. Remember, you are a child of the stars, a product of the heavens and you should be proud express to the world… the star you are.

Copyright ©2005 Rhyan Scorpio Rhys

Tattoo or Knot Tattoo… That Is The Celtic Question

Choosing The Right Irish / Celtic Tattoos

Irish tattoos, Celtic tattoos…it’s all the same thing right, so what’s the big deal? Well, actually it’s not when you look at the two different types of tattoo designs. Irish tattoos, for the most part, consist of things like shamrocks, leprechauns, the Irish flag, and Gaelic sayings such as “Erin Go Braugh” (“Ireland Be Free”). Celtic tattoos deal more with geometrical latticed designs and sometimes animals. Let’s take a look at some of these designs in a little more detail, shall we?

Leprechauns – As stated above, among the most popular Irish tattoo designs are leprechauns, who are native Irish fairies who possess hidden pots o’ gold and vicious mean streaks. If you listen carefully for the sound of the “tap-tap-tap” of a leprechaun’s hammer, you maybe be able to catch the crafty little fellow and make him reveal the hiding place of his treasure. But don’t take your eyes off him, for if you do, he will disappear instantly.

Four-leaf clovers are the age-old universally accepted symbol of good luck (according to legend, Eve carried a four leaf clover from the Garden of Eden) with each leaf bearing a separate symbol. The first leaf is for “hope”, the second for “faith”, the third for “love” and the fourth, and most essential leaf, is for “luck”. The odds of finding a four-leaf clover is estimated at 10,000 to 1.

Shamrocks are equally important and the symbolism attached to it is a result of St. Patrick, who brought Christianity to Ireland, established monasteries, schools and churches to aid in his religious teachings, in which he compared the Holy Trinity to the three-leafed plant (the three leaves represent the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, while the stem represents the godhead itself).

Did You Know?

Despite all the hoopla surrounding St. Patrick…he wasn’t an Irishman. He was actually born in Wales (circa 385 A.D) and if you’re one for legend, he is the reason that there are no snakes in Ireland today. The Serpents never returned after he drove them all out.

Shamrocks vs Clover

Clovers, shamrocks…aren’t they the same thing? Well, yes and no. A shamrock is actually a smaller version of a clover, in fact, the word “shamrock” derives from the Irish word, seamrog, which translates to “little clover.” A four-leaf clover can’t be considered a shamrock because of the shamrock’s connection to the Trinity.

The Claddagh Ring

A Claddagh ring is a famous Irish friendship ring, originating from the Claddagh village located just outside the old walls of Galway city, that illustrates two hands clasped together around a heart bearing a crown. The hands symbolize faith, the heart, love, and the crown, loyalty and fidelity. It is believed that this ring was derived from the Italian “fede ring” (also know as “faith rings”). There are several myths regarding the origin of this ring and one supposed true tale. We’ll outline just a few for you here.

One popular myth dates back to the time of the Gods, to one in particular, Dagda, the father of the gods (with power enough to make the very sun stand still). Dagda is said to represent the right hand of the Claddagh ring. The left hand represents that of Anu (who later became Danu), the ancestral and universal mother of the Celts. The mythical Beathauile represents the Crown, and the heart represents the hearts of all of mankind, and the element which gives everlasting music to the Gael.

Another myth tells the tale of the king of the small fishing village of Claddagh, who fell madly in love with a peasant woman, but because of her lower status, his love was forced to go unrequited. In his turmoil, the king killed himself and had his hands chopped off and placed around his heart as a symbol of his undying love for the peasant woman.

The supposedly true story is of a Galway slave, Richard Joyce, who was being shipped to a West Indies plantation owner. He was spared this fate, however, when was captured by a band of Mediterranean pirates and sold to a Moorish goldsmith, who taught him the trade. In 1689, Joyce was given his freedom and he returned to Galway to set up shop in Claddagh, where he eventually designed the ring.

Did you know that the way a Claddagh ring is worn sends the message of how love stands in the heart of the ring bearer? If worn on the right hand with the heart facing out, the ring says that the bearer’s heart is not yet won. On the right hand with the heart facing in, it tells the world that the ring bearer is under love’s spell and the two lovers have become engaged. And when worn on the left hand with the heart facing in, it shows the world that the ring bearer’s love has finally found a home in marriage.

The Fighting Irish

The symbol of the Fighting Irish (the “Irish” in this case refers to the “University of Notre Dame”) has an authentic history and a meaning deeper than race. It keeps alive the memory of a long, uphill fight for recognition against a spirit that was not always generous, nor even fair-minded.

The name originates from the old press reports that would refer to local colleges by the denominations that founded the schools, such as the “Baptists” or the “Methodists”, for example. For Notre Dame it was the “Catholics,” or the “Irish”, although the players were never all of Irish ancestry; nor were they all Catholics.

What A Celtic Tattoo Design Represents On A Woman Or A Man

As with certain other tattoo designs (religious and zodiac symbol tattoos, for example), Celtic tattoos are not gender specific, but rather tend to deal with humans as gender neutral. When you peruse the Celtic/Irish category, you’ll notice that most of the Celtic artwork is characterized by complex “plaitwork” (also called “knotwork”) patterns. These Celtic knot symbolizes the “Thread of Life”.

This is primarily because the Celts believed the human soul is a fragment of the divine that, through successive rebirths that will rid the soul of its impurities and ultimately return to its divine source. The interlaced unbroken patterns symbolize the process of humankind’s eternal spiritual evolution.

Have you ever stared at a Celtic knot? I don’t mean just glancing at it, I’m talking about focusing your attention on it and nothing else. You will find yourself drawn in as the design pulls you in and compels your psyche to follow the knot’s intricate paths. For this reason, Celtic knots are used as an aid to meditation since it occupies the conscious mind with a demanding repetitive task of tracing the thread.

A Brief History Of Celtic Art

Although not documented as fact, it’s believed that the Ancient Celt’s religion prevented them from depicting the works of the creator (plants, animals, and humans) so artists created geometrical spiral, key and step patterns that represented these aspects.

More Than Just Plaitwork?

Despite the modern day popularity of Celtic art, most people don’t realize that there’s more to the art of the Celts than plaitwork, such as:

  • Hallstatt designs date back to the Bronze Age, and are often mistaken for tribal art. It dealt mainly with geometric, maze-like designs that often repeated patterns to make the designs feel complex.
  • La Tene are very organic spiral and leaf shaped design that often depict shapes of faces and animals camouflaged in the artwork.
  • Knotwork Interlace, or “plaitwork” as discussed earlier, is what comes to mind when people think of Celtic art. If you’re among the few not familiar with this design, it’s simply a series of braided strips that bend on itself and connects to make one continuous, overlapping pattern. The most common example of this is the “Triquetra” (Trinity Knot), which has 3 outer points or petals, and some weavings occurring within the center. This plaitwork is typically found in the body of most Celtic crosses.
  • Spirals (double, triple or quadruple swirls) are typically joined to one another in either an “S” or a “C” design shape. It’s considered to be a relative to the triskelion spiral family, which has 3 arms or curls radiating from the design center.

Celtic Dragon Tattoo Designs

Long before the idea of etching a dragon symbol in ink on human skin became fashionable, Arthur Pendragon, King of the Arthurian Legend, had the symbol of the Celtic dragon emblazoned on his battle armor because it symbolized sovereignty, supreme power, insight and one who has conquered an enemy. In fact, the word “pendragon” (the etymology of which is: pen “head” and derkshal “to see clearly?) originally meant “Welsh warlord? but is more popularly identified today as “chief leader? or “king?. Today, Celtic dragon tattoos often depict the creatures as great winged beasts, but traditional Celtic dragons were originally depicted as a wyrm or water serpent, often intertwined in the classic Celtic knotwork. Since the Celtic dragons were wingless creatures, they traveled across the lands and their massively powerful bodies created veins (which are known as either “dragon? or “ley? lines) in the earth that supposedly act as a conduit for cosmic forces. And at the locations where one set of dragon lines intersected with another one or at sites where dragons actually rested, these spots are thought to be prominent points of concentrated power. Druids practicing geomancy sought out these spots to build megalithic structures, Stonehenge being one of the more famous edifices.

Celtic Cross Tattoo Designs

The Celtic cross is a Christian cross with a circle overlying the point where the lines meet (see: Celtic Cross), and the oldest Celtic crosses were carved into large slabs of rock that lay flat on the ground. Later versions were often decorated with interlaced knot work, spirals, key patterns, animal figures, foliage designs, and Biblical stories. Some suggest that the Celtic cross is derived from the Chi Rho symbol popularized by the Christian Roman emperor Constantine. “Chi” and rho” are the first two letters of “Christ” in Greek, and the overlapped letters are similar to the equal-limbed cross at the center of the Celtic cross.

Celtic Sun Tattoo Designs

The eight-rayed symbol of Celtic sun designs is slightly more difficult to pinpoint accurately due to conflicting information. Depending on which myth you subscribe to, in this case Druidic, the “sun wheel” was the symbol for Taranis, the Celtic sun god (which is why it was also known as the “wheel of Taranis”). However, Taranis was also known as the “Lord of the Thunder” (since “Taranis” comes from the Gaelic meaning “thunder”). Belenos (later known as Beli Mawr), also shared the title as the Celtic god of the sun, and like Apollo, he rode the Sun across the sky in a horse-drawn chariot. 

What Your Celtic Tattoo Design Means

Plaitwork (Knotwork Interlace) Celtic tattoos suggest an interconnection of life and humankind’s place within the universe, while the Trinity knot represents the Holy Trinity (modern belief) or the triple gods and goddesses of the ancient Celts. The Lover’s Knot (intertwined infinity symbols), quite naturally, represents two beings coming together as one. A spiral Celtic tattoo design speaks to the personal spirit, and an individual’s attainment of balance in the inner consciousness and outer self.

And you have it. With any luck you’ve come away from this knowing a little bit more that you did about that Irish/Celtic tattoo design you’re about to get. It’s a proven fact that people who get a nice Celtic or Irish tattoo are instantly imbued with the “luck o’ the Irish”, who are hands down the luckiest people to ever walk the earth. And hopefully you won’t put off getting that tattoo another day because…

Life’s too short not to be Irish!

Copyright ©2005 Rhyan Scorpio Rhys

A Dragon Tattoo By Any Other Name…

Ormr. Ddraig. Dreigiaw. Derkein. Derkomai. Drakon. Draca. Draco. Dragon.

Despite the language of the name given them, dragons inhabit the myth and legends of most ancient and modern cultures and have been portrayed throughout history as magical creatures possessing raw power and mystical might. This is the allure of the dragon tattoo design. No other tattoo art or tattoo design makes as distinctive and commanding an individual statement than a dragon tattoo.

Dragon tattoos also have the added advantage of being so fluid that they can conform to and flatter the contours of any part of the body. Many hardcore tattoo addicts have even gotten dragon designs whose tail begins at one ankle and winds its way up the leg and torso with the dragon’s head finally resting on the chest. Dragons can even coil themselves into intricate full and half sleeve tattoos, and a dragon in flight with its wings spread makes an excellent lower back tattoo.

Origin of the Word “Dragon”

The origin of the word “dragon” has been traced to a Greek word, “derkein,” meaning “sharp-sighted one,” which appears to describe a snake, so when it was converted to Latin, the word became “draco,” or “giant snake.”

The Popularity of Dragons

Dragons have always been the topic of fascination and mystery, as well as being a source of wonder, a symbol of hope and purity, and sometimes…jealousy, miserliness, maleficence and fierce rage.

Dragons have also been known to be notorious riddle-masters, sentinels of sacred shrines, and hoarders of treasures beyond imagining. It is even said that great philosophers would climb the highest mountains peaks or venture into the lowest caverns to seek the sage advice of dragons in secret.

When not out to slay dragons for immortality, like Sigfried, or for the golden apples of great happiness, like Hercules, we lowly mortals live under the ever-vigilant gaze of dragons. Sometimes we reside in the sphere of a dragon’s good fortune. And there are those lucky few who actually get to live under the wing of a dragon’s protection.

Dragons have even crossed over into the real world. Vikings carved dragon figureheads on the prow of their ships because they believed the dragons would endow keen sight and cunning to the Viking warriors. And in China, emperors think they are the real dragons and the sons of the heaven. They sleep on dragon beds, sit on thrones called the dragon seat, and their ceremonial dress is known as dragon robes.

Nowadays it’s quite common to hear parents tell their children bedtime stories about good and kindly dragons. For a fee you can hire the services of a dragon specialist who will tell you the name of your own personal guardian dragon and for an additional sum you may even obtain a sketch of your appointed guardian. There are even group therapy sessions that help you release the inner dragon that lies dormant in all of us.

With the success of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings film trilogy, interest in dragons and the magical world created by J.R.R. Tolkien has renewed, just as it had back in 1973 when Gary Gygax of TSR, Inc. created a roleplaying game named Dungeons and Dragons (D&D).

D&D also goes into great length about dragon societies and the philosophy that revolves around the ancient Ceremony of Sublimation, where dragons aspire to reach a higher level of existence and possibly immortality unique to dragonkind.

And then there are the tattoos. Dragon tattoo designs come in many forms, Celtic dragon tattoos, tribal dragon tattoos, Asian dragon tattoos, and the list goes on. When it comes to body art, dragon tattoos are among the most popular tattoo designs.

What a Dragon Tattoo Represents on a Woman

A dragon tattoo on a woman usually acknowledges “woman as the creator.” Like the dragons of many mythologies, woman’s true body form is that of life, the world and the universe. It is this superior form that allows her to be without equal. Dragon body art also represents a flowing, fluid grace that conceals a reserve of power just beneath the cool surface. Studies have shown that women who get dragon tattoos become more self-confident and assertive.

What a Dragon Tattoo Represents on a Man

A dragon tattoo design on a man typically signifies raw power. Like dragons, men are the guardians of that which is sacred, such as women and objects of great wealth. But this must be tempered with wisdom, lest the greed of dragons overpower the man’s soul and turn him into a ravenous creature with an insatiable appetite. Men who get dragon tattoos view themselves as being revered for their wisdom but feared for their tremendous power.

Why All The Sudden Interest In Dragon Tattoo Designs?

Actually, the interest isn’t all that sudden at all. Dragons have always been an archetypal choice for a traditional tattoo design. Far more popular than tribal, butterfly, Celtic, and even cross tattoos, beautifully rendered coiling dragon tattoo flash can adorn any part of both the male and female body. Not to mention that tattoo designers have begun to take traditional dragon tattoo illustration to the next level, giving the dragon body art a stylized edge that is sure to keep people staring at your personal dragon tattoo design in awe and appreciation.

But before you rush out to get your dragon tattoo, you should familiarize yourself with the history of dragons to determine which tattoo design best represents your characteristics and strengths and beliefs.

THE HISTORY OF DRAGONS

Some of the first recorded stories involving dragons date back to the Sumerian civilization, located between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in an area once called Mesopotamia, which later became Persia, and is now better know as Iraq and Iran.

Mesopotamian Dragons

The earliest written dragon myth was carved onto clay tablets and depicts the story of a dragon named Asag, who battled the hero-god, Ninurta. Even in these stories, dragons guarded treasures, held back floods, and imparted great knowledge.

Babylonian Dragons

In Babylonian myth, a dragon was believed to have aided in the creation of the world and the gods, and although some of the dragons served as the guardians of god’s treasure and nature, most were depicted as evil creatures, who all too often angered the gods. It is believed that Asag and Ninurta, from the Mesopotamian myth, are introduced by the Babylonians as Tiamet and Marduk, though this may not be totally accurate as the preserved records are in poor condition and incomplete.

A story that did survive is the epic tale of Gilgamesh, who set out to slay Humbab, the dragon guardian of the forest, who was thought to be a threat to the nearby town.

Babylonian history also tells in the “Book of Bel and the Dragon,” that the ruler Nebuchadnezzar, kept a dragon in the temple of the god Bel, where the dragon was worshipped. When the Hebrew prophet, Daniel, began denouncing idols, Nebuchadnezzar told him of the dragon and argued that the dragon was real and Daniel must worship it. Daniel asked why the people worshipped such a creature, and when faced by the dragon, slew it.

Sumerian Dragons

Sumerian myth depicts several dragons, chief among them, Zu, a cunning and devious dragon who stole the Tupsimati, the tablets of law, from the god Enlil, who wore the tablets on him. Another popular dragon is Gandareva, an immense creature who was the guardian of another dragons and preyed upon humans for food.

ASIAN DRAGONS

The Differences in Asian Dragons:

The Chinese boast that their dragons are the “true dragons” and the proof of this lies in the number of claws on the dragon’s foot. The true Chinese dragons have five claws. The Japanese dragons have four claws, and the Vietnamese dragons have only three.

Chinese Dragons

In Chinese culture, the dragons are considered the governors of rain, entrusted with the power to decide where and when the rain falls. Dragons also play a significant role in Chinese Festivals and the dragon dance has a long history that dates back past the Song Dynasty, circa 960-1279 AD. Chinese even consider themselves “the descendants of the dragon” and their culture is rich with the presence of dragons, which is considered to be a symbol of imperial power.

Japanese Dragons

Ryujin, a Japanese Dragon King, who lived in a palace under the sea, loved his wife and daughter so much that he spoiled them both, often sending out sea creatures such as octopus and jellyfish on errands to retrieve odd things. In one version, Ryujin’s daughter, Otohime, wanted to dine on monkey liver and a handsome and strong-boned jellyfish was dispatched to retrieve the liver but was outwitted by the monkey. In rage, the dragon king beat the jellyfish to a pulp, a shape that they hold to this very day.

Korean Dragons

Tales of Korean dragon are fewer in number than their Chinese and Japanese counterparts. The most popular myth involves a poor fisherman who caught a Carp, and the Carp begged for its life so that he may return to his family. The fisherman obliged, and the Carp turned out to be one of the sons of the Dragon King, so the fisherman was rewarded greatly.

Vietnamese Dragons

The story of Slowcoach, involves a kindly man who fashions a fishhook out of a piece of enchanted wood. When he puts the hook into the lake, the water rises and the fishing pole and line disappear into the turbulence and the waves almost drown him. Then a beautiful woman walks out of the water and tells Slowcoach that she is the daughter of the dragon king and his enchanted fishhook is caught in her father’s mouth. When Slowcoach agrees to remove the fishhook, she turns him into a bubble and takes him to the underwater dragon palace. The fishhook is removed and the dragon king rewards Slowcoach with a bottle containing a little blue fish, which later turns out to be the dragon king’s daughter.

Hindu Dragons

Vitra is the dragon that comes from the Indian subcontinent. Vitra absorbed the cosmic waters from the universe and coiled around a great mountain. Vitra is sometimes described as the personification of winter.

A more fascinating Indian Dragon myth involves the only dragon ever to be converted to a human religion. The Dragon, Apalala, lived in the Swat River and was converted by Buddha himself. Apalala then set out to teach it to other dragons, who drove him away but allowed him to continue teaching the humans.

EUROPEAN DRAGONS

European dragons hold the honorary title of the “kings of evil.” And although these chaotic creatures have plagued mankind since the earliest remembrances with their malicious intent and insatiable battle-lust, still humans feel a strange sense of awe and respect for them.

The tale of St. George’s dragon is perhaps the most famous of the European dragons, in which a dragon appears at the village of Cappadocia and threatens to destroy the region. In fear the villagers offer sacrifices to the dragon in the form of sheep and later the village maidens. Eventually the only maiden left is the princess, who is tied to a stake. Before the dragon can devour her however, George wanders by and slays the dragon.

Another dragon can be found in the epic Anglo-Saxon poem, Beowulf, which chronicled the three battles of the hero of the same name. In the first battle, Beowulf slew Grendel. In the second, Beowulf battled Grendel’s larger, more fearsome mother. In the third and final battle, Beowulf fought a fierce and fiery dragon, that he managed to vanquish, but suffered wounds so lethal that he himself perished.

Greek Dragons

Greeks mythology views dragons as terrifying dark creatures, remnants of an earlier age, that needed to be slaughtered by a hero. Dragons were guardians of underground sources of power, and often guarded springs, where the watery underworld burst to the surface.

Austrian Dragons

In the Vorarlbeg area of West Austria dragons were not considered supernatural but rather simply an unwanted part of nature like wolves, bears, and mountain cats. The annoying dragons occasionally took a horse, cow, or some sheep but were rather shy about confronting mankind and were thus never seriously feared or hunted.

French Dragons

Tarasque is a dragon of a different kind. Reputed to be the daughter of the giant serpent, Onachus, and the water dragon, Leviathan, Tarasque came from the sea up the river Rhone and decided to make her home in Southern France. She terrorized the region for many years, despite the attempt by many knights and heroes to slay her. That was until St. Martha faced the dragoness alone in a white dress and armed only with her faith and a jar of holy water. Apparently that was enough as she led Tarasque back to the town where the now docile and trusting creature was hacked to pieces.

German Dragons

The village of Brand in Germany hosts a dragon who appeared and began eating cattle and tormenting the villagers. Every effort to destroy the dragon ended in failure, until a traveling scholar arrived and created a tempest that completely covered the valley in a landslide of rocks, trees, giant boulders, and mud. The dragon was never spotted again and the area became known as the “dragons grave.”

Norse Dragons

Nidhogger was a famous Norse dragon, who lived at the foot of Yggdrasil, the tree of life. Nidhogger was, in reality, Fafnir whose greed for the gold he horded slowly turned him into the great dragon.

English Dragons

In Sussex England there is a deep cleft in the ground named after the dragon who had resided there, Knucker, who in true dragon fashion caused the usual sort of mischief. This dragon, however, wasn’t slain by a knight. It was killed by a local farmer’s son, Jim Pulk, who put poison in a pie and offered it to Knucker as a meal.

Irish Dragons

Ollipeist is the most famous Irish dragon, who fled Ireland when St. Patrick started imprisoning dragons. It is said that he left a mark with his tail in what is now called the Shannon Valley.

Swiss Dragons

The historical figure St. Magnus (1698-1772), credited with founding several notable churches and monasteries, had his first encounter with a dragon at the city of Kempton, which was said to be empty of men and filled with dragons. He lured the dragons out by sleeping in the open and managed to slay the lead dragon, Boas, by calling on the power of his god.

Russian Dragons

Gorynytch, three-headed dragon with seven tails knew of the prophecy involving the hero, Dobrynja, who would slay him, but was still defeated despite having this information.

Did You Know?

Did you know that the name “Dracula” is linked with dragons” In 1410, the holy Roman Emperor, King Sigismund of Hungary, established a clandestine fraternal order of knights which he named the Order of the Dragon to advocate Christianity and protect the Empire against the Ottoman Turks. At Sigismund’s behest, an emblem was created depicting a dragon clutching a cross with its wings extended.

In 1431, Vlad Tepes II demonstrated great bravery in battling the Turks and as a result was inducted into the Order. His name became “Vlad Dracul” which translated to “Vlad the Dragon.” His son, Vlad Tepes III, inherited his father’s name as well as his lust for battle and was called “Vlad Dracula.” The Romanian word “ulea” translates as “son of the,” which means his name was meant to be “the son of the dragon,” however, “drac” has a second meaning, “devil,” which is one his enemies believed was more accurate.

OTHER DRAGONS OF NOTE

Borneo Dragons

From the Island of Borneo comes the myth of a dragon named Kinabalu, who lived at the summit of a mountain of the same name, and possessed a fabled pearl of immense size. The Emperor of China heard about the pearl and sent an army to get it for him but the dragon killed all but a few. These survivors return and told the emperor about the disaster and said he could not be overcome by strength of arms. So the emperor sent his two clever sons named Wee San and Wee Ping to get the pearl.

Hawaiian Dragons

Mo-O-Inanea is considered to be the mother of all dragons, but little is known about her since natives are very reluctant to talk about this dragon. Some speculate she may still exist and is being protected by the Hawaiians.

Australian & New Zealand Dragons

Dragons in this region are called “taniwha” and the most famous is a dragon named Hotu-puku, who is credited with the mysterious disappearances of travelers going between Rotorua and Taupo.

African Dragons

In West African mythology, it is said that the world was formed by the genderless one god, Nana-Buluku. Out of loneliness, Nana-Buluku created a rainbow dragon companion named Aido-Hwedo, whose dung created mountains across the flat surface of the Earth and nourished the land so that plants and life could grow. But soon, the planet became so congested with plants and animals and mountains that Nana-Buluku feared the earth would collapse.

In gratitude for being created, Aido-Hwedo offered to help remold the planet, so the great dragon traveled across the earth, its massive dragon tail writhed with so much force and fury that it created the rivers and valleys, until its body formed an immense circular ring with its tail in its mouth, and enfolding the world.

IN SUMMARY

Whether you’re attracted to the history, mythology or pure fantasy of these mysterious creatures, a dragon tattoo can reveal aspects of your true character or serve as a potential warning to those who cross you. Whether you choose a solid black tribal, Asian, Celtic or any of the many other dragon designs, your tattoo will make a powerful statement for the rest of your life.

Shhh, be quiet for a moment. Do you hear that sound” It’s the call of the dragon tattoo beckoning you to take that first step toward fulfilling your destiny.

Copyright ©2005 Rhyan Scorpio Rhys