Ten of Swords: My new tattoo

I got my first tattoo when I was 20 years old. It was the summer I was living in Sandusky, Ohio — working at a major amusement park — and my roommate and I thought it would be a fun way to end our summer. It’s a Caribbean reef shark. Sharks had been my favorite animal since I was a kid, and I wanted one that was beautiful, powerful, yet wasn’t this misconstrued killing beast.

I got my second tattoo 5 years later. I was visiting home, and my mom and I decided at sort of the spur of the moment that we wanted tattoos. So my mom got her first, and I got my second: the hummingbird from my mom’s Gibson guitar.

Since then, I had been wanting another tattoo. I had plenty of ideas, but wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted. And for such an investment, I wanted to be sure.

Last month, I was.

“A whale’s mournful cry echoes across the star-speckled water,”

The Ten of Swords is a hard card, a painful one. It a card that represents great misfortune and sudden, overwhelming disaster. Betrayal. Loss. You might wonder why I would get such a dark, sorrowful image permanently etched on my body…

The Ten of Swords also represents the end of a cycle — “It is the lowest point before a new beginning.” Wisdom can be found through this pain, and mental clarity can be found. More-so, the reversed, which is the way I see my tattoo based on its position, reminds us that though we may have hit rock bottom, may have experienced terrible pain, healing can happen. The swords begin to fall away, slowly, as healing will be a long process. But mostly, the pain is going away, and there is only one way to go: up.

This card was one of the first cards that drew me to the Ostara Tarot deck. There was — is — something so beautiful about this image.

My artist, Samantha, did an amazing job interpreting the card’s artwork — done by Krista Gibbard.

The appointment only took maybe an hour. Like any tattoo, it hurt, but it really wasn’t as bad as I remembered. The next days were fine. However, after a few days, the scabby part of healing began.

If you’ve ever had a tattoo, you’ll remember this phase. It’s terrible. Your tattoo itches, and you cannot, under any circumstances scratch your tattoo. What saved the day? Hustle Butter. I bought a small packet from my artist, but ran out! Hustle Butter kept my tattoo perfectly moisturized without being greasy. Helped the scabs heal. After it was completely healed, I switched to Lubriderm daily tattoo care.

As each day passes, I love my tattoo more and more. I see it, and remember that I am so much stronger than I know. My plan is to get a complimentary tattoo on my right arm, a different card. I’m not sure which one at this point, but I do know I’d like Samantha to create it for me. Hopefully it will have as much significance as this once does.

Do you have any tattoos? Tell me about them!

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