Before we get back to the tattoo tales, I have to pause here a moment and wish my little brother a Happy Birthday.  You saw his picture back when I posted about the festivities for Dad.  Bryan doesn’t read my blog, but sometimes his wife (my sainted sister-in-law Teresa) does.  Either way,  let’s celebrate him turning 47.  He was born on what is called a cross quarter holiday, in the pagan calendar (as opposed to Equinoxes or Solstices).  I kind of struggled with this one because I could never find a clear documentation of the exact name, or date.  It’s either the first, or the second, of August.  And it’s either called Lamas, or Lughnasahd.  It is known as the First Harvest, the Bread Harvest, and the Festival of First Fruits.  I just read something the other day that finally made sense to me.  It is perfectly acceptable to celebrate both, or either, and it doesn’t have an exact day (none of them do, they fall on days because of where the full moon is, just like Easter, yep even though that one was taken over by the church, it is still decided by moon phases).  I sent my brother a card, and I hope his day was festive.  And filled with bread.  Or fruit.   Now, back to me.

    Cast your minds back, to the post I wrote about snakes in my life.  We rescued a pair of Columbian Red Tail Boas, saving only one of the sisters (she had a good couple of months with us though).  The loss of a pet is always so difficult, but this one was painful for me because she had struggled so valiantly, and had been abused so tragically.  The Wheel of The Year was turning once more, it felt like the time to mark myself again.  I wanted to honor all the snakes that had been a part of my journey, and to acknowledge my connection to them in general.  One of the things Wulff does amazingly well is drawing complicated designs and several types of knot work.  We collaborated for this idea.  On Winter Solstice I plopped down into that antique, purple upholstered, barber chair of his, and we created an emblem of Earth’s renewal.  The seasons die and are re-born every year.  Native traditions echo this statement with the representation of snakes shedding their skin.  What they leave behind can sometimes appear as though a serpent has been through death, but emerged alive again.  (If you have ever seen this process it is very much like watching a birth.  Unless you have a young, or “special” snake, then you often have to help, yes we have had both.)

Had to take this picture myself.
I never get to see this side, and I really like it.
It took another session to fill in the color.

    At about this same time Daniel got his first (and as of yet, only) tattoo.  His is for dogs, not snakes.

Tomorrow: first kid third fire.

9 thoughts on “Life and Death, also… My Brother.

    1. Thanks. When he did the drawing, then put it on the stencil the snake didn’t quite wrap around the way it was supposed to, so he FREE HANDED the fill-in. The man is a genius I’m telling you.

  1. The knots are amazing. I must confess that I am terrified of snakes, but I like the idea of having a connection with an animal; a symbol with meaning from nature. I wonder if I will find one.

    Have you told us the story of your very first tattoo?

    1. How did you know there was a very first one I never talk about? Mygawd, all this hanging out with witches is making every one of you more psychic!

      1. I’m not psychic, just nosy as hell. I am always curious about first tattoo stories, because I have wanted one for a very long time. And did I mention that I’m nosy as hell?

  2. Yay snakes! Snakes are wonderful, sweet, adorable creatures. I’d like to adopt a snake, but unfortunately, I am terrified of MICE, and am not sure I would know what to do if I adopted a snake who was a picky eater.

    Aaaand first tattoo stories are mildly less interesting when one’s first tattoo is in response to your mother’s many. Hmph.

  3. OH Han, I know, I am so sorry that I ruined you guys in ways no one else will ever understand. It looked like fun to your friends, having that “different” mom, but for the three of you… less entertaining I’m sure. (I will live with this guilt forever. I am not joking, I really do worry about these things. Still.)
    And yeah, you do kind of need to be the one in charge of your pet’s food, if that food happens to be rodents, well, as your namesake and grandfather would say, shit out of luck.
    Kelly, nosy is what we live by around here. I may change my mind and tell the “first” tattoo story. It is a cautionary tale.

  4. Tattoo stories are always interesting. I have been enjoying your tat trek, and I am also awaiting your first tat’s story.

  5. The “first” -yeah well, still debating the merit of telling that one. It would entail a photo, and I’m not sure we are ready for that.

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