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Tattoos

Post  Megara on Sun Jun 16, 2013 9:31 pm

So I have a question about Olympianism and the thoughts on having tattoos. Not necessarily having tattoos with anything to do with the religion, but just having tattoos in general. I know that some religions consider having tattoos as a "sin", but I wasn't quite sure what the "hellenic" thoughts were on having them, in general...?

[P.S. sorry if I misused any terms!]
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Re: Tattoos

Post  Erodius on Sun Jun 16, 2013 11:24 pm

Megara wrote:So I have a question about Olympianism and the thoughts on having tattoos. Not necessarily having tattoos with anything to do with the religion, but just having tattoos in general. I know that some religions consider having tattoos as a "sin", but I wasn't quite sure what the "hellenic" thoughts were on having them, in general...?

The short answer to the 'thoughts on tattoos' is: "There aren't any thoughts on tattoos." Neither in favor, nor against. It is not a religious issue. Although one could, with some logic, extend the Orpheo-Pythagorean admonishments against needless adornment of the body as perhaps applicable to tattoos.

To my knowledge, the only religions that forbid tattoos are Orthodox Judaism and some Old Order Amish and Mennonite communities. Although even with the Orthodox Jews, to my knowledge, having a tattoo only prevents you from being buried in an Orthodox Jewish cemetery. 

Personally, I don't like tattoos, at least not on people. I find most of those that I've seen very unattractive, and I don't think the stereotype of most tattoos having been gotten for 'the wrong reasons' to be groundless. 

Tattoos as we know them were unknown in the Classical World. The only thing that would come close is a brand, which was associated with slavery or having committed some sort of criminal act for which you were branded for recognition and avoidance by the public.

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"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

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Re: Tattoos

Post  Thrasyvoulos on Mon Jun 17, 2013 12:24 am

Erodius hit the nail on the head, there wasn't anything explicitly forbidding or encouraging them, so it's ultimately up to interpretation, at least for those who are not a part of one of the Mystery schools.

However, I would differ from him in that I think tattoos can be pleasant on a person, if done in moderation (Nothing to excess!) and for good reasons (and, I should hope, extremely well thought-out, as they are permanent), and done artistically and in good taste. As in, avoid the dancing hula girl on your bicep. <.< But a devotional piece to your Gods? Why not? There is some symbolic merit, in my humble opinion, in having, for example, an image of Apollo's lyre tattooed on your chest over your heart, and other, similar concepts. But I believe this would ultimately be up to personal taste, this isn't a hard and fast ruling on the matter.

I actually used the above example because I was considering getting that exact tattoo (the lyre over my heart, that is) at one point but, for reasons Erodius touched upon in his own post, I've been considering just having the image made onto custom dog tags and wearing them under my shirt, instead. Much more reversible (and less painful!) than a tattoo. Laughing

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Re: Tattoos

Post  Thrasyvoulos on Mon Jan 06, 2014 9:57 pm

Speaking of tattoos, I actually recently got one, a religious devotional piece that also commemorates my entry into the Navy. It's a stylized trident of Neptune inside a laurel wreath.

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Re: Tattoos

Post  J_Agathokles on Sun Jan 26, 2014 9:15 am

Icarus, I assume your profile picture shows the design of the tattoo you got?

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Re: Tattoos

Post  Thrasyvoulos on Sun Jan 26, 2014 10:32 am

J_Agathokles wrote:Icarus, I assume your profile picture shows the design of the tattoo you got?

Yes, actually. I tried to upload an image of the actual tattoo, but couldn't get it to function on my phone correctly. And I don't have a laptop at present Laughing I'll just post a link to an external site:

http://m.flickr.com/photos/115536659@N03/12152028626/lightbox/

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Re: Tattoos

Post  J_Agathokles on Sun Jan 26, 2014 5:07 pm

Icarus wrote:
J_Agathokles wrote:Icarus, I assume your profile picture shows the design of the tattoo you got?

Yes, actually. I tried to upload an image of the actual tattoo, but couldn't get it to function on my phone correctly. And I don't have a laptop at present :lol:I'll just post a link to an external site:

http://m.flickr.com/photos/115536659@N03/12152028626/lightbox/

For those who don't know, that m at the beginning of the adress means "mobile" and is the internet adress for smart phones and mobile devices. If you want to view that link in a browser on a computer, you have to replace that m with www

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Re: Tattoos

Post  June on Sat Nov 01, 2014 10:31 pm

Would it be appropriate to get the gods' names or images tattooed on your body? More specifically, would it be appropriate for a woman to get a prayer to Athena or Artemis tattoo if she were planning to have romantic relationships? (I ask because they are virgin goddesses)

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Re: Tattoos

Post  Thrasyvoulos on Sun Nov 02, 2014 4:22 pm

June wrote:Would it be appropriate to get the gods' names or images tattooed on your body? More specifically, would it be appropriate for a woman to get a prayer to Athena or Artemis tattoo if she were planning to have romantic relationships? (I ask because they are virgin goddesses)

As long as it's done from reverence, is in good taste in respect to the God/dess depicted, is well-thought out and you're sure you will be happy with it for the rest of your life, there isn't really a problem with it.

Also, the virginity of Athena and Artemis (and also Hestia) is symbolic of a type of purity having nothing to do with mortal romance. It's not an affront to worship a virginal goddess while being in a romantic relationship.

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Re: Tattoos

Post  DavidMcCann on Mon Nov 03, 2014 2:58 pm

The Greeks didn't have tattoos, but the Thracians did. It was standard among their nobility and depicted on some Greek vases.

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Re: Tattoos

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