I'm getting new ink next week. It's a piece I have wanted for a long time but things never fell into place. I'm grateful that no arrangements came through before because what I'm getting has a depth of significance now that it couldn't have had a year ago when I first tried to get it done. I'll try to describe it, but when it's done I'll post the pic here. It is a grand tree with its roots exposed, so you can see the way the magnificent roots - the part that gets obscured by dirt - reflect the magnitude of the branches, and that the roots are what gives the tree strength, stability, and freedom. If the roots weren't as grand as the branches, the branches wouldn't be free to move with the wind or bend to hold the weight of birds. The dirt that obscures the roots has a seemingly obvious parallel in life in that the reciprocity of what grounds us and keeps us safe and makes us free is usually hidden and easily taken for granted. The tree itself is magnificent and alone would be a fabulous tattoo, but it's not only the tree that makes this piece a perfect symbol of the changes I've undergone over the last year when I seriously began my inner healing and recovery, it is also the snake that wraps around the tree. In fact, it is the snake that holds the more transformational symbolism for me now, but, ironically, when I first saw this drawing and decided I wanted it on my body, I didn't even see the snake.
The snake wraps around the tree from root to branch. It is a coiled snake similar to my Moon Nakshatra of Ashlesha and similar to the Kundalini serpent. This is where the symbolism of this piece betrays the most transformational energies of my life so far, and this is where we could become students of Vedic Astrology, Tantra, and meditation for the rest of our lives and we still would have more to learn.
The Ashlesha Nakshatra is called the "Clinging Star" and it is a coiled serpent. Claire Nakti has one of the most comprehensive explanations that I've seen: Ashlesha Nakshatra in the Modern World. Ashlesha symbolizes many things including poison and medicine, in the way that the venom of a snake can be both the poison and the antidote. It also represents the crushing energy of the yoni which can either be generative or consuming and destructive.
The energy of Ashlesha has ruled my entire life, though most of my life I've been unconscious of swinging like a pendulum between the opposing forces of poison and medicine, generation and destruction. I've been driven by this energy, completely unaware, directed inwardly at myself and outwardly in my relationships.
Learning about Ashlesha and the role it plays in my life has given me the insight and awareness to realize that I need structure and grounding, much like the tree provides structure and grounding to the snake that coils around it. Only with that structure will I be able to create the balance needed to steer the energy toward generation, medicine, and healing, vs destruction, poison, and consuming. I must provide that structure and grounding for myself so that I may control the power of Ashlesha within me, vs Ashelsha's power controlling me.
The recovery I've experienced by deeply working the steps since October of 2020, (I started the Twelve Steps back in 2012, but I wasn't really ready to work them until last October,) has been one of the ways I am creating structure and grounding. Committing to daily writing and training my body and mind are the other elements of the structure and grounding I've been providing myself. I also recognize that I need similar stable energy in a partner or else they are likely to bring out the poison when what I want in a relationship is the medicine.
One of the more exciting aspects of partnership in relation to my Ashlesha is that in order for me to have a successful partnership I need someone extremely strong. A person who is stabilizing, grounded, and strong enough to not be crushed, consumed, and destroyed by the powerful Ashlesha in me. Looking back at the relationships of my life I can see that I've not had that. As Claire Nakti states in her video, there is pleasure in both a strong and a weak partner, because, while the weaker partner may not bring the energy that I actually crave, there is pleasure in power. The pleasure of power satisfies only the ego, though, and brings out the poison. I've had that experience in partnership and it is not what I seek. For that reason, I am excited for the future and for a person who embodies the qualities that bring out the medicine in me. In this video about the Mars transit through Ashlesha last month Punneit explains how the energy of the partner that plays the role of the tree is what decides if the energy Ashlesha generates is poison or medicine: Mars Transit in Ashlesha. This gives me hope, makes me excited for the future, and gives this tattoo even more depth and significance.
I am only beginning my understanding of Kundalini and Tantra, so those insights will have to wait for another day, but I do feel a magnificent sense of possibility in the development my Ashlesha qualities with the Kundalini energy within.
I haven't even mentioned the Vesica Pisces that is pictured in the center of the trunk of the tree. Vescia Pisces is another symbol that has great meaning to me that I will have to expand on later. But between the tree itself, its roots and branches, the coiled serpent, and the Vesica Pisces, this may be the most significant ink that I've yet to bind to my skin, and I could not be more excited for what it means about my future and how it represents all the growth and healing I've experienced until now.