Although it is hard for most to define the difference between religion and spirituality, many people find that the gap is wide; that is to say, rather than follow any particular church, it is more important to feed the individual soul. Like all religions, however, spirituality has its own symbolism, and many people feel the need to express their beliefs with spiritual tattoos.
One the most recognizable symbols in spiritual tattoos — and elsewhere — is the eye. To many an eye worn on the skin — or anywhere, for that matter — is a talisman for protection; understandable, as you will always have an eye wide open to the world, and watching out for you. The eyes are also seen as a window to the soul. You can easily express this idea by creating a moderately large eye with many reflections; each reflection showing the different shades of your spirit. A heavy lidded eye that appears to be opening is seen as a symbol of a spiritual awakening. With this version you can use one of the many colors that are associated with different moods and spiritual personalities: gold meaning wisdom; dark green, balance; light blue, peace, etc.
Time is another frequently occurring archetype in spiritual tattoos. This is expressed in many ways; however, one of the most commonly seen pieces is the hour glass. Depending on the wearer’s state of mind, this glass may be almost entirely full at the top, or nearing its end. This design is usually shown in its most recognizable form; wooden bases, with two pyramids of glass filled with sand. Another version would be to create something more colorful; the bases done in metallic hues, while the sand is transformed into crystal or fine quartz. Another great example for time would be a pendulum. With this you could create a good deal of detail in the design, as well as adding other symbols of importance to you personally.
Many people like to use things such as runes, script, and Egyptian symbols for their spiritual tattoos, as these are often rife with meaning. The rune Algiz (a long ‘Y’ with the body pressing through the upper V formation), is a symbol of spirit guides; while the Egyptian Ka symbol (which has the appearance of a ram’s horns) is the symbol of a spirit which will survive long after the body had died.
Spiritual tattoos can utilize a variety of symbols, but each design means essentially the same things; the wearer’s belief and appreciation for his or her own unique soul.