Nestled between freckles and beauty spots on my lower arm, I have a tattoo. It is a single circle from the flower of life, based on sacred geometry.
We are all touched by sacred geometry in our daily lives. Company logo’s (even the SA Police Services’ logo), flowers, sacred art and architecture reflect sacred geometric shapes. Mandalas (below is a mandala using my maiden surname and birth time & date details) are perfect examples of sacred geometry.
Delving deeper, sacred geometry involves sacred universal patterns used in the design of almost everything. The basic belief is that geometry and mathematical ratio’s, harmonics and proportion are also found in music, light and cosmology. It is the basis for designing sacred structures or spaces such as temples, monuments, churches, altars, tabernacles and meeting places, and in the creation of art.
Sacred geometry may be understood as a worldview of pattern recognition, a complex system of religious symbols and structures involving space, time and form. The basic patterns of existence are perceived as sacred. By studying the nature of these patterns, forms and relationships and their connections, insight may be gained into the mysteries of the Universe.
The flower of life (below) is a perfect example of sacred geometry. It can apparently be found in all major religions of the world. It is found in Egypt in the ancient Temple of Abydos and in ancient synagogues in Israel. The flower of life is made-up of patterns of creation as they emerged from the great void before the beginning of time; before the “big bang”. It holds a secret symbol which is created by drawing 13 circles.
Now back to the original subject of tattoo’s: just when I thought I had a handle on where animal products lurk, I found out that tattoo ink and tattoo aftercare products can contain animal ingredients. From black pigment (made from burnt animal bones) to animal fat or glycerin in carrying agents, getting a tattoo may not carry your form of self expression quite as you would have hoped.
The ink’s ingredients are often not listed on the bottles (see a Woodstock tattoo artist’s ink cupboard below) and you have to make enquiries. Further reason to trust the person who inks you, is to ask the right questions about what the ink contains before you brand yourself with the word “vegan” in animal-laced ink. Sacred geometry or not, such an irony cannot be saved by a “sacred” tattoo.