The fifth tattoo I had done was the Snake coiled around my left forearm.
The tattoo took two sessions to complete, one for the outline and the second for the colouring. The outline was done on 22nd April 2014 by Elliott at Mantra and took around two and a half hours to complete. The colouring was then completed on 8th May 2014 by Elliott at Mantra and took a further two and a half hours to complete.
The image was completely freehand with the exception of the snake’s head which was previously drawn by Elliott. It took a few attempts to get it to look right on the arm however, luckily it was only a sharpie being used to begin with.
In Greek myth, snakes are symbolic of health and healing as we see them associated with Asclepius, who was a renowned deity of medicine, healing and said to grant regenerative powers. That sense of renewal comes from the snake who sheds off the old (skin) and emerges shiny, bright and new after each shedding. This symbolises how I am often shedding old life to continue on with the new, leaving the past behind me.
Snakes are also symbolic of renewal, mystery, defence, protection, transition groundedness and transformation. All of these are key to the person I am.
Furthermore, the snake can disappear as quickly as it came and also is cunning and strikes by surprise, both are qualities which can sum me up.
As for “did it hurt?” The honest answer is yes. There will always be some pain with any tattoo and anyone who claims otherwise is lying. The level of pain, the severity and the discomfort varies from person to person, placement to placement and even down to how well you slept the night before or even what you ate the night before. In the case of this tattoo the discomfort level would be around about a 5 to a 6 depending on the area since it has taken up the majority of my forearm.