I’ve always been really into tattoos. They’re a really fun way to decorate your body and make yourself more unique. I myself have four right now but I plan to get a lot more. So far I have an equality sign on the side of my wrist, a Kurt Vonnegut quote on my left arm, a pair of crossing olive branches on my upper right arm, and a heart tattoo with my mom’s name on my right shoulder. I’m pretty happy with them. There’s a lot of planning that goes into my tattoos and for three years now I’ve been dreaming of getting a Sak Yant tattoo in Thailand.
Often referred to as magical, Sak Yant tattoos are given by Buddhist monks and have specific prayers for each person. These tattoos come with images of spirits and powerful images often topped with symbols of the Buddha and his enlightenment.
These ancient and traditional tattoos have been around for over 2000 years. They are said to give each person powers associated with healing, luck, and strength, and were originally used to bless warriors before battle.
The adventure starts in a major city like Bangkok, or another with an airport for you to fly into. Then you must find a temple that offers these tattoos and makes the trip there early in the morning. Before entering the temple, donations of incense, cigarettes, and flowers must be given to the temple. It is suggested to get there early, as you will be sitting in a hot room with at least 30 other people and will have to wait hours your turn.
As the line shortens, monks and other people waiting to get the tattoo will hold the person before them steady, as they are repeatedly penetrated by a long needle. Each monk has a unique recipe for ink, often containing ingredients such as snake venom, charcoal and palm oil. There have been some questions of safety with this method because the monks usually use the same needle (disinfecting it between each use of course) but I think that if it were really a serious concern then not so many people would be doing it.
After being tattooed, the monks will give you the rules that are specific to the Sak they have given you. These include avoiding certain foods and clothes and just general rules and ways to live the rest of your life. One of the most famous people with Sak Yant tattoos is Angelina Jolie, and she has definitely given it a lot of press.
Getting a Sak Yank tattoo would be an amazing experience. The journey to Thailand, the palace, the monks, the prayer all tie together to create a tattoo that you’ll always cherish. There’s something so powerful about a piece of art this ancient.You’ll be wearing thousands of years of prayer and tradition every single day. There will always be powerful and spirit with you from then on out.
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