Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Elsa's Ouroboros

I met Elsa on Wall Street back in the fall. Born in the Netherlands, but now living in New York, she was kind enough to share this tattoo on her forearm which has a distinctly international backstory:

Elsa explained that she got this from a friend of a friend at a tattoo shop in Istanbul. She elaborated on the meaning of this simple design, as well as the bracelet below it:
"This is sort of an ancient sign of a snake eating its own tail, ouroboros, and a lot of people have that as their tattoo....and it means, I think, a lot of different things in all these traditions that have used this symbol ... one of them being self-sufficiency ... this idea that you can ... rely on yourself only for how you see the world and how you interact with yourself, as well ... I think most people really aren't there  ... we all rely on our exteriors and I think that's something that I want to remind myself of ...  to be more self-sufficient at times. That's why I have this.
And the bracelet is kind of connected to it because I was in Nepal a year ago and I was looking at jewelry on the street in Kathmandu, in the capital, and this guy comes up to me and he grabs my arm, and he's like 'so when are you going to close the circle?' And, you know it looks kind of like [the tattoo] and ... it was the moment when I was looking at this bracelet."
 Thanks to Elsa for sharing this cool tattoo and the story behind it!

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