Getting tattoos might be perceived as an act of rebellion, but it is one of the oldest forms of art to be recorded in human history. As it gained prominence through the centuries, the concept of ‘good luck tattoos’ or ‘lucky tattoos’ to usher in prosperity became increasingly popular.
The first hard evidence of a tattooed person is a 5,300-year-old natural mummy of a man named Ötzi whose body was accidentally found by a couple of tourists in Bolzano, Italy in the early nineties. The mummy had around 61 tattoos — all in geometric form. The body art technique has also been an indicator of social status, religion, caste or even as markings to distinguish people or brand them as per their ranks in the societal structure of ancient times.
The practice of tattooing has been widespread in Alaska, the Philippines, Mongolia, Greenland, Egypt, China, Russia and Sudan since 2,100 BC. It has been observed that the Asian regions have been a bit more conservative with their perspective towards tattooing, as only rebels, convicts or bandits were marked with a tattoo.
In South Korea, tattooing without a medical license is illegal. In India, it is a prominent part of the country’s diverse culture. In the North-East parts of the nation, women were marked with tattoos as an act of protection. This practice has been seen to be followed in the central, western and southern parts of the country, too. For men, tattoos have traditionally been a symbol of strength and virility in Indian culture.
In Egypt, tattooing was followed as a medical practice for treatment, as per evidence found in mummies. In the Western world, this art was unpopular or condemned even until the 19th century, when the first electric machine was invented to tattoo art on the body. It then became a status symbol to get a tattoo among the feudal class. Sailors travelling far and wide used this method to keep their loved ones in their memories.
The 20th century saw the emergence of the punk culture, and tattooing became associated with gangs. The concept of tattooing soon gained a cult status in pop culture after celebrities like the football legend David Beckham or Hollywood biggies Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt got inked.
Since then, there has been a paradigm shift as people are looking at this practice as not just a means to make a style statement but as a tool for self-expression. Getting inked in today’s world is synonymous with taking control of your body and exercising agency.
Making a wish while observing a shooting star is a part of many cultures. Getting it tattooed is equated with ushering good luck in one’s life. Tattoo enthusiasts can get these inked on their wrists.
One of the most popular good luck tattoos out there, this symbol has a lot of significance in Native American culture. A dreamcatcher is believed to prevent bad dreams, get a peaceful night’s sleep, bring prosperity and good luck into one’s life and ward off evil spirits and bad thoughts.
A four-leaf clover tattoo originates from Ireland. The symmetrical four leaves stand for love, luck, hope and faith.
A Feng Shui favourite, the lucky bamboo plant is used indoors to usher in great fortune. Six stalks of the plant represent good luck while two stalks symbolise love. Getting a bamboo plant tattoo can bring positive chi, or energy, it is believed.
This design has gained a lot of significance in today’s time and age. Getting a semi-colon inked is linked with creating mental health awareness and spreading positivity in the universe while attracting good energy and luck.
Now this one is a no-brainer. Getting a symbol of your zodiac sign is said to have powerful effects on your life. Opting for the symbol of your sun sign as a tattoo might aid the manifestation process and the perfect alliance of stars to bring all the luck one needs.
The sun’s life-giving qualities are associated with renewal and rebirth. Experts advise getting the sun inked on palms or elbows to make the most of the luck it will provide. Hence, the image of the only star in our solar system is one of the most common lucky tattoos chosen by men and women.
Just like the sun, even the moon represents life at different stages. The waning and waxing of the moon are indicative of all the ups and downs one faces in life and is yet resilient to face another day with hope and positivity. Getting these inked symbolise hope and luck.
Originating from Egypt, this symbol was used by the pharaohs for longevity and to ward off the evil eye. It is believed to give life, as per ancient Egyptian scriptures. This symbol is a part of their core history and culture and can be seen on tombstones.
Superstitious or not, all of us, at some point, have crossed our fingers to realise something we really wished for at important moments in our lives. Hence, crossed fingers is yet another popular lucky tattoo.
Getting a tattoo is usually not a spontaneous decision, for it requires some amount of planning before the final execution. Although it is a great way to express yourself and a creative form of body art, one needs to take certain safety precautions to avoid allergic reactions and bruises. Those with sensitive skin should consult a dermatologist before getting permanently inked at a tattoo shop.
Firstly, the tattoo artist must come well-recommended and be an expert in the field. Next, make sure that the artist uses gloves and opens fresh, sterilised and disposable equipment (except the tattoo gun) to begin with.
After getting the tattoo, care is also important. One of the basic things to do is to keep the tattoo area clean and dry. Using a moisturiser frequently and preventing sun exposure. Covering the area with loose cotton clothes can be helpful as well.
Avoid swimming or the application of any other substance other than the recommended moisturiser on the tattooed portion of the skin.
(Hero and featured images: Courtesy of Jamakassi/Unsplash)
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