RAMBLINGS

  • Up the Same Mountain

    Up the Same Mountain

    I have visited death.  In multiple meditative, psychedelic, plant medicine, and actual life threatening experiences I have sat in a vastness, in emptiness, that I have come to believe was a “death space.”  And it wasn’t that bad.  In fact, in some cases I didn’t want to come back.  Not in a “I want to die” sense, more in a “I am so curious to push the boundaries and see where this takes me.”  Leaving me with one fooit "here" and the other in multiple "places."  There has generally been a presence or calling that inspired my choice to come back. I have come to note more recently that tattooing has been in some ways one of those calls to return.  A safe space where I could share my experiences through just being, without blatantly blaring my experiences to the world.  Experiences that have for many years been carried behind the “armor of the strong silent type.”  Worded perfectly by and borrowed from a recent inspiring writing by a magical friend.

     

    Connecting with that realization, brought to light more clearly through my most recent tattoo experiences out in nature surrounded by supportive entities, I felt inspired to honor that call, that space of safety, and write this blog.

     

    If you know me you will have noticed that I rarely use such words as healing, spiritual, shamanistic.  I feel so many of these words, like so many mind altering experiences, have been abused. So I tread consciously and compassionately in the hopes of being able to speak in a way that crosses bridges and illusory boundaries.

     

    For the sake of this honoring I will be crossing over my own illusory threshold of resistance, using terms I rarely use.  Bear with me.

     

     

    Through many personal mindfulness experiences, including meditation, psychedelics, plant medicines and traditional therapies, I have come to believe that there are many alternative routes up the same mountain with the same end goal in mind.  Tattooing for some is one of those routes. An honoring, acknowledging, accepting, and marking of that self initiated journey.

     

    The phrase Integrated Tattoo Healing refers to the practice of translating intentions through urban shamanic ritual, into totemic glyphs/symbols and illustrations to encapsulate and imprint the essence of those intentions into the body, heart, and mind.  Integrating intentions into the entire holistic system of physical and non-physical form.

     

    This requires presence.  Something that most mindfulness practices require and tattooing is yet another potential platform in which presence is innate. A type of presence that is helpful to further the growth of the self.  Of course not everyone practices that. Some do all they can to avoid being present to certain processes and experiences. Some guiding the tattoo experience undervalue the set and setting. Further agitating the desire to dull the senses in order to “wake up with fresh ink.”  Rather than encouraging the embrace of the whole experience and welcoming it as a friend, ally, and a rite of passage.

     

    Through empirical and experiential study I have come to feel that like a psychedelic, deep meditative experience, or traditional therapy, tattooing releases, reveals, unearths trauma, shadow sides, light aspects, and a deep sense of connectedness to all.  

    On a physical level, an example that has been described is a sensation similar to what some experience in acupuncture.  As tattoo needles puncture certain points on the body, especially when there is attention put on design placement, there can be a physical, mental and emotional release.  

     

    Akin to meditation when there is attention placed on set and setting, some have reported experiencing similarly deep states of “no-mind.”  Trance like moments of calm where the pain is embraced, invited to teach, welcomed as an ally in revealing the personal journey of the experiencer.  Resulting in release being felt, alternate states being reached, shifts noted in the mental, emotional and physical being. Thusly like meditative practices or psychedelic journeys set and setting is equally as important to those seeking a particular type of tattoo experience

     

    Physical and non-physical experiences reported indicate that there is, or at least there could be, the potential for deep shift and integration of healing through the physical and meditative experience of tattooing.  Such outcomes can be generated with more attention placed on certain steps. Steps such as, but not limited to: paying attention to one’s breath, breathing into or with the needle rather than away. Consciously accepting the pain.  Acknowledging the fact that the choice was made to undergo a tattoo experience. Communicating with the physical form and gently reminding it of its safety when fear and resistance is felt. Reciting personal mantra. Releasing control, trusting, and leaning into the process and the guide chosen to facilitate the experience.

     

    Through Integrated Tattoo Healing spiritual aspects are considered.  Using steps and processes inspired by family esoteric and shamanic practices, as well as my own studies and practices in multiple mindfulness platforms including Buddhism.  Set and setting are prepared to create a safe and supportive environment to allow for whatever comes up and out. The goal being to acknowledge and nurture the reality that just as we seek to be healthy through food, exercise, meditation, etc., we should do the same with the markings we put onto our skin.  Touch, let alone permanent markings, can have a major effect on the energetic system and human being.

     

    To conclude, tattooing alters. It alters and shifts the heart, body and mind in whichever way we choose, based on the choices made for each personal experience.  It is potent medicine through traditional practices, resulting in beautiful body art that can encapsulate deep meaning and intention. Integrated into the heart, body and mind to be carried for a lifetime and possibly beyond.  In ways tattooing is a return to something deep and connecting. Like putting our limbs into rich earth, rooting, grounding. It is a reminder of unseen but felt realities that affect us, guiding us to a deeper understanding of past, present and potentially future.

     

  • Integrated Tattoo Healing Retreats

    Integrated Tattoo Healing Retreats

    Please contact me directly at KBELLTATTOO@GMAIL.COM for dates, bookings, and questions

    CURRENT LOCATIONS

    Arizona

    California

    Oregon

    Hello LoveBeans!

     

    You are personally and excitedly invited to experience a personalized tattoo retreat.  A fully enveloping tattoo experience that will provide set, setting, and meditative practices to create a focused and magical container for you.

     

    Welcome to your ritual, your rite of passage.

     

    With each package you will receive the following:

     

    3 Day Tattoo Retreat

      This package is for those who choose to have their design pre-created with a traditional consultation.  It is recommended to keep designs for these retreats between 3 to 6 inches. Unless plans are made to continue the piece on a future date or on a future retreat.  The design will be brought to the retreat already completed and approved.

    • Private room or shared room for couples
    • Use of an entire handpicked home and nature setting
    • Meditative practice twice daily.
    • Tattooing and ritual curation
    • Time to relax into yourself, explore your surroundings, and sink in

     

    4 Day Tattoo Retreat

        This package is for those who choose to have their design created as part of the tattoo retreat experience.  The meditative practice will have an added day to help bring focus to the vision of your body art so that the vision may be channeled through a traditional tattoo consultation, which will be held on site.  It is recommended that these designs be between 3 to 6 inches unless future plans are made to complete a larger piece at a future date or on a future retreat.

    • Private room or shared room for couples
    • Use of an entire handpicked home and nature setting
    • Meditative practice twice daily
    • Tattooing and ritual curation by Krystal Bell 

     

    Meditative practice for Tattoo Retreats

      The practices for these retreats are crafted to specifically bring grounding, focus, and openness for the journey.  Connecting you to your support and to the ritual process of tattooing.

     

    Day one

    Intention: to connect with the design and settle into the process to come

     

    Morning Practice

     

    Connecting to your design (for 3 day retreat)

     

    Consultation (for 4 day retreat) - if Design is being created on site

     

    Evening Practice

     

    Day two

    intention:  being present and preparing for tattooing or viewing design

     

    Morning Practice

     

    Tattooing (for 3 day retreat)

     

    Viewing of design (for 4 day retreat): If design is being made during retreat 

     

    Evening Practice

     

    Day three

    intention- integration of tattoo experience for 3 day retreat or preparation for tattooing

     

    Morning Practice

     

    Reflection time and preparation to leave site that evening or the following morning

     

    Tattooing (for 4 day retreat)

     

    Evening Practice (for 4 day retreat)

     

    Day 4 (of 4 day retreat)

    Intention - integration of tattoo experience

     

    Morning Practice

     

    Reflection time and preparation to leave site that evening or the following morning

     

    Evening Practice (for those leaving in the morning)

     

    Pricing

    Machine:

    3 to 6 hours/3 day retreat

    900

    1500

     

    3 to 6 hours/4 day retreat

    1100

    1700

     

    Machine free: 

    3 to 6 hours/3 day retreat

    800

    1075

     

    3 to 6 hours/4 day retreat

    950

    1250

  • What is Integrated Tattoo Healing?

    Over my years of tattooing, what I offer as a tattoo experience has shifted and adjusted.  The offerings have transformed to reflect my own changes and adjustments within my personal ethos of beliefs and intentions behind tattooing and life.

     

    Raised primarily atheist, with my father’s esoteric lineage, and my parents varied cultural backgrounds, I was encouraged and empowered to study the world’s cultures, arts, religions, polytheisms, theologies, philosophies, sciences, social structures, etc. More than likely this was the foundation for my global thinking.  Also the foundation for me to choose whatever systems or mixture of systems that worked best for me, if any.  I swayed between observer and sponge, to believer and practitioner, to skeptic, to a practitioner with a critical lens and constant questions.

     

    Through out my years of questioning and experimentations in different self-growth and expansion practices, I experienced and observed insights that helped to develop my practice of integrated tattooing healing.  Artistically, the integrated tattoo healing designs are expressed through urban totemic alchemy aesthetic that focuses on storytelling illustrations and or glyph talisman/totemic designs for the body.

     

    I apply these accumulative studies to tattooing, inviting each guest to participate in a consultation, taking a holistic approach to the process.  This holistic view starts by asking questions ranging from possible allergies to tattoo materials (which is one of the reasons I utilize vegan tattoo materials) to intentions behind a chosen body art concept.  Then all the information is taken into a personal process utilizing meditative tools such as visualizing, simple breathing techniques, and Prajna Paramita mantras, along side empathic sensitivities, Chinese meridian line studies, oracle card readings, sigil rituals, family shamanic practices, channeling, and other energetically based studies to attain a visual expression of each guest’s desired vision that is detailed within the consultation.

     

    Once a design is finalized between guest and artist the holistic practices carry into the tattoo session itself.  The set and setting is curated to create an environment that allows the experience of pain and art to be fully embraced.  Each guest is offered water and tea while music and fragrances fill the air.  Ritual tools such as sage, sweet grass, and incense ground and clear the space, the tattoo implements (rotary machine and traditional hand poke), as the guest is enveloped in the gentle smoke (unless allergic) in order to help facilitate a grounded and present state of being.  Mediation occurs pre and post session, before each guest arrives, to which the guest is invited to participate in and include the meditation into their experience should they choose.  Each step comes together to create an optimal experience to achieve beautiful art, acceptance of the physical process, and a transmutation of the mind, body, and heart.

     

    It is my hope to continue respecting the traditional elements of healing, rite of passage, and transmutation found within the timeless practice of tattooing.

     

    I look forward to making magic with you!

    Here is a sampling of some of the books that have educated me in my studies of ITH:

    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/123632.Man_and_His_Symbols

    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/517218.The_Archetypal_Symbolism_of_Animals

    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36159333-the-secret-language-of-symbols

    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/611336.A_Handbook_of_Tibetan_Buddhist_Symbols

    https://www.saybrook.edu/blog/2015/05/18/05-18-15/

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/tender-is-the-psyche/201708/interpreting-signs-and-symbols

    https://www.harleytherapy.co.uk/counselling/symbols-in-psychology.htm

    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40383078-the-tibetan-book-of-living-and-dying

    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/846207.Primitive_Art

    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/67891.The_Undiscovered_Self

    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6115380-the-subtle-body?from_search=true

  • EFT Tapping for Pre-Tattoo Jitters!

    It was a great pleasure to collaborate with my friend and naturally talented healer Andrea Laltoo of Awesome Love Healing solutions to create this EFT Tapping tattoo video!  Filmed outside the new tattoo studio in Erie, Colorado! We wondered what the possibilities were for EFT Tapping in the tattoo world and decided to make a video that introduced EFT Tapping and focused on a sequence addressing topics that might arise when preparing for a tattoo.

    Ever been nervous before a tattoo? Wondered if the experience was too much? This video may help ease some of those, as well as other, thoughts and questions so that you can be fully present to your whole experience!

    The full video is offered as a gift to anyone who works with Andrea or me and can also be purchased by anyone that does not work with us for 10.00 by emailing andrea@awesomelovehealing.com

     

    Thanks Andrea for making this happen and thanks to all of You!

     

    Have fun!

     

    *********************

     

    By Andrea Laltoo

     

    What is EFT Tapping?

    EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) tapping is an amazing self-help stress release tool that works like emotional acupuncture – but with no needles required! All that is involved is using the fingers to tap on points around the face and shoulders while focusing on emotions, beliefs, and somatic sensations. This allows us to release trapped emotions, calm the nervous system, and tune into our own power, strength, and beauty.  Simple… but so powerful!


    How do I use an EFT Tapping video?

    As you tap along with a video, you will actually benefit even if all you do is copy the tapping movements without trying to tune into any of the spoken words.  However, you will likely find deeper release and healing take place if you also follow along with the verbal cues and statements, to allow you to focus on the energetic blockages that are there for you.  Occasionally, the script in the video may move on from one aspect or feeling more quickly than what your natural pace of releasing may be... or you may notice that you shift to another emotion at a faster pace, or to one that is not mentioned in the video.  I recommend that you simply keep tapping while following the video, and then check in at the end and do some more tapping afterwards if you've got something that feels unresolved. You can play the video again and just focus more on the aspects and emotions that are still there for you.  And feel free to be in touch if you have any questions! andrea@awesomelovehealing.com

  • On the Road Again.

    Giving this video thing a try 😬
     

    A lil'update on my trip from California to Colorado.
    That “sound” in the background is a Bullfrog! The pond is filled with frogs 🐸 and tadpoles 😍. the bull frog meaning seems to be an eerie match with the new moon and what’s going down with my adventure...
     
    Cleansing, renewal, rebirth, abundance, transformation, metamorphosis, life mysteries and ancient wisdoms.



    Life is ever a mysterious trip!

    Big Love!

  • What is Tattoo Healing?

    What is Tattoo Healing?

    Over my years of tattooing, what I offer as a tattoo experience has shifted and adjusted.  The offerings have transformed to reflect my own changes and adjustments within my personal ethos of beliefs and intentions behind tattooing and life.

     

    Raised primarily atheist, with my father’s esoteric lineage, and my parents varied cultural backgrounds, I was encouraged and empowered to study the world’s cultures, arts, religions, polytheisms, theologies, philosophies, sciences, social structures, etc. More than likely this was the foundation for my global thinking.  Also the foundation for me to choose whatever systems or mixture of systems that worked best for me, if any.  I swayed between observer and sponge, to believer and practitioner, to skeptic, to a practitioner with a critical lens and constant questions.

     

    Through out my years of questioning and experimentations in different self-growth and expansion practices, I experienced and observed insights that helped to develop my practice of integrated tattooing healing.  Artistically, the integrated tattoo healing designs are expressed through urban totemic alchemy aesthetic that focuses on storytelling illustrations and or glyph talisman/totemic designs for the body.

     

    I apply these accumulative studies to tattooing, inviting each guest to participate in a consultation, taking a holistic approach to the process.  This holistic view starts by asking questions ranging from possible allergies to tattoo materials (which is one of the reasons I utilize vegan tattoo materials) to intentions behind a chosen body art concept.  Then all the information is taken into a personal process utilizing meditative tools such as visualizing, simple breathing techniques, and Prajna Paramita mantras, along side empathic sensitivities, Chinese meridian line studies, oracle card readings, sigil rituals, family shamanic practices, channeling, and other energetically based studies to attain a visual expression of each guest’s desired vision that is detailed within the consultation.

     

    Once a design is finalized between guest and artist the holistic practices carry into the tattoo session itself.  The set and setting is curated to create an environment that allows the experience of pain and art to be fully embraced.  Each guest is offered water and tea while music and fragrances fill the air.  Ritual tools such as sage, sweet grass, and incense ground and clear the space, the tattoo implements (rotary machine and traditional hand poke), as the guest is enveloped in the gentle smoke (unless allergic) in order to help facilitate a grounded and present state of being.  Mediation occurs pre and post session, before each guest arrives, to which the guest is invited to participate in and include the meditation into their experience should they choose.  Each step comes together to create an optimal experience to achieve beautiful art, acceptance of the physical process, and a transmutation of the mind, body, and heart.

     

    It is my hope to continue respecting the traditional elements of healing, rite of passage, and transmutation found within the timeless practice of tattooing.

     

    I look forward to making magic with you!

    Here is a sampling of some of the books that have educated me in my studies of ITH:

    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/123632.Man_and_His_Symbols

    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/517218.The_Archetypal_Symbolism_of_Animals

    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36159333-the-secret-language-of-symbols

    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/611336.A_Handbook_of_Tibetan_Buddhist_Symbols

    https://www.saybrook.edu/blog/2015/05/18/05-18-15/

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/tender-is-the-psyche/201708/interpreting-signs-and-symbols

    https://www.harleytherapy.co.uk/counselling/symbols-in-psychology.htm

    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40383078-the-tibetan-book-of-living-and-dying

    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/846207.Primitive_Art

    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/67891.The_Undiscovered_Self

    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6115380-the-subtle-body?from_search=true

     

  • Be Here Meow

    Be Here Meow

    Title image: *** The tattoo font is in Gina’s own hand writing for extra potency.  With the “here” in pointillist style to emphasis the illusory quality of our physical reality.

    ***

    Be here Meow

    All the things are inherently empty.

    At the same time all the things have meaning.

    Because of the reality we all have participated in creating, the inherent emptiness of all the things gives more meaning to all the things, making all the things precious.

    In this physical reality all things are inherently empty and simultaneously meaningful.

    ***

    Thank you Lightning in a Bottle for a great return to the festival arena.

    MAD respect to the ticket booth and gate teams, it was a pleasure working with you all.

    Within minutes of arriving I was flooded with smiling faces that I had not seen in waaaaay too long.  There were many hugs and lots to laugh about.

    The architecture of the environments was inspiring.  Towering over our heads with spider web rigging perfection and colorful fabrics that rippled in the wind like waves in a clear blue sea.  The set and setting felt otherworldly as some of my closet friends and I camped beneath the original location of the Woogie stage where Nick played his first Woogie set.  We sat beneath that oak tree watching the sunsets as the lights of this other-city twinkled on to guide wanderers as they went out to explore the magic.

    I also experienced the wonderment of seeing several tattoos I tattooed back when I first started.  They looked fantastic!  Unfortunately due to the hectic schedule of all my friends and myself, as we were employed this year by LIB as one aspect of production or another, I was only able to get a photo of one of the tattoos.  But it’s pretty perfect as a visual summation of my experience.

    LIB reminded me again that we are not isolated beings sitting on top of our own private mountains (although there is a time and place for that, for each of us, throughout our lives).  We have chosen to be here together, creating an interdependent world.  There is no space for using spiritual concepts and verbiage, such as “emptiness,” to relinquish personal accountability for our actions.  What we do, what we say, and the choices we make affect the entire world around us, as well as ourselves.  Whether at a festival, in your living room, or walking alone by a river and through the woods, dance around our world with balanced compassion and kindness.  Be here Meow.  

    BIG love to all!

    P.s. Gina is an INCREDIBLE massage artist. I don’t know how she does it, but she has a way of talking to the body that just gets right in there.  At one of the points where my body melted into her hands she started saying “after I got this tattoo my life changed.”  I almost cried, my heart and body melting together at that point because, such a small phrase reminded me of exactly why I do what I do.  Why I love what I do.  To end the session Gina rang a small chime over my face and as I opened my eyes the tattoo was right there for me to read, “Be Here Meow.”  THANK YOU to all who work with me.  Thank you Gina! <3  Send Gina a message, she will change your massage life! https://www.facebook.com/gina.zappia.9

  • Global Community Thoughts through the Art of Tattooing.

    Global Community Thoughts through the Art of Tattooing.

    Title photo: Maori tattoo scene, ca. 1910. Collection of the author.

    EMBODIED SYMBOLS OF THE SOUTH SEAS: TATTOO IN POLYNESIA: article, magical tattooing, traditional techniques

    Several years’ back global community thinking led me to consider the psychological and therapeutic aspects of tattooing. A holistic view that was born from researching and noting the varied tattoo cultures which dot our globe. This world wide web of tattoo practices was itself one of the first indicators that tattooing possibly affected us on a deeper subconscious level. Tattooing being a global ritual that unites us on a primal level in similar ways as other cultural practices, ceremonies, and celebrations do across continents.

    Eventually this broad perspective that I was investigating, which contained recorded evidence of its effect on peoples and groups of peoples, such as the magic tattoo festival in Thailand or tribal rites of passage tattoo practices which bring entire tribes together, narrowed in to consider and observe the effects tattooing had on each guest during a personal experience. The level of emotional awareness that would arise during consultations indicated that tattooing brought to the surface a myriad of personal factors. The observed personal factors included emotions, personal ideals, subconscious symbolism, psychological perspectives, and healing objectives. I observed that guests tied their body art to a personal experience that held uniting themes that could be sympathized with through out our global community. Leading me back to tattooing as a practice that connects us on a subconscious level as a shared global experience within a global community.

    If a practice as “small” as adorning our skins can be so connective physically and subconsciously, what else can global thinking truly achieve even on the smallest level?

  • Mapping Within Connected Circles aka Venn Diagram.

    Mapping Within Connected Circles aka Venn Diagram.

    Mapping Within Connected Circles aka Venn Diagram.

    Over the Lighting in a Bottle week my friends and I caught up with life conversations. Life changes and expansion can be uncomfortable; leaving us to seek a way to eliminate the awkwardness of growth rather than use it as a reflection to reveal to each of us what it is we really need for ourselves. When we are accountable for fulfilling our own needs, it gives us the capability to be generous to others, such as our families, friends, and globally. So we all took turns organically tossing around some gusto and words of wisdom.  

    During these conversations I shared my Venn diagram inspired technique that I have utilized throughout my years with partners, working with businesses and large groups, as well as from taking sage advice. In most situations this technique has worked for me. I tend to refer to it as mapping circles.

    You have one circle that holds a set of perspectives, values, needs, and or boundaries and another that holds the needs of the other or others. In between where the circles intersect you have a map of words that allows participants to see where their needs match, don’t, and where they can come to a mutual point by creating something new together that takes into account all the collected information.

    For example, if you are trying to work out a plan for effective communication between two leads of a group, one lead might write down how they communicate and what they need to communicate at their optimal level and the other lead would do the same. When they begin to review each circle they fill in the center, creating an overview of where they match, contrast, and then use that information in the center to create a new platform to empower both leads to work efficiently. Apply this to most situations between friends, teams, relationships, trip planning and it may make things a bit smoother!

    Have fun making maps!

    “As they work to experience their own wholeness and direction and become a more powerful river in their own right, they can merge with another powerful river that is going in the same direction, and together they can flow to the sea.”

  • Newsletter Returns!

    Newsletter Returns!

    Rebooting my tattoo newsletter! It is going to be a biannual update that has special gifts for you exclusively through the newsletter. Like before it will have updates on my travels and be a platform for more personal writings to you.

    "Good or Bad?

    ...What does good and bad mean to you?

    Are good and bad defined by each person’s morals, values, integrity, life circumstances and experiences, or mistaken projections and expectations we place on the terms? Confusing popularity and social media likes as a result of goodness?

    Is good defined through actions of teaching circus arts to children, returning with the sense that a combination of art sharing and more focus on housing, water, food, and electricity may be a more balanced approach to healing...

    to read more and see what surprises await you, please contact me via

    kbelltattoo@gmail.com

    to be added to the newsletter!

    BIG love!