Thai tattoos are a fad in the West, but come from distant Thailand and are steeped in local traditions and history. Discover their origin and the magical meanings they bring.
TATTOOS AND PIERCINGS
The Thai tattoos are experiencing a growing reputation in the Western world since Angelina Jolie if they have tattooed one. It was 2003. Since then many tourists come back from Thailand with a tattoo. The real name is Sak Yan , but in the West they are known as Sak Yant .
Thai tattoos: the tradition of Sak Yant
Sak Yant literally means ‘ tapping the geometry of the drawing ‘. Drawings are the symbols used in meditation. According to Thai tradition they favor concentration and represent real amulets that influence the life of the person who has them tattooed. Traditionally they are made by a monk or a Brahmin master in a temple.
The Thai tattoos are of no value if those who tattooed if they do not believe in their own power. The monks, after making them, make a blessing and add a gold leaf tattooed on it. Before and after recite magic formulas invoking the power of spirits and gods and enter a trans state.
The Sak Yants are born from the fusion of the Yantra , Indian diagrams, and the practices already present in Thailand. The name testifies to this fusion. Sak is Thai tattoo, while Yan is the Thai pronunciation of Yantra, a Sanskrit word that originally meant instrument and constraint.
Initially they were merely decorative and were engraved on fabrics that were then hung in the houses as amulets.
We know that they were used at a time when the natives did not use clothes, so they also took on a function of body decoration. Later they allowed to recognize the enemy in battle and it was believed they made the warriors invincible. Even today, those who practice Maui Thai tattoos them for this purpose.
The meaning of Sak Yant Thai tattoos
The Sak Yant Thai tattoos (which can also be used to cover scars ) are of 2 types: some have a function of protection from evil , others an attraction towards the person who wears them. The first protect both from physical and spiritual evil. Thai people believe they keep knives and firearms away. They would also create immunity the moment the person is attacked.
The Sak Yant of attraction are required to make a person fall in love with himself or create interest around himself. Thai tattoos are not colored , in fact they could also be transparent, because they should not be seen by people, but by spirits.
Symbols of Thai tattoos
The tattoo thai represent fundamental values for the Buddhist culture. Over time, the masters add the lessons learned during the meditations. Here are the main ones.
It is usually the one that gets tattooed first and is considered fundamental. It is engraved at the base of the neck or at the top of the back. It is said that it represents the 9 peaks of the sacred mountain to the Buddhists or the 9 Buddhas. Each line gives a different protection. The spiral lines above the 9 peaks represent the illuminati. The lower part of the spiral line represents the life lived up to that moment. By getting rid of attachment to earthly things, life improves: going upwards, the spiral becomes a straight line.
It’s Angelina Jolie’s tattoo. Each line is a protection to something. The first line protects from unjust punishment, the second from bad luck, the third from black magic and from those who cast curses on the tattooed person, the fourth brings good luck in life and reinforces the fulfillment of the wishes for the future. The fifth and final makes it attractive to the other sex.
It has geometric shapes that symbolize the 8 sacred mantras . Protects in all conditions and in all directions. For this reason it is often chosen by those who travel a lot.
Yant Suea Tiger
It is a circular tattoo with 2 tigers placed in a mirror. They represent power towards subordinates. Among the tigers is the symbol “Yant Putsoorn” (Putsoorn means “concentrically aligned Buddha”). Inside it contains the mantra of the 5 syllables: Na, Moe, Put, Taa, Ya. They are concentric: each is written around the previous one.
What it means to receive a Thai Sak Yant tattoo
In the Thai tradition, receiving a tattoo means adhering to the rules of conduct.
For many Westerners these rules are difficult to understand because they are part of Thai culture . They are based on respect for Buddhist precepts. In general they want the respect of the Triple Jewel : Buddha, Dharma and Shanga.
The first is respect for parents who give human form: for Buddhists to be born with human forms is a rare and precious gift and therefore one must have respect for the parents who have generated us.
The second and third are closely related: respect for the Masters and the Lineage. You connect with them when you receive a Sak Yant. Masters and lineage are not only executors of Sak Yan, but very often they are carriers of the Dharma. The magical places where the Sak Yan are made, the samnak, play a role in the social education of Thais and education in Buddhism.
Thai tattoo technique
Tradition has it that they are made by monks with a bamboo rod called Sak Mai . Today they are also made with a metal rod. As you can imagine it is not a hygienic practice. In Italy, to comply with the required hygiene standards, they are made in tattoo studios. Remember, however, they have only the decorative value and lose the traditional magic value.
If you want to make one of your Sak Yant Thai tattoos on your skin , look for a studio in the area where you live. You will be able to have your favorite tattoo sculpted with the proper hygienic rules, and cure it meticulously once done.
Choose it for its traditional meaning. If instead it is the drawing that attracts you, opt for what you consider the most aesthetically beautiful. Of course, Thai tattoos are not really minimal tattoo so it’s important to think about it and be sure of your choice.