Tattoos and body modifications have been recognized as having physical, metaphysical, and psychological effects across so many time periods and cultures although in western millennial culture, I don’t think most of us relate. In such a homogenized ethnic melting pot, the downside is the lack of sacred symbolism, no central spiritual belief, and no hard subculture definitions. I see a lot of panic over this breakdown of social identity; everything has become meaningful, and subsequently nothing is meaningful. But the upside is the immeasurable freedom we have over our lives and bodies. There’s a power in this freedom. We can relate this freedom in how we choose to mark our bodies; there are no rules anymore. That being said, there’s a few things I believe should be considered when choosing body modifications.

First, realize that tattoos and modifications are basically intentional scar tissue. In Chinese medicine, a scar is considered to be a disconnect in the network of Qi (energy) in the body, or a permanent gap in an energy pathway. Although, because of the lack of sufficient blood supply and elasticity to the area, there is a constant ‘pulling’ of surrounding tissue of the scar. Too much of this pulling can cause irritation, but the pulling itself is creating it’s own energy flow. A created energy flow rather than a natural one. So by creating these ‘scars’ on and within our bodies, we are in a sense, becoming the master of a customized energy flow.

Also, color choice is important. Generally, warm tones (reds, yellows, orange hues) are passionate, energizing, and fiery. Cool tones (blues, purples, and greens) are calming, serene, and relaxing. The neutral tones (blacks, grey, and brown) are subject to the surrounding colors. Each hue has different psychological effects when you or others keep a long gaze on it. Why not study the effect each color has on the mind and emotions when choosing a color palette for a tattoo?

Lastly, subject matter. This is the part of the decision process where that social freedom really comes through. There are no rules that say a tattoo of a sandwich can be just as meaningful and powerful as a portrait of a passed away loved one. The beauty is the power that the wearer gives it. That ‘scar’ is a powerful physical and psychological stamp that has the same longevity in the mind as the memories that are permanently anchored to a childhood smell or favorite song. So in a sense, we start to embody the subject matter and personal meaning of our tattoos, much like a self-fulfilling prophecy.

“I almost got a big fierce looking tiger on my back when I was like 19, but decided against it when I got into magick around the same time. I intuitively knew it would be bad for me on the grounds that it would start to lock me into the archetype of the Tiger. Symbolism is a powerful thing.” -David Langford, Shaolin Wahman Student

You don’t need to be born into a remote tribe or living in a different generation for your tattoos or body modifications to hold authority in both the physical and spiritual sense. Over time, you become your modifications. They shape your entire being; this is the way they become attractively timeless and ultimately magic.

Tattoos Viewed Differently Around The World

imagesizerAs tattoos are slowly but surely gaining acceptance and popularity amongst most of the American population, it is interesting to note how widespread the appeal of this practice is becoming in other countries around the world. It is also interesting to consider how various other cultures view this practice, and whether those views have changed over time as has been the case with the United States.

In American the main source of familiarity with Oriental symbols and other artwork comes from viewing this lovely, traditional art in tattoo studios all across the United States. It may, therefore, be surprising to many Americans to know that, due to the significant influence of Buddhist and Confucianist religions both the Japanese and Chinese societies take a very negative view of tattoos. In these societies, tattooing was a means of branding criminals; it was not acceptable for citizens to engage in the process. In today’s society, tattoos are still unacceptable. Although their younger generation usually takes a more liberal view of tattooing, the youngsters who have them generally keep them covered.

Lip Piercing Information Guide with all 12 Types Explained

The Lip Piercing

A piercing on the lip or any area surrounding the lips is known as a lip piercing. Lip piercing is a common practice in many parts of the world. In some parts of Africa, lip piercing is done on young men who become of age after getting initiated. It is also a common practice in today’s youth. It reflects a sense of individual style. It is one of the least painful of all types of piercings. This might be the reason why most people prefer lip piercings to piercings on other parts of the body. Lip piercing can be referred to as either facial or oraltype of piercing. There are various types of lip piercings that are discussed below.

Lip Piercing

12 Types of Lip Piercings Explained

Below you will find the 12 most common lip piercings explained with a short summary, for more information about healing times, after-care, costs or just inspirational examples of our piercing models click on the links to all our information guides.

Labret PiercingLabret Piercing Jewelry

This kind of piercing is done on the lower lip. In most cases it is done at the centre. However there are other choices depending on preferences. It can be done by anyone who is willing regardless of age and gender. Find more information and inspiration in this extensive guide about Labret and Vertical Labret Piercings.


Monroe PiercingMonroe Piercing

This lip piercing is named after Marilyn Monroe since it is done with an effort to resemble the late star’s birthmark. The piercing is on the left hand side on top of the upper lip to the side.


Medusa PiercingMedusa Lip Piercing

This is a piercing done on the philtrum region just below the nose. It is crucial to get this piercing right since if placed in the wrong way, it can alter the face symmetry.


Vertical Labret PiercingVertical Labret Piercing

This kind of lip piercing is similar to the labret piercing. The difference is that the vertical labret is pierced in such a way that the piercing is made to be parallel to the lip tissues.  Find an extensive Labret Piercing Guide with 21 Inspirational Examples here.


Snake Bites PiercingSnake Bites Piercing Model

The snake bite lip piercings are on the lower lip. Each side of the lip has a piercing. It is possible to get both piercings at the same time. More information about snake bites you can find in the Ultimate Snake Bites Piercing Information Guide.


Spider Bites PiercingSpider Bites Piercing

These are similar to snake bites but are closer together compared to the snake bites. It is more painful and should therefore be done one at a time. This means that you should wait until one piercing heals in order to get another.


Angel Bites PiercingAngel Bites Lip Piercing

These are similar to the Monroe lip piercings. The only difference is that they are on both sides on top of the upper lip instead of one one side.


Cyber Bites PiercingCyber Bites Piercing

These lip piercings are opposite each other. One is in the middle of the upper lip and the other one on the lower lip. Very similar to a Labret piercing but then on the top and bottom of the lips.


Dolphin Bites PiercingDolphin Bite Piercing

These are two lip piercings that are placed at the centre of the lower lip or just below the lip. Some people place them a little bit lower or even in the lowest part of the lip.


Dahlia Bites PiercingDahlia Bites Piercing

Another variation of the labret piercing is known as the dahlia piercing. These lip piercings are done at the corners of the mouth. Each corner has one piercing. Most popular is to put two steels balls but often rings will be used too.


Canine Bites PiercingCanine Bites Piercing

These are similar to angel bites. The difference is that they are placed above the upper lip and below the lower lip. Therefore, there are four piercings in total. The surface of the lip itself is normally not pierced, except for canine bites and horizontal lip piercings.


Shark Bites PiercingShark Bites Piercing

Shark Bites are done on either side of the area below the lower lip. There are four piercings. Two on each side placed close to each other. This one is very similar to the snake bite piercing, but the steels are closer together.


Lip Piercing Procedures

The general procedure of any kind of lip piercing mainly involves the specialist making marks on the area to be pierced using an antiseptic known as Gentian Violet. Once this is done, forceps are used to stretch out the lips with a bid to line up the marks. The lip is then pierced after this. The final step involves screwing the bead onto the post. The procedure does not hurt as compared to other types of piercing. However, pain is said to vary depending on individuals.


There are several things that determine the cost of a lip piercing. These are; the place, the metal used and the number of piercings you intend to get. It most cases it ranges from $20 to $120.

Healing and After Care

It is important to clean both sides of the piercing using salt solution. This is because the piercing is in most cases in contact with saliva which contains bacteria. Cleaning ensures the area is not infected. This controls swelling an pain. It is also important to ensure you visit a dentist in case the piercing is affecting the color of your teeth. Lavender oil is good in promoting healing and should therefore be applied on the wound.

In conclusion, if you decide to get a lip piercing, it is important to make sure you get it done by someone who is qualified. This will ensure you do not have any serious side effects from the procedure.

Marked Men: The 10 Coolest Tattoos on Film

movie-tattoos-articleWhen presenting a character in a film, directors and costume designers think very carefully about every last detail: what color shirt, what brand of shoes, how mussed the hair. Maybe this is why some of the coolest and most apt tattoos we’ve ever seen have popped up in movies, from the original knuckle tattoos to this year’s hottest movie sensation (hint: dragons). From the silly to the terrifying, the ominous to the controversial, click through to see our ten favorite tattoos on film, and since we know there are hundreds of great ones out there, be sure to let us know if we’ve missed any of your own favorites.

Max Cady’s myriad tattoos, Cape Fear

Funnily enough, it’s Robert Mitchum, the actor who played Harry Powell, and who also starred in the original 1962 Cape Fear, who peers at De Niro’s chest and shrugs, “I don’t know whether to look at him or read him.” Fair enough — as Cady jokes later, “there isn’t much to do in prison except desecrate your flesh,” especially when you’re just biding your time until you can exact your proper justice.

Top 10 U.S. Cities with the Most Tattoos

Ink is a thing of beauty in these places, from Angelina Jolie’s birthplace to Kat Von D’s old hangout…
Angelina JolieWell, it’s official. Whether or not you think tattoos are sexy forms of self-expression, Maxim, Playboy, and FOX have all pegged tattooed beauties as some of the hottest in the world. The most recent picks? Britney (yes, she still makes many of the lists!), Angelina, Katy Perry, Zoe Saldana, Megan Fox and Jessica Alba. And, lest we forget the opposite sex: Johnny Depp (People’s “Sexiest Man Alive” two years in a row), Brad Pitt, David Beckham and Hugh Jackman, to name a few, all have several tats. They are but shining examples of the reason tattoos are today’s favorite “beauty marks.”
To find out which towns in America were most tattoo-friendly, we perused chat forums and looked up every state in several public directories, including Yellow Pages, Google listings, Tattoo Yellow Pages and AAA Tattoo Directory, to find those with the most listed tattoo and permanent makeup shops. Then we looked up which cities in those states had the most shops listed per capita with populations based on latest U.S. Census numbers.

We also took into consideration the city’s demographics and whether or not it hosted tattoo conventions, remembering that not all tattoo parlors were listed in the directories. See which cities love ink the most!