May 2018: What’s New @ Witch City Ink!

We are welcoming this sunny weather with wide open arms, and we have lots of updates to share about Witch City Ink! After the excitement of running the Seventeenth Annual Boston Tattoo Convention last month, we are going full speed ahead toward a busy summer season. From beautifying our interior, to offering new magickal items for sale, to welcoming a talented new artist into the fold, there are lots of new things to share…

INSIDE THE SHOP:

Here at Witch City Ink we have been enjoying the ongoing process of updating our beautiful space here in downtown Salem. You may notice a few changes next time you visit, like the fact that our beloved human skeleton Boris has a gorgeous new home! There is art everywhere you look, and we are proud to continue making the atmosphere more and more representative of the exceptional work happening within our four walls. First and foremost, tattooing is an art, and we want our space to reflect a respect and appreciation for this idea. How do you decorate a temple that is devoted the decoration of own our bodily temples? With a lot of beautiful, meaningful, and intriguing art! Many curiosities in our shop are a tiny bit of the evidence of a lifetime of travel & creation on the part of our owner Natan Alexander. If you can catch him in a rare free moment, he may tell you some tales of the places he’s been and the knowledge he has gained. It is really something special to be able to have a space devoted the appreciation of art in all its forms. If you haven’t been in for a while, or have never been, it is definitely time to come by the next time you are in Salem!

 

 

 

 

NEW ARTIST: KAYLEIGH KERR

We have welcomed a new artist to the shop! Kayleigh Kerr has a diverse portfolio of realism, fine linework, detailed geometric designs, and gorgeous black & grey. You can see more of her work on Instagram under @kayleighck or on her website www.kayleighkerr.com. She is now booking appointments!

 

 

NEW PRODUCTS: SPIRITUS ARCANUM

We are pleased to announce the arrival of a new line of magickal items from Spiritus Arcanum that are all handcrafted right here in Salem, MA! There are apothecary oils for all sort of purposes, vials of dedicated incense, and Hexentaschen (protective witch bags & necklaces), along with some beautiful animal skulls and many other items. Mercury Retrograde Oil? We’ll take a couple dozen of those, please! Most items start around $12, so come by and peruse this unique selection.

  

  

 

 

UPCOMING EVENTS:

In June we’ll be hosting guest artist Kevin Shattuck from Iconic Ink in the shop from June 14th-17th! Check out his work on Instagram under @iconicinkkevin! He is welcoming booking for his Salem dates through call or text at 774-766-0280.

In July we’ll be bringing a little Witch City magic to the Granite State! Our talented tattoo artists are excited to attend great year at the Live Free or Die Tattoo Expo in Manchester, NH running July 20th –July 23rd.

In September we’ll be hosting guest artist Master Bangkok Ajarn Ohr and Bangkok Ink from Thailand September 8th-11th. He specializes in Sak Yant, a traditional Thai form of handpoked tattooing performed & blessed in ceremonial style by a monk.

Right after that we’ll be running our next tattoo event, the Third Annual Massachusetts Tattoo Convention at the DCU Center in Worcester, MA, which happens the weekend of September 14th-16th, 2018! It’s going to be a great time, so come get tattooed, check out some cool vendors, and take in some unique entertainment. We hope to see you there!

Tattoo Magic: Whats up with all the Snakes?

 

by K Lenore Siner

A visit to my room at Witch City Ink often prompts people to ask me “What is up with the snakes?” They are in the artwork on my walls, scattered around the room in line sheets of future and finished tattoos, a snake print leather covers my tattoo chair – not to mentioned that they are tattooed all over my body. The question is always met with a pause and a smile; when it comes to myth, symbolism and my personal story there isn’t anything I would rather share about.

Symbols have intrinsic, seeping power. Spend time with one and it will leave its mark on you the way spending time around a fire leaves you smelling of smoke.

Snake is connected to transformation, creation, wisdom, healing, the underworld, the circle, the spiral, the element of water and both death and eternal life. Snakes are an important part of the myth and symbolism of cultures around the world. There are dozens of serpent gods and hundreds of stories where they are featured. They show up as beneficent, troublesome, evil and sometimes a mix of all three. With such a rich history of myth and symbolism there is no way for me to do justice to it all. However, I would like to share a bit of why I personally love the snake as a totem and some reflections on why you might want to incorporate it into your next intentional tattoo.

I got my first snake tattoo more than a decade ago after participating in a woman’s initiatory ritual that involved a group of us building and walking a labyrinth (more on labyrinths here). At the labyrinth’s center was a woman holding a large, live python. As I took my turn walking the labyrinth I wondered what I should do when I reached this personification of the Divine in the center – should I kneel? Should I say something important? What do you do when you have the chance to meet god?

I kept taking the path and getting closer and still didn’t know. When I arrived in the center I felt something inside me shift and I stood up a bit straighter. I looked her in the eyes with that huge snake twisting around her neck and shoulders and I knew in that instant that there was no other choice but that – to meet her dead on, eye to eye, as an equal.

Meeting the snake priestess was my first experience of knowing my own divinity and it was an event that changed my life, enough so that I immediately went and got my first snake tattoo, to remember myself as divine through wearing the symbol of that experience in my skin.

Symbols are alive. Just like us they have different moods and manners depending on what they are in relation to. And just like us they are evolving and changing. As we develop a relationship with a symbol we write our own personal story with it.

Being raised in Christian culture, the earliest snake myth I ever heard was that of Eve in the garden being “tempted” by the snake. Here is a version of the story:

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”

“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened.

Now I know this story is supposed to be about original sin and all that crap, but when I read it I cant help but think that this was a moment of empowerment! The snake shows up and directs Eve to consider that she has been given misinformation, she looks for herself and sees value in something that she had in the past ignored and when she engages it she becomes “like God”. This is not a story of sin, but a story of finding ones true will, and the power that goes with that – and the snake led the way.

In light of this myth, snake is connected to the acquisition of personal power and wisdom, specifically in the areas that we are told are dangerous or should be left alone. It is about listening to our intuition and acting on what we see as good and valuable – not just what we are told is true – and the transformation we encounter when we act on those impulses.

Another story – I had the terrifying pleasure of getting far too close to a rattlesnake while harvesting blue vervain in the hills of South Dakota a few years ago. I was out hiking miles away from any road or home and as I bent down to cut a plant I heard that distinct rattle sound from under a shrub a foot away. I was immediately still, focused, present and very aware of my heart beat, my life, as I backed slowly away.

In the presence of that snake, I got to feel the awe of being one false move away from a painful death. What has great power to transform has the power to destroy. In that, snake is not an easy friend. It means to invite death, to let go with each skin shed towards becoming the next version of us and its lessons often come to us as venom, the drop of poison that cures.

In the vast history of snake myth and meaning, these are my personal connections. So if you ask me “What is up with the snakes” the short story is that I love tattooing them as a reminder to embrace our divinity, follow our intuition even when it is contrary to what we have been taught in order to gain wisdom and power and to be able to come to terms with fear, death and letting go in service of our own transformation.

Do you have a snake tattoo that holds a particular intention for you? A favorite snake myth or personal story? I would love for you to share! Thinking of incorporating snake symbolism into your next tattoo? You know I would be more than happy to help, message me at @snakeoclock or call Witch City to set up a consult.

 

 

 

We’re all mad here! Wait, I mean, we’re all artists….

We are a studio full of artists, and even our front desk team fits that description.  It is great to have such a creative team to work around.

K Lenore Siner is a self taught painter with formal training in 3D Fine Art from the Massachusetts College of Art. She paints using a variety of mediums including oils, wax, resin, paper, ash and herbs.  Here are some of her currently available giclee prints, which can be purchased through her Etsy, etsy.com/shop/KLenoreSinerArt:

 

Theresa Wall Duggan is a photographer and digital artist, and creates imagery inspired by classical painting styles as well as fashion inspired portraits.  Check out her Etsy shop here: etsy.com/shop/Artanddiscordstudios.  Here are some of her currently available prints: