Thursday, 24 March 2016

My Pagan Tattoo -- The Quotation


[Photo by My Rare One]

So finally we come to the last element of my tattoo. Now, what's up with that pagan quotation?


The ancient Spartans once sought the advice of the Oracle at Delphi about whether they should go to war against Athens. Would the Divine be on Sparta's side, they wanted to know. The Oracle's enigmatic answer was: Bidden or not bidden, the Divine is present. The optimistic Spartans took that answer as a firm "yes," even though the prophecy didn't actually answer their question.

To me, this phrase sums up my personal experience of the Divine. Our belief or lack of belief is irrelevant to the Divine, whatever it may or may not be. We need not ask or try to determine whether the Divine exists or not. If the Divine wants to manifest in our lives, it will regardless of our own beliefs, desires or actions. And if it does manifest, you'll friggin know it, my friend! Your life will be turned upside down and inside out, whether you want it to or not. Bidden or not bidden.


Carl Jung also had this quotation carved in Latin over the doorway of his home clinic in Switzerland. Jung interpreted the phrase as meaning: Yes, the Divine is present, but in what form and to what purpose? We can't take anything for granted about the Divine. Since Jungian philosophy was central to my own spiritual development and understanding, this is another reason why I chose to get inked with the same quotation in English.

This post concludes my series about the meaning and significance of my pagan tattoo -- now you know all about it in more excruciating detail than anyone would ever want, hope or expect, LOL! Thanks for reading!

34 comments:

The Cranky said...

Actually, juvenile smartassery aside, I've enjoyed learning about your tat quite a lot.

Agree about the presence of the Divine and how it can be turned upside down.

The Cranky said...

Ack, I meant 'how it can turn your life upside down'.

strangelynaked.com said...

I agree with The Cranky, this has been interesting because you had an interesting reason and meaning behind it. Wait, "We can't take anything for granted about the Divine"? We can't? I mean, if, like you said, "our belief or lack thereof is irrelevant to the Divine," can't we take it for granted and it won't matter because the Divine will have its way regardless?
Your tattoo and the saying are less embarrassing than my family crest that I got tattooed on my back before I checked into it: it's a typical crest with two griffins grimacing holding a banner in one claw and their crotch with the other and the banner reads our family motto, "Primum semper mingit." Which I didn't know until I translated it means in Latin, "Always pee first." Solid advice, but as a tattoo? I goofed.

Mark said...

As I said in your original post I think it's a fnatastic quote. In hindsight it was probably obvious the Oracle meant "no". That quoation makes it sound like the Divine happens even when you don't want it to, and the Spartans certainly wouldn't want it to there. Those oracles were always pesky like that.

Marie Smith said...

I love the quote and so agree with the sentiment. Loved the tattoo posts!

Jim said...

No, thanks for posting and sharing this, Debra.
You open up a whole 'new' world for some of us.
I really appreciate that quote.
Now for your next tat!!....working on the 'sleeve'!!

DEZMOND said...

Glad to hear Bidden is not about that horrid US general secretary :)

Jeanne said...

A great interpretation and a great post. :o)

Debi said...

Awe I see! " To Be or not to be". Open to interpretation. So it's all " I Am " that " I Am".......wow , sure gets deep ...
Have a wonderful weekend! We are getting SNOW! Thank you Alberta clipper! Xo Debi

mrsduncanmahogany said...

This has been a beautiful learning experience for me, thank you for sharing!!

Ken said...

So cool! You've obviously put some time and thought into all of this! You've stirred an itch in me to get another tattoo myself. :)

e said...

Oh, those tricksy Oracles! I love the quote, in all its meaning and ambiguity.

Such a thoughtful and significant tattoo. It's very nice. It's yours, and that's the best part. I mean, you could have gone for an Eskies tat, and that would have been cool too, but not as cool. (But, that's just my opinion, man.)

laughingwolf said...

c.g. jung rocks, too :)

Miss Val's Creations said...

Great meaning in how it applies to you! Being the daughter of an atheist dad and a mom who goes to church every Sunday I totally understand. I'm not exactly sure where I stand since its somewhere in the middle but that is ok with me. Whatever happens, happens.

Lisleman said...

On a trip long ago I took a tour to the ruins of the Oracle at Delphi. Great scenery but it was ruins and did not include any oracles.

Jono said...

You are now the Divine Ms. D in my world and in your seeking you are always teaching. It is rare to be awesome in both humor and seriousness, but you seem to have it, my friend.

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

Great series of posts! I never knew all this; it's so interesting. And I don't think you could have chosen better for a tattoo. It's so perfect for you!

Ol'Buzzard said...

My wife has a tat on her hand and enjoys it. I am ink free - I don't know why - but mine would read: Did I run and am I tired?
the Ol'Buzzard

Magic Love Crow said...

Excellent Debra! Thanks for explaining everything!

Michael G D'Agostino said...

I think you do tattoos right. You put a lot more thought into it than the ditsy teenage girls who get a Chinese character on their foot and are told it means "destiny".

I gave you an award on my blog.

The Happy Whisk said...

Pretty cool. I didn't know anything about this. The only Divine I ever heard of before the The Divine Miss M.

Janie Junebug said...

I like your tat. I saw your comment. I must admit I don't know what amazon.ca is. I'll check the reviews to see if yours shows up. I know someone whose review isn't getting published. It's frustrating.

Love,
Janie

Elsie Amata said...

Very thought provoking, my friend! Much better than one I have that shall not be discussed.

Fine. You pried it out of me. I have a couple and one is, um, well a regret after a night of er, uh, some cocktails. Not thought provoking at all. You did better than I. :)

G. B. Miller said...

Ultimately, so long as you're happy with it, it doesn't really matter how confused people might get with it. For me, if anything, if I should happened to cross paths with you and saw the tattoo for the first time, I would say, "Now that's a very cool tattoo."

And it is.

Father Nature's Corner

bj said...

Tattoos are such a personal thing, I think. This one seems to have deep meanings for you and that's a good thing.....being the titty baby that I am, all I can think about is how it must have hurt. :(

Magaly Guerrero said...

From beginning to end (starting from all your years as a tattoo virgin and moving to showing us just how much thought and love you put into this), learning about your tattoo has been a delight.

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

That's a wonderful quote, beautiful message. And I like that you have such masculine and such feminine symbolism on the tattoo.

Sorry it took me a while to catch up around here.
Hope all's well and that you have a fabulous weekend.

PS Thanks much for trying to leave a review. I thought you had already. No? If not, if you don't mind posting one to Amazon.com (it needs to be to this address specifically), that would be very much appreciated! I'm too close not to beg. =) Happy Easter!!

Insomniac's Attic said...

Jeez, now I feel a little silly for just getting a bunch of pretty tattoos that don't mean anything. I'll have to do a bit more soul-searching and maybe a bit of research next time. I really enjoyed reading about yours! LOL

Fearsome Beard said...

Everything I always wanted or needed to know. It's all in The Big Lebowsky.

I Lorkyn I said...

That is a wonderful quote, a good choice!

Rommy said...

Cool! I never knew about the origins of that phrase before.

Francie M said...

Now this is a tat worth having. Just caught up on the blogs behind this one and it is totally beautiful, Debra.

Fundy Blue said...

Fascinating, Debra! I need to read more Carl Jung! thanks for sharing!

dbs said...

Word tattoos are always the best tattoos.