For millennia the indigenous people who were making tattoos were also practicing shamanism, the oldest human spiritual religion. They allowed us to gain a glimpse of a culture that connected tattoo, ritual, religion, myth, and nature. Today many people are getting tattoos, age or career is no longer relevant. Some of them get inked for the aesthetic reasons, some use body as a diary of important events, others wants to have a work of their favorite artist. I look at tattooing as spiritually uplifting and empowering process. With all my respect for the ones, who started - I'm happy to continue the tradition of magic tattoos.
From the peaceful shamanic tents the art of tattooing moved to the cities, to the tattoo shops, and today we have all kinds of different styles, techniques, as well as attitudes towards tattoos and that's great. Each of us can chose what suits personal desires and needs.
Shaltmira tattoos a medicine student at INK INC studio in Puebla, Mexico. 2017
TATTOOING IS A RITUAL
When it came to their tattoos – the Aztecs were by far the most advanced in design and artwork. At a time when other cultures were merely tattooing rudimentary designs, the Aztec culture had developed incredible patterns with depth and detail on a massive scale. This devotion to body artwork comes heavily from the basis of the culture, which focused on tradition, education, and the arts.
The Aztecs took tattooing to a new level. Similar to the those tribes of Ancient Briton, the Aztecs were proud of their body art and created intricate, dazzling designs that still appear in modern tattoo culture to this day. But unlike the Ancient Britons, who tattooed for many reasons – including battle pride, worshipping, and recreational activities – the Aztecs’ tattoos had one sole purpose: ritual.
Each deity had its own specific symbolic pattern which helped attribute to the worshipping factor of the ritual. In addition to individual styles, each and every tattoo placement was well thought out, with every location on the body holding its own ritualistic meaning.
It is very interesting now to be in Mexico and get to know more about it, as well as inking ancient symbols and drawings.
These tattoos I did at INK INC tattoo studio in Mexico.
GUESTS' SPOTS & TATTOO SHOPS
Some tattoo artists work at tattoo shops, some at home and others like to travel a lot. Though while working in tattoo studio you can get tips from other tattoo artists and also trade tattoos! Last summer I've been living and working in Berlin, tattooing at Amor De Madre Tattoo Studio. This year I am working at INK INC. And recently visited Bogota, Colombia and been tattooing at Dr.Calavera's. As for self-taught tattoo artist I found it very useful to spend some months in tattoo shops, I learnt things this way much faster than it would have taken to discover on my own.
Dr.Calavera Tattoo Studio in Bogota, Colombia, where I was tattooing earlier this year.
Maybe because of my magical approach towards tattoos - I really like to tattoo at my home studio. Let me describe it, imagine... So here we meet, a tattoo artist and you, a client. But I prefer to call you my New Friend. We spent time discussing your tattoo online and now we are ready to do it. I play some music, binaural beats or techno, whatever we feel like into, and you can smell the incense burning. I'm a big fan of copal. Copal incense is one of the oldest forms of energy clearing. Using copal is one of the best methods for energetically cleansing the space. There's no hurry. We have a chat, a drink of choice and then, when feeling comfortable, start the ritual of tattooing. We can have as many pauses as we need. Then, when tattoo is finished, we take pictures, laugh and feel how this experience was both bonding and energizing. We smile. We know we have a connection for life. Do you feel it? Haha
In tattoo shop time is more limited, because tattoo artist has a long list of appointments. One session is maximum 5 hours. Luckily, whenever I was working - it was all great experiences and it taught me a lot of discipline, as well as other artists' tattooing 'tricks'. One of my favorite tattoo shop of all times is the one I work at now - INK INC, here in Mexico. In the picture above you can see me and my friend Mario, who already has 4 tattoos done by me! We stand in front of the mural I did at INK INC shop at Dr.Mora 9. It's called 'The Return of Santa Muerte', all done with acrylic markers. Feel free to visit and have a look yourself, it's huge! I'm happy to work with people, who appreciate 'out of the frame' art, like my boss at INK INC tattoo shop, he showed the green light and funded the mural and we even talked about expansion in the future! How cool is that?!
In the end, you need to answer for yourself: what you prefer? What kind of experience are you seeking? If you have clear idea and want get things done fast - go to tattoo shop. If you want more one-on-one experience with the tattoo artist, magical atmosphere, flexible hours - I would recommend the artist's studio.
Most of us practice the magic on a daily basis. How? The fact that most people on Earth know how to write or speak a language is a proof! Did you know that each letter of the English language was created using sacred geometry? Or maybe you are familiar with Gematria? A Kabbalistic method of interpreting the Hebrew scriptures by computing the numerical value of words, based on those of their constituent letters.
When our subconscious mind hears words phrased in a way that seems positive, it does its utmost to make sure we bring that idea into our lives. Every day we create the most powerful spells that will determine our future. Once we become aware of this - we can literally harness the power of words to transform our lives.
Words are magic spells. The way we phrase or use words create our future and getting a lettering tattoo is a chance for growth and empowerment.
From traditional to experimental fonts - options are unlimited.
NEVER TOO OLD
I have tattooed many older people, first was my 60+ year uncle. Don't listen to outdated stereotypes - it's never too late to do anything!
FIXING AND COVERING OLD TATTOOS
Sometimes we change our minds, change our lives and feel like old tattoo no longer represents our inner reality. Or maybe you still like it, but want it to look more fresh - it is time for a change - tattoo update!
Some old tattoos can be fixed, some new meanings could be added. But sometimes it's better to do new, bigger tattoo on top. If you have similar questions - feel free to send me an email, adding photo with your tattoo and we can discuss the best solution for your case.
Each tattoo artist has a bunch of tattoo designs waiting for their owner. Sometimes it has happens, that you see a drawing and immediately feel the connection. Lots of times people told me, that they felt as if my drawing was meant to be tattooed for them. Feel free to ask me if I have any new tattoo designs or check out TATTOO DESIGNS gallery here, on my website.
COMMISSIONED TATTOO DESIGN
You were thinking about getting a tattoo, but you don't want to have something you saw on internet, or what is now trending. You want something special, something what has a meaning for you, what represents you, stands for what you believe - then it's time to reach out to the tattoo artist and ask to create unique personal tattoo design. Even if I am far away from you and can not do the tattoo myself - you can hire me to create a unique tattoo design and then go to your favorite local artist to get it inked.
How it works? I will ask you to describe me your ideas and visions, or if it is still blurry in your mind - you can give me some keywords, for example: time, key, journey, geometry etc, and using them I will create the drawing. We will discuss the best size, location and before seeing the final version of your tattoo design - you will be able to have a look at the work in progress.
How much it costs? Depending on size and complexity the price can vary from 100 to 500+ dollars. For additional fee I would draw the tattoo design with ink on paper and later will send you the original artwork via traditional mail. Or, if it is digitally created tattoo design - I can send you the big resolution image via email - so you can print it and frame it, hang it on the wall or put on your magic altar - up to you!
An example of commissioned tattoo design. Work in progress and final design, turned into the illustration.
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
Q: HOW SHOULD I PREPARE FOR MY TATTOO SESSION?
A: Make sure you are well rested, well hydrated, and have eaten recently. Aside from that, take a shower, charge your phone.
Q: WHAT TATTOO MACHINE YOU USE?
A: LaceNANO! I pre-ordered it soon after it was invented and been using it all of the time! I love it and recommend it for those, who work with precision, thin lines and small details. The inventor, Peter, now is my friend and supports my work, so happy! Go check it out, it’s future: www.lacenano.com
Q: DOES GETTING A TATTOO HURT?
A: The tattooing process requires the application of pigment under the first epidermal layer of the skin. Receiving a tattoo is a painful process, but each of us have different tolerance for pain. The larger the tattoo - the longer it will take to do, so small tattoos hurt less. But remember, people wouldn't get a second tattoo if the first one hurt that bad.
At the moment I'm tattooing in Mexico City, at INK INC tattoo studio, where you and also find a huge mural I've done recently.
Q: HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO GET SHALTMIRA’S TATTOO?
A: The cost varies on the size of the tattoo, the complexity, and where you put it on your body. My prices start at $50.00 (for a symbol, sigil) and go up from there. For example, for big tattoos I charge 100$/hour. Feel free to send me an email with your idea and I will tell you more precisely. Tattoo shops have their prices, and usually takes 50% from the tattoo price you pay, leaving the rest for the artist. So if you are getting tattooed at the shop - ALWAYS tip the artist!
Q: HOW DO I CARE FOR MY NEW TATTOO?
-Leave bandage on for 3-5 hours.
-Remove bandage, wash with warm water & soap, pat dry.
-Apply Bepanten+ (healing cream) 3 times a day.
-Stay out of chlorine pools, salt water, and only minimum sun exposure while tattoo is healing.
-DON'T PICK AT SCAB. Tattoos will heal in 10-15 days.
THE MOST PAINFUL SPOTS
Getting tattooed in an area where your bones are closer to the surface of your skin (your foot, ankle, knee, ribs, etc) could be more unpleasant than a meatier part of the body. It doesn't necessarily hurt more, but many people don't like the “tapping” feeling of being tattooed over bone. However, I did an experiment with my friend, and first time tattooed the very unusual spots, inside of the belly button and the nipple. Check the videos below to see his reaction!
Q: WILL IT FADE?
A: I use the highest quality pigments found in the industry, but if you spend lots of time in the sun, or have specific skin condition, it will fade. Tattoos fade with time as your skin is changing and renewing constantly. Those who say that tattoos don’t fade are simply trying to impress you for commercial purposes. Usually after a while you might want to refresh your tattoo. Sometimes tattoos crack, specially in areas which bend, also fingers' and hands' tattoos need repetitive sessions, till they finally settles in. But good news are here - if you ever got a tattoo from me - I'll fix it and refresh it for you for free.
Q: CAN I BRING MY OWN DESIGN?
A: Just about any design you can think of can be made into a beautiful tattoo. Feel free to show me all the images that inspire you and tell me all the ideas you have. After careful examination of your inner real I will be able to create the most suitable tattoo for you. If you already know what you want and want this idea to be inked by me - great! I'm honored, but have in mind, that I give priority for my own created tattoo designs. If you want to get something that anybody can do - why you come to me? If you come to me - you must be craving for something special!
Q: CAN YOU FIX MY OLD TATTOO?
A: Old tattoos can be fixed or reworked into a fresh (although larger) work of art.
Q: HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO HEAL AFTER A TATTOO?
A: The majority of your new tattoos healing process will be done within the first two weeks. However, the skin is still working to heal and rejuvenate and you need to plan on a 4-6 weeks for your skin to be back to its previous state.
Q: WHY DO TATTOOS START TO ITCH WHILE HEALING?
A: As the skin rejuvenates itself, usually about a week after the tattoo was done, the itch sets in. This is normal. Good moisturizers will help immensely with this. If lotion isn’t helping, run it under cold water for a few moments and you should be itch free. Do not scratch!
Q: WHY DO YOU REQUIRE DEPOSITS?
A: I will have hours of work, drawing and preparing for a tattoo before you sit down in my chair. Deposits help to ensure you will make it to your appointment and that I haven’t done hours of work for nothing.
Q: SHOULD I TIP?
A: You should ALWAYS tip those who provide services for you. Whether it’s your hairstylist or waiter - if they provide you a service you should tip them. This includes your tattoo artist as well.
When your heart is filled with love and kindnesses - your thoughts become pleasant, and your body heals more easily, animals will sense your love and people will welcome you everywhere and if you lose things, they will return to you.
The last one seemed funny to me, as I was crossing the busy street here in Mexico City center and listening to this Jack Kornfield talk, and I was putting my Iphone into the fanny pack and then some guy touched my shoulder and as I was turning back I saw his hand reaching towards me - he was giving me my Iphone back, coz I dropped it on street accidentally. Leather case was a bit bruised, but no serious damage. Then I was about to cry from weird feeling. Joke's on me. Now listen this every morning.
- Shaltmira, CDMX, 2017
DO WHAT THOU WILT SHALL BE THE
WHOLE OF THE LAW.
LOVE IS THE LAW,
LOVE UNDER WILL.
Nigredo, or blackness, in the alchemical sense, means putrefaction, decomposition. By the penetration of the external fire, the inner fire is activated and the matter starts to putrefy. The body is reduced to its primal matter from which it originally arose. This process is also called ‘cooking’. The black earth is closed up in a vessel or flask, and heated.
The Body is to be decomposed, that is one shifts one's awareness to the inner self. The planets are both stages of the process and energies in the body to be transmuted. The Saturn star is black as Saturn reigns over Nigredo. Sun and Moon are the opposites to be united, and fire and air are the elements stimulating the decomposition. The black crow is another symbol for Nigredo. The two birds coming out of the body are the soul and the spirit. One needs to become aware of one's soul and spirit. The circle emphasizes the idea of union or unification.
Putrefaction is so effective that it destroys the old nature and form of the rotting bodies; it transmutes them into a new state of being to give them a totally new fruit. Everything that has live, dies; everything that is dead putrefies and finds a new life.
AND IF YOU SEE THE FIRE -
WATCH IT BURN.
JUST WATCH IT BURN.
On the mythological level, nigredo signifies the difficulties man has to overcome on his journey through the underworld. Nigredo is sometimes called ‘blacker than the blackest black’. Hercules had to accomplish twelve, almost impossible, tasks. The pilgrim traditionally encounters shadows, monsters, demons. In the ancient mysteries the candidates had to undergo difficult, sometimes painful and even dangerous initiation tests. In alchemy, one of the symbols of nigredo is the ‘decapitation’, and also the ‘raven’s head’ (caput corvi).
Those symbols refer to the dying of the common man, the dying of his inner chaos and doubt because he is unable to find the truth in himself. In one of his works, Hercules cleanses the Augias stables. It is the cleansing of all the impurities in oneself.
Psychologically, nigredo is a process of directing oneself to find self-knowledge. A problem is given full attention and reduced to its core. This is not done so much in an intellectual way, but especially by feeling the emotions. By really going into to it, one causes putrefaction, the decomposition of that in which one had been stuck. The confrontation with the inner reality is often painful, and can lead to depression.
But once in the depth of the darkness, with the discovery of the seed of the problem, the seed in the ‘prima materia’, the white light is born (=albedo, whiteness, the next phase). A state of rest arises. Insight into the problem has been gained, it has been worked out emotionally, and knowledge arises on how to handle it in a more positive way and to build a more pure attitude.
Alchemists talked about unraveling ‘the mixture’ (=man with all his complexities) in order to return to the germ. That from which a thing has been made in a natural way, by that same thing it must return to a dissolved state into its own nature. Everything has to be dissolved and reduced into that form from which is arose.
‘Matter’ has to be stripped of its superfluities in order to arrive at the center, which contains all the power of ‘the mixture’. The seed is the essence and contains all the essential powers of the body. One has to go to the center of his problems, to the center of his emotions, to the center of himself. There is the power of transformation.
Saturn is the planet that rules nigredo. Saturn as an alchemical symbol is used, like Mercurius, as a symbol of chaos, the prima materia as rough stone, and as the philosopher’s stone. These are all symbols for man at the beginning of the alchemical process. Saturn, with his traditional scythe and hourglass, is the god of death and putrefaction, from which new life will arise. The scythe is another tool for penetration, as is the lance and the sword. Saturn is the philosopher’s lead. He is the god that can cause melancholy and devilish visions. ‘Melancholia’ is another term for nigredo. As melancholy can arise when alchemically working on oneself, the alchemists advised the use of music to lift the soul.
Saturn is also a god of fertility. Therefore "our black earth is fertile earth", an alchemical expression to express the transformation of death into new life, which is also clearly depicted in the thirteenth tarot card. The putrefaction is a necessary phase to start a new beginning. Life itself is a cycle of death and birth, ever creating new life, giving man the opportunity to work on himself and strife to improve his condition.
The alchemists say that nigredo lasts forty days. Forty days has a symbolic value. Jesus fasted for forty days in the desert. There are forty days of fasting between Easter and Ascension Day. The Israelites wandered for forty days in the desert. Saint Antonius spent forty years in the Sahara desert, being plagued by visions of extreme erotic scenes and devils.
The Peacock’s Tail. ‘Cauda Pavonis’, the peacock’s tail, or the peacock itself, is a phase in which many colors appear. Many alchemists place this phase before albedo, whiteness, although some of them place it after albedo. Gerhard Dorn (16th century): "This bird flies during the night without wings. By the first heavenly dew, after an uninterrupted process of cooking, ascending and descending, it first takes the shape of a raven’s head, then of a peacock’s tail; its feathers becoming very white and good smelling, and finally becoming fiery red, indicating its fiery character." The colors refer to the three stages of the Great Work, with rubedo, or redness, being the last one.
At a certain point in the distillation the peacock('s tail) will appear. The symbol of the peacock’s tail was chosen because of the many colorful and brilliant ‘eyes’. It is said that originally they were the eyes of the Greek Argus, whose name means ‘he who sees everything’. Argus was a very strong giant with a hundred eyes, of which at all times fifty were open and fifty were sleeping. He was decapitated by Hermes. Hera, the mother goddess, placed the eyes on the tail of her favorite bird, the peacock. The phase of the many colors was also symbolized by the rainbow, or the goddess of the rainbow: Iris, the messenger of the gods, especially between Zeus and the mortals.
The peacock’s tail can have two meanings in the Great Work. It can be the collection and totality of all colors in the white light. Remember, the white light refers to the second stage, albedo, or whiteness. In this sense the peacock was seen as a royal bird in ancient times, and it corresponded with the phoenix.
Albedo - Whiteness
Je ne craignais pas de mourir
mais de mourir sans etre illumine.
(I was not afraid to die,
but to die without having been enlightened)
Comte de Saint-Germain, La Tres Sainte Trinisophie
The herald of the light
is the morning star.
This way man and woman approach
the dawn of knowledge,
because in it is the germ of life,
being a blessing of the eternal.
Haji Ibrahim of Kerbala
Lucifer, Lucifer stretch your tail,
and lead me away, full speed through the narrow passage,
the valley of the death,
to the brilliant light, the palace of the gods.
Being deep in nigredo, a white light appears. We have arrived at the second stage of the Great Work: albedo, or whiteness. The alchemist has discovered within himself the source from which his life comes forth. The fountain of life from which the water of life flows forth giving eternal youth.
The source is one: male and female are united. In alchemical images we see a fountain from which two streams of water flow into one basin.
Albedo is the discovery of the hermaphroditic nature of man. In the spiritual sense each man is a hermaphrodite. We can also see this in the first embryonic phase of the fetus. There is no sex until a certain number of weeks after conception.
When man descended into the physical world his body entered a world of duality. On the bodily level this is expressed by the sexes. But his spirit is still androgen, it contains duality in unity. Its unity is not bound to space, time or matter. Duality is an expression of unity in our physical world. It is temporal and will eventually cease to exist. When male and female are united again, one will experience his true self. Conscious and unconscious are totally united.
Albedo happens when the Sun rises at midnight. It is a symbolic expression for the rising of the light at the depth of darkness. It is the birth of Christ in the middle of the winter. In the depth of a psychological crises, a positive change happens.
Albedo, symbolized by Aurora, by the dawn, the morning star (Venus-Aphrodite), and by the sun rising up from the Philosopher's Sea.
Albedo is also represented by Aurora, the Roman goddess of the dawn. Her brother is Helios, the Sun. With a play of words aurora was connected with aurea hora, ‘the hour of gold’. It is a supreme state of conscious. When the Artist (=Alchemist) sees the perfect whiteness, the Philosophers say that one has to destroy the books, because they have become superfluous."
Albedo is also symbolized by the morning star Venus/Aphrodite. Venus has a special place in the Great Work. In ancient times Lucifer was identified with the planet Venus. Originally Lucifer has a very positive meaning. In the Bible we find 2Petrus 1:19 "…till the day arrives and the morning star rises in your hearts". In Revelation 12:16 Christ says: "I am the shining morning star". Here Christ identifies himself with the Lucifer! We find the same in mystic literature. In ancient times Lucifer was a positive light being. It was just one man who changed all that: when a certain Hieronymous read a phrase from Jesaja 14:12 (Jesaja talking to a sinful king of Babylon): " How did you fall from heaven, you morning star, you son of the dawn; how did you fall to earth, conqueror of people". Hieronymous used this phrase to identify Lucifer with the dragon thrown out of heaven by Michael. By the interpretation of this one man, Lucifer was tuned from a shining light being into the darkest devilish being in the world.
We find Lucifer in alchemy associated with impure metals polluted by rough sulfur. It means that the light being Lucifer in ourselves is polluted by what the alchemists call ‘superfluities’, ‘dross’, caused by man himself.
Mercury and Lucifer are one and the same. One talks about Mercury when he is pure, it is the white sulphur, the fire in heaven. As ‘spiritus’ he gives life. As ‘spiritus sapiens’ he teaches the alchemist the Great Work. Lucifer is the impure Mercury. Lucifer is the morning star fallen from (the golden) heaven. He descended into the earth and is now present in all humans. Lucifer is Mercury mixed with impure elements. He dissolved ‘in sulfur and salt’, ‘is wrapped with strings’, ‘darkened with black mud’. Keep in mind we are always talking about our consciousness. Lucifer represents our everyday consciousness, all the (psychological and other) complexes have clouded our pure consciousness, Mercury.
The light of Mercury that appears to us as Lucifer, because of the distortion caused by the impurities, gives the impression of what the alchemists called ‘red sulfur’. The red sulfur of Lucifer, as traditional devil, is actually an illusion. It does not exist by itself because it is only an image, a distorted image of Mercury. We ourselves caused the impurities, the blackness that veils our true light being.
Red sulfur is the same as what is called Maya in eastern philosophies. Maya is the world of illusions, or the veil that prevents us from seeing and experiencing true reality, where the eternal light is. By the impurities of Maya, man has become ignorant. He has forgotten his origin and thinks he is in a world which in actuality is an illusion.
The union of Hermes and Aphrodite. The moon is above the retort, indicating this is the stage of Albedo. The sun above is the next stage of Rubedo. At the same time sun and moon are again the opposites to be united. Aphrodite has two torches. One pointing down, representing the lower passions to be transmuted. The upside down torch is the purified energies. Aphrodite is standing on a tetrahedron, the perfect three dimensional body, as all corners are equally distant from each other, resulting in a lack of tension.
As we mentioned above, Aphrodite/Venus as the morning star is a central image for the albedo phase of the Great Work. Aphrodite was born from the foam that arose when the genitals of Uranus (cut of by Chronos, out of hate and jealousy) fell into the sea. The cutting of the genitals represents repressed and tormented love. The sea, symbol of the soul, however will bring forth the love goddess. Liberation will happen when we become conscious again of the contents of the soul.
As Aphrodite is born from the sea, she is the guide through the fearful world of the unconscious (the sea, or the underworld). The alchemist descends into these depths to find the ‘prima materia’, also called the ‘green lion’. The color green refers to the primal life forces. Venus also has the green color. An important characteristic of Aphrodite is that she helps us in our human shortcomings. She gives ideals and dreams to fulfill. But she also gives frightening images in order to make man aware of his lower nature. "By her beauty Venus attracts the imperfect metals and gives rise to desire, and pushes them to perfection and ripeness." (Basilius Valentinus, 1679)
LIBERATION CAN ONLY HAPPEN BY
BECOMING CONSCIOUS OF THE LOWER
NATURE AND HOW WE TRANSMUTE IT.
In Jungian psychology Venus/Aphrodite is the archetype of the anima (in alchemy also the ‘soror’ or ‘wife’ of the alchemist). The anima is the collective image of the woman in a man. It is an image especially tainted by his first contact with his mother. The anima represents all the female tendencies in the psyche of a man, such as feelings, emotions, moods, intuition, receptivity for the irrational, personal love and a feeling for nature. She is the bearer for the spiritual. Depending on the development of the man she can also be the seductress who lures him away to love, hopelessness, demise, and even destruction.
Other alchemical images for albedo are baptism and the white dove, both derived from Christianity. Baptism symbolizes the purification of both body and soul by ‘living water’. ‘Living water’ was regarded as the creative force of the divine. It allowed the soul to be received into the community of the holy spirit. Thus baptism allows the purified soul to bring forth the resurrection of Christ in oneself. This is the ‘hieros gamos’, the ‘sacred marriage’ between the soul and Christ. Christ here represent our own inner divine essence.
There are many other symbols in alchemy for the second phase, or albedo: the white swan, the rose, the white queen, and so on. As lead is the metal of nigredo, silver is the metal of albedo, transmuted from lead. As silver is the metal of the moon, the moon was also a symbol for albedo. Alchemists also talk about the white stone or white tincture. They all means basically the same thing, although one has to understand them in the context in which they were written.
“Berlin is pretty cool,” I texted when slowly chewing still kinda warm falafel, resting my bones in front of the flight of steps leading up to the concert hall. I’ve been starting to feel somehow spiritually elevated, socially conscious. I don’t know, man, might be that peanut sauce. It’s weird. I like it though. But to be honest almost took a selfie to check out am I the same person as you used to know. I’ve been lock on this von Dannecker’s sculpture for a good hour now. “At front left is Lyric Poetry with a swan-headed harp,“ googled. Been looping this new Swan - Song.mp3 for ages. Check this quote I shared, from Chaos Feng Shui Manual: 1. Cut a tree of life and make a pillar. 2. Repeat 3 times. 3. Put a life saving west on each. 4. Hit the floor and find a pearl. 5. Pick up a pearl. 6 Make a necklace. 7. Show pride. Anyways. Shadows with torches of independence proudly fired up with the #trending Chinese matches (I follow them in Instagram) started to gather around and I knew something #soBerlin is going to happen. Turn on camera. Direct event experience is so last aeon. Suddenly the bright orange carpet has been tossed in the air just as “66th Swan - Song.mp3” poured out of the loudspeakers, catchy techno beats made me want to stop filming, but I didn’t give up, the Shadows been singing: "Great souls suffer in Silence! In Harmony! x10” “What a time to be alive!,” tweeted and wrapped myself into the golden blanket (came with falafel), then slowly rolled myself between my palms until I managed to reach a nice round ball shape. Then threw myself into the trash can. *ORGANICS ONLY*. My fault. @shaltmira
TO BE CONTINUED...
I THINK I'M A #SATANA #BANANA TREE
#wip CHALAZEE. Shaltmira. 2016.
2016 January-June I am and will be in Berlin doing my artist research#COSMOGENESIS : URBAN SHAMANISM AND VISUAL PERCEPTUAL LEARNING. Project is funded by Lithuanian Council for Culture. Till the exhibition (one in Kaunas and one in Berlin) I won’t be posting final artworks, but some details of #wip, like now. All my posts with hashtag COSMOGENESIS is a part of my research. Visual outcome : tattoo designs made into full illustrations, which later will be silkscreen printed, showed in the exhibition, and published in the book. So the story doesn’t end with the exhibition, but will be carried around the world. If you would like to be part of the project and get a cosmic tattoo, email me email@example.com You can also show your support via patreon.com/shaltmira.
When going to school I always felt bad about myself for my family not being wealthy. Did we starve? No. Did we lived on the street? No. Did we ran around naked? No. My grandfather even owned a lake near our house, where we all lived, but we somehow believed that we need a pool. We had apples growing in our garden - we were told oranges are better. Better meaning what we have is not good enough, therefore what we have is shit and it doesn’t satisfy us. So I’ve been very unhappy, because thought we were poor. But actually we weren’t. Why I thought so?
People say, I NEED TO DO THAT, NEED TO HAVE THIS - then I’ll be happy. Really? Do you need or you want? You are the one who creates the need. I used to said, actually, very recently, “I NEED TO DRAW TO SURVIVE”. Or “I would die if I won’t be able to draw.”
As I repeat something with such assurance for a long time - of course it will happen that I won’t be able to live without it. Because I created a problem where it wasn't . I was born and I’ve already been complete. While growing all those ideas of unnecessary needs were created, I need that - so I can feel better about myself. By so I somehow were persuaded that I’m not complete, that I was missing something very essential, that without something additional - I’m not good enough. That I need to improve myself to be good. That I need things to “improve my life quality”. It’s such a powerful mechanism, that after a while it gets somehow impossible to see that it’s not truth at all.
“Stop the earth - i want to step out!”
Earth doesn’t need to be stopped for you to stop running blindly.
Yesterday my mom was in a hurry for the funeral and was stressing out that she’s late. I said “ Well, if that lady is dead, she can wait 5 min, doesn’t she?” She was like “You don’t understand, what people will think about me?“
There are always OTHERS.
Always looking at neighbor's yard, always thinking that grass is greener on the other side. Is it? What is the price other pay for that seemingly greener grass? That was never the question, since we only tend to see the very surface, just the results, just other so called wins.
“Oh, maybe I will be depressed but I cry on my yacht” We secretly enjoy the role of a victim.
We enjoy it so much we place ourselves into situations where we can torture ourselves. And others admire that, “Well done, great job”, while we are feeling dead inside. And we keep on filling that void and it never seems enough.
Life is so interesting that you can actually be Mother Teresa and Hitler at the same time. “If you die - they win.” “I need to play dirty, I need to infiltrate into rotten system in order to change it.” Always finding the way to justify our actions.
Simple example of how we are in charge.
Another day a friend asked me about what to do, how to stop drinking, what with she can “replace alcohol”. “What is the trick?” I said well, it’s of course not easy at all. You just need not to put it in your mouth and not to swallow it.
The same with all the weight loss. “Oh maybe there's a cure, need some pills, guru, program” etc. Really? Who swallows stuff? Who is in charge of swallowing all the shit that is coming to you? It's not your genes, not your traumatic past, not your spouse and not your boss, it’s you.
But you can say - WAIT, I’m not gonna eat this shit. I refuse to play this game.
To be honest. Nobody cares if you don't come to the party. There’s actually all kind of parties all around. Why you want to go to only ONE KIND of parties? Why you limit yourself? You don’t know what kind of other parties? Did you tried to find out?
You are not your job, you are not your relationships , to be honest you are NOT the sum of 5-6 people that surrounds you, as there’s a common belief. Why you create this false belief system for yourself which leads to constant competition, feeling “not good enough”, feeling incomplete and which enables self - punishment mechanism?
“I’m not good enough for this job”. So why you do it? Why you do something that you don’t feel like you do the best? “Oh, it's considered to be good position”. Considered by who? Others? “No no I think it’s great. Because it’s such a great thing, everybody would kill for it.” Everybody. Still comparing yourself to other people. And what you want to do? “Ugh, I don’t know.” People are even afraid to dream about what they actually wanna do. “Maybe sit at the lake and fish. that would be nice, BUT IT’S NOT A JOB, I NEED JOB TO SURVIVE!”. Says who? Really, would you die without your job? Are you chained to the place where you are now? Can’t you just stop and walk away from it ? “People will think I’m stupid, I had such a great job and now I’m just nothing, I’m just some loser... fishing”. Do you hear yourself? We are traumatized so much by “what other will think” we are ashamed of our most natural and pure wishes, our natural will.
“Oh you need so much courage to do what you want to do...”
What makes you think you don’t have THAT courage? :People will say that I lost this job so I am a loser”. Again, people say. People say a lot of things, people say a lot of shit, they don’t know shit actually. Who knows? You. You REALLY KNOW THAT YOU CAN SURVIVE. And moreover, you can not only survive but live your full potential doing what you want. Always ask yourself, “Why am I doing this? Because I really want or I’m afraid what others will think? Am I fulfilling my real will or just acting the role created for me by my environment and pressure of others?” This is what Sartre calls “Hell is other people”.
You know what is the great answer to question but “what others will think”?
COULDN’T CARE LESS.
As you will start questioning your actions you'll see how much stuff you do because you’re only afraid not to be called “weird, crazy, loser” and other stupid words society might throw at you.
Guess who laughs the last? You’ll laugh fishing at the lake eating apples from your garden. And those, who’ll stay in their own created slavery will say: “Ugh, this is actually amazing life you have, I wish I could do this, but I can't I have a job to do”.
Do you? All goes back to the beginning.
“Ugh, everybody can't be free. Who will sweep the streets?”
Now think, which person will clean the street better: the one who HAS TO DO IT or the one who WANTS TO? Wants, because a healthy human being does not enjoy living in filth. We go and clean around ourselves - the same could be applied for the bigger picture.
We trust others' experience so much that it disables us to live our lives normally. “My friends lost his job and his life turned to hell, I'm smarter, I won’t let this happen, I will stick with my hated job with teeth and nails”. Are you your friend? Maybe your friend was lazy alcoholic dick who waited to be saved and did nothing to help himself? Of course can’t even dare to think that. "IT’S MY FRIEND! HOW CAN I THINK ABOUT HIM/HER BAD, WHAT FRIEND THAT WOULD MAKE ME?“ Bla bla bla. So don’t think about him/her as your friend. Look at him/her as any other human being. Do you still think all his/her actions are cool? He/her didn’t deserve what he/she has? He/she doesn’t drink too much? Etc. Some people just waiting a lucky lottery ticket to fall from heaven into their hands. What they possibly did to deserve it? Leave your friends to deal with their stuff. You are you. You know you can take care of yourself.
Try this, for a week, every time you hear somebody saying “YOU NEED … “ - just say: I DON’T NEED IT. Don’t accept their idea that you are not complete and that you need something. Do you really need new super expensive car? Do you really need that new weird diet? Do you really need to buy a flat? To find a girlfriend? To give birth to 456 kids?
All capitalism and consumerism is based on creating artificial needs and brainwashing us that we are in a constant need for something. You know what - I DON’T NEED A SHIT, I have everything. Then they scream: “LAST MINUTE! LAST CHANCE! YOU GONNA REGRET IF NOT TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THIS DISCOUNT”. They use all system of smart words to affect the thinking : “Omg, I really need this and I need this now!” Then we come back home with a bag full of rubbish and think: “Hm, what just happened. Did I really needed this stuff?” We kick it under the table and go buy more stuff. We go work more so we can buy more stuff. We get up in the morning, hate everything around, work, buy shit, fuck, drink to forget about it and then we die. Yes.
But only because we choose to live this way.
Won’t fit all examples of our everyday excuses in one essay and I don’t need to. Why I write? I just woke up and could do million other things. Is somebody paying me to write? No. What I want to do is just to share some life’s hacking tips with my friends. Because after a while I noticed that they are coming to me with the same and same problems. And I was giving them books, and talking and stuff, but not all people can take a book, read it and do it alone. Some need support. Because we are so used to it. To get a tap on the shoulder. We do not trust our intuition on what is wrong or right. So it's a bit easier to have somebody to talk with. And it’s not for me they are starting questioning their life choices. It’s because they are tired of being slaves. Tired to be depressed. Tired of same and same shit again. And now when my friend writes me complaining again about her job I have nothing to say but - QUIT. Seriously, how long you want to play victim? Nobody cares if you work there or not, you are not irreplaceable. Live for yourself. Next day she wrote “Actually I like my work, I even brought home more work to do, I’m tired but gonna work 2 more hours before sleep.” And I have nothing more to say but: “As you wish, dear”. Bury yourself in your work, as the ostrich buries its head in the sand, so you don’t have to listen what your Self is telling you. I can’t help you as you don’t want to help yourself.
What is that secret? What is that “contemporary alchemy”?
It’s all about NOT GAINING, but it’s all about SAVING.
Seeing potential where other don’t expect to look. This is just creative attitude towards life, we can call it more fancy, we can call it magick. What the difference between magician and entrepreneur?
“Unite and empower” instead of “divide and conquer”.
Why people bankrupt?
Because of the thought: “How to trick everyone and win?”
Of course, people can hide their wish to be rich as fuck (which they associate with being better than others, since money is the demonstration of external power when you’re feeling lost of control of your inner realm).
Example what usually happens:
“I’m here to help people” - “I’m snorting coke while hanging with my cousin on my yacht.”
“I hate to see all this social inequality” - tweeting while kinda feeling sick of eating too much oysters.
It’s like, dude, it doesn’t work that way. People say they work (and overwork) for good, greater meanings while all they do is working to satisfy their lower/ego needs.
Even if you’re doing well and destiny is plotting with you, and you use this “green light tunnel” right, there's still (always) a temptation around the corner. “Maybe I can skip one step and give a job I need to do to other, so I can chill a bit.” Looks like working - few moments later, even more work hits you like boomerang to the back of the head. You had your chance, do what you need to do, be grateful for opportunity and work it out yourself.
And in bigger waters you swim - the more paybacks comes to you. The greater price you pay. But, you have a chance to swim in big waters and enjoy it if you play nice, if not - sharks will come after you. They always do. Don’t act hero if all you want to do is to satisfy your very own needs.
There’s always gonna be a lesson - don’t even try to think you are better than anyone else.
You worked like a horse and built an empire, you felt you deserve every penny and bam - some gypsies fake the car accident and you need to pay enormous amount of money and you feel punished? Think about how much you got attached to your wealth. You enjoyed it, you deserved it, well guess what - you focused on this to much. It will be taken from you so you can wake up and MAYBE start questioning yourself, is it the really most important thing in life? And if you dont - you will fail again and again till you finally will. Or just die. Lol.
“But I only do this for my children,” Boo hoo ho, seriously your kid couldn’t grow up without Iphone 5? I grew up playing with rocks and wooden stick, now being 26 and feeling fine, thanks. Do you really think that these things make a kid happier/smarter/(whatever your justification is)?
While bending your back and working in 8 different jobs, saying “I do this for the family” do you really think that family needs that?
Your stressed out tired face, empty seat at the dinner table and missed kids school’s play? Guess again.
“I need to do this, it's my job, I do it to survive”, “I need to work for two.”
So many my friends voluntarily moved to the most expensive cities of the world, New York, London, Los Angeles. What I hear from them is only whining about how they have no time for nothing, how job sucks, rent is enormous, their bosses are dickheads etc. So why you’re doing this to yourself?
“So I can achieve something in my life.” Why? “Well, I will feel good about myself then”. So you don’t feel good about yourself now? “Ugh, I dunno, people will respect me more”, so it’s clear that in order to have your happiness you need some approval from others?
“Hey, look, I’m rich and famous, are you jealous :P Here’s a photo of me and ma bae shooting rhinos” How insecure and broken inside you need to be to behave like this? And still, you need approval from the people you actually despise - in this case, less achieve, less wealthy people.
You think Kardashians or Miley Cyrus are your stalkers liking your photos of your new cars or horses or whatever? Actually might be your schoolmate, who you never felt like talking to, but somehow it pleases you when she/he likes your photo, for you it's like a revenge - “Look, you see, I’ve always been better than you, na na na na , you’re poor - I’m in Bahamas”.
It’s such a tricky game and we all get involved and lost in it once in awhile.
It’s like cobweb, you don’t see it till it gets very onto your face.
Be rich by not spending. See resources all around you.
Why you create wishes of which you become the slave to yourself?
Living in a beautiful countryside, for example, in a normal house with garden. “I don’t have a pool. I saw people on TV have pools, I don't have a pool, shit, I need a pool”. This is what media does. Plants these thoughts into our heads. And there’s a lake like literally 5 min from your home. “Ugh, that lake sucks”. You know what - your attitude sucks.
People are travelling far to the lands they don’t know. They say: "Because there I can be what I really am!” Seriously? What are the obstacles of being who you really are like, here, now in this room? “Ugh, it's not the same, not that exotic”.
The best kind of slave is the one who agrees to be a slave.
The ones who utilize the resources around them and turns “shit into gold” are called “lucky”. “Ah, probably his parents gave him shit loads of money for his business”, “Oh, probably that girl slept with all the men to get all the way up to the top”. ”It can't be that simple, must be something hidden.” “For me it will never be that good, all around is shit and not working”.
What about NO. Who planted these ideas in your head? You wake up in the morning and look around and it’s all fresh. You slept, restarted your system, you can start from the very beginning.
“I need to go to work”. Do you? What will possibly happen if you would say - FUCK IT. Are you gonna immediately die from starvation while pissed yourself lying on the pavement? Well if you keep on acting victim - I’m sure you can succeed in that, yes. But while you’re locked into your own created slavery there no possible way you can feel happy. "Slave needs to set himself free. If somebody does it for him - he won't know what to do with that freedom. There need to be the inner wish to be free first." - my uncle Rimvydas once said.
Friend’s band been touring around Europe and had car accident in most expensive country - Switzerland. Poor people. NOT. They were constantly posting on Fb about their tour and mostly being extremely judgmental. Saying audience in one town was "shit" , in other “not that bad”, also, adding some grateful words but to sum up, they were saying: “We are much better than you , we are actually too good for you” .
Pride = you gonna loose. Money, friends, life, you can loose it all.
And I met Adam Jones from the band Tool, very nice, friendly and sincere person, who‘s attitude is really not “Oh I’m gonna show them! They gonna see - who I am!”, I can’t imagine him being in that state of mind, but he’s a music legend. So you CAN BE A LEGEND and not be a douche-bag? Crazy, isn’t . Lol.
“I’m gonna show them who I am!”, to whom you gonna show what? What kind of approvement you need to feel good about yourself? You don’t need nobody’s permission to feel good about yourself. Instead of it - just be. Don’t chase 5 minutes glory, because while you gonna chase it your life will pass and you’ll never catch it nor you’ll ever feel happy.
Why you want to postpone all the goodness by creating these obstacles Me here - happiness there.
“Everything is fine, just…” - need more money.
“Everything is good, but..” - have no time for <....>
"I'm very happy, just..." - need <...>
There are so many every day examples how people lose when they want to trick others. People are so creative in hiding their real intentions that sometimes you really believe they are victims, that “life is unfair” for them. But you can not fall for this trick. They get EXACTLY what they deserve. I get exactly what I deserve. And you, my friend.
And this is how it’s gonna be.
Are you going to PLAY FAIR or you want to PAY?
Don’t chase wealth. Don’t chase people. Don't chase love. Other’s won’t make you happy.
You have it all already. You are not a half of an apple. You are an apple.
“I fuck you, and I love you to love me to fuck you
But I don't fucking need you
Don't need you to need me to fuck you
If you need me to need you to fuck
That fucks everything up
La la la
La la la“
And the martyrdom is idealized in our society. Take example of bodybuilders. Such a hard work, 5 min of fame, and then repeat. We appreciate hard work because it makes us feel better about working in our usually shitty jobs like horses. “Everybody does it, I shouldn't complain, it’s not THAT BAD for me” But why you let yourself think that? Stop punishing yourself. Why you want to live “not bad life” when you can live VERY THE BEST life? NOW.
How the world would look like if everybody suddenly would quit their slaveries?
Well we’ll never know if we won’t try to find out.
“You can live in this illusion
You can choose to believe
You keep looking but you can't find the woods
While you're hiding in the trees”
“Dude, you’re crazy”.
Yeah? Whatever you say, couldn’t care less.