At thirty-three it’s about time that I got a tattoo. I’ve often thought about getting a tattoo, but I’ve never had an idea that I felt that I’d still be happy with for the rest of my life (with the exception of a Calvin and Hobbes that Rhode Montijo drew for me back in 1999, that might be tattoo number two.)

I’ve long been an admirer of the Hindu god Ganesh, the Lord of Success. I was reading about the symbolism of the figure it occurred to me that with a little customization, it could be a piece that I’d want forever.

His upper right hand holds a goad, to propel you forward on the eternal path.

His lower right hand holds his left tusk which he broke off to use as a pen to transcribe the Mahabharata. This symbolizes sacrifice in the name of knowledge.

His lower left hand holds a rosary symbolizing the continuous search for knowledge. In the past I’ve used the sphere to represent the same thing so I’m going with that.

His upper left hand holds a noose, to capture and remove the difficulties in your way. Well, the noose has different implications here in North America so I’m replacing it. First I thought that a machete would be a good replacement, but that would be too ham-handed, so I’m probably going to go with a skeleton key instead. If anyone has any other suggestions for a one handed tool that removes obstacles I’d like to hear it.

The snake around his belt symbolizes the infinite energy of the universe and the mouse attending him shows that he is humble enough to be attended by the meekest of animals.

I’m having the tat on my lower back to be over my Swadhisthana Chakra, the chakra of creativity.

Then I’ll have the god of education, knowledge, wisdom and wealth over the creative center of my body.

I’ve looked around for pictures of Ganesh and I’m thinking the design will be somewhere between this:
And this:

I checked out Avalon I & II, Chronic Tattoo, and Tower Tattoo and I decided to go with Bill Kieffer at Chronic.

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