Designing a Ganpati Tattoo

For my left shoulder, which is apparently auspicious, as left-facing trunk is what we are also looking for. Right-facing trunks are considered to need specific worship and focus as they are solar and action-based, rather than opening and reflective. This is an example of a left-facing trunk, which confuses me slightly as I read this as facing to the right. It seems to be about where the tip of the trunk ends up, from Ganesh’s viewpoint. Thus why you see some trunks that start facing towards his right, but the tip ends up facing left:

Facing left

The auspices of Ganesh that call to me are…

  • Avighna Ganpati, the Remove of Obstacles AvighnaGanpati-RemoveObstacles
  • Buddhinath Ganpati, Lord of Wisdom BuddhinathGanpati-LordOfWisdom
  • Kaveesha Ganpati, Lord of Poets KaveeshaGanpati-LordOfPoets
  • Manomay Ganpati, Winner of Hearts ManomayGanpati-WinnerOfHearts
  • Rudrapriya Ganpati, Beloved of Shiva RudrapriyaGanapti-BelovedOfShiva

But first and foremost in my calling has always been Ganesh, the remover of obstacles. Part of my sacred work has always been as an opener of ways, and ze (I see Ganpati in a genderqueer space, or use he at times) has always worked with me in that face. However, the other auspices listed above are also faces I have worked with… as well as his face as Beloved Son of Parvati (rather than Uma, his other mother).

Ganesh has usually manifested with both function and beauty, or graceful in that removal of obstacles, rather than zir form of rage in that obliteration and functions in removing obstacles. They have danced in a place of clearing work so that my doorway opening work can also happen, thus what I would say has been an interesting dance in some of the other devotional work that has come my way on a “who is in my corner” as it were… Exu at the crossroads, Ganesh removing obstacles, Melek Ta’us rending open the hidden spirit, Baphomet loving the broken, Trash finding the value in all, Nephthys seeing the darkness and the dream, Neti guarding the gates, the Star Goddess from who we all come and will return… and of course Mother Bear who opens the doorways, guards her young, and holds safe those in need. I do functional work and specific devotional work to other deities in my pantheist dance, but Ganesh as the remover of obstacles has always been a cornerstone to that work. Thus this piece is a working piece (let me remove obstacles for others as Your Work while you remove obstacles to provide open paths for My Work).

Part of my desire in this specific piece is to also incorporate a protection against the Evil Eye as part of this being an flesh-embedded spell. I will be doing my back piece which will likely cover up the embedded spell there that I did at 18, and don’t want my skin bare of this working. It will be covering up my other back piece, but that is about identity and personal journey, so I’m okay with it.  Thus, my thought is to create a 3rd eye, open, on Ganpati.

These are a few of the pieces that caught my eye, and why:

  • 09090ec979f110c8430ed8edcd020f0d the color on the trunk, the white to pop the details… but the headdress feels a bit dark to me. I like the idea of sticking with our red/black/white theme, but there is a part of me that wants the eye to pop with a bit of color for the eye , maybe tied in some other part of it so the eye is not the only part that is not red/black white?
  • IMG_4839 This is my favorite piece I’ve seen out there. I love the beadwork coming down, the length of the trunk (though I think the head could be a bit bigger and the ears less pointy). The shadework behind Ganesh while Ganesh is less dark is lovely.
  • IMG_4991 Stunning piece behind Ganesh, but the trunk curled to that degree feels not right for mine. We could even have the background piece have parts that are just white or just red or just the eye color (like a slate grey/blue like my own eyes maybe?) rather than all be black outline? I’m unsure on Ganesh having eyes closed while 3rd eye is open… thoughts?
  • IMG_5769 This piece is stunning. I love the background, the gemstone, the shape of the ears… the face is off for Ganesh obviously, and the flowers, but the idea of things below Ganesh’s face to tie it together appeals.

So there you go, lots of information for the designwork. Let me know the best way for us to make this happen with downpayment etc. Do you think we can do this as one day? I’m tempted to have us do this tat pre (or at)-Fusion (we did so for my thigh piece and it was fine) if you’re game, as I’m usually energetically and physically wiped by the end of the event and I’m concerned about my capacity of what I’ll be able to do.


Lee Harrington

Lee Harrington is an internationally known sexuality, relationships, and personal authenticity educator. Having taught in all 50 states and in 6 countries, he brings a combination of playful engagement and thoughtful academic dialogue to a broad audience. An award-winning author and editor on gender, sexual, and sacred experience, his books include “Traversing Gender: Understanding Transgender Journeys,” and "Sacred Kink: The Eightfold Paths of BDSM and Beyond," among many other titles. He has been blogging online since 1998, and been teaching worldwide since 2001. Welcome to his world, and your chance to expand your mind and heart alike.

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