Monday, July 15, 2013

Ouroboros Back Tattoo

This stunning image comes from the Flickrstream of Amy Messere and is listed under Creative Commons.

History tells us the ouroboros first appeared in the ancient Egyptian book "Enigmatic Book of the Underworld" found in the tomb of King Tutankhamun which dates it to about the 14th century BCE (before the common era).  The story concerns Ra and his union with Osiris in the Underworld. From there the ouroboros is discussed by the Greek Plato as being the first being, complete unto itself: "For the Creator conceived that a being which was self-sufficient would be far more excellent than one which lacked anything..." In the Middle Ages it was sometimes found on playing cards including tarot cards and alchemists also employed the ouroboros as one of their many sigils.  Whoever was using it the symbol has always represented the never ending cycles of birth, life, death and rebirth, in many ways similar to the phoenix, and is a fairly popular tattoo image.

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