The guy that gave me a tattoo had his shop in the front of his house and was a biker. Perfectly nice guy, but very out of the ordinary experience for me. I originally wanted a small tattoo on my hand of the moon. Thankfully, he talked me out of getting it on my hand and someplace I could hide it easier. So I got a medium-sized moon with stars on the inside of my right ankle. Truth be told, I hated it afterwards. I felt like I made a huge mistake. It was not what I imagined, yet I was now stuck with it because I was going to have it forever!
That tattoo would come to mean more to me later as I began to worship the moon. It was more of a symbol of who I was as a pagan and witch. I would sit in the back yard on a full moon and worship it. I adored the moon and believed it was a goddess. I was in awe at the power and majesty of the moon. I would talk to the moon and bask in its light. It’s what I believed.
I grew further in my beliefs of New Age and the occult while my practice of witchcraft intensified. A few years later, I finally had the chance to get another tattoo to commemorate my dedication to my pagan faith and being a witch. I got a pentagram tattoo on my left shoulder, with a vine wrapped around it. I loved it. It was everything that I was.
“They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator, who is forever praised. Amen.” (Romans 1:25).
My next tattoo was many years after that. I let my (then) boyfriend tattoo me. He was not a tattoo artist, but aspiring to be. I let him tattoo a large black dragonfly on my right shoulder. It was big and badly drawn and black. Dark black. It was a very abusive relationship. It ended soon after that (after 5 years of hell) and I wanted very much to never see that vile tattoo again. Unfortunately it is very hard to cover up a black tattoo. I got a lotus flower over it, but it bled through. Three times. I could not cover this monster and reminder of pain up. Finally, I went to seven tattoo artists to see about getting it covered up. I was told I would have to go big to distract away from the tattoo I was trying to hide. So I ended up getting a “half sleeve.” I didn’t really have anything I wanted to add to what I had, so I went with the suggestion of a koi fish and some water. It is a very pretty tattoo. I get compliments on it all the time. I really hate it. I never wanted a tattoo so big and I know the meaning of it. Pain.
When I became a Christian, my tattoos became a symbol of my past. My involvement with witchcraft and the occult, and the pain of my broken life. I hated -- no, despised -- them completely. I was embarrassed by my pentagram tattoo. I was committed to Jesus Christ now and didn’t want anyone thinking I was still pagan. I went to a tattoo shop to find out about getting it covered up. I really didn’t even want another tattoo. It was another seedy tattoo shop with a guy who pronounced not only his love for Jesus but also smoking pot. He was very nice, but I was quite shocked by the whole thing. I didn’t have a lot of options for covering up the pentagram, except a flower. Or I could go big again. No way. I walked out thinking about just doing it, but not feeling very good about getting another tattoo.
“Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the Lord.” (Leviticus 19:28).
The verse about tattoos in the Bible really got me to thinking. It seemed pretty clear that God was saying not to get tattoos. Yet I knew Christians who had tattoos, some were even in memory of the dead. I wanted to follow what God said, because let’s face it, He knows better than we do. If God said we should not do something, it is for a good reason. I just wasn’t sure what the reason was. I decided to explore more about tattoos and why Christians shouldn’t get them. I found many reasons on why a Christian shouldn’t get a tattoo, such as our body is a temple of God and we should not defile it, or we should be set apart and holy. There are some very good arguments for why a Christian should not get tattoos.
Then I found an article about tattoos and blood rituals of ancient times. The article was very eye opening to me, because I was still very naive to the spirit realm and the ways of the devil. I never have been able to find that article again.
Since then, I have learned quite a bit about blood rituals and sacrifices. In my deliverance from demonic oppression I found out that my grandfather gave the rights to my life over to the devil in a blood ritual, where he shed his own blood. A blood ritual is a satanic ritual that is done as a covenant or pact. There are at least two people involved in this type of ritual. The person who is shedding their own blood, and the person who is invoking a demon and its power. The person who is shedding their blood is the recipient in this transaction. They are giving their blood (life) in order to receive some sort of benefit, such as life, prosperity, fame, fortune or power. The cuts are now an open doorway for the entrance of evil spirits (demons) which you have granted permission. By agreeing to and participating in the shedding of your blood, you have given the devil a right to you. Often, people who participate in a blood ritual also give over rights to future generations.
These blood rituals have been going on for thousands of years, in many different cultures. Other forms of blood rituals involve cutting or mutilating yourself in mourning for the dead, or to appease the gods (demons) that you worship. It was believed that the gods were in control of everything from weather to health, and people wanted to do whatever they could to show the gods that they would make them happy. That included shedding your own blood, or killing another human being. The gods were often angry and demanding and the people were very scared of what the gods would do.
“For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life.” (Leviticus 17:11).
I realize that tattoos are not exactly the same as cutting yourself. You are not taking a knife to your arm and cutting it. However, you are piercing your skin with a needle between 50 to 300 times a minute. You are also shedding your blood, and you are making a choice to pierce your skin and shed your blood. You also have to consider the person who is doing the tattoo. Where are they at religiously or spiritually? If they are of another religion or hold spiritual beliefs of the New Age or occult, what does the tattoo mean to them? The one who holds the tattoo gun is the one who is shedding your blood. That is a very powerful position over you. If they are praying over you to their god or goddess, how does that affect you while you are openly submitting to them shedding your blood? Does it really matter if your tattoo is of a cross or a Bible verse in this case?
In this day and age, tattoos are considered artwork and symbols of things that have influenced our lives. Yet in ancient times, tattoos were much more than that. In Egypt during the 1400 B.C. era, tattoos were often tributes to gods and goddesses, as well as symbols of protection from evil or a permanent magical talisman. They were also used in rituals to mark allegiance with a certain god, or even a covenant to that god. These rituals would have needed shed blood and probably were sexual in nature as well. The Israelistes would have been highly influenced by the world of the Egyptians, coming out of Egypt, and it being such a powerful nation. Egyptians are well known for their worship of many deities, as well as their obsession with sex, death and magic.
In ancient Greece and Rome, tattoos were used as a punishment and a sign you were a slave or criminal. Tattoos were used the same way in ancient Japan until the 18th century. Primitive tribes use tattoos much as the Egyptians did -- as a form of connection with their deities and for protection. Tattooing has had some part in different cultures for centuries. Tattoos, from their origins, are from the occult. Over time, tattoos have changed to go with modern times. It would not be acceptable in many cultures to use them as punishment anymore and most people claim tattoos as artwork. Yet tattoos hold very deep meaning for the people who get them most of the time.
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
I have no hard evidence that tattoos are a part of a blood ritual, but I think we can see from research that tattoos certainly are a part of a deeper spiritual practice that comes from ancient times. The Bible warns against getting tattoos or cutting yourself, because during that time it was common for the Israelites to fall away from God and into the practices of the world around them. The world around them was steeped in the occult -- witchcraft, worship of multiple deities, rituals, and sacrifices. Even though many people today do not have any intention of being involved in witchcraft or blood rituals when they get tattoos, this does not mean they are not inadvertently doing so. The occult is deeply rooted in our world, as it is the tool of the devil to bring us into his kingdom. This world is the devil’s domain. It is very easy to get caught up in this physical realm and all that we see, and forget there is a spiritual realm that is affecting us every minute. It is also easy to take everything at face value and not look deeper into the meanings and origins of what we do.
Does God hate tattoos? Is He angry at you because you have a tattoo? No. God hates evil, and God knows your heart. If you have tattoos, that does not mean you are evil or against God. You must take your heart before the God of mercy and love and let Him work it out with you. God will show you what is right before His eyes and what is harmful to you.
I am writing this because it has been on my mind for a long time, thinking about tattoos and why the Bible speaks out against them. I have heard many arguments about why the verse in Leviticus about tattoos isn’t relevant today, and that is why I wanted to present food for thought. As I learn more about my life and about the inner workings of the spiritual realm, I have realized how deep the deceptions of the devil go. He has layer upon layer of deception in this world, so that he may keep his lies and his devices against us a secret. He does a great job at it. I am here to help uncover them.
No matter what, if you are a Christian, you are a child of the One True King, and you are deeply and wholly loved by Jesus. He has died for you, so that you may have an abundant life. Yet it is God who determines what abundance is, not us. We look to things and accomplishments to find our riches, but our riches lie in Jesus Christ alone. We have no idea the wonderful things God has in store for us if we cannot stop and connect our hearts with His. We need to stop daily to align ourselves with the heart and will of our Creator God. He will lead us into righteousness, not this world. We just need to keep trusting in God, to bring us closer to glory, day by day, as we look to Him for all of our needs, and all of the answers for our life.
“He himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed.” (1 Peter 2:24).
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
After living a life of darkness, despair and addiction, Beth Eckert has come out of hell into a life redeemed by Jesus Christ. Beth now writes on her blog, “The Other Side of Darkness,” about how she came out of abuse and witchcraft, and shares insights that God has given her.