Tattoo Magic: Tattoo Time #2

I couldn’t think of a more relevant book for OV readers than Hardy’s second Tattoo Time volume; Tattoo Magic. Originally published in 1983, Tattoo Magic features Occult and Esoteric tattoo art including:

  • Christian Tattoos: by Alan Govenar. (who also was behind Stoney knows how)
    Govenar writes on the Christian prohibition on tattooing as well as exploring Christian tattoo culture from the Coptic Pilgrims to Latino reliquary tattoos.
  • Inventive Cover Work: by Ed Hardy.
    Ed discusses coverup techniques. Ahead of it’s time.
  • Sacred Calligraphy: by Ed Hardy.
    A brief history of Tibetan calligraphy tattoos. Ed mentions that Sailor Jerry did his first OM MANI PADME HUM tattoo after seeing it in a LIFE magazine article in the late 1930’s.
  • Tattooed Charms: by Diane L. Umemoto.
    Before Angelina Jolie ‘invented’ Thai amuletic tattooing…. Diane offers a breakdown of Thai Temple Tattooing.
  • The Dragon: By Ed. Hardy.
    Ed breaks down the elements of Dragon tattooing, and explores the Dragon in various world cultures.
  • Tattoo Magic: By Ed Hardy.
    A photo gallery of various magic and occult tattoos- Satanic, Hindu, Native American and even some sweet Wizards.
  • Interview with Richard O. Tyler: By Vale.

While almost everything in Tattoo Magic has been covered exhaustively in other sources, the real jewel of the issue is the Vale (of Re/Search fame) interview with Richard O. Tyler, founding philosopher of the ‘Uranian Phalanstery, Gnostic Lyceum ad Temple’ and tattooist.

“In the mystic view the name of the thing is as real as the thing itself; the written spell is equally as poten as the spoken, and for sacerdotal purposes even more so, because of the sacred character of the letters.”- Richard O. Tyler.

Tyler comes off as a precursor to Higgs; DeVita with a little more Tibetan influence.

Originally published in 1983 (Ernie Carafa- Publisher. Ed Hardy- Editor. Leo Zulueta- Art Director)  Tattoo Magic is one of the less expensive volumes of Tattoo Time, should you find yourself interested in tracking it down.

It’s currently available on ranging between $26/$29.

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