"Serenity and balance steadily growing on our path to the inner light."
Growing up on the countryside in a little town in Germany I was always very in touch with mother nature. My human mother and father were a big inspiration concerning alternative healing methods and a healthy lifestyle.
We were in an association called Prießnitz-Kneipp-Verein which is not only focused on popular sports like track and field or gymnastics but also offers courses in Yoga and Tai Qui. The main focus however is on alternative healing methods based on the ideas of a priest called Sebastian Kneipp. There were seminars on wholegrain food, homeopathy and kneipp bathing.
My parent's House, Germany.
At the age of 15 I started suffering from mental health issues and I found a refuge in the punk culture where I found tattooing. I was 18 when I was drawing designs for a tattoo artist and got my first tattoo the same year. I was hooked immediately. There was something precious about tattooing. I had just survived my first phase of depression, taking antidepressants and not wanting to live anymore. Deciding to manifest my recovery with something grounding I chose to get an anchor tattoo on my foot. The transformation was amazing, not only did it leave a cool mark on my body but looking at it now I remember where I came from and the lessons I have learned since.
My parents however did not like the idea of me becoming a tattoo artist. Following my parents wishes I started studying "World Englishes, Literature and Culture“ and "Bildwissenschaften der Künste“ in Saarbrücken, Germany. Two semesters later I would switch to studying Art and English to become a teacher in a little city in the Rhine Palatinate called Landau where I would stay for some more semesters.
I was living in a healthy relationship with my boyfriend when I encountered another intense phase of mental health issues. I suffered from Lactose intolerance, Fructose intolerance, anxiety, depression, migraine and intense back pain.
I realised that I had to take responsibilty for my life and started searching for a therapist. After talking to a therapist for 5 minutes I walked out with a prescreption for anti depressants in my hand and a feeling of being pushed aside and left alone. I thought to myself „this can‘t be it“ and kept searching.
Finally I found a hypnosis therapist and started working with her. At the same time I started doing Yoga and meditations. The theraphy in combination with Yoga was a the portal to a new world for me. I realised that there was no turnin back from this point. I was now walking on the path to freedom.
As a result I recovered from my depression, dropped out of university without a degree and started working in an office in order to save money for my tattoo apprenticeship which I would start one year later with a very talented woman in my hometown. I continued it in Landau at a very recognised shop where I would learn soldering needles and all the incredible basics that this handcraft brings with it. From there on I was working in different shops and decided in July 2016 to get rid of all my belongings including my apartment and start a life on the road. Since that I have been constantly travelling until March 2019.
The van, Scotland 2016
Thinking about this journey through life. I always knew there was something bigger, even before travelling. There were always little signs of alchemy and magick in my life. My mom's tarot cards and pendulum, the St. John's Wort I collected to make an ointment for my horse, the greek and roman godesses I learnt about in my latin lessons or just being surrounded by the holy mother with her little streams and hills.
With the solid base of psychotherapy and just by opening myself up to these holistic ideas, a lot of oportunities came my way. And with that every country gave me the present of letting me experience its own kind of magick.
I learned Reiki in Germany, right before I started my journey with the camper van. Energy Healing helps´a lot with the pain management and healing process of the tattoos. Reiki helps releasing energy blokages and lets the energy freely circulate in the body again.
My first journey in the van would lead me to one of the most beautiful places on earth, a place I would return to many times. A place I call one of my homes. A country called Scotland. In Scotland nature told me many lessons but also I found amazing teachers. I worked an international Tattoo Convention for the first time, tattooed in amazing shops, did a firewalk, attended a workshop with Dr. David Hamilton to learn about the Mind/Body connection and got trained in massages by Sally Chamness. It was in Scotland, where I met my Tattoo Mentor and dear friend, the host of the Scottish Tatoo Convention, Jim. Who has since be a great influence in my life. On the spiritual side the firewalk helped me trust my body and manifest my thoughts into action. David's scientific approach to spiritual topics quenched my thirst for logical answers and the massage training is very helpful with anxious customers or my fellow tattoo artists, who always suffer from tension.
@Scottisch Tattoo Convention
by Pictures in Blood
In 2017 I travelled to Asia for the first time. My destination was Nepal. My other home from home. Another country I would return to many times (not only physical but I find myself wandering the streets of Kathmandu in dreams and meditation almost on a daily basis). In Nepal, again, my greates teacher was mother nature. I went on the Anapurna Circuit treck and came back transformed. No buddhist master, no Sadhu, no Guru could have taught me the lessons I learnt there. On my second trip, only a few month after coming back to Germany, I stayed in a buddhist monastery in Lumbini. I attened buddhist rituals like prostrations and chanting. Not only life in the monastry but also Nepal in total opened my heart and soul even more to the spiritual world and how to anchor spirituality in our everyday life.
Anapurna Circuit, Nepal, 2017
Pokhara, Nepal, 2017
Anapurna Circuit, Nepal, 2017
Dorm in Buddhist Monastry, Nepal, 2017
Korean Buddhist Monastry, Lumbini (birthplace of Buddha), Nepal, 2017
At the end of the year 2017 I travelled to Borneo to attend the Sabah Tattoo convention. There I would deepen my knowledge in Handpoking. The calm and slow rhythm of this technique still fascinates me and I love sharing it with my customers.
Hand Tapping Session, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, 2017
From Borneo I went to Australia. There I sat the Vipassana, a silence retreat. The Vipassana was one of my break throughs to start Tattoorituals. After 10 days of not talking and meditating for almost 10h a day, I knew I had to put my vision into action. Australia also enriched me with the experience of eyegayzing and drumming circles. I think Eyegayzing is one of the simplest and most powerful forms of meditating together and I am grateful I got introduced to it by the master himself, Igor Kreyman. A dream I still have is holding a drumming circle in nature. The tribal character just shoots you right into connecting back with the great mother, nature. Another major step on my journey was being part of a woman's circle and immediately realised that I had to hold them, too, in Germany. Australia was also the first country where I did a Tattoo Ritual in the bush and I knew there was no turning back from this point.
First Tattoo Ritual, Australia, 2017
Vipassana Center, Australia, 2017
Drumming Circle, Australia 2018
After staying in Australia I travelled to Bali, a place where I had always wanted to travel to. And it did not disappoint me. Again the combination of Spirituality and everyday life is such a huge inspiration. I was lucky enough to not only visit the tourist sites and temples in Bali but also to take part in a very local purifying ceremony where no westerners where allowed. My host took me by car to a far out place in the rice fields where I thought "Well either he's going to butcher me out there or this is going to be amazing". Well luckily the second happend and I finally felt that what I thought was weird (like strange body movements and sounds while meditating), was in fact very normal. Folk where smoking cigarettes (a common offering to the gods) while others where talking to the ritual master (a woman in trance) making weird noises. What a relief to be just who you are.
Making a Bamboo Brush with a local Artist, Bali, 2018
After Balinese Ritual, and the chaos in the background, well that is what travelling usually looks like. Bali, 2018
Please note, I could have taken photos of the ceremonies and rituals I was part of but you can be "in the moment" or you can be there recording everyting though a phone or camera. Your choice. Mine was to be in the moment and embrace all the memories in my head.
From Bali I travelled to the US (and got stuck in China for one day, does that mean I can tick China off my non existent "travelling list" or is that cheating?). In Miami I learned about "The Alchemy of love" in a Naam Yoga workshop. I loved the mixture of Kabbalah and Yoga and got to deepen the teachings in personal trainings.
Beach Meditation, Miami, 2018
In Mexico I sat another Vipassana and got to visit not only the Teotihuacan Pyramids but also the Frida Kahlo house. Where in Vipassana everything is immaterialistic, the pyramids and Frida Kahlos house were solid representations of channeling energy. Both inspired me for future plans and build a solid foundation of my vision.
Vipassana Center, Mexico, 2018
I was always travelling by myself with my own money. I made money along the way or before my travels. Financially and spiritually independant. I lived a simple life, sometimes with help of some amazing locals I met along the way and sometimes just me. If anyone ever tells you that you can not do that, just do it and prove them wrong.
Teotihuacan, Mexico, 2018
Frida Kahlo House, Mexico, 2018.
Another country that I had always wanted to visit was Peru. Peru, Bali and Nepal to me have this living spirituality that I am hoping to archive with my work. Yoga or Shamanism is not something you "go to" or "do" there but a living expession of who you are. In Peru I got to experience this again. My highlights were building shamanic drum and attending rituals with a shaman in Peru. Witnessing the Red Valley and the Maccu Piccu were absolutely transformative. Also I got to tattoo in an ancient Inka ruin close to Cusco. A tattoo ritual I will never forget.
Inka Trail, Peru, 2018
Making a Shamanic Drum, Peru, 2018
Tattoo Ritual in Ancient Inka Ruin, Peru, 2018
Machu Piccu, Peru, 2018
Red Valley, Peru, 2018
I travelled to other countries like Andaman Islands (India), England, Portugal, Italy, Turkey and all of them where in their own way so magnificient and held their own lessons for me. But if I wrote down all the stories and countries this would be a book. If you are still with me despite the long text, let me take you to my "last" journey, Sri Lanka.
In Sri Lanka I did not only do my Yoga Teacher and Yogic Lifestyle Concillor Training, but also a Pranic healing training and a Training in ancient Hindu Rituals focused on preparing the body for a tattoo. I guess Sri Lanka was the toughest part of the journey. For more than 5 month I trained every day to become a Yoga teacher. Days started at 4.30 am for me and ended at 10 pm in the evening. Every day I would work at the center, clean, study sanskrit, practice Asanas, chant for 2 1/2 hours and so much more. I was dedicated to my Guru and did whatever he deemed necessary to become a Yoga teacher. There was a lot of pressure and looking back I really wonder why I didn't quit. Was it really for the higher good? At the end of my training, after 35h of exams. I talked to another lady and everything came down. Maya (the illusion) was destroyed. The head teacher did misuse his power and position by harrassing students. We tried to uncover everything and presented our case to the board members. Everything was talked down. The result for me was instead of getting my full certificate for over 500h of training I only got a letter saying that I trained 200h and was elligble to teach. But also the result to me was my freedom, standing up for what was right and protecting other women.
Sigaria Rock, Sri Lanka, 2019
I am not holding a grudge. I learnt what I had to."Live your heart and never (blindly) follow".
After Sri Lanka I settled back in Saarbrücken. In 2019 I started a training as a Gestalttherapist. A form of Psychotherapy I absolutely resonate with and that already helps me in work and life.
Every little experience, big or small contributed to how I work today. But also and mostly my intuition. Most of all always being curious and open to new things to learn. I will forever be a student and a teacher at the same time.
Germany, New Moon 2020
My intention is
"Serenity and balance steadily growing on our path to the inner light."
Thank you for joining me in this journey.