"The intention behind this sigil comes from finding balance in being an aquarian and empath. This sigil represents when I nourish my soul I am able to share the vessel's overflow of abundant magic, love, power, and gratitude. Growth happens as it continuously flows.
Vanja felt my intention and created a beautiful piece of art.
The process was kind, gentle, and communicative. I could tell she bonded with the idea I presented, making it all the more powerful and special. My life shifted in the best, most transformative way after this was put on my skin. Old patterns and darkness were acknowledged and let go with this new bright light inside of me.
A month later I became pregnant with my son. A true rebirth and biggest blessing of my life."
"Welcoming Vanja’s art to my body was something that was without much thought, but instead a deep drawing and connection.
The moment I laid eyes on this specific art piece I knew it belonged between my breasts, in the heart of my body. Flora, Fauna and Fungi carve deeply into my being and we are one.
I take this piece as a shapeshifting into flourishing environments with great relationships by my side and love guiding me.
My greatest little companion in this life also happens to be my black cat, and I can't help but see him in this imagery.
I cherish this art greatly as I hold it with me through all the ebbs and flows of my life."
"I collect tattoos on my body as tokens of the memories and experiences I have through this lifetime. Of all my tattoos, this piece is imbued with the most living magic.
When I first had this piece called “Shapeshifting” tattooed on my arm, I was working for Vanja as her personal assistant. I wanted to commemorate the chapter I’d spent working with her and all that I had learned from this deeply inspiring human. I felt drawn to the powerful feline figure, which also reminded me of the powerful awakening I had experienced after encountering a wild leopard in Sri Lanka. It seemed a fitting token of the sacred wisdom I had learned from Vanja about the divine feminine, creativity and nature.
After this piece was tattooed on my arm, however, life unfolded in such a way where the very meaning of this image shape-shifted.
I was in a very adventurous phase of my life and in the process of creating my first musical album. I met a man named Ben in LA, who offered to engineer the audio for my album. Once back home in Toronto, I mentioned this man to Vanja, and how I couldn’t afford a trip to LA to work with him. In her generous nature, Vanja offered to pay for my trip so long as I made a stop in Berkeley Hills, where she was moving, to bring Nega, her cat, to her. I of course accepted, and a few months later embarked on a journey across the continent, with a cat by my side.
Though this story is long and beautiful, I will keep it short in this telling and say that the story ends with Vanja and Ben falling in love and giving birth to their beautiful child, Aquila Phoenix.
Now this image, which is appropriately titled “Shapeshifting”, has transformed to tell this story. The naked woman represents the divine feminine flow of life which, supported by the feline spirit, worked through Vanja, Ben, Nega and I to guide our journeys in and out of connection so that Aquila’s life could blossom. The two suns now represent Vanja and Ben , who shine the light of their love eternally on the growing flower between them. Welcome to the garden, baby Aquila!
I am so excited to see how the mythological meaning of this tattoo continues to shape-shift throughout my life. It is with great honour that I wear Vanja’s art on my body; it is true magic."
I co-dreamt this sigil with Vanja during the last semester of my time at university in Colorado. I was wondering where my roots wanted to be — curious about just who I could be in the world, how I might allow myself to be shaped. As I wander back to the selves I was all those days ago, I feel a tentative young-er woman etching herself alive into belonging and true communion. She had a sense of what was to come, but nothing truly vivid.
This sigil brought forth the woman I am today, the woman I am yet to be. The woman that was always so deep & high & mighty within me. Humbly, so, though, in potent relationship with unseen, with the divine rhythms of plants and ancestral kin, of blood and of earth and then some.
I received this art to my skin the day before I went on my first pilgrimage to Ireland, my ancestral mother & father lands. I followed the lines, the soils, the bloods of me. I poured much of me back into the waters of those lands. I came to know her — this art, this plant woman mirroring my own lines & ridges & valleys, clouds & windswept days — in a land ancient to me. A land that finally, finally felt like home. I began to step into myself, a self woven ages ago.
All my days, all my sways rocked among the waves, I had longed to be an artist. I remember ‘admitting’ this to Vanja those few years ago, and feeling my heart being pulled into the realization of how true that desire was. I spoke aloud a truth and then I etched that dream into my skin until it came alive. I brought my hand to her in the moments that drew me nearer to the self most ‘of me’ and of what is ancient, unseen. That self is an artist, a weaver, through and through. That self knows to listen to none but cloud whispers. That self knows to kneel in the water and let stillness become me. That self watches where the dragonflies guide her, how they rest on her bike handles.
She is spun alive and resting in all her made and making rhythms, and I remember her, become her more, each time I drop into the sigil, the self remembered, etched onto the magical impermanence of my flesh. She’ll live on, much like all that is of the wind, all of me that is already dancing in the wind, forever kneeling in the oldest of fresh waters.