Medieval Sigils by B.Ignorant

Benjamin Greif aka B.Ignorant is a hand poke tattoo and print artist based in Berlin, Germany. His work has medieval themes as well as a touch of blasphemy to them. The designs are based on actual historical artworks which once again appealed to my love of the woodblock print style from that era.

The designs I asked of him were not based on medieval artwork but rather on sigils of protection outlined in the Lesser Key of Solomon, which is an anonymous grimoire on demonology and the occult. Now the perception of the occult for most people is of a negative connotation. The word “occult” tends to be synonymous with black magic, but the reality is that there is no “colour” associated to it. It is something which, for the practitioners who believe in it, can be used for good or bad intent. This was something I learnt in Thailand as there is a strong occult following in that part of the world, but occult in that case being holy men or magicians casting spells to help people in their everyday lives with money, romance, work, protection etc.

I decided that my palms would be the perfect place for these sigils, what I did not expect was their difficult healing process. In my enthusiastic state I opted to have both palms done in one session. Benjamin is very quick, and they were both done in around 2 hours. It never crossed my mind at the time though how much your palms are required in your day to day activities. Opening a door, bathing, eating, twisting open a jar, all these activities require palm contact so the first few days after the tattoo were challenging. Out of all the tattoos I have had done the palms seemed to take the longest to heal. On top of that, the ink doesn’t often hold very well in that area and I needed to go back for two touch ups (and got a third tattoo from him as well, a war hammer crossed with a mace) as the ink needed to be pushed deeper into the areas where it fell out, and palms are really sensitive areas to drive a needle into.

The ink in the palms have held well for the most part after a year or so but I will need to have touch ups done again. Benjamin did point out however that sigils do not necessarily need to look perfect, as the intention for having these on me and what they represent is what matters.

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