Desi Ink: Shiva the Destroyer

Here is my latest tattoo – another collaboration with the amazing Angelique Sanders.

Fortunately for me, she was visiting San Francisco and guesting at  One Shot Tattoo – my favorite place to get inked in The City.

I spent a few weeks finalizing my design. The hardest part was trying to figure out which symbols, elements, and aspects I had to cut out of the composition.  After adjusting and refining my drawing to work better as a tattoo, Angel cranked this “little” piece out in under 7 hours.   Like our last piece (Saraswati) this tattoo is healing quickly, clean and not giving me too much discomfort.  Angel truly has the magic touch!



Shiva is the third member of the Hindu Trinity and my favorite of our Gods.  He is a complicated deity full of paradoxes. On one hand, he is the ultimate warrior – literally the force of destruction that destroys evil, ignorance and removes the old and decaying to make way for the new.  On the other hand, he is also a benevolent creator god, the creator of yoga, music, and dance.  He is the ultimate outsider shunning gold and riches to wear simple tribal jewelry and dress in a tiger skin while traveling with his bull Nandi (the very symbol of the sacred cow of India), wearing snakes and followed by an army of monsters, ghosts, and other crazy creatures.  Shiva is also the lord of all animals (hence the deer jumping out of one of his hands).   Shiva is also the very model of the ideal husband and father. He is both terrifying and benevolent.  Confusing to non-Hindus I think.  Wikipedia has got a good overview on him at .

* “Desi”  (sounds kinda like “they see”)  in several Indian languages refers to people or things from India.  It can roughly be translated also as “native”.

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