In Thailand, traditional tattoos are known as "Sak Yant." It means "Sacred Tap." Tattoos are made by tapping a long ink filled stylus onto the skin.
We got there at 10:30am thinking we would be served next. Oh how wrong we were. People sat there and waited for hours to get a Yant on their body. I went there with one Yant in mind. It was called Universal Blessing; sounds freaking awesome, right? I showed the monk what I wanted and he was very quick to say, "not here." He told me to look at the blue folder sitting on the floor and tell him later what I wanted. We sat there about 1 1/2 hours then decided to go get some lunch. When we came back there were more people waiting to be tattooed.
Long story short, my turn came around 6:45pm. The monk asked me again what I wanted I answered, "Eight Direction Yant." Of course, he told me no that's for men. For men? He then asked, "why?" I told him because I want it. Again he said no. Fine I decide to get the Sak Yant Hah Taew. I was so happy that this point that a five line blessing would be wonderful. I sat on the pillow with my back turned to the monk waiting for him to spray alcohol onto my back when the temple lights went out. Is this really not meant to be? Ajan Tum said "no tattoos in the dark." I was very sad that is point. He then said let's wait until the lights come on. But Adi was at home waiting for us and we couldn't just be there waiting for the lights to come on.
A man asked the monk if he could bless his old tattoos in the mean time. I walked over to Wiley with a very sad face. I decided to feed Ahmalie instead. As I was feeding her, I heard my aunt calling my name to go get my Hah Taew. I ran to my sitting pose. Ajan Tum decided he could give me my tattoo at least by candle light. He managed to put on about two lines when his phone rang. "Shit" I told myself. He picked up the phone to tell whoever that he was in a hurry to finish up a tattoo in the dark. Oh, by the way his ring tone was John Lennon's "Imagine." Ajan was ready to give my back's full attention now. Everything became really calm and peaceful when a song started again, "Imagine all the people, living in a world of peace." Ajan let the whole song play through without answering his phone. I knew that this tattoo was special. Wiley was taking pictures of me and saying, "Hey, PK I think you got the most mystical tattoo ever with candle light and music."
When I was done one of the helpers said, "I have been here a year and this has never happened." It was then 7:25pm. We were guided down the stairs by lighters lit by the Wat's helper. My most magical mystical Tattoo.
The meaning behind HahTaew: Every sacred line of this Yant will bestow a blessing on the receiver, usually including loving kindness, success in all aspects of life, charm, good luck and protection against evil spirits and the banishment of bad luck.