Artists with Tattoos – the Supernatural Ink of Marilyn Manson
While still in October and on the last week leading up to Halloween, let’s make the most of the wonderfully weird and wicked. Marilyn Manson, or Brian Hugh Warner, just turned 51 earlier this year (and what a year for it). He also released his 11th studio album a mere two months ago, entitled ‘WE ARE CHAOS’. Yes, in all-caps. During his half-a-century existence and 30 years of artistry, the shock rocker has gathered quite an impressive collection of tattoos.
Miami marks the spot
Most of them have reportedly been done at the same studio, Tattoos By Lou in South Beach, Miami, Florida. His very first is worthy of the spooky season indeed. On his 21st birthday, Manson had the symbol of Baphomet inked on his left arm. While the full figure is known to be depicted as a winged hermaphrodite, Manson got only the head, that of a goat with a human facial expression. The history of the deity is a complex one, its name first appearing in the trials against the Knight’s Templar in the 11th century, and it has been connected to dark occult mysticism. At the same time, some claim it to be a neutral magical being. Either way, it looks forbidding enough for the personal legend of the Marilyn Manson persona.
Of course, there are many a noteworthy dark symbol Mr Manson’s skin. Far too many in fact to cover in this post (at least 27), so we will focus on a couple particularly potent.
Above his left collarbone, there is a death’s-head hawkmoth, which gets its name from the sinister-looking skull-like shape on its back. Its Latin name is Acherontia atropos, and if you are wondering where you have seen it before, it is the ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ moth. In many cultures, it is thought to be an omen of death. Fun fact though, while most moths can only make noise by rubbing parts of their body together, the death’s-head can make a squeaking sound to distract approaching predators. It also has thorns on its legs, but that is about as menacing as it gets.
Eternal life and unlimited wisdom
On a more magical note, just after his 50th birthday party last year, Manson had eight alchemical symbols tattooed on his fingers. Beginning on the left index finger and moving outwards, he has the symbol for the planet Mercury, also representing the element of the same name. Then comes the sign for Earth, then Jupiter, also representing tin, and phosphorus. Starting on the right index finger and moving outwards, he has the symbols for cinnabar (mercury sulphide), arsenic, black sulphur (also known as a leviathan cross), and a crocus.
Alchemy is usually considered to be the quest of turning lead or other base metals into gold. However, the practitioners of this ancient branch of natural philosophy also sought to attain ultimate wisdom (‘the Philosopher’s Stone’ ring a bell anyone?) and eradicating illness and ageing. If Marilyn Manson is also a practising alchemist, his new body art additions don’t disclose, but clearly the supernatural and the occult are close to Manson’s heart, be that to the trademarked persona’s or Brian’s or both.