Understanding God’s Symbolic Language: Tattoo Interpretation #1

Last week, I posted here about how we need to learn to understand God’s symbolic language. I also discussed in that same post about why I will begin teaching God’s language of pictures using tattoo interpretation. So today is our first lesson and first tattoo interpretation!

Our first tattoo photos came from Miss T, who has two tattoos. I will only cover one of them today, and we’ll save the next one for later.

First, I will tell you the meanings of the symbols. Then, below the list of meanings, I’ll give the “in-a-nutshell” interpretation of what the Lord is saying to Miss T through this tattoo right now.

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    Tammy elephant tattoo

    Tattoo #1: Elephant

    Here are the symbols we saw and their spiritual meanings:

    The flower speaks of glory and beauty (Song of Solomon chapters 2-6).

    The horseshoe is what the horse walks on. Horses represent strength, power, and authority in the Bible (Job 39:19-25). The horse is ready to go to war (Proverbs 21:31). The horseshoe represents the ability to walk in strength, power, and authority.

    Chains speak of things that hold back, bind, or imprison (2 Peter 2:4).

    The hook speaks of something you draw or pull things with (Isaiah 37:29; Job 41:1-2).

    The elephant is a very positive symbol that has several amazing meanings. The word “elephant” is not mentioned in the Bible, although ivory is. So to understand what God has to say through the image of the elephant, we have to study the elephant and relate what we learn to the rest of God’s principles:

    1. When an elephant in captivity is young, trainers put a chain around his leg and chain him up. The elephant learns that he cannot escape. This thought pattern becomes so ingrained in his mind that when he is older, the trainers no longer have to chain him. They just put a rope around his leg–not tied to anything–and he believes he is still chained and cannot escape, so he does not try.
    2. In the wild, elephants can smell water underground during a drought. They find the patch of ground where the water is, and then as a herd, they pound and dig  the ground until the water comes to the surface.
    3. Elephants have an amazing ability to hear.
    4. When attacked, they back up to one another to face the attacker.
    5. They have great loyalty.

    So here is the in-an-nutshell interpretation of what God is saying to Miss T through these symbols:

    Miss T, Papa God finds you beautiful in His sight. He is drawing you to Himself with His love.

    People in the past have tried to restrict you with chains, but you are free. Sometimes you may not feel free because you remember what it was like to be chained… but you are no longer chained.

    Now Papa is drawing you to come to where the water is and drink. He is the Living Water. He has given you a tremendous ability to sense what’s genuine and what’s not… where you will find true water or not. You have a great ability to hear, even things that other people miss.

    Papa wants to bring you to a place where you walk in strength, true power, and authority in Him. He will guide you, and you will feel His guidance. You will know just what to do and where to go. You will have a great sense of direction, and your life will blossom and grow with great beauty.

    I love Papa’s language, don’t you? He is always so beautiful and encouraging. Now it’s Miss T’s turn to let us know if this resonates with her!

    Would you like to know what God is saying through symbols that mean a lot to you? If so, send me a photo of your tattoo or other symbol and I will teach using your symbol in a future post!

    You can email your photo to me at: jamie at fromhispresence dot com.



    1. I loved reading what my tattoo was saying to me from the Lord. This tattoo was supposed to be part of my other tattoo that I sent you a picture of. I found the first one so pretty that these symbols needed to not run the beauty of my flowers. The inital reason I wanted these symbols was because I love elephants for one. My daughter loves horses and barrel races so she was my horse shoe..that and it was something her father and I did together. My flower which is actually a four leaf clover is because I feel my daughter has been my good luck charm..she has certainly ahown me many things and helped me in many ways. The chain and tow hook were from a recent relationship after my divorce..it was what he did for a living. I wanted my tattoo to tell my story, what I have been through. I think it turned out amazing. The interpretation definitely is me “in a nutshell.” I have drifted away from my values and been chained down. Now that I am free, it has been hard for me to settle down in one spot..I have been wondering around trying to find my place in this world. I just trying do not know where to start with rebuilding my relationship with the Lord. You truly nailed who I am…thank you for being so amazing.

      1. Wow, Miss T, I’m overwhelmed! Go, Jesus! The Holy Spirit is so awesome. He knows you inside and out and He just wants to talk with you and love on you! He just loves to slobber His love all over you, the same way a happy puppy does. You are His #1 baby girl! There is no one else on the planet that He loves more than you. And He sees in you gorgeous things that even you might not see… things that He put there, and you will be discovering soon! I can’t wait to see it all happen! Hugs!

    2. Markings are part of God’s creation and tattoos can be beautiful anywhere but not on our body. Please hear me…it can be very dangerous to walk in error because we end up hurting ourselves. When we put tattoos on our body, we are simply saying to God, “what you have put inside of me is not good enough so I am going to let people know that I want to glorify you by defiling my body”. The book of Leviticus 19:28 says ‘You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves: I am the LORD”. I am happy with you that you love God and want to show him off to people but that is the wrong approach. When we try to glory him by disobedience, we get into more problems as He said, Obedience is better than Sacrifice. We do not glorify God by putting Tattoos on our body. I speak not of myself but of the knowledge of the truth given to me by His grace. Our body is the temple of the lord, both inside and out. It might interest you to know that I also have a tattoo but I had it when I was totally ignorant of the truth. God has forgiven me and I have moved on. **I was moved to post this on here because I would be no better than the one who has done it if I disobeyed Him by not sharing what I have now come to know. Putting Tattoos on our body is just one of the many ways we open doors for the enemy to come in and steal kill and destroy (John 10:10); and advocating it by posting it can mislead many. I pray that the light of God will shine in any dark area of your life and that you will see the light in this matter. God Bless you. Love, Tammy.

      1. Hi Tammy,
        Thank you for stopping by. I am going to answer some of the main points in your comments, for the sake of my readers. I am not going to answer them all; there’s just not enough space here to do so, and I don’t want to get into an argument.

        First, let me refer you to my post below, in which I explained in detail, from the Bible, why getting a tattoo is not a sin:

        I also encourage you to read the comments on that post, from someone who shares a similar opinion to yours, and my response.

        Simply put, the commandment to refrain from tattooing was a part of the Mosaic Law, and Jesus came to be the complete and utter fulfillment of the Mosaic Law. We are no longer bound by the Law, and its commands no longer apply.

        Of course, if a person wants to be bound by the Law, Paul wrote that a person can choose that option. However, in order to receive salvation through the Law, he/she will need to keep the Law perfectly in all its aspects. Therefore, if a person wants to embrace the Law, but is eating pork; wearing clothing of mixed fibers; doing any work at all from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday; not performing ritual animal sacrifices–and not keeping all of the other hundreds of commandments given in the Law–and if a person has not done so all his or her life–then under the terms of the Law, there is no hope of salvation for that person.

        Since I have no desire to keep the Law (and I assume you don’t either), I am happy to say that we have freedom in Christ. Christ, Who is pierced, striped, and tattooed Himself (Revelation 19:16), is the all-sufficient sacrifice. All commandments of the Law have been fulfilled, and no longer apply. We now have a new commandment: that we love one another, and that we abide in the righteousness of Christ.

        Furthermore, I would like to point out that you have shared your thoughts based on “the knowledge of the truth given to [you],” but the Apostle Paul wrote in Galatians 1:8, “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to and different from that which we preached to you, let him be accursed (anathema, devoted to destruction, doomed to eternal punishment)!” If you endorse adhering to the Law, then you are preaching a different gospel than the one the Bible preaches. Like Paul, I condemn that different gospel, because there is no truth in it. Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.


        1. Just a quick question: aren’t we (as Christians) supposed to ‘separate’ (set ourselves apart) from the world? Not participating or behaving in a way that would hinder unsaved people from thinking we are any different? Since tattoos have been historically worn by ‘rebellious, non-conforming, secular’ folk, how do you square that? Not to mention, so many potential employers will not hire people with tattoos. Please advise . Thank you.

          1. Hi Virginia. Thanks for reading. What great questions!
            First … I worked in an environment that specialized in vocational rehab nearly 15 years and never once saw or heard of anyone hindered from getting hired by having a tattoo. I have heard that it is a problem for some clothing designers if their models have tattoos, but that’s a professional decision that applies to a tiny niche, not a spiritual decision. 🙂 There may certainly be instances of this that I have not heard about. However, each person has to weigh their risks of that individually.

            Secondly: You said that tattoos have been worn by rebellious people. That’s a blanket statement that many people would disagree with. People get tattoos for many reasons. As you see in the comments above, God even prophesied that people would tattoo themselves for His glory. Certainly not all tattoos are for God’s glory, and we should never put symbols on our bodies that worship or give credence to the enemy. However, the same way many people wear mixed fibers (clothing made of cotton/polyester blends, for example) and there’s nothing wrong with that, there’s no innate sin in obtaining a tattoo because Jesus fulfilled the rule against it, which was meant to prophesy His coming and the purity we would have in Him. Because of the full picture and context of what the Word says–including the fact that the book of Revelation tells us that Jesus Christ Himself has a tattoo–we cannot assign a sin to the tattooing process.
            Hope this helps. Have a super day.

    3. It is well, Jamie 🙂 We are now in grace and not bound by the law but we still have a law which is to abide and to “love the Lord our God and our neighbor as ourselves” so whether we do every single thing in the old testament or not, to abide by His word, we must love. If we say we love Him then, we will not do what he says we shouldn’t do. I am not condemning anyone and I am not saying what I am doing is better than anyone. But I would say…please be careful to judge anyone especially because of misinterpretation of the scriptures ( such as: Galatians 1:8, “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to and different from that which we preached to you, let him be accursed (anathema, devoted to destruction, doomed to eternal punishment)!”). I have not preached anything contrary to the gospel. I have only shared what has been revealed to me. It is your choice whether you accept it or not. I don’t do the work. God Himself, by His spirit, does the work so I don’t have any point to prove. You are a free moral agent and It is totally okay if you don’t accept what I have shared 🙂 God Bless you.

      1. Hi Tammy, thanks for the follow-up. Please note that I did not take Galatians 1:8 out of context. In fact, Galatians chapters 1-3 all echo exactly what I said, in context, and Paul was actually far more forceful and specific about this matter than I was.

        Jesus did not tell us to continue in the Law; in fact, He told us that He came to fulfill the Law completely. There is no truth outside of TOTAL freedom in Christ. I urge you also to read Galatians chapters 1-3. I used to observe Saturday as the Sabbath (for many years; I was raised being taught that not doing so was a sin), but then I read Galatians and realized that we are completely free from the Law. We are no longer required to keep Saturday as the Sabbath, just like we are no longer required to abstain from tattooing.

        The Law was meant only to show us our need for Jesus. Galatians 3:24 says, “Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.”

        The commandment not to get tattoos was part of the Law. Now we are no longer under the Law, and we are free from ALL of its rules and regulations.

        Galatians 2:16-17 says, “knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.”

        Anything outside of completion through faith in Christ is false religion.

    4. Hello Jamie this is my first time on this blog. I enjoy reading your messages, but when you start to give meaning to tattoos. I said what, God help us in Jesus name. I was thinking am I in the write blog or what. In my life I have seen so called children of God do things or says thingshe. And I said God , just lead me. Stay blessed

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