Ideas for a karma tattoo?
October 4, 2011 12:37 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for tattoo ideas to represent the idea that "what goes around comes around."

I'd like a tattoo reminder to help me remember that what goes around comes around so that I can get my negative self to focus my efforts on putting more positivity out in to the universe: being kinder, more gracious, and a generally better me.

I'm open to anything at all really, from symbols (karma, infinity, circles, etc) to words (in any language) to whatever else you smart, creative types can offer me. The tattoo will probably go on my inner wrist, but if I find something really fitting or beautiful, I'll find a better spot.

I love you, mefi!
posted by rinosaur to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The Ouroboros?
posted by Admiral Haddock at 12:39 PM on October 4, 2011 [6 favorites]

Seconding the ouroboros, since Haddock beat me to it.
posted by The Michael The at 12:41 PM on October 4, 2011

Recycling symbol?
posted by EndsOfInvention at 12:43 PM on October 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

Haddock beat me to my first choice, but the Saṃsāra also comes to mind. You could do a richly illuminated one, or just a simple Dharma Wheel.

People already do this as a tattoo.
posted by valkyryn at 12:51 PM on October 4, 2011 [2 favorites]

I've always wanted to get the first 500 digits of pi tattooed in a tiny spiral around my navel.

(Except I realized that, heh, that might get less attractive as I slowly spread. But refine that idea!)
posted by RJ Reynolds at 12:53 PM on October 4, 2011

Actually I think you are looking for the symbol for karma. How's this?
Google search turned up lots more.
posted by bearwife at 12:55 PM on October 4, 2011

Karma stuff is cool, I also though of a Möbius thingy. The linked image appears to be a tattoo...
posted by obscurator at 1:03 PM on October 4, 2011 [2 favorites]

How about something like the Wheel of Fortune, Carmina Burana style?
posted by mynameisluka at 1:13 PM on October 4, 2011

I'm surprised no-one has mentioned a yin-yang symbol. You do see a lot of them, though.
posted by carter at 1:24 PM on October 4, 2011

Like the ouroboros, but just an arrow instead of the snake head. And have the circle completely circling your wrist, or ankle, or whatever so it's literally going around a part of you.
posted by specialnobodie at 1:36 PM on October 4, 2011

Ouroboros was my first thought, Mobius (don't know how to make the dot thingys) was my second... I'm out of ideas, lol.
posted by myShanon at 1:37 PM on October 4, 2011

I think the perfect image for karma in this age of global warming is the hurricane symbol, perhaps with the words "sow the wind."

I also like the idea of an arrow that starts thin and thickens to the point, only twisted back on itself into an infinity symbol, somewhat like this.

Or a snake twisted into an infinity symbol, but with a fanged mouth opened to bite the tail, rather than grasping it as in an Ouroboros.
posted by jamjam at 1:53 PM on October 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

The Tree of Life? Inspired by this recent AskMe.
posted by Specklet at 2:30 PM on October 4, 2011

One of my fellow Japanese translators was once asked to come up with the Japanese equivalent for a tattoo, and discussed the problem on a translator's list we're both on. 因縁 (innen, the Chinese characters for karma) was one suggestion that a few people got behind; another was 自業自得 (jigou jitoku), although this has more of a negative connotation; literally, it's not far from "as ye sow, so shall ye reap." Four-character aphorisms like the latter are very common in Japanese and Chinese and feel more right that a two-character word for conveying this kind of sentiment. At least to me.
posted by adamrice at 2:45 PM on October 4, 2011

I've seen the saying written around a co-workers wrist, in script, but it's beautiful looks like a bracelet from 4-5 feet away.
posted by Jayed at 2:48 PM on October 4, 2011

Also came in to say yin yang. I tend to think of yin yang as "balance", not sure if that jibes with what you are looking for.
posted by vignettist at 8:24 PM on October 4, 2011

What about a knot? Celtic knot or the endless knot?
posted by RandyWalker at 8:45 PM on October 7, 2011

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