Things Get Wild When the Inked Are Possessed By Their Sak Yant Tattoos

Supernatural Travel Tales Podcast S1E11

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You never know when the spirit of the monkey, or alligator, will seize participants during this two day long, tattoo-centric event in Thailand.

It’s like something out of a slightly dark fairy tale – arguably the best kind.

It’s not unusual for people in Thailand, both visitors and locals, to seek out Sak Yant Tattoos. These tattoos are done by highly trained masters. They are not like ordinary western tattoos. They are metaphysical and life changing. They have the power to protect, heal, and imbue the recipient with unique and potent charms. It’s essential as well, if you are a believer, to choose the right one. This is a major life decision and a big responsibility.

Sak Yant tattoos are done with steel rods or bamboo, using age old methods. In many, possibly most instances,  the master chooses the tattoo for the recipient. They are able to prescribe what is needed, from a set number of designs, each with a special meaning that corresponds to the needs of the recipient, their personal attributes and the attributes of the spirits behind the tattoo. People will sit and wait for hours to receive these tattoos.

Sak Yant tattoos are a privilege – but also a great responsibility. Care must be taken to honor the spirits behind your tattoo. This may involve a significant change in diet, attitude and behavior.

It’s very possible, if you are not careful , that the tattoos could lose their power. That’s when the Sak Yank tattoo festival comes in.

During the festival, tattoo-ees are able to recharge their tattoo. It’s a powerful and emotional experience for many attendees.  Often at the same time that they recharge their tattoos, they become possessed by the spirits that fuel them.

In this podcast I interviewed Evo Terra, an ex-expat and podcast strategist (he’s my producer!). We chatted  about some of the things he and his wife Sheila observed while attending this festival, multiple times and answered some interesting questions like:

  • How do you bring someone back from their reverie?
  • What/who are some of the characters that possess participants
  • Which characters do you really need to watch out for?
  • Who is most likely to have a spiritual experience at this festival?
  • When/where does this happen?
  • Why is there always that one guy that seems like he’s faking it, at every festival in the world?

I am truly fascinated by the notion of group hypnosis or mass delusion, or whatever soft science terms exist to explain this sort of phenomenon.  Hive mind, perhaps?   I certainly won’t go so far as to say spirit is not at work at these sorts of events. Spirits work in mysterious ways!

These sorts of public displays of group-experienced spirit/possession are just so incredibly interesting to me.

As wonderful of a storyteller as Evo is, I hope to someday chat with one of the local participants of this festival who was overtaken by spirits. How would that feel? What would their memory of this possession be like? How have their tattoos protected them?

For now I’ll just have to be content watching the footage that Evo’s wife Sheila got at the festival the last time they attended. Here’s a link below to their blog post and some of their coverage – must watch!

Fast Zombies Attack… 

you attended this festival? Do you have any special tattoos, that you feel have made you stronger? And if so… what do you attribute that to?

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