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Significance of left, right, Pleiades to Lakota and Dine
http://firstnations.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=3309
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Author:  ally-in-training [ Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Significance of left, right, Pleiades to Lakota and Dine

Greetings to all, I am thrilled to have discovered this forum and its wealth of information, and look forward to reading through all the old threads.

I am a non-Native and have for the last two years been gradually working on the process of de-colonizing myself and learning how to be a better ally in support of Indigenous sovereignty. But, I find myself wanting to ask a very typically-white question, but I have hesitated to ask the Native people in my life because I know they have a lot of much more important things to think about. But I can't get it out of my head and so, here I am. That's right, I have a question about a tattoo. If anyone takes the time to read and reply I am deeply thankful.

I recently began a stick-and-poke tattoo of the constellation Pleiades/7-sisters. As my first tattoo, it has a lot of personal significance to me: it's the first constellation I remember my dad teaching me when I was a little kid. My dad died when I was 9, and since the Pleiades are a symbol of grieving in the Celtic tradition (part of my heritage), I thought it would be perfect. In the Greek tradition, when Pleiades rises, it marks the beginning of the sea-faring season/season of navigation. As I just graduated from college and am beginning my life-voyage, I thought that was significant as well. I started the tattoo on my right foot so as to incorporate a small birthmark as one of the central stars.

BUT! I subsequently learned that Pleiades is very significant in a number of Native cultures as well, something I should have looked into before. Since I am going to be spending a lot of time in Indigenous spaces as a water protector, the last thing I want is for my tattoo to be offensive (though I don't imagine many ppl will be looking at my feet...). Members of the Lakota and Dine Nations have been very welcoming and patient with me, so I'm particularly concerned about the meaning of this constellation in those traditions. As I understand it, Pleiades is connected with the very sacred geography of the Black Hills, the place my journey as a fledgling ally truly began. I also understand that Pleiades started off on the ankle of the Black God, and ended up on his LEFT temple. So my question is this:

Is the idea of a Pleiades tattoo on my foot itself offensive within the Lakota/Dine paradigms?
If not, should I have put it on the left foot? (Left being associated with the heart?) or the right? Does it make a difference?


As I mentioned, I have already started the tattoo on my right foot, but it is currently just 6 small dots which, if left alone, will fade significantly in the next year or two.

Thank you again for entertaining my ignorance. I know you all have better things to do.

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