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In my travels in Scotland I have been very impressed with the way the Picts mastered the use of the spiral, in single, double and triple forms. The Hilton of Cadboll stone now in the antiquities section of the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. In the Hilton of Cadboll Stone from 800AD there are representational elements, like the mounted hunters in the middle, that feature details of everyday life; like the top one being a woman riding side-saddle!
An ancient illustration, depicting another proud female warrior striding forth into battle in her altogether. As an equestrienne, I was particularly delighted to see many depictions of horses on the stones.The romantic in me loved to see the mermaid, gryphons, manticore and numerous dragons. Today in celebration of affinity with the Pictish Painted People of Europe, a father and daughter came and both got enigmatic ancient symbols.
This z-rod and double disc is from the Dunnichen Pictish symbol stone, currently on display in Forfar, Angus, Scotland.

The most charming of all the Pictish animals is the Pictish Beast, also known as the Pictish Dragon, or Swimming Elephant.
Buy Pictish Seamonster Tattoo DesignVisit the PICTISH TATTOO PAGE to read more about the Picts and the imagery that inspired these tattoos. But it may well have been used as a wound dressing after battles and thus colored the resulting scars, making them even more dramatic souvenirs of bravery. The pattern appears on many carved stones found across Scotland, and this one was probably carved in the 7th century. Some people even say that it might be the Loch Ness Monster!This version is from the Strathmartine Castle stone, now on display in Dundee, Scotland.
These glimpses of ancient times are mixed with Mysterious Symbols whose meaning can only be guessed at now. Especially before battle, the woad could be applied and have a slightly hallucinogenic "mood fixative" property that would enhance fierceness and frenzy.

I know, they may at first glance look like snakes, but I think the artists most loved the play of line and form that could be best accomplished with these slithering creatures.
The way it is rendered, with a combination of line and "woad blue" dots on a blue-eyed girl, makes it come alive in skin.
At the top are a double disc and z-rod, a crescent and v-rod, two amazingly intricate knotted circles, and at the bottom interlocking triple spirals. When I did meet my true relatives, and learn of my Scots heritage, I began making pilgrimages to Scotland to see if I would feel a kinship with the land. I am blessed that now, through the miracle of the internet, clients come to me from all over the world.

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