Bonus video from Season 3 – Episode 9 – The Green Room

My New Raven Tattoo

I wanted to share with you the story behind my new ink this season.  I had decided in the early part of 2016 that this was the year to add to my ever growing body art collection. I had determined that I would be paying homage to my work life in some fashion. My left arm signifies my connection to my family (as its closes to my heart ;) and my right my work. So placing the art on the right arm seemed fitting.


I really wanted to pay homage to the raven in some way – it had always been an animal I felt a connection with. I’ve long carried a small quartz embossed with the symbol of the raven in my pocket.  It was gift from director Rob King on our very first day of shooting in season


It’s always exciting when you bring a new concept for a tattoo to the tattoo artist – you never quite know what their vision will be for your vision.  I had a few early concepts I had grabbed from online sources – but my artist, Scott Unsworth – saw something a little different than what had originally just been a simple band of trees wrapping itself around my arm with a few birds flying up and over my shoulder. Scott’s concept drawing was incredible. A cunning and stoic raven transforming into a tree with more birds sitting in the branches. This image set against the backdrop of the sun. Perfection.


I underwent the long process in roughly 4 and a half hours – all filmed by our Director of Photography Darryl Kesslar. He caught every wince on camera.


The raven sees many indigenous tribes heralding it as one who can bring light where there wasn’t any previously. Thusly the bird is associated with creation. Some tribes regard the bird as a trickster. Able to shape shift and adapt to many different situations. They fly closest to the heavens and are often thought to take messages and prayers from the people to the spirit realm.


In the Celtic tradition the raven is tied to Samhain or Halloween. As part of the Samhain celebration the goddess Morrigan presides over the celebration. Morrigan will often provide those born on the holiday with psychic gifts. Morrigan assumes the shape of a raven and because of this many believe the bird to have oracular powers.


The raven is often tied to the god Apollo. Apollo is sometimes referred to as the god of prophecy, ravens were essentially his messengers – bringing information from the cosmos. Even the singular cry of the Raven “Crah” translated into Latin Means “Tomorrow”.


Now I carry with me forever a flock of 13 (my lucky number) ravens which is interestingly enough sometimes referred to as a “conspiracy”. These beautiful and majestic birds will be with me forever. Watching over me, protecting me, and bringing me their divine wisdom from both above and below.


–Jeff Richards

You may also like

One comment

  • Roxanne Swimmer December 18, 2016  

    I just love the significance of your body art. What a wonderful story. I so look forward to new episodes and just love the show and tell my friends about it and share your stories on my FB page. Keep up your wonderful work with the show. You have the absolute best job on Mother Earth