top of page

Marked by Moonlight and Re-writing through Stars

I've been struggling with what I assume is PTSD and physical disassociation for a while now. It’s a horrible, surreal feeling, and it’s like I've been almost completely disconnected from my body, while simultaneously and paradoxically feeling trapped in it. It's gotten much worse over the past few weeks, but I recently discovered something on it that made me really happy.

I'd never noticed, but I have a small birthmark shaped like a crescent moon on my leg. It's very light in color, which could be part of why I never noticed it, but I also don't think I would have spotted it if I hadn't been wearing short shorts and lounging in a very unladylike fashion while I was reading the other day. But there it is: a tiny, perfect crescent moon on the inside of my upper thigh. My inner 15-year-old would be hoping it was a magical mark that proved I'm the mystical chosen one or that I'm some lost werewolf or vampire princess, but just discovering something beautiful on skin that has felt so grotesquely alien and uncomfortable for so long is even better. It's made me feel almost good about being in it again for the first time in months.

I'm not superstitious and don't take magic charms or emblems seriously, but crescent moons have a lot of fun lore and symbolism behind them, including feminine power and fertility (ironic I know), good luck, magic and intuition, dreams and psychic power, new beginnings, governance over life and death, and the endless ebb and flow of time. In Japan, they're used as charms to ward off evil spirits or negativity and are often placed near mirrors. While I don't believe in any of that, it makes me happy that I have something so unique and special on my skin. It's certainly more exciting than my other birthmarks, one of which looks like some sort of misshapen animal (probably a skinwalker masquerading as a cow) and the other either a turnip or perhaps a very unfortunate radish, though with enough imagination it could maybe be an anatomical heart or even a tiny vial of 'Felix Felicis".

My first thought after finding my magical little moon was to look up if birthmarks can be darkened through anything other than sun exposure. While the answer is a disappointing "no" and I'll be spending a lot more time soaking up star damage by the pool, I learned something else that was fun. Light brown birthmarks are called "cafe-au-lait", or 'coffee with milk' for their coloring. These birthmarks aren't raised like moles, but are just flat areas of skin that are darker than the areas around it. As a coffee addict, this made me even happier.

My parents always joked that I was a changeling or an alien, and my dad’s favorite running gag was that he’d shot me down and that my spaceship is still buried in the backyard somewhere. When my mom and I saw a large green meteorite on my 18th birthday, she suggested that it was my Martian prince coming to get me, but he clearly had the wrong address or GPS issues. It's just silly stuff and cheesy family humor, but having a tiny celestial mark on my body does make me feel a little bit special. I suppose it’s also worth mentioning that in the medieval ages, however, some believed that moles and birthmarks were signs of demonic possession that designated where the devil had entered the body, sort of like a supernatural hickey. If being a ginger and having a mind of my own wasn’t enough to get me burned alive, a magical witch’s mark definitely would be. I guess being a millennial isn’t so bad.

Finding my birthmark also feels like a sign to go ahead and get the micro tattoos I've been considering. I've had an idea in mind for several years now, and perhaps getting them done might help me mentally reclaim my body and to have it feel a little more like my own again. I want to get tiny stars tattooed randomly into my freckle patches, and I’d like to have them done in different shades of brown ink so they would be almost camouflaged. I love the idea of magic being hidden in plain sight, and having people suddenly notice them then being surprised would be fun. I also love stargazing, an activity that has a special place in my life, so it would be fun to mix in some constellations too. Then finding all the stars would feel like a treasure hunt to whoever notices them.

I have never had a tattoo before, but like all art, it’s all about how you use it and I think they can be a beautiful form of self expression. One of my best friends said something about them during a recent conversation, and I actually made her write it down because it was so beautiful. She said "I love my tattoos. It's like having my soul stitched back together through my skin."

Whether we are born with them, acquire them by accident, or have them put there ourselves, the marks on our bodies are part of what make us special and unique as individuals. Some people have negative opinions regarding tattooing, and while I can understand why and I think God did a beautiful job designing us without them, I don't think there's anything wrong with adding artwork to the bodies we're given or expressing ourselves via modification. In my mind, it’s like an artistic collaboration between the Creator and ourselves on the most sacred and beautiful kind of canvas.

I love my little cafe-au-lait moon, and I am excited to save up for my tattoos. I hope someday I'll be able to love and feel safe in my body once more. You can't rewrite the stars, but maybe I can use them to stitch some of the pieces back together and to start feeling human again.


Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
No tags yet.
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page