I turn 21 in three weeks, so I thought I'd pay someone to stab me with needles. My sister and I are going down to get it the weekend after next (she wanted to come with me and is going to a concert on my birthday.)
Symbolism (since I can't make anything simple):
I used celtic knots cause I'm proud of my Scottish heritage (plus, they're pretty.) The ancient Celts believed that when a line crossed over or under another line a layer of protection against evil was added to a talisman. So that combined with the center knot symbolizes protection where ever one travels. The knot in the center is the universal symbol for the four directions. The trinity symbol in the tail represents the three distinct yet interlocked human states: Physical, Mental, and Spiritual.
The raven is one of my favorite animals. In Norse (I'm German, Swedish, Norwegian, and possiblly eastern Russian, so I could be descended of Vikings) mythology the raven represents intellegence, clairvoyence, and swift travel. They are associated with the Valkeries. Odin had two ravens named Thought and Memory that travelled to Midgard (earth) each night and brought back news and information to Asgard.
The string in the raven's beak refers to the Norse myth that the three Norns (Valkeries who were the equivilent of the Greek fates) wove the fates of everyone born at the moment of their birth. According to their belief system, when that string ran out, you died no matter what you were doing. You could be fighting on the battlefield or running like a scared rabbit, but you would die at that exact moment. So you might as well live bravely.
Heh. Look how many times I used the word symbolize. I just laugh every time someone asks me what my design means.
And just think, this is about the fourth version I've worked on.