Emilia Ortiz shares her story, her tattoos, and how cannabis has been "a protective and healing plant" for her.

Dear Reader,

Some know me as a bruja, spiritual advisor, and empath. To others, I’m a mental health advocate and motivational speaker. While I’m a woman of many things, at my core, I’m a tatted-up, cannabis-loving girl from Brooklyn. I got my first tattoo when I was just 15 years old and all of my tattoos have a meaningful story behind them. My tattoos have always come to me in my dreams and through life experiences, with the exception of my Dominos tattoo, which I got to raise money for Puerto Rico during Hurricane Maria.

The message behind each of my tattoos is protection and healing. From the animals that guide me, to flowers for loved ones who have passed on, I’ve received a variety of symbols to adorn myself with, including the giant word “Brooklyn” across my chest and the mermaid on my side. And while people may see them, they don’t automatically know what they’re for. Even when people assume wrong or send negative energy towards me about them, I’m good. They ground me in my power of possessing the unknown.

The process of the tattoo session itself allows me to have a say in the pain I feel and have something beautiful to protect me after the session is over. I release pain and get to transform it into something better.

Photography by BMJ Studios

Photography by BMJ Studios

My tattoos and cannabis consumption go hand-in-hand. Cannabis has been a protective and healing plant for me, assisting with my mental health, energetic sensitivities, and physical symptoms that occur, such as chronic nausea, lack of appetite, body aches, and insomnia. While I have a high tolerance for pain and choose this process, sometimes I experience irritability due to the repeated sounds and movements, which can interfere with my ability to process it all. Smoking afterward is helpful for when I’m sore. THC-infused honey added to some chamomile tea at bedtime makes that recovery a breeze. Cannabis can also make it easier for someone with a lower pain tolerance to get the work of their dreams and you can go the CBD route, where it addresses the pain, but you don’t get high.

For me, tattoos and cannabis are part of not just my lifestyle, but my spirituality. Through the plant, there’s a connection back to the earth and divine feminine, even in the middle of Brooklyn. There’s a bridge between old and new through my tattoos. For me, it’s all very sacred. I’m very blessed to be connected the way I am with my higher self in order to be able to receive guidance for these protective pieces.

Love,

Emilia