Photo of pink centaury flowers in a green field – small and star shaped, with five petals each.

As a child, I had a vivid dream that I lived multiple lives. The dream stuck with me. I remember a single word from the dream, as if it were a key somehow… centaury. Not like “centaur” or “Alpha Centauri,” although elements of fantasy, time, and space feel relevant, even now.

I discovered that “centaury” is the name of a flower. I decided I wanted it as a tattoo someday. I was 16 when I made that choice, and 16 years later, I began to add the centaury to my sleeve.

At that time, I looked into the significance of the centaury flower and found that it was a remedy to a problem that felt eerily aligned with who I was at the time:

Kind, quiet, gentle people who are over-anxious to serve others. They overtax their strength in their endeavours. Their wish so grows upon them that they become more servants than willing helpers. Their good nature leads them to do more than their own share of work, and in so doing they may neglect their own particular mission in life.

The Twelve Healers and Other Remedies

This felt right. Like I needed the centaury as a reminder: I’d overcome emotional abuse and codependency, I was learning to set boundaries and trust my gut.

The problem is… I really didn’t like how the flowers looked in the piece my tattoo artist designed. I didn’t know how to ask my artist to change it. The irony was not apparent to me.

Centaury… is for people who find it difficult to say ‘no’ to others.

Centauries are kind, gentle souls and like to help. But sometimes other more ruthless people take advantage of this, and instead of being a willing servant the Centaury person ends up the slave of another’s wishes.

The centaury remedy doesn’t harden us or make us callous. Instead it supports the development of courage and self-determination.

We are better able to draw a line and make space where we can be ourselves, free of the desires and commands of others.

Bach Center

Clearly, I still needed the centaury remedy. I let a design I didn’t like get tattooed permanently on my upper arm!

I see these tattooed flowers on my arm all. the. dang. time… A mess of distant shapes in my Zoom box. These flowers emblazon my meekness, a tether to the past, literally on my sleeve.

I want to stake a different kind of life, like in my dream. I want a symbol that aligns with my higher self.

I’ve told people I don’t like them and they tell me how pretty they are. I have tried to love them, but no matter what anyone else thinks, I don’t like them and that’s all that matters.

When I switched artists, I asked if there was a way to fix them. We added some dots… but it still didn’t help.

The past cannot be changed or dressed up. You can only cover it up by living in the moment and planning your future.

So… after four years, I’m getting the centaury tattoos removed. It will take about a year. Then, I’ll get my artist to add some new flowers to cover them up.

I’m thinking violets. I have some growing in my garden, and they’ve been blooming all year round.

Violets are symbolic of faith, mystical awareness, inspiration, spiritual passion, profuseness and sovereignty.

Ferns n Petals

Yeah. That sounds better.

However, the violet plant has other meanings, too. They can symbolize honesty, protection, dreams, healing, remembrance, determination, and even the idea of setting goals.


Right well, that settles it…

As long as the art looks good. Who knows? Maybe the centaury on my arm worked and I’m healed, because I’m confident I’d tell my artist to change it if I didn’t like the design this time.