via contrariwise, right here on the wordpress.
This is a tattoo on the arm of an Illustrated Man which is of a very ancient and hip little meme — the so-called Sator square.
Earliest records of the Sator Square date from Pompeii. M-m-much, much, much, much more (please read that in a combination of Ray D. Tutti from Baron Munchausen and an old school Max Headrome voice) than just your “standard” palindrome, the Sator Square reads the same backward, forward, in rows, and in columns, evinced by the above unfortunately irrevocable tat which can only be removed by expensive, skin-altering surgery, and below, in the defacement of a wall.
There are several translations of the playful-but-persistent square phrase, of which I will only reproduce the one I like best.
“The sower, Arepo, holds the wheels [of the world's machine] at work.”
Parantheses mine. I’m just suggesting the prospect of a wide definition from the standpoint of a popular metaphor, here, is all.
There is no “Arepo” of any note who sows or does anything else in the mythology of any proposed countries of origin for this meme, so it’s been assumed since time out of mind that Arepo, like the “she” of “she sells seashells by the seashore,” is referred to in the phrases of the square only for the purposes of making the wordgame pleasing and symmetrical.
edit: “It’s actually a tattoo on the lower left lumbar region of an Illustrated Woman.” Please do read the comment from Fafner for up-to-date fact-checks if you plan to re-blog. Accuracy is cool, good for the skin, and it brings good karma!*
*Karma sold separately — and use witch hazel to enhance good skin effects. But still!