The Real Meaning Behind Helen Mirren's Tattoo

In case you missed it, Helen Mirren has a tattoo on her left hand. "I know, it's hard to believe, Dame Helen Mirren does have a tattoo," the British actress told graduates at Tulane University when she delivered their commencement speech in 2017. "I got my tattoo when only Hells Angels, sailors, and convicted felons got them," she continued (via CNBC). But what does Helen Mirren's tattoo actually mean? 

"I decided to get a tattoo because it was the most shocking thing I could think of doing," Mirren once told Good Morning America (via People). "Now I'm utterly disgusted and shocked because it's become completely mainstream, which is unacceptable to me." But despite the fact that tattoos have grown in popularity over the years, Mirren's tattoo is anything but mainstream.

Helen Mirren's tattoo symbolizes the idea of equal and opposite

Mirren's tattoo is a Mayan phrase: "in La'kesh." Explaining how she discovered it, she told the graduates at Tulane University, "When I was on my journey through young adulthood, in that glorious and confusing time that was the early 1970s, I looked in a lot of different places for answers — eastern, western and all over the place." And that's when she came across the Mayan phrase "in La'kesh." "In La'Kesh," she revealed, means: "You are my other self. We are one. I am another yourself." 

Speaking to the Independent Mirren further explained, "It represents a very beautiful idea which is basically 'equal and opposite,' that someone can be as different from you as you could possibly imagine, but have equal value to yourself, that's something I believe in life." In other words, we united as one.

But will Dame Helen Mirren ever get another tattoo? "It's a little bit addictive," she said on Today in 2019. "I think as I get older I'll get more tattoos," she admitted.