Sak Yant tattoos are completed by a Ruesi, Ajarn, or by a Buddhist monk using a Khem Sak. Khem Sak’s are traditionally a long metal rod sharpened to a point, although in modern days a tattoo needle is fastened to the end to assist in application. This style of tattooing was originally from the Khmer. Sak Yant tattoos contain Yants which are created by designs of animals, geometrical, and deity designs outlined by a magical empowerment writing called script. (Typical empowerments include luck, love, protection, blessings, and good health.)


The script spells out syllables from Pali, the most common languages used is Khmer. The script used for yantra designs may contain a different language depending on the location, or home location of the person performing Sak Yant. For example, Lao, Shan, and Tai Lu.


The Sacred tattoo’s power requires the individual to maintain a positive lifestyle.  Make sure to ask your Ajarn which precepts are required for following to help ensure your Sak Yant retains its power. Generally, the five precepts are a great guideline not only for tattoos but in everyday life. Those five precepts are:


1)Not taking life.

2)Not stealing.

3)Abstain from sexual promiscuity.

4)Not telling lies or indulging in rumors.

5)Abstain from intoxicants.


Sak Yant may be applied in Red ink, Black ink, and even oil. Oil may be used in place of ink that way someone may receive the power of Sak Yant without retaining any ink in their skin that would be visible.

Sacred Yants may be applied in other ways than tattoos. Yants may be printed on cloth, etched in metal, or may take place in a sacred amulet. These objects are then placed in your home, stupa, or worn for your benefit. The same benefits still apply throughout different mediums. However, choosing the appropriate Yant is still important. It is also important to discuss these matters with your Sak Yant practitioner, to ensure what you are choosing is right for you.