Here is my humble opinion, being that I am a heavily tattooed OO Christian myself:
From a biblical standpoint, I think that the Levitical verse is prohibitive because of the association of tattoos with paganism. Therefore it is a matter of grace and conscience, and this should not be taken lightly. There are consequences to our decisions, and what may not condemn us to hell may still cause us much unintended hardship while on earth. For example, as Christians we are not forbidden by divine Law from eating meat. And yet, the indulgence of meat-eating - especially beef and pork - can have severe physical ramifications. I have often told people, "Eating meat won't send you to hell, but it might send you to heaven a lot quicker!"
I got my first tattoo when I was 23 years old and a Protestant Christian. The tattoo was a simple cross on my left bicep. Over the years I have become pretty heavily "tatted up," and all of my tattoos have some Christian and spiritual significance for me. I also associate each tattoo with a certain period in my life, and I am reminded of what I was going through at that particular time.
But if I am truly honest with myself, my tattoos are the result of vanity more than anything else. I like the way they look, and I like the image they portray. I try to rationalize it by telling myself that Christians should be "cooler" than the pagans, and that my tattoos often lead to spiritual conversations- which they often do. But I'm afraid that vanity is too much of the motivation. And vanity is certainly a sin I do believe.
The true Rastafarian culture rejects tattooing, based upon Levitical law and upon the desire to live as naturally as possible. Since I already had tattoos before I embraced the Rastafarian lifestyle, I just added some Rasta tattoos such as the star of David, a nice portrait of Bob Marley, an Ankh, and various other tattoos.
When I was babptized into the EOTC, my Priest suggested (not commanded) that I get my Ankh changed into a Cross, which I did. I also recently got a small Cross tattooed on my right hand in the Ethiopian tradition.
I am 40 years old, and if I could magically have my tattoos removed then I would have them all disappear except for the Cross on my hand. And yet - that being said - I'm still glad that I have my tattoos! I like them. And I know that sounds paradoxical.
I have shared this personal information in the hope that it will benefit my Christian brethren who may be considering a tattoo. My advice is that you consult your Priest and follow his counsel. I really thnk that at the core of the tattoo issue is the sin of vanity. And yet we all adorn ourselves and look in the mirror in order to present ourselves in the manner in which we would best like to be seen by others. Conformity and societal standards are very subjective, and therefore we must tread cautiously before judging one another on these matters.
I have often thought that I would like to look like Father Seraphim Rose, with no tattoos and a long dreadlocked beard. But even in desiring to look like that I am being vain. I can become more concerned about looking holy than being holy.
So, I am a tattooed Orthodox Christian who is struggles with vanity- and this is probably the least of my sins. I hope that those of you who read this will not judge me too harshly, and I hope that those who are considering getting a tattoo will prayerfully consider this action. A good rule to follow is this: When in doubt, don't shoot! In other words, if you are hesitant then don't do it.
Finally I will say this: If you do decide to get tattooed, then get tattooed on an inconspicuous part of your body first. Also, take the time to find a really good tattoo artist. There are some really bad ones out there!
I can't make the decision for you, I can only offer you these words from my own experience. I hope that I have been helpful in some way.