Back in 2004, after briefly falling in with Madonna and her Kabbalah clique, Britney Spears had the Hebrew letters, "mem," "hey," and "shin" tattooed on the nape of her neck. While some claim this combination of letters, "evokes the consciousness of healing," other reports say it’s "just gibberish."

Doesn’t matter much now, as recent photos appear to show that the mother of two has has done a bit of tattoo erasing.

BEFORE — SEPTEMBER, 2007:
<a><img src="https://farm3.static.flickr.com/2336/2331941428_82faeb6a58.jpg" width="345" height="500" alt="britney tattoo removal 130308" /></a>
(credit: WENN)

NOW — MARCH 5, 2008:
<a><img src="https://farm3.static.flickr.com/2272/2331941100_a1ab76561f.jpg" width="395" height="500" alt="britney tattoo removal 130308" /></a>
(credit: WENN)

According to one source, the pop princess recently spent $2,000 having the tattoo laser-removed. And friends are saying Brit had the tattoo removed to express the tailspin her life entered in the last year.

"When she got the tattoo, Britney was in control of her life and her career," one pal says. "The whole world can see she’s lost control, and the tattoo made her feel like a hypocrite."

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