Among all the existing tattoos, perhaps star tattoos are among the most popular, and also among the ones that possess most meaning. Although at the end of the day meaning to the tattoos is a personal thing, there’s also an interesting background behind each one.
The star and its multiple meanings
Meaning of stars
Stars are some of the symbols that have inspired humanity since its origins. If we go back to the times before civilization, stars possessed great meaning by being a guiding beacon in the night, and it was also considered protection during dangerous hours. Besides, stars used to possess a mythical meaning: inside them grand beings were preserved through constellations, which were common in different regions in the world.
The star as a religious symbol
The mythical symbol portrayed by a star transcended into the first pagan religions, where it would become a symbol that would live on forever. The best example is the star of David, also know as Hexagram, which is one of the main symbols of Judaism.
The star of David is not that common in tattooing, its meaning lying in the interaction that exists between the divine and the human beings.The six-point star star represents every labor day in the week and the center is the Sabbath, or day of rest.
Star tattoos with different kind of points
There exist other kind of stars with more or less points, the four-point star being the one used for navigation at sea (which we will talk about in order to carry out a chronological order of them). Along with the star of David, some other star symbols came up, some of them being:
The pentagram, aka five-point star. It’s a Semitic symbol that represents Jahve (the five-letter one). On some occasions it’s worn backwards in order to represent the goat head, a symbol associated with the devil. This, perhaps, is the second most common star seen in tattoos.
The Octagram, aka eight-point star. This star has its shine during ancient Egypt. It used to be enclosed within a circle and it symbolized fulfillment and regeneration, which means it’s a symbol full of life.
The star as a guide
Some time later, and thanks to astrological developments, stars went on to play an important role as travelers’ guides. Thanks to the study of stars travellers were able to travel safely, so then stars and constellations went on to become guiding symbols. Within these variants we can appreciate what it’s known to be as nautical star, which is represented by the North Star for sailors.
On many occasions, the nautical star is engraved inside compasses, which portray a guiding symbol during the night.
The star as a wish
Finally, another meaning that stars possess is that of wishes, especially when we talk about shooting stars. It’s origin is unknown. However this is, nowadays, one of the most transcendent meanings associated to stars. Shooting stars tattoos are more commonly associated to women, but a simple bare star can also represent wish or longing, the pursuit of a goal or an aim.
Bonus: The Russian star
Some days ago somebody was asking me whether star tattoos were only for women, and I told him: “not at all”. In fact the Russian mafia uses it pretty much, they put in on just below their shoulder or knees. This symbolizes “never kneel to anything or anybody”.