One of the most ancient and common pictorial symbols is a star. You can find stars in thousands of different religious, political, military, and astrological symbols as well as corporate logos, signs, and flags.
Either by itself or as part of a whole design, stars of all kinds are used in tattoo design. Traditional meanings have been attached to different star styles which can be a consideration for you as you design and prepare for your tattoo.
A classic five-pointed star, also known as a pentagram, can symbolize status and achievement. Used for everything from Army Generals to school children who have done well on their homework, a star means you’ve accomplished something important. Additionally, it has been used as a symbol of health and vitality in Christianity, and on the official seal of the city of Jerusalem. Wiccans and neo-pagans use the pentagram as a symbol of their faith much like Christians do the cross. To them it represents the five elements of air, water, land, fire and spirit. It is also a symbol used by the followers of the Bahai faith, and when paired with a crescent moon, by the followers of Islam.
An inserted pentagram has long been associated with Satan and Evil. It is embraced by people who live according to the ‘dark side’ of life, and who violates an anti-establishment and anti-religious ethos.
The six-pointed star is often referred to as the Star of David, and has come to be a symbol of the Jewish faith and heritage. Jewish lore says that the symbol is actually based on the shield of the original King David. There is no evidence to support this claim, however it has been documented to have been in use by Jews as a symbol of their faith since the middle ages.
Stars can be used to symbolize magic or miracles. In the bible, Jesus coming was told by a star in the east. Many astrologer-ancient and modern-look to the stars and constellations for meaning. They are also found throughout the pre-Christian world referenced in magic from cultures as varied as the Celts, Native Americans, and Middle Eastern tribes.
Combining a star with other elements can create a whole new design concept. For example, a star by itself may seem like a symbol of achievement and success, but add a long tail and it becomes a shooting star, which is known to be both brilliant and short-lived. Use stars as part of a tattoo featuring your astrological sign, or as part of any number of flags from around the world that identify your ethnic heritage.
Whatever you choose, make sure you get suggestions from your artist about making your tattoo the perfect reflection of your personality.