Nautical star tattoos have a debatable history and meaning and are believed to be at least a century old. It is said that when there were no modern navigation systems for sailors out at sea, they relied on the stars. The sailors of the northern sea sailed with the help of the North Star and other constellations of the northern skies. Whereas sailors in the southern sea sailed using the guiding light of the southern stars and the Southern Cross. They got themselves tattooed with various star symbols, hoping that the tattoos will prove lucky and take them home safely.
The modern-day version of the nautical star symbol is quite different. These tattoos are very popular among marines and punks. The soldiers believed that these tattoos would guide them home, just like the sailors. The punk rockers trace their history of this tattoo to the time of 'Sailor Jerry'. He was the most famous tattoo artist in his time. Sailor Jerry was known for his nautical star work that were innovative. The punks interpret the meanings of these tattoos as finding one's way in life.
Nautical Star Tattoo Ideas
There are many ideas that are incorporated by tattoo lovers. Each design has a specific meaning. Let us look at some of these ideas.
This is one of the oldest symbols that has its roots in many religious beliefs and traditions. In ancient times, men would gaze at the stars and explain various religious mythologies or give predictions of the future. These tattoos are a symbol of power. There are many others that are not connected to any religious traditions.
The design usually consists of a trail of smaller stars that look delicate and pretty. This design means 'short-lived success', 'good luck', or 'wishes coming true'.
These are 5-pointer stars; each pointer is split in half and filled with alternative coloring that is usually inked with black and white or black and red ink. This creates a 3D image. Sailors and soldiers wore them as celestial guides. For others, they are believed to be the 'light in the darkness'. In Ireland, this is an old Pagan symbol that means good health, and is displayed in certain hospitals.
Star of David
It is a Jewish symbol that has a 6-pointer star symbolizing the rule of God over the universe. It also symbolizes the protection of God in all directions; the North, South, East, and West.
This design has a combination of the moon and stars that represent the sky. It has a fairytale look that is stylized. They are usually incorporated in tribal designs and do not have any deep symbolic meaning.
This 5-pointed star is another religious symbol. It has been used by many religions and cultures throughout the world and has been interpreted differently each time.
- The pentagram is said to be a symbol of protection against evil.
- It is also a symbol of femininity. In astronomy, the path followed by Venus around the sun looks like a pentagram.
- It stands for the five elements: light, air, water, wind, fire, and earth.
- The pentagram is a symbol of mathematical perfection, as believed by the Pythagorean cult.
- In Christianity, the pentagram means the 5 senses and is a symbol of health. Its deeper meaning symbolizes the 5 wounds of Jesus Christ.
- In black magic, a reversed pentagram inside a double circle stands for Satanism. There is a goat head in the pentagram and each point of the star has a Hebrew letter that forms the word LVTN or Leviathan. The Leviathan is a mythological sea monster from the Old Testament.
- In the case of Wicca or white magic, the religion based on nature, the pentagram is a symbol of faith.
Also called a septagram, the seven-pointed star is a symbol of the mystical side of an individual. It is often related to the Hindu version of the symbol when paired with the seven chakras. It has a significant importance related to luck and fortune.
The octogram represents a sense of fullness in oneself. This eight-pointed star has its roots with both the Pagans as well as the Egyptians. It is also popular among American firefighters.
The nanogram or nine-pointed star is a symbol of stability and the achievements in one's life. According to Norse mythology, it represents the nine worlds.