Star Tattoo Symbolism

Star symbols have appeared in various guides and contexts for thousands of years, each bringing different cultural, social and religious meanings to the people involved. They have come to symbolize high ambitions, dreams, ideals and even life itself. In fact, the greatest star of all, the sun is vital for our continued survival.

Star designs mean a multitude of different things to different people, but perhaps the most meaningful way to personalize the meaning of stars depends on the number of points depicted by the design.

4 Points

The four pointed star, either shown as a plus sign type cross with or without the ends sharpened, has close connections with the various Native American tribes and therefore has come to symbolize native american pride.

5 Points

The five pointed star is the most popular design by a substantial margin. If I asked you to think about a star, I bet you'd think of a five pointed design. But the five pointed star takes on many different meanings for different people.

First, there is the filled in pentagram. This solid five pointed star, like the type used on the American flag, is the most popular variety. It can form part of a tattoo design of almost any size and can appear on any part of the body. 

Second, there is the outline of a five pointed star known as a pentacle. This is the most popular design used to symbolize witchcraft. This pagan symbol represents their quest for divine knowledge and the secrets of life. Each points of the star represents one of the five elements; air, water, earth, fire and spirit.

Third, there is the upside down pentacle which represents the darker side of imagery. This reversed pentacle is generally associated with the satanic or dark interpretation of ritualism. If you want to avoid this possible symbolic meaning, it's wise to choose the traditional pentacle star tattoo design.

6 Points

The six pointed star, or hexagram, is a triangle overlaid by another upside down triangle, and has existed since the early bronze period (3000 BC). Initially it was used as a magical symbol, but subsequently two further meanings have developed. The more obscure meaning relates to an ancient pagan god known as the Star of Remphan.

More commonly, the six pointed star represents the Star or Shield of David. After the arrival of Christianity, the symbol became popular among Jews and was adopted as the official seal of the Jewish community at the end of the 17th century. The six points represent balance and beauty.

7 Points

The seven pointed star, or septagram also has a variety of different meanings, each of which creates a vast array of tattoo design opportunities. As an added bonus, the septacle is not as popular as the other star designs so it could be a good option if you want your design to be totally unique.

First, it's the basic of the geometry of Le Basilique de Saint Quentin which represents the perfected man. The design is placed inside a square which represents the finite. Additionally, two circles appear in the center of the star, which are used to signify the sun and the role it plays in the center of the universe.

Second, it is known at the fairy star and is associated with elves and fairies. It represents magic and the spiritual realm and as such is seen as a symbol of magic and childhood to many people.

Third, it is often the star worn by many sheriffs and law enforcement officers.

Finally, seven has long been considered a lucky or magical number. Lucky sevens, the seven wonders of the world, seven colors of the rainbow, seven notes in the musical scale etc.

8 Points

The eight pointed star or Octogram has a number of meanings. In modern times, it is the icon of the National and Auxiliary Fire Service, and for this reason is popular with firefighters across America.

It is also the symbol of the cross of Saint John. 

In pagan terms it represents completeness and the regenerative cycle.

Finally, it was the emblem of the Knights of Malta and was popular during the Crusades. The eight points are said to represent the eight virtues of being a knight; Tact, Perseverance, Gallantry, Loyalty, Dexterity, Explicitness, Observation and Sympathy.

9 Points

The nine pointed star represents a connection as it is the symbol that unites the nine worlds in norse mythology. To many people it also represents completeness as it's the largest single digit number.