Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Star Tattoo Symbolism

Star Symbolism

The star symbolizes honor, achievement, hope, divinity, intuition, the feminine and guidance.

For centuries, the symbol of the star has been used to reference  divinity, intuition, the feminine, hope and guidance.  Stars offer the ability to guide us through the night. They can also refer to your need to discover their own inner light.  Stars exists above us as well as within us. They encourage us to trust in something much greater than ourselves.
One of the most popular associations to the Star is its reference to our aspirations, dreams and hopes. They represent our ambitions and desires. They remind us that when things may appear to be out of our grasp, through diligence and faith we can travel beyond our current limitations. 

Fivepointed star :

without crossing lines is also one of the most common and important Western ideograms. It is used in the flags of some 35 countries, both Western and Eastern. Its first appearance on a national flag is believed to have been in 1777, when the United States of America declared itself an independent country. 
This star is also the most widely used military symbol and is found on the tanks and fighter jets of all the superpowers, as well as in the armed forces of all other countries on officers and petty officers' uniforms.  For nearly all armed forces on this planet the golden fivepointed star without crossing lines is the symbol par preference of military rank and power.

It is also the sign for the planet Venus as the Morning star and the goddess of war

Stars with wavy points are emblems of God's goodness, or some other eminence that elevated the first bearer above the common people. 

Stars, estoiles and mullets are often confused because of their similarity, which is not helped by the fact that no definite lines have ever officially been followed regarding their specific differences. 

In England
Estoliles: stars with wavy rays are called estoiles
            An estoile can have any number so one must be provided 

Mullets: when "stars" have straight lines they are called mullets.
           A mullet has five points unless another number is specified, which it often is.

So technically there is no such thing as a star in English symbolism. 

In Scotland 
The distinction between a mullet and a star is that a mullet is pierced, which actually makes it a spur-revel, and a star is whole. 

In France
The definition of a mullet is different yet again; this time, it has no less than six points.

A star depicted on a coat of arms, in some cases, may represent a falling star and denote a divine quality bestowed from above, whereby men shine in virtue like bright stars on the earth.


Six-pointed star formations are rare as an ideograph in Western cultures except in the case of law enforcement badges. 

In astrology some formations of a six-pointed star can signify fixed stars. In some rare instances it can signify the date of birth on a gravestone, synonymous with the five-point star.

If the collinear edges of a regular six-pointed star are connected, so that two interlaced triangles are formed, a symbol results that is variously known as the hexagram, Star of David, or Shield of David (Magen David). This symbol is most commonly associated with Judaism; it is also used in Christianity and Islam and Hinduism, but on a less frequent basis. The six-points represent all twelve patriarchs (Vav or Man) or tribes. The two "Triangles" are actually the letters "Dalet" and "Yud", the two letters assigned to Judah. The two triangles form a diamond, which is the gem assigned to Judah. These letters are found in the assigned zodiac of Leo.

Several varieties of six-pointed stars are used in Western culture:
  • The Star of Life, which is a six-armed cross
  • German and German-American hex signs and barn stars often incorporate both five- and six-pointed stars as central themes.
  • The six-pointed star is used as the symbol for Folks Nation alliance of gangs from Chicago. Crip gang members tend to use this symbol also.

When surrounded by a circle, it represents the "divine mind" (a counterfeit of God's wisdom) to numerous occult groups through the centuries. Many still use it in occult rituals. But to Jewish people, it is their Star of David. 

Nautical Star 

In the five-pointed star, a line is drawn from each point to split it into half and each section is filled with an alternating color. The colors used for the nautical stars are either red and black, or green and black. The sailors would usually get two nautical stars tattooed. The port side, which is the left side of the ship is represented by the red and black nautical star tattoo, while the green and black star tattoo is used to represent the starboard side or right side. Those who served the port side of the ship had the red star while green star was for those who served the starboard side of the ship.

Sailors donning a red and black nautical star was linked to their pride as it meant that the sailor had traveled across the Pacific ocean at least thrice. That was a great achievement in itself. Some of them got a red and black nautical star tattoo as the compass at the bottom of most of the sea maps was colored red and black. Since sailors completely relied on celestial navigation in those days, the North Star being a fixed reference point was a great aid. These nautical star tattoos were also symbolic of hope. They got these tattoos to ensure safe passage. Since the sailors were staying away from their loved ones, they hoped to reach back home safely to reunite with their dear ones. Their beliefs about the nautical star stemmed from their dependence on the celestial navigation to get back home.

The nautical star tattoos were earlier a symbol of hope and guidance for sailors. A nautical star was a symbol of hope and good luck. It may give one strength to succeed in life. 

Nautical star tattoos have also been linked with the gay or lesbian movement and punk rockers.

Shooting Star

symbolizes a brief fleeting moment in ones life just like the brief wonder of seeing a shooting star race across the night sky. 

They can also be a symbol of reaching ones ultimate destiny.
Traditionally shooting stars also meant a new birth and changes in ones life and also a wish for a better life.

Celtic and Irish Cross Tattoo Symbolism

Celtic Cross and Irish Cross Symbolism

Symbolism of the Celtic Cross

The Celtic Cross was a symbol of the four quarters
North, which represents wisdom, stability, and winter
East, for knowledge, learning, and spring
South for vitality, passion, strength, and summer
West, representing intuition, emotion, and inner knowledge
The circle connecting the four arms of the Celtic cross symbolizes the unity and the eternal cycle of life and rebirth.

Also it's four arms were perfect for denoting
The four elements
The four directions of the compass
The four parts of man - mind, body, soul and heart. 
The addition of the ring around the cross has many explanations, including sun worship

The Celtic Cross had it's evolution in the British Isles, with it's earliest form dating to approximately the ninth century and appearing mostly in Ireland. This early version is called a recumbent cross-slab, and they lied flat rather than standing upright. Eventually these made their way into an upright position (now called erect cross-slabs), and acquired a slightly rounded top. Both versions were often decorated with key patterns, interlaced knotwork, and spirals

The celtic cross then underwent another change. Extraneous rock was carved away from the head of the slab, leaving the rock with the outlined shape of a tall cross, usually on a wider base. Because the cross form was in effect "freed" from the rock now, these types of crosses were commonly called erect free-standing crosses. From these, the arms of the cross eventually became extended beyond the ring of the cross, and the inner quadrants between the rings and the arms were cut away or recessed from the rest of the cross design. The free-standing crosses were elaborately made, and often composed of several pieces of stone. A large cross could have been made of up to four pieces of stone (the base, the shaft, the head, and the upper cross arm), held together by mortise and tenon joints carved into the stone. 

An Irish legend tells how St. Patrick created the first Celtic cross by drawing a circle over a Latin cross to incorporate a pagan moon goddess symbol. 

For an Irish Catholic, the circle in the Celtic cross may be a symbol of eternity and the endlessness of God's love. It can even represent a halo emanating from Christ.

The celtic cross and Irish cross shape itself has been widely used by many ancient peoples, long before the arrival of Christianity. 

Irish Claddagh Tattoo Symbolism

The Hand Signifies Friendship, the Crown Loyalty, And the Heart Love.

The Claddagh's distinctive design features two hands clasping a heart, and usually surmounted by a crown. The elements of this symbol are often said to correspond to the qualities of love (the heart), friendship (the hands), and loyalty (the crown). A "Fenian" Claddagh ring, without a crown, was later designed in Dublin. Claddagh rings, with or without the crown (most commonly with a crown), have come to denote pride in Irish heritage, while continuing to be symbols of love or marriage.

The Irish Claddagh consists of two hands holding between them, or presenting, a heart.  Over the heart is a design representing a crown or fleur de lis.  The phrase or posy, that usually accompanies the ring is: "Let love and friendship reign."

The original expression which accompanied the passage of the "Claddagh" was:  "With these hands I give you my heart and I crown it with my love."

There is an old tradition in Ireland that goes with wearing a Claddagh ring.   If you wear your Claddagh ring with the heart facing outwards it means that your heart is available.  If you were the Claddagh Ring with the heart facing inwards it means that your heart has already been taken by someone.

Also it is said that a  Dublin version of Claddagh Rings appeared about 100 years ago with two Hearts and two hands and No Crown. This is the Fenian Claddagh 
It is growing in popularity because of its unique design, its peculiar history, its sentimental appeal and its close association with the ancient Claddagh of Galway.

The Claddagh symbol is commonly used as friendship symbol, but are most commonly used to represent engagement/weddings. 
In Ireland, America and other places, the Claddagh is handed down mother-to-daughter or grandmother-to-granddaughter. 


Engagement ... by placing the tattoo on the left side your body wtih the heart pointing outwards indicates you are spoken for

Wedding (married)...represented by placing the tattoo on the left side of your body wtih the heart pointing inwards towards your heart

Friendship... by placing  the tattoo anywhere on your right hand side.