Star Tattoo Meanings, Ideas, and Pictures
There are several reasons and meanings behind star tattoos. Sometimes they symbolize one's hope of becoming a star or one's goals and determination to reach for the stars. There are also certain types of star tattoo designs that have specific meanings attached to them. Think through the symbolism and the design with your tattoo artist. Usually, they can take your idea and turn it into something even better.
Common Meanings Associated With Star Tattoos
- Finding one's way
- A desire to achieve high goals
- Success or accomplishment
- A bright and shining point in your life
- An interest in astronomy
- A challenge to conquer
- Religious faith (see below)
- You are a fisherman or sailor
- The Navy Seal or Coast Guard
- Individuality or uniqueness
- The birth of a child
Of course, like with any other tattoo, stars don't have to have a particular meaning—they can just be a pretty design.
Photos of Star TattoosClick thumbnail to view full-size
Star Tattoo Ideas and Meanings
There are a myriad of star tattoo designs and each carry their own symbolism.
- Shooting Star: A shooting star is often associated with a special moment in one's life that left a lasting impression, whether that be a short romance, a special event, a person, a job, or anything else that may have changed one's life. Shooting stars are also associated with being a dreamer or with someone who loves making wishes. You can depict the shooting star in several ways. If you get a comet, the design will have one star with a flaming tail. The most popular shooting star design is the one with multiple stars. These have a trail of several small stars that stretch across an area of skin. Sometimes they are all one color, but some people prefer to have each star be a different color.
- Nautical Star: Before modern navigation, sailors navigated by using the stars—usually the North Star. These sailors often got tattoos of nautical stars or "compass stars" for superstitious reasons, hoping that the star would help guide their way through the night and get them home safely. It is now a symbol of protection, guidance, and good luck. Some see nautical stars as a symbolic reminder for creating one's own path or navigating through a certain point in one's life. The nautical star tattoo has also become popular among Navy Seal and Coast Guard members. The red and black nautical star design represents the alternating colors on the compass rose found on nautical charts. This is sometimes called a glitter trail.
- Three-Star Tattoo: If the stars are aligned in a sequence with each star being bigger than the last, then this tattoo represents a journey that was taken. An actor or actress might get this tattoo to mark the journey they took from being a small-town actor to becoming an A-list move star.
- Multiple Stars: A string of tiny stars is a very popular design to get, especially for women because it looks pretty. Most people will add a star to the design every time they achieve something so that every star becomes a symbol of accomplishment.
- Pentagram: This five-pointed star carries two meanings, depending on whether the pentagram points up or down. A downward-facing one is thought to mimic a ram's head and is often seen as the sign of the Devil. An upward-pointing pentagram is a symbol of protection and balance. In Wicca, its five points represent the four elements (water, fire, air, and earth) with the fifth and top point representing the Spirit, who presides over the other elements. The pentagram was also adopted as a Christian symbol in early Christianity and the five points represent Christ's five wounds incurred during his crucifixion.
- Hexagram or the Star of David: Also known as the "Shield of David," this is a strong symbol of Judaism. The six-pointed star symbolizes the interaction of the Divine with humans. When referred to as the "Creator's Star," the six points each represent a day of the week and the center corresponds with the Sabbath.
- Septagram: This seven-pointed star symbolizes integration and mystique. It can represent the seven planets, seven-fold systems(such as the Hindu chakras), or the seven days of creation in Christianity.
- Octogram: This eigh-pointed star symbolizes fullness and regeneration. It is often associated with eight-fold systems, such as trigrams, the pagan wheel of the year, and the Ogdoad of ancient Egypt.
- Nonogram: This nine-pointed star symbolizes achievement and stability. Often, the nine-pointed star is paired with nine-fold systems, such as the nine Taoist kanji.
- Light and Hope: The star is also a symbol of hope as stars are little specks of light that appear in a dark world.
- Show Biz: This one is tacky, but some celebrities wear star tattoos to symbolize their status as "stars" of the entertainment world.
- Tribal Star Tattoos: If you are a member of a Polynesian tribe, you can combine one of the star tattoo meanings above with a design that represents your heritage. These are done in all black.
- Filipino Flag Star: Anyone of Filipino descent could be interested in getting an 8-pointed gold sun with three five-pointed gold stars as portrayed on the flag of the Philippines.
- Celtic Star Tattoo: This is a great amalgamation of Celtic pride and the star. A really cool design is a tattoo of a star that morphs into a Celtic knot.
- Butterfly and Star: Butterflies symbolize rebirth and stars are symbolic of reaching towards a goal. Together, the design could represent a time in your life when you turned yourself around and worked towards a notable achievement.
- Star and Clouds: Stars among a cloudy sky represents hope during a gloomy and bleak period of your life. This tattoo could be an important reminder that there is always light, even on a dark night.
- Sun and Moon: These two symbols are popular pairings with the star. Some people also like to add planets.
- Flower and Star: Stars are symbolic of achievement and a blossoming flowers represents promise and fruitfulness. Together, this design could symbolize your personal growth.
- Fairy: Fairies are associated with the mystical and with wishes. They also represent childlike innocence and wonder.
- Skull and Star: This represents conquering death, or it is just a really cool design idea for someone who likes skulls.
- Stars and Music Notes: A great tattoo idea for a musician striving for stardom.
- Fire: Flaming star tattoos are a strong symbol of one's desire to burn through anything to achieve one's goals. This design represents endurance, bravery, and transformation.
- Star of Life Tattoo: Worn by doctors and those in the medical profession. It is usually blue and has the Rod of Asclepius.
- Under Eye Star Tattoo: Kat Von D made this design popular. We are unsure of its meaning or if there is even a meaning attached to it. She may have chosen the design and location simply for aesthetics. With or without meaning, it looks fantastic!
- Russian Thieves' Star Tattoo (Vor V Zakone): The "thief's star" or "thieve's star" is worn by Russian gang members, criminals, and prisoners. The term vor v zakone means "thief by law," and it is a term granted to elite members of organized crime. It carries several meanings depending on the location. If worn on the chest or shoulder, it means that the criminal has high authority. If the stars are worn on the knee, they imply that this gang member will not kneel for anyone.
Common Star Tattoo Body Placements and Their Meanings
This a list of the most common locations to get a star tattoo for both women and men and what these tattoo placements mean. Of course, these locations are not attached to any one gender, but they are just generally more popular with one gender than they are with the other.
- Ankle: You are demure with a wild streak.
- Lower back: It can be a symbol of sexuality. Getting something on your back also represents putting that past behind you.
- Hips: You are sensual, seductive, and secretive.
- Shoulder: A place of prominence for important reminders.
- Wrist: Getting a star tattoo on your inner wrist represents an achievement that is special and dear to you. It can also be a daily positive affirmation because you look at your wrists every day. Whether you get it on your left wrist or your right wrist will depend on which hand is your dominant hand. If the tattoo is going to serve as a reminder, then consider getting it on the wrist you use the most.
- Clavicle: You want to make a statement and you're not afraid to speak your mind.
- Chest or Under the Breast: Due to its proximity near the heart, a chest or breast tattoo could symbolize love and affection, or something that is very near and dear to you.
- Finger: If you get a tattoo on the ring finger, it represents your commitment or loyalty to something. The middle finger is also a popular place for a sacred tattoo because there is a vein located in this finger that leads straight to the heart. Getting a star on your finger could represent your devotion to a goal.
- Neck: You are a risk-taker or a daredevil. You make bold choices, and you're not afraid to be a little crazy.
- Forearm: Strength and hard work.
- Ribs: Getting a tat on the left side is strongly symbolic of something you love because it is on the same side the heart is on.
- Behind Ear: It is now a fad for girls to get two or three stars behind their ear. Usually, it carries no meaning, but it could represent listening to yourself and following your own path.
- Foot: The nautical star is the most popular design for this location because it represents following the north star. A foot star tattoo could also represent following a path that takes you home or to an important destination.
- Upper arm: Strength, endurance, and boldness.
- Forearm: Strength and hard work.
- Back Shoulders: Traditionally, shoulders are thought to be the location where wings are located. Getting a tattoo on your shoulder symbolizes your desire to fly high or soar above a challenge.
- Wrist: (See above.)
- Finger: If you get a tattoo on the ring finger, it represents your commitment or loyalty to something. The middle finger is also a popular place for a sacred tattoo because there is a vein located in this finger that leads straight to the heart.
- Elbow: This location is popular among gang members or people doing time in prison. It is also a prominent location, so it is a great place to get a tattoo that you don't want anyone to miss.
Star Tattoo Colors and Their Meanings
- Pink: Getting a pink star tattoo is symbolic of one's battle with breast cancer and one's triumph over the illness.
- Purple: Purple represents balance—it contains the fierceness of red and the calmness of blue. A purple star could symbolize achieving some sort of balance.
- Gold: A gold star represents success.
- Red: Red represents intense passion, so a red star symbolizes passion for achievement or passion for find one's way towards something.
- Green: Combined with the star symbol, this tattoo represents luck during one's journey towards a goal.
- Blue: This represents the ocean or peace. A blue star could mean finding peace or being guided towards peace.
- Rainbow: Gay pride.
- Black: A simple black star tattoo could stand for a very strong message while also being modest and elegant.
A young Belgian women named Kimberley Vlaminck got a face tattoo of 56 stars at the age of 19. She regretted her decision just a few years later and spent $13,600 to have them removed.
Celebrities With Star Tattoos
- Aaron Carter
- Bruce Willis
- Britney Spears
- Kelly Osbourne
- Megan Fox
- Lindsay Lohan
- Bill Kaulitz of Tokio Hotel
- Ashlee Simpson
- Eva Longoria
- Gisele Bundchen
- Victoria Beckham
- Joss Stone
- Boy George
- Avril Lavigne
- Gerry Halliwell
- Kate Hudson
- Norah Jones
- Anna Kournikova
- Tila Tequila
© 2008 jaymz