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Star tattoos are very popular tattoo designs for women as well as men. They are popular as a first tattoo because star tattoos are usually small in design and they don't have to be very complicated, a simple black star tattoo can be very striking. Read on and be inspired by our star tattoo ideas.
There are many variations of star tattoos and many people claim that these images have a powerful symbolic or metaphysical meaning.
In fact, the star is one of the oldest symbols and a significant image in many religions and belief systems. Stars have always been awe inspiring, even today, when we have science to help us understand what they are. Before modern times, humans looked up at the sky and tried to explain that magnificent view with the help of mythology and religion. That's why stars and star tattoos became such a powerful symbol.
Stars are universal symbols, not tied to a specific religion or culture, and can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people.
Shooting Star Tattoos
Shooting star tattoos are a very popular image, being versatile and pretty. They are suggestive of wishes coming true.
A shooting star tattoo can incorporate a ‘trail’ of smaller stars, which is very pretty and delicate – a great way for a tattoo to cover a slightly larger area but still remain subtle.
Shooting star tattoos are also a symbol for (short-lived) success and good luck.
Nautical Star Tattoos
The nautical star tattoo is the most masculine design amongst star tattoos. Nautical star tattoos are considered old school. In the early days of tattooing, they used to be popular amongst sailors, who had them for guidance and protection. Sailor Jerry is a famous tattoo artist from those days.
The nautical star is a 5-pointed star, the points are split in half and filled with an alternating colour (usually black-red or black-white), creating a 3d illusion.
Sailors used stars and the North Star (aka Polaris) for navigation, so it's not hard to see why so many of them have star tattoos. They function as a guide to get them back home safely. Soldiers have them for the same reason. Swallow tattoos also have a similar kind of nautical history.
Also today, people have star tattoos for similar reasons, you can rely on them when you are lost in your life, they are a light in the darkness.
In Ireland the nautical star is a symbol for good health, it's an old Pagan symbol you can find in certain Irish hospitals.
The nautical star tattoo has a special meaning in the gay and lesbian community. Some gay and lesbian people have a nautical star tattooed on their wrist as a sign of their disposition. The wrist is a place that can easily be covered by wearing a watch or a bracelet. Curiously, many celebrities have a star tattoo on their wrist (see further).
The nautical star is also a popular punk rock tattoo design.
The Star of David Tattoo
Some star tattoos also have a religious meaning, like a Star of David tattoo.
The Star of David, a Jewish symbol, is a 6-pointed star and symbolizes the rule of god over the universe and his protection from all directions: North, South, East, West, Up and Down.
Interestingly, though the Jewish faith prohibits tattooing, a Star of David tattoo is not uncommon
Moon Star Tattoos
Moon star tattoos are just what they sound like – they combine a moon and star image, the standard representation of the night sky.
Some of these have a slightly fairy tale look, like an image from a child’s picture book. Others are more stylized.These and other star tattoos can be incorporated into a tribal-style tattoo design. In fact, sometimes a star shape is open to interpretation – more of a stylized star shaped tattoo design. Moon star tattoos don't have the deep symbolic meaning the other star tattoos have, but they can be very beautiful designs.
The Pentagram Tattoo
Another star tattoo design with a religious or spiritual meaning is the pentagram tattoo.
The pentagram (aka pentangle), a five pointed star, has been used as a symbol by many religions and cultures throughout history, it's one of the oldest symbols in the world.
Here's an overview of the different symbolic meanings of the pentagram:
- The pentagram is a symbol of protection against evil.
- Astronomy: the pentagram is a symbol of femininity. During its path around the sun, the planet Venus follows a pattern that resembles a pentagram.
- 5 elements: the pentagram is the symbol for the 5 elements: light, air, wind, fire and water.
- Ancient Egypt: on ancient Egyptian graves, the pentagram is a symbol for the celestial sky.
- Pythagoras: for Pythagoreans, the pentagram is a symbol for mathematical perfection.
- Christianity: the pentagram symbolizes the 5 senses and is a symbol of health. In the Middle Ages it was the symbol for the 5 cross wounds of Jesus Christ.
- Satanism (black magic): they use a reversed pentagram inside a double circle. Inside the pentagram is the head of a goat. Each point has a Hebrew letter, forming the word LVYTN (Leviathan, a mythological sea monster from the Old Testament).
- Wicca (white magic): a religion based on nature. The pentagram is a symbol of faith for Wiccans. Pentagram tattoos are a fairly popular goth tattoo.
In any case, suffice it to say that star tattoos can sometimes transcend the purely decorative and take on a more metaphysical or symbolic meaning.
The 56 Star Girl
An 18 year old Belgian girl called Kimberley became world famous in a couple of days because of her tattoo story, that goes like this:
Kimberley went to a local tattoo artist because she wants 3 coloured dots tattooed on her face. The tattoo artist convinces her to have 3 stars instead of dots. What follows is a bit unclear, but she claims she fell asleep or passed out... Anyway, when she wakes up she discovers she has 56 stars on the left side of her face!
Very strange story... Why would a tattoo artist do such thing anyway and how can you fall asleep while having a tattoo? Some people say the whole story is a hoax orchestrated by a local radio station...
Update: Kimberley confessed "off camera" that she didn't fall asleep and that she made up the whole story because she was afraid of her father's reaction. She wanted the stars tattoo and actually liked it in the beginning. She is now having the tattoo removed (laser removal), a process that will take about 2 years, but should bring her face in the original condition. She says she wants to keep the stars above her eyes...
Celebrities & Star Tattoos
Here's a list of celebrities with a star tattoo:
- Britney Spears: has a small star tattoo on her right hand.
- George Clooney: has a temporary star tattoo on his chest in the movie From Dusk Till Dawn
- Aaliyah: this late R&B star had a star tattoo on her hand.
- Drew Barrymore: famous actress with a moon star tattoo on her right foot.
- Tokio Hotel: Bill Kaulitz, singer of the band Tokio Hotel, has a star tattoo on his abdomen and his band's logo on his neck.
- Rihanna: has a small star tattoo on her left ear and a shower of stars in her neck. She also has a Sanskrit prayer tattoo on her stomach.
- Victoria Beckham: a Spice Girl with 5 stars on her lower back, depicting her family members.
- Bjork: has a small star tattoo behind her right ear.
- Boy George: 80s singer with a Star of David tattoo.
- Gisele Bundchen: super model with a star tattoo on the inside of her left wrist and a moon star tattoo on her right ankle.
- Aaron Carter: singer with a nautical star tattoo on his right arm.
- Gerry Halliwell: another Spice Girl with a star tattoo (on her back).
- Kate Hudson: Kate has a small star tattoo on her left foot.
- Norah Jones: famous jazz singer with a star on her lower back.
- Anna Kournikova: tennis player with a stars tattoo on her lower back.
- Avril Lavigne: punk-pop singer with a small star tattoo on her left wrist.
- Lindsay Lohan:actress with a small star on her left wrist.
- Eva Longoria: another actress with a star tattoo on her left wrist.
- Kelly Osbourne: reality tv actress and singer with a small star tattoo on her neck.
- Pink: she has a shooting star tattoo on her left shoulder and a red star on her hand.
- Ashlee Simpson: another celebrity with a star tattoo on her left wrist.
- Joss Stone: has a shooting star tattoo under her right ankle.
- Tila Tequila: has a star on her both hands.
- Bruce Willis: has 3 stars on his left shoulder.
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