for tattooed people, and those who want to be

New year, new ink


Star with five points, outline

Image via Wikipedia

Let’s start off the new year by talking about tattoo designs.

Some designs have been around for a very long time.   I have one of them–stars.

No one knows when the five-pointed star symbol was first drawn, nor how our ancestors decided that it represented what they saw in the sky, but it’s a very ancient symbol.   Ancient people saw meaning in the stars, and the rising and setting of the stars throughout the year signaled changes in the seasons.   So it’s not surprising that the star Pentagram 1 on parchmentwas used for body art in ancient times, and continues to the present day, along with its variation, the pentagram.

The pentagram is also a religious symbol and its orientation changes according to religious beliefs.   (Some people think that any pentagram is a representative of Satanism, but not so.)Star of David, computer generated image - Png file, Attention only the maximum original size is in png format

The six-pointed Star of David is also used to represent religious beliefs.   This is also an ancient symbol and has deep symbolic meaning.

Then there are other variations such as the shooting star (or comet) and the nautical star, which has been popular for hundreds of years as a sailor’s tattoo.   The nautical star has variations such as the compass rose, and they share a similar pattern of alternating colors on each spoke of Draftthe star.   The nautical star also has symbolic meanings for some people.   It is commonly rendered in shades of red and black.

When I got my first tattoo, I chose a design of seven five-pointed stars.   The stars have personal meaning for me and I used them to symbolize something I felt deeply about.   I have never been able to articulate exactly what I meant by them for anyone else, though.   I originally wanted just the stars, but the artist suggested a “swoosh” of multicolored dots around them, and when he drew what he had in mind I could see that it was a much better idea.   So that became my very first ink.   The colors have faded a bit in the ten years since it was applied, so one of these days I’ll go back to the shop and have it retouched.   The meaning stays the same.   🙂

Do any of you have star tattoos?   Would you care to share a photo?   I don’t have a good picture of my stars, but this might serve as a reminder to get one.

Creative Commons License photo credit: corvidmagic

Creative Commons License photo credit: MAMJODH

Creative Commons License photo credit: Allmightymo

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Author: infmom

I got my first tattoo when I was 46. I hope the people who read this blog don't have to wait that long. I love talking about body art.


  1. Gifts (if you’re not just posting to get a link to your own site) the RSS registration is working fine. I’ve just checked it with two different browsers.

  2. I’m not sure if you have been told, but it really seems like the RSS registration hyperlink is not really working in the right way. I tried out simply clicking it before and it directed me to a 404. .. hope you appreciate the heads up!

  3. What a wonderful idea! That’s a perfect way to honor your children and have a beautiful design as well. I’m really interested in hearing how much the design of the star means to people.

  4. I’m partial to stars myself. 🙂 What I think is neat is that the receptionist at our veterinarians’ office has a star tattoo that looks a lot like mine. She is African American so her stars are just outlined rather than colored like mine, but it looks just as good.

  5. I am in the process of getting a tree done with three stars shining through the branches. Maybe you can’t really count them as stars, since they will just be sources of light (just like my kiddos they represent), and not an actual ‘star’ shape per se. But yes, my kids light up my life and I lift them up on my branches to the heavens.

    • What a wonderful idea! That’s a perfect way to honor your children and have a beautiful design as well. I’m really interested in hearing how much the design of the star means to people.

      Now I’m humming that old song “Three Stars Will Shine Tonight.” 🙂

  6. My first tattoo is a series of 4 five pointed stars (black outline only) down the top of my spine, symbolizing the 4 people in my immediate family. I have always been fascinated by stars and always knew that I would have a tattoo with stars incorporated somehow. Couldn’t much speak to why, just like the look and feel of them.

    • I think it’s interesting that stars so easily represent family members (I know other people who have done the same thing with stars). And yes, there is something about the star that really speaks to a lot of people. Maybe that is just our ancient connection to the universe coming out. 🙂

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