One of the most widely requested images used in body art in recent years – particularly among female tattoo enthusiasts – is the beautiful and symbolic shining star. To some this is simply a pretty body art design chosen for its popularity and aesthetic value however to many it is also a symbol of hope to remind us there is always a light shining somewhere in the darkness, that will lead us through times of adversity and troubles. This particular celestial body is also associated with truth and the spirit so it is widely regarded as a symbol of divinity that ignites us from within. In most cultures, stars are viewed overall as an inspirational and positive force that symbolize good fortune however in Ireland this symbol is also deemed to bring good health. As this particular image is so popular with many it can be difficult to find a design that is unique even with the selection available of differing styles such as shooting stars, star clusters, the historic nautical star as well as multiple variations of the single star. However, there are certain versions that are sure to help you stand out from the crowd, that offers a more contemporary take on a very traditional idea and these are tribal star tattoos. While these may seem less feminine than some of the more widely requested designs of this kind, these certainly make up for that in impact and can look very impressive when inked on both male and female body parts.
Before we take a look at this form of tribal artwork in more detail let us first take a look at the different types of stars that can be depicted in these designs as well as the symbolism behind them. The pentagram, which consists of a five pointed star enclosed in a circle, is a popular choice for use in tribal star tattoos as it represents the elements and is viewed as a symbol of protection and balance. Ancient tribal civilizations revered the natural world around them as well as encompassing deep-set beliefs in the afterlife so this particular star with its four points representing Earth, Air, Fire and Water and the fifth the Spirit. This sacred symbol was significant to both Pagan and Christian religious groups and was also used as a talisman against evil and offers offering connotations of balance and protection. This makes it a perfect choice as an authentic image that is ideal for using in tribal body art designs both visually and symbolically.
The septagram and octogram – stars with seven and eight points respectively – are also simplistic designs that can be successfully transformed into tribal star tattoos and these are also associated with the spiritual and mystical. The latter can be combined with an eight fold trigram which originates from the Celtic tribal design for the Pagan Wheel. This represented the Celts calendar cycle and when used in this manner is considered a symbol for rebirth and regeneration that also served as a reminder of the infinite cycle of life. When used in tribal tattoos these designs also signify fulfillment and harmony on all levels so it is rich in spiritual symbolism as well as making a really cool and more unusual body art design.