Sailors used stars and the North Star for navigation, so it’s not hard to see why so many of them have nautical star tattoos. They function as a guide to get them back home safely. The nautical star tattoo was meant to keep them safe and guide them safely back to their home port especially since maritime travel was so perilous and there was always a level of uncertainty associated with their travels. Also today, people have nautical star tattoos for similar reasons because you can rely on them when you are lost in your life, they are a light in the darkness. The nautical star has different meaning in different cultures or communities. In Ireland the nautical star is a symbol for good health, it’s an old Pagan symbol you can find in certain Irish hospitals even today. 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 chosen because it can be easily covered with a watch or bracelet. And oddly enough, it’s also a favorite among many celebrities regardless of the sexual orientation.
This nautical star tattoo shows how an ordinary design can be jazzed up by reworking it a little bit. The top picture is the nautical star tattoo as it was originally designed and the bottom picture is the nautical star tattoo reinvented with a lot of color. The person evidently decided he wanted to bring the design up a notch. But, why would a person get one of these designs in the first place. Well, I believe the bearer of this tattoo wanted to celebrate the history of it. See, nautical star tattoos date back over a century ago with sailors looking for some sort of direction, guidance, protection, and safe return home. In the early days, sailors counted on the stars for navigation. Sailors relied on the stars to direct them correctly, putting all their faith in them that the stars would never fail them in their return trips home. This is what began the now common sailor tattoo, the nautical star. The star symbolized this and their path home. Soldiers are also fond of this tattoo for similar reasons. Now days, the symbolic meaning has taken a bit of a spin but not far off what the sailors used this tattoo to symbolize. Today, when people get a nautical star tattoo it can come with various meanings to them, some in remembrance of a sailor or solider in their life, with others it can mean direction in their own life.