The sight of the night sky littered with thousands of stars is awe-inspiring, to say the least. Stars are essentially massive, luminous balls of plasma that are held together by their own gravity.
Other than the astronomic relevance, stars are also revered in different cultures and traditions across the world. They come in various shapes (number of arms) and sizes, and these factors play a role in their meaning as well. Here’s a list of star symbols and meanings if you’re curious about the mystical nature of stars.
Different Types of Star Symbols
#1. North Star Symbol
Of the many star symbols and meanings, the North Star is perhaps the most prominent. Formally referred to as the Polaris, the North Star is a beacon of hope and inspiration for millions around the world.
It is primarily used to determine the north direction because Polaris is the star of the northern hemisphere and has the northern sky rotating around it. For decades, travelers on land and sea have been using the North Star for navigation.
It is believed that following the course of this star will lead you to your desired destination safely. Metaphorically, the star is like a lighthouse for those looking to fulfill their dreams and destiny.
#2. 5-Pointed Stars
Commonly known as the pentagram, a five-pointed star is quite the iconic symbol.
The oldest connotations of this symbol date back to Paganism. The points of the pentagram represent the five earthly elements: air, water, fire, water, and the top point representing spirit.
However, the symbol has now gained infamy as an evil symbol because of its fame in occultism. Egyptian culture associated this star with the underworld. In addition, if the star’s top point faces downward, it refers to the sigil of the Church of Satan.
#3. 6-Pointed Stars
The hexagram is a six-pointed star made of two equilateral triangles. It enjoyed great relevance as an important symbol in medieval Islam and Jewish synagogue and was the Seal of Solomon for the Arabs. Christians mostly used it as a decorative motif in churches.
Today, it is best known as the Star/ Shield of David, which is the symbol of Judaism and modern Jews. It is a representation of Zionism around the world.
Interestingly, the hexagram has been traced back to as early as 600 B.C.E, depicting the art of alchemy. The two triangles indicate the male and the female. And in the Seal of Solomon, it is symbolic of physical and spiritual union as it is the symbol of the heart chakra.
#4. 7-Pointed Stars
Also called a septagram, heptagram, or the Fairy star, a seven-pointed star is drawn using seven straight strokes.
This star is primarily used in Christianity to depict the seven days of creation by God. It is called the Fairy/Faery star, given its position as the focal point of protective shielding and meditation. It is said that only a fae or a witch can access the power of a septagram.
The symbolic relevance of the number seven applies to this star as well. Since it is unbroken, it represents eternity and safety from evil.
It is also seen on the flags and heraldry of the likes of Australians, Jordanians, Cherokee Indians, Hokkaido (Japan), and Occitania (Europe).
#5. 8-Pointed Stars
In early astronomy, the eight lines of the octagram signified the four corners of the universe (north, south, west, east) and the two solstices and two equinoxes.
Octagrams have cemented their relevance in many cultures around the world. The simplest symbolism of the number eight is that it is synonymous with infinity and the natural order of the universe.
In Native American culture, eight-pointed stars are geometric representations of celestial objects and natural phenomena. When enclosed by a circle, it is called the Hope symbol. In Christianism and Judaism, eight often denotes resurrection, abundance, salvation, and beginnings.
It also represents the Star of Lakshmi in Hinduism, where the points are synonymous with eight forms of wealth, while the eight-spoked wheel of Buddhism represents the Eightfold Path taught by Buddha.
What Do Stars Symbolize?
Apart from specific star symbols and meanings, stars are associated with a number of virtues that human beings seek throughout their life. Here’s a list of symbolism of stars:
You must often have heard the phrase, “our souls are made of stardust.”
Technically, that is true. Our bodies are made up of elements that came into existence after the Big Bang. Five-pointed stars generally correspond to the human spirit and our connection to mother nature.
Their place in the sky is a constant reminder of how we’re all a life force that has sustained each other for millions of years.
As seen in the case of the Star of David, stars connect human beings to spirituality and divinity. They are a symbol of guidance from a higher power, offering us light and direction in times of need. For instance, the Star of Bethlehem plays the role of a divine guide in Christianity.
It is also believed that the stars in the sky are angels looking over us. This includes fallen angels whose light persists so that humans can see clearly in the night.
Making a wish on a shooting star is said to have positive results. As stars remain an unflinching constant in the sky, we look up to them and think of our aspirations.
Dreaming about reaching the heights of stars is how we constantly push ourselves to do our best.
Stars continuously glow bright, and this persistence is seen as a symbol of faith. You will notice that almost every religion in the world has some significant symbolism attached to stars.
We believe that stars are divine protectors; they function as a symbol of unwavering faith for those who wish to follow its path.
One of the oldest sciences to ever exist, astronomy is incredibly useful in navigation dating back to prehistoric times. Even animals have used stars to navigate. Migration in the early centuries (1200 AD) involved nomads relying on the night sky, weather, and ocean currents to find their way to new lands.
Even today, mariners still swear by celestial navigation. Metaphorically, one can turn to the stars to receive clarity and guidance about any decision.