Discover the spiritual meaning of star symbolism

Have you ever wished upon a star? These blazing celestial balls of light inspire wonder as they shine brightly in the clear night sky. The awe-inspiring appearance of stars is the reason it's traditional to wish upon them. You are sending out your intentions to the universe.

Mystery and magnificence is also the reason many cultures and religions have incorporated stars as meaningful symbols. Of course, stars are an important part of the Christmas story. The three wise men (also called the Magi or three kings) followed a star, using it to navigate their way to the infant Christ.

The number of points a star is depicted with usually symbolises different spiritual ideas. Here we look at five-pointed stars (pentagrams), six-pointed stars (hexagrams) and eight-pointed stars (octagrams). Read on to discover the spiritual symbolism of stars in cultures from around the world.

Star Type: Pentagram

*Wiccan symbol

One of the most important symbols in Wicca, the five points of the pentagram represent the five elemental forces in the world, which are earth, air, fire, water and spirit. The fifth point, symbolising spirit, is always pointing upwards. The pentagram is a powerfully protective symbol.

*Human stars

The pentagram represents humanity. The human body has five points (head, two arms and two legs). Think of the famous Leonardo Da Vinci sketch of a man in a circle. This is a pentagram. Human stars symbolise that humanity is a reflection of the universe. Your body is a microcosm reflecting the macrocosm of the vast universe.

*The senses

Many esoteric traditions relate pentagrams to the human body in other ways, too. For example, your five physical senses of sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. You have five fingers on each hand and five toes on each foot. So the pentagram is a uniquely human star symbol.

Star Type: Hexagram

*Star of David

In Kabbalah, which is a mystical branch of Judaism, the two interlocking triangles of the six-pointed star or hexagram, represent the relationship between people and the Divine. Good deeds are symbolised by the up pointing triangle, while god's grace flows back down through the downwards pointing triangle.

 

*Magical talisman

The Seal of Solomon is a mythical object, which is thought to have been a ring with an hexagram inscribed on its face. According to the bible, Solomon was the son of King David, and Solomon became a wise ruler of the Jewish people. The myth says Solomon's hexagon ring was a magical talisman which gave him the power to control supernatural forces of nature, and protect his people.

*Symbol of duality

Spiritually, the hexagram is a symbol of the two sides of nature, like male and female, or night and day, or yin and yang. The interlocking triangles which point in opposite directions are united and dependant upon each other to form a balanced whole.

Star Type: Octogram

*Wheel of the Year

In Wicca, the year can be represented as an eight-pointed star within a circle. Each point symbolises a festival (sabbat), such as Beltane or Samhain. The points of the star symbolises the flow of the seasons, emphasising how each season influences the next. It is a symbol of the inter-connectedness of all things in the universe.

*The Buddha's path

An eight-pointed star/wheel represents the eightfold path in Buddhism. This teaching guides believers on how to end suffering in their lives and move towards enlightenment. The eightfold path involves cultivating positive: views, intentions, speech, actions, career, efforts, mindfulness and concentration.

*Venus passion

The ancient Babylonians used an eight-pointed star to represent the goddess Ishtar, who symbolised love, beauty, sex and passion. Ishtar is widely considered to be the equivalent of the more familiar Roman goddess, Venus. In 19th century Europe, especially in Britain, there was a revival of interest in the Pagan spiritual traditions. One symbolic way this interest manifested was in symbolic jewellery. So a lover might present his sweetheart with an eight-pointed star brooch to symbolise his passion for her.

*New beginnings

In Christian mythology, the number eight represents new beginnings and resurrection. This is because the number seven is the number of completion. In the biblical myth, god created the world in six days, then he rested on the seventh day. So the logic follows that the eighth day is the beginning of a new week or new cycle. So an eight-pointed star represents a fresh start.

*Good fortune

Hindus believe an eight-pointed star represents wealth and good fortune. So it's the symbol of the goddess Lakshmi, who oversees prosperity and abundance. The eight points of the star symbolise eight types of wealth, including health, family, money and knowledge.