There are many connotations one can draw from any given figure, hue or image. Tattoos for one have so many meanings and representations. An individual can come up even with slight variation from the pattern and then put his own meaning to it. Any certain groups, or movements for that matter, can adopt an exact design of a tattoo and make it an emblem with their own meaning. This is how the meaning of a tattoo evolved.
Even the most popular and one of the oldest tattoo designs, the nautical star, has deviated from its original meaning. There are many who have been adamant with their own versions. This is not so surprising because people can make their own claims. Anyone is at liberty to come up with his own interpretation based on his belief, stand or experience. Humans are creative thinkers. Ideas can sprout from a single object.
So what about the exact meaning of nautical star tattoos? It is wise to review their history. The closest meaning you can get is to know where it began. Seafarers have nautical star tattoos not because they are very superstitious, but because that ink serves as identity for seamen. A tattoo is like a badge inked on the body for so many groups of people like seamen.
Seagoing vessels are the oldest means of transportation for carrying goods across the world. They existed centuries ago, before trains, airplanes and other modes of transportation were created. Before the compass, Morse code and electronic gadgets were brought into civilization, seamen relied on constellations for locating their way to the place they were heading and even to find their way home. The ocean is the largest body that occupies the whole earth and to sail away in the vast sea without any tool to help you stay on track, your route is terrifying in some sense.
The North Star is the guide of the sailors in the oldest time. Because it serves as a guiding star, sailors revere it so much to the point that they have it tattooed on their chest. We can understand now the reverence that all seamen give to the North Star and why they call it nautical star. It is based on their experience and their way of life in the sea.
Generally, the nautical star played an important role in the lives of sailors in the oldest time, when life was just simple, unsophisticated. Back then, everyone relied mostly on nature, like the sun that tells us the time based on our shadow, and the falling leaves that notifies the change of season. The nautical star tells them their location and their way home.