The nautical star is a very old modern tattoo, going back at least a century or more. Back in the days of yore, before modern navigation, sailors would navigate in part by the stars in the night skies, in particular the North Star in the Northern Hemisphere, and various other constellations of stars in the night sky. In the Southern Hemisphere, sailors had to use different stars and the Southern Cross became quite well-known. Sailors would then tattoo nautical stars on them because they relied on the stars to take them home, and being superstitious, they hoped their star tattoos would get them home safely as well. Compass stars are also popular for this reason. The nautical stars were originally used by sailors to help guide their way as they sailed through the night. They relied upon the stars to protect them and bring them home safely. A lot of soldiers get nautical stars for the same reason...protection. It is a symbol of protection and guidance. It was a very popular tattoo among sailors. So a case could be made that the nautical star tattoo, or a tattoo of any star for that matter, would be a symbol of guidance. Now as time has passed the nautical stars represent the direction of one's life, for those of us who are not sailors but still need guidance. Some say that if the nautical star is pointed upwards they have a higher outlook on life and so on. The meaning of the Nautical star is to create your own path, but use the stars as a guide when you are lost or scared.