A fascination with the heavens, mathematics and mythology has produced a common symbol that appears in artwork and jewelry. Stars have become a sacred and spiritual symbol for many cultures all over the world. The symbol of a star is steeped in awe and wonder, you only have to stare up into a clear night’s sky to experience inner peace and absolute insignificance all at the same time. Stars are majestic and untouchable, so it’s no wonder they have constantly been an inspiring sight for humanity.
While the individual meaning of jewelry is in the hands of the giver and receiver, let’s take a look at the symbolic meaning of starbursts.
What is the Symbolism of a Starburst Ring?
Defined as a pattern of lines or rays radiating from a central point, the eight-pointed star or Octagram, is believed to have its origins in early astronomy. Eight lines signify the four corners of space (south, north, east and west) and time (two equinoxes and two solstices). Octagrams show up in a variety of different cultures, and modern users of the symbol borrow liberally from these sources.
In Babylonian symbolism, the goddess Ishtar, also known as Inanna, is represented by an eight-pointed starburst called the Star of Ishtar. Today, some people equate the Greek Aphrodite, whom the Romans equated with their Venus, with Ishtar. Both goddesses represent lust and sexuality, although Ishtar also represents fertility and war.
The number eight frequently represents beginnings, resurrection, salvation, and super-abundance. This has to do in part, with the fact that the number seven is a number of completion. The eighth day, for example, is the first day of a new seven-day week, and a Jewish child enters into God’s Covenant on the eighth day of life via circumcision.
Old Kingdom Egyptians recognized a group of eight deities, four male and four female, with the female bearing feminine forms of the male names: Nu, Nanet, Amun, Amunet, Kuk, Kauket, Huh, and Hauhet. Each pair represents a primal force, water, air, darkness, and infinity, and together they create the world and the sun god Ra from the primordial waters. Together, these eight are known as the Ogdoad, and this context is borrowed by other cultures which may represent it with an octagram.
The second century Gnostic Valentinius wrote about his own concept of the Ogdoad, which again is four male/female pairs of what they considered primordial principles. First, Abyss and Silence brought forth Mind and Truth, which then produced Word and Life, which finally produced Man and Church. Today, various pursuers of esoterica have drawn upon various concepts of the Ogdoad.
Star of Lakshmi
In Hinduism, Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, has eight emanations known as Ashtalakshmi, which are represented by two entwined squares forming an octagram. These emanations represent eight forms of wealth: monetary, ability to transport, endless prosperity, victory, patience, health and nourishment, knowledge, and family.
Octagrams formed from overlapping squares often emphasize duality: yin and yang, male and female, spiritual and material. Squares are often connected with the physical world: four elements, four cardinal directions, etc. Together, they can mean both positive and negative aspects of the four elements and balancing them.
A chaos star has eight points radiating from a central point. While originating in fiction, specifically from the writings of Michael Moorcock, it has now been adopted into a variety of additional contexts, including religious and magical ones. Most notably, it has been adopted by some as a symbol of chaos magic.
As one of the eight auspicious symbols of Buddhism, the eight-spoked Dharma wheel is an important piece of Buddhist symbolism.It represents the eightfold path that one needs to follow in order to break free from one’s worldly attachments and escape suffering. These are known as right intention, right mindfulness, right concentration, right view, right action, right effort, right livelihood and right speech.
The Wheel of the Year
The Wiccan Wheel of the Year is commonly represented as a circle containing eight spokes or an eight-pointed star. Each point is a major holiday known as a Sabbat. Wiccans emphasize the system of holidays as a whole- each holiday is influenced by what has come before and prepares for the one approaching next.
The Hope symbol is represented by an eight pointed star that is enclosed in a circle and containing a circle. Eight is an important number in terms of achieving balance. Native Americans refer to the Hope symbol as Star Knowledge.
Ancient Chinese people believed that Heaven was divided into eight parts and they were ruled by Sky God/Emperor Taiyi who lived in a palace at the center of Heaven. This palace was believed to be built on the axis point of an octagram. In general, octagrams represent the course of life and the universe as a whole.
Along with five and six-pointed stars, 8-pointed stars are very common symbols in Islamic traditions. Also known as khatim-sulayman and khatim to be translated as “the seal of prophets”, the origin of this geometric shape is associated with the Seal of Solomon in Judaism. It is also suggested that the eight points of the star represent the eight angels that will surround Allah’s throne on the Judgement Day.
The ‘rose’ in the middle of a traditional compass mark also has 8 points, albeit with 4 main points and four minor. This is probably the most common use of an 8-pointed star.
How to Wear a Starburst Ring
If there is one image that is bursting with symbolism it’s the Star. For as long as we have been gazing up into the night skies we have been using the stars for navigation, whether spiritually or directionally, they have been a constant reminder that there is something bigger than us. Stars are not merely shining bright lights marking our way through life but also a measurement in which we gauge our own unique brilliance.
A starburst ring can be worn as a personal reminder of our connection to the heavens and the universe, or really any symbology that is meaningful for the wearer. Such a ring can be worn on any finger and certainly can be accompanied by other complementary rings and jewelry. Our Diamond Star Band available in 14K white gold, yellow gold, or rose gold, is a stunning ring that dazzles from every angle.
Starburst rings also make great promise rings, which is a type of ring that symbolizes the unique and special love and commitment between a couple. Promise rings are given as a sign of a serious relationship and to signify a commitment to be with one another in the future. In a way, promise rings are pre-engagement rings, as they come before the commitment of marriage. The exchange of rings can mean that a future engagement is likely or simply show that you have a devotion to one another that you’d like to symbolize.
No matter the occasion, we can help you find the perfect piece of jewelry! Give us a call at 303-385-8449 or click here to schedule your appointment!