Before modern navigation sailors navigated using the stars, usually the North Star. Often has tattoos starfish in a superstitious sense, hoping that the star would help them get home safely. The nautical star is often a symbol of protection and guidance. Some see nautical stars as a means to create their own path. Starfish are often referred to as the stars of the compass, which were similar to the nautical star in that sailors used them to help guide your way at night.