Antique Rug Symbols: Eight Pointed Stars
Meanings of Eight Pointed Stars Motifs in Antique Rugs and Carpets
Eight Pointed Stars – The eight pointed star appears in spiritual traditions from many different cultures across the globe.
The eight pointed star began to appear in Islamic art in the Middle Ages. It is referred to as khatim or khatim-sulayman, meaning “seal of the prophets”. This use of the star is likely related to earlier appearances of six-pointed star in Judaic designs, which are referred to as the “seal of Solomon”.
Muslim legend tells of Solomon using the star to capture djinns, genies, the immaterial counterparts to humans.
Moroccan zillij artisans also refer to the eight-point star as sibniyyah, sabniyyah.
In Chinese tradition, the eight pointed star was a way to concisely depict the entirety of the Universe. It was believed that the Sky Emperor T’ai-Yi resided in a palace at the center of Heaven, at the top of the eight pointed star’s axis, from which he ruled the eight divisions of Heaven.
These stars are known to denote life, from birth to death.
Below are several examples of antique rugs in the Nazmiyal Collection which contain the eight pointed star motif.