lodestar

When a sailor uses a star to navigate by, it's called a lodestar. The most commonly used lodestar is the bright and easily spotted Polaris, also known as the North Star.

Navigating on a clear night at sea, you'll need a lodestar to guide you so you always know what direction you're going. Something that similarly guides you through life and its tricky decisions can also be called a lodestar. This might be a mentor or some other person who helps you figure out which direction to go, or a guiding principle. Lodestar, "star that leads the way," uses the "way or course" meaning of lode.

Definitions of lodestar
  1. noun
    guiding star; a star that is used as a reference point in navigation or astronomy
    synonyms: loadstar
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    examples:
    North Star
    the brightest star in Ursa Minor; at the end of the handle of the Little Dipper; the northern axis of the earth points toward it
    type of:
    star
    (astronomy) a celestial body of hot gases that radiates energy derived from thermonuclear reactions in the interior
  2. noun
    something that serves as a model or guide
    synonyms: loadstar
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    type of:
    example, model
    a representative form or pattern
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