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Pentacles and Pentagrams in Witchcraft

Updated on July 21, 2011

Pentagram or Pentacle?


Sometimes the Pentacle and Pentagram are either confused and/or used interchangeably. There is a difference between the two. The Pentagram is a five pointed star that has the lines used to draw the star still in contact. The Pentacle is merely the Pentagram within a circle.

Pentagram and Pentacle

Star of David


The Pentagram and Pentacle should not be confused with the Star of David, which is a six pointed star.

The star without the inner lines is not considered a Pentagram. It must have the inner lines drawn to be considered a Pentagram.

Stars of Life

Examples of "Stars of Life"
Examples of "Stars of Life"

Known By Many Names


The Pentagram has been called many different things such as:

  • Star of Life – Because of the many 5 fold symmetries that can be found in the living organisms around us (5 fingers, 5 toes, starfish, 5 petaled flowers, 5 senses, etc...)

  • Witches' Foot

  • Blazing Star – Gnostics saw the Pentagram as a “Blazing Star” as symbolic of the magick and mystery in the night sky.

  • Pentalpha – Pythagoras named it thus, because it looks like 5 A's linked together. Pentalpha means “5 Alphas” and Alpha is the 1st letter in the Greek alphabet.

  • Druid's Root

  • Witches' Cross

  • Witches' Star

  • Endless Knot – It has been called this because it is always drawn in one continuous stroke.

  • Satan Star

  • Goblin's Cross

Used in Different Cultures


The Pentagram and Pentacle have been used in many different cultures throughout history.

  • Egyptians used the Pentagram to characterize the 'underground womb' which is thought to have meant 'earth'.

  • When an apple is cut horizontally you see the 5 pointed star in the middle, because of this many cultures have used the Pentagram as a symbolic representation of knowledge and truth.

  • The Pentagram was used in medieval times to signify the 5 knightly virtues: Piety, Chastity, Generosity, Courtesy, and Chivalry.

  • Used in ancient Mesopotamia to represent the '4 corners of Earth and Heaven'.

  • Pentagram was used in the past by the Masonic Guilds.

  • The Pentagram and Pentacle both have been used in many different cultures as as protection against demons.

  • Druids have seen the Pentagram as a Godhead.

  • The Pentagram is even used today on 2 national flags (Morocco and Ethiopia).

Christianity?


The Pentagram has even been used in Christianity in centuries past.

  • It was used to represent the first 5 Books of Moses

  • It was the official seal of the city of Jerusalem

  • It was recognized as a symbol for the 5 wounds of Christ

  • Wasn't recognized in christianity to symbolize evil until the 19th century

Pentagram/Pentacle


The Pentacle and Pentagram both have so many meanings and symbolisms within the Wiccan, Witch, and Pagan communities and I will try to go over the more common ones.

The Pentagram is:

  • Used to represent the Elements and Spirit

    • Spirit

      • The Divine and Divine Forces

      • Goddess

      • Our connection to them (Divine and Goddess)

    • Water

      • West

      • Blue

      • Autumn

      • Emotions, Intuition, and Feelings

      • Cycle

      • Soothes Fire

      • Combines our Emotions with Reason

    • Fire

      • South

      • Red

      • Summer

      • Action, Drive, and Passion

      • Courage and Daring

      • Acting without Thinking

    • Earth

      • North

      • Green

      • Winter

      • Growth and Security

      • Stability and Physical Endurance

      • Gives us the Ability to Explore our Spiritual Lives and Grow

    • Air

      • East

      • Yellow

      • Spring

      • Mind and Thought

      • Intelligence and the Arts

      • Allows us to Examine the Spirit and Discover It in our Lives

  • Used to denote the Horned God in His 5 Traditional Manifestations

    • Human

    • Bull

    • Ram

    • Goat

    • Stag

  • Used to picture the God and Goddess

    • Triple Goddess (Top 3 Points of Pentagram)

      • Maiden

      • Mother

      • Crone

    • God (Bottom 2 Points of Pentagram

      • Oak King's Rule During the Summer

      • Holly King's Rule During the Winter

  • Signifies that a Person is Protecting or Hiding Religious and Spiritual Beliefs

  • The Five Interwoven Triangles are used to Signify the 5 Commonly Recognized Senses and Our 6th Sense in the Middle

  • Used to Remember the 5 Points to the 'Wiccan Kiss'

    • Feet

    • Knees

    • Womb

    • Heart

    • Lips

The Pentacle is used to represent:

  • Starhawk's Pearl Pentacle

    • Love

    • Wisdom

    • Knowledge

    • Law

    • Power

  • Iron Pentacle

    • Sex

    • Self

    • Passion

    • Pride

    • Power

  • Made of Silver is used to Represent Lunar Energies, Moon Magick, and the Moon

  • Made of Gold is used to Represent Solar Energies, Solar Magick, and the Sun

  • The 5 Stages of Life (with the Circle Seen as the Cycle of Life and Death Continuing)

    • Birth

    • Youth (Maiden)

    • Adult (Mother)

    • Mature (Crone)

    • Death

  • Signifies a Person's Openness About Religious and Spiritual Matters and Beliefs

  • A Symbol of the Goddess Kore Who is Said to be Hidden in the Heart of an Apple

  • The Horned God (the Pentagram) Taking Shelter within the Womb of the Great Mother (the Circle)

  • The God and Goddess

    • The 'Sticks' are Representative of the God (Masculine)

    • The Circle is Representative of the Goddess (Feminine)

Inverted Pentagram


While it is widely believed that an inverted Pentagram is a symbol of Satan and therefore evil, it's not always used that way in reality. It's been used to represent winter and an upright Pentagram to represent summer. Gardnerian Wiccans use this symbol to designate a 2nd degree initiate. Used in spell work to banish, bind, release, undo, ground, and is used in waning moon magick. It's also used to express that someone is putting their physical and material wants and needs above their spiritual needs. While some people see the inverted Pentagram as representative of an evil horned beast (goat's head), others see it as the Horned God. It's also used in some paths to designate the God when inverted and the Goddess when upright.

So while it is obviously not always just used in 'Devil Worship', many people recommend that it not be used in public, simply because of the extreme stigmatism that is associated with the inverted Pentagram. If you do see someone with this symbol, however, don't assume that they are a 'Devil Worshipper' and that they are dangerous.

Invoking and Banishing Spirit and the Elements

Magickal Uses


The Pentacle is used in summoning the Elemental Spirits at the beginning of many rituals and magickal workings with the circle representative of binding all of the Elements together and bringing them into harmony with each other. It is also seen as binding the Elements and Spirit together to create life and magick. The circle of the Pentacle is often seen as a symbol of unity, wholeness, infinity, the Goddess, and protection.

The Pentacle and Pentagram is a powerful symbol to many Witches, Wiccans, and Pagans as a symbol of the power of the Earth Mother and the Goddess. The Pentacle in placed in the center of many altars and used in rituals for consecration, evocation, transformation, and banishment. It's also used to serve as a reminder that we need all aspects equally in our lives and that everything in life is a cycle.

Purchasing an Altar Pentacle

You can check out your local metaphysical store for your altar pentagram. You can also spend a little time checking out the online shops. They have such a wide variety of altar pentagrams available. There are some truly beautiful ones out there that are made of wood, metal, stone, clay, etc...

My Altar Pentacle

Front
Front
Back
Back

Making Your Own Altar Pentacle

Even if you have no crafting skills, this can be easily accomplished inexpensively. You can visit your local arts and craft store and find a wooden circle. This can be the thicker type or just the thin circle plaques. Either one will work equally well. It's all a matter of preference. These can usually be purchased for less than $5. Then you will need paints and/or permanent markers. I find that I can work better with markers, but that's a personal preference. You can also get whatever else that you would like to decorate your Pentagram with (small stones, gems, ribbons, stickers, etc...). The wonderful thing about making your own is that you can personalize it any way that you want to. You are only limited by your imagination. Be inspired and most importantly, have fun with this. This is a way to not only express your uniqueness but can also be a way to honor your Path and Deities.

I made my own altar pentacle. So far I've simply drawn the pentacle on a a piece of wood and attached a picture hanger on the back. This way I can have it laying on the center of my altar during rituals and magickal workings, and when not in use I have it hanging above my altar.

I'm not really sure what I want to do as far as decoration, so I haven't done anything yet. When I know how I want it decorated, then I will complete it. Until then, I can wait. I have cleansed and consecrated it for magickal use. When I have decorated it at a later date, I will cleanse and consecrate it again.

My New E-Book

I have spent some time lately creating an e-book for my fellow Wiccans, Witch's, and Pagans.

It has all of the common tools that we use along with history, lore, where to buy, how to make (if possible), and correspondences.

I have created this because I know how convenient it is to have all of the information available and easily accessible. I even find myself using this all the time simply for the correspondences.

Tools of Witchcraft

Comments

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    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 4 years ago

      I learned some facts about the pentagram that I didn’t know. I just thought it was a 5-pointed star in a circle. I knew that the Masons used the pentagram in much of their work and rituals. I think everyone probably has heard the story of the stars on the American flag. According to my history book, the designer of the flag had planned to use a 6-pointed star until Betsey Ross showed them how she could fold fabric and cut out a 5-pointed star in one snip of the scissors. This really has nothing to do with the pentagram except that I’ll bet the Masons were pleased to see a 5-pointed star on the American flag rather than the 6 pointed one.

    • profile image

      Jake . G 6 years ago

      very well done =D

    • Apostle Jack profile image

      Apostle Jack 6 years ago from Atlanta Ga

      SPIRITUALITY is the answer, and the most powerful force on earth.It is not guided by mathematics.

    working

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