You’re no doubt associated with the pentagram, or five pointed star, that is the key symbol in Wicca. I’ve had pentagrams displayed in my home, and sometimes in my car or on my person, throughout most of my walk on this path. And believe me, it is one of the most misunderstood religious symbols. Although you and I know it to represent a religion of nature worship and love, the entertainment industry has perverted into a negative symbol. I’ve seen it used as a symbol for Satanists, ritual murderers, and on one episode of CSI vampires! I wish these writers would do a little research.The pentagram is not evil, just as practitioners of Wicca and witchcraft are not evil. The pentagram is an ancient symbol of protection from evil. It is also called ‘the endless knot’ referring to the overlapping qualities of the five lines. In ancient times, the pentagram was often displayed on doors, in windows and on the hearths of homes across Pre-Christian Europe. The symbol can even be traced back to Egyptian and Sumerian culture. Believe it or not, there is evidence of the pentagram on Native American medicine tools.
The pentagram has five points and five lines that make up the star. (As opposed to the Star of David which is a six-pointed star made up from two triangles). The pentagram is a symbol of our faith , the lower four points represent the essential elements of earth, air, fire and water. The fifth point, which crowns the other four, represents the spirit (sometimes referred to as the fifth element, not to be confused with the Bruce Willis movie!). Together the five points of the pentagram represent the wholeness of the universe and points out the interconnectedness between ourselves and the world around us.
Although the above interpretation is the one that I think of most often when considering the symbology of the pentagram, I have also heard other analysis of its meaning. Some people have said that there is not one point upward, but three (including the two “arms” of the star). In numerology, three is the number of harmony. The middle point harmonizes the outer points, which face opposite directions. It is a reminder that no matter how many contradictions we see in life, there is a unifying force that harmonizes all. If you look at the Celtic love of triads, you can see repetition of the emphasis of ‘three’? This is also present in the Catholic model of ‘three Gods in one’ (and they claim to be monotheistic!). Yet another aspect that the ancient Christian church modeled after paganism, in my opinion!
Another interpretation of the pentagram symbol is that it represents the deities in Witchcraft, the Triple Goddess and the Horned God. The top three points of the pentagram are symbols for the Goddess in her three states of Maiden, Mother and Crone. The bottom points are symbolic of the Horned God and his twin aspects of God of Light and God of Darkness. it’s also notable that all of the points are connected, symbolizing the union between all aspects of the Goddess and all aspects of the God. They are part of the same whole.
Keep in mind that the word pentacle is sometimes used in place of the word pentagram, albeit incorrectly. If you want to be technical about things, a pentacle is a shallow dish used on the altar that is normally inscribed with a pentacle. It is used to burn incense and do other spell related work. But I find myself using the two interchangeably, so I wouldn’t worry about it too much.
Taking anyone of these interpretations into account when you view the pentagram will deepen your understanding of the symbol. Far from a simple symbol, it is layered with meaning. Think about it next time you view a pentagram, and remember what it means.
Rose Ariadne, Your Warm And Caring “Resident Witch In Charge”