What is a pentagram? What is a pentacle? Is there a difference? How to use a pentacle? Is it related to the paranormal and evil spirits?
If you have any interest in esotericism or the occult, you have probably asked yourself these questions. You might be confused about what the pentacle represents today and if it is a symbol you should wear.
In this article, we will take a closer look at the history and definition of the pentacle, which is widely represented in Wiccan culture and often has the wrong meaning.
The pentacle is a pentagram surrounded by a circle. This ancient spiritual symbol in the shape of a five-pointed star, with one point aligned upwards, is a representation of the five elements, namely fire, air, water, earth and spirit.
Now that you know the definition of this powerful mystical symbol, let's look at its history!
Pentagram VS pentacle
Frequently used interchangeably, there is in fact a difference between the two terms Pentagram and Pentacle.
A pentagram is a five-pointed star and literally means "five lines" in Greek. It is a geometric shape that originally has no spiritual significance, although it can take on a completely different meaning depending on the context in which the pentagram is used.
The pentacle is a major symbol of witchcraft and Wicca. It consists of a pentagram surrounded by a circle. Although some consider it a neo-pagan symbol, the pentacle is actually a very ancient symbol. In the esoteric world of Wicca, the pentacle is used in witchcraft or for spiritual purposes.
This five-pointed star-shaped spiritual symbol is considered to represent the five elements: fire, air, water, earth and spirit.
Among esoteric symbols, the pentacle has been one of the most persistent and powerful emblems in our history and has been revered by almost all ancient cultures and peoples, whether Egyptian, Greek, Babylonian, Chinese, Indian or Mayan.
The mystical icon is considered to contain many symbolic interpretations: life, love, light, unity, and many others. The pentacle has always been associated with divine protective powers and was used to protect against evil forces, demons, black magic.
The pentacle is wrongly associated with all kinds of ideologies. Part of the confusion stems from the fact that there is no single meaning of the pentacle. Like most ancient symbols, it has represented various concepts over the years and has been adapted and adopted by multiple spiritual traditions. There is no right or wrong answer. Here are some of the most common interpretations:
- Elements: Each dot represents one of the major elements of nature and witchcraft, earth, air, fire, water and spirit. Some say the circle represents the control of the spirit over all creation.
- Sacred Feminine: Some consider the pentacle to be the ultimate expression of femininity. It is a symbol of fertility, with the center of the pentacle representing the womb and the woman's power to give life.
- Spirituality: In the 70's and 80's, when pagan paths began to gain popularity and notoriety, the pentacle was generally misused to represent one of these spiritual and neo-pagan paths. This symbol has never been part of pagan ideologies.
- Women, Men: Each point represents the head, arms and legs, with the heart corresponding to the center of the pentacle. It is a strong symbol whose circle represents the place of man at the center of the universe. We find this interpretation of Man in the manuscript of the Ancient Greek, Pythagoras.
- The Invocation Circle: In connection with the use of the elements, the pentacle is considered by some to be an invocation seal allowing the star to act as a portal for the spirits while protecting the summoner. Today, the pentacle is used in modern witchcraft to manifest intentions or charge crystals or other spiritual tools.
- Witchcraft: Witchcraft has no single symbol that represents it, but the media has played a large part in associating its image as an emblem of witchcraft. The pentacle is a tool used in some forms of witchcraft and magic, but it does not represent witchcraft in general.
- Satanism (usually with the point representing the spirit, facing down): Considered a symbol of the horned God, some Satanic groups have adopted the inverted pentagram to represent themselves. To the uninitiated, the inverted pentagram is often confused with the pentacle and becomes an object of contempt for Christians and other religious groups. For this reason, some of these groups consider any pentacle or pentagram to be a symbol of evil, a representation of Lucifer. As a result, many Wiccans choose not to wear them anymore.
Is a pentacle satanic?
The pentacle is an excellent example of how someone's invented beliefs can affect the way society perceives things.
In 1855, the Frenchman Eliphas Levi wrote a book on magic that made reference to the pentacle. Levi, who was a deacon in the church, had been interested in magic all his life, but when the church found out, he was excommunicated.
In his book, Levi says that an inverted pentacle (with two points pointing up) is an evil symbol. This was the first time the pentacle was linked to evil. This powerful symbol embedded in the culture had suddenly become sinister and Satanistic!
From that point on, the pentacle slowly began to be associated with evil.
This association was reinforced when the Church of Satan (which does not worship Satan, by the way) used the inverted pentacle as a symbol.
After the Satanic panic of the 1990s, the pentacle became closely associated with darkness and made popular appearances in the media, where it is commonly presented as a symbol of evil.
Pentacle meaning in Wicca
As far as Wiccan symbols are concerned, the pentacle is not a representation of good versus evil. It is a symbol of faith, a symbol of the 5 elements. No matter which direction it points, there is nothing "evil" about it. On the contrary, it is often associated with magical strength, white magic, purification or even a good luck charm.
It is traditionally used with both the point up and the point down. Upward pointing pentagrams are more common, but downward pointing pentagrams are not considered evil at all.
The upward pointing pentagram represents the divine spirit rising above matter. Conversely, when a pentagram is pointed downward, it represents the spirit descending into matter.
This is more traditionally used in Wicca initiations, as a symbol of the beginning of our spiritual path: One focuses on the inner "self" to face one's basic emotions, fears, ignorance, prejudices.
How to use a pentacle?
In the occult, pentacles are used for spirit summoning and protection. In most Wicca traditions, witches associate the pentacle with the elements: earth, air, fire and water as well as the spirit (or Gods) and how the energy of the elements combine to create all the nature.
In this form, the Power of the Universe can be invoked for protection or to fuel rituals and spells. This can be done through a seal or the simple notation of a piece of paper with your written intention folded and placed on your altar.
Pentacles can be combined with other magical symbols such as runes or lithotherapy through the power of the stones to focus their power for a specific purpose. This relic is also very popular as a talisman for its protective powers.
It is also possible to wear this sacred geometry on oneself as a jewel such as a pendant necklace, ring or other earrings, amulets and rings. Add a semi-precious stone of rock crystal or amethyst to amplify the power of your pentacle jewelry. If you choose a pentacle necklace, you must decide what it means to you to guide your spiritual path.