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Wiccan/Pagan symbols and what they really mean Pt 1 - The Pentacle

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This will be the first of many posts I will be making about symbols we use in the craft. I figured I would start with the most used and recognized of all, The Pentacle.

Contrary to the belief of many the Pentacle is a symbol of goodness. It is recognized as being a 5 pointed star. It it a symbol most commonly used for protection, and is used in many magickal rituals.

This symbol has been found on artifacts dating as far back as 3500BC and has been interpreted to represent many things through out history. It was used to mark royalty or someone with great power. It was found to be used by Hebrews as a symbol of truth. Christianity uses it to represent the 5 wounds of christ. In Greece they once used it as a symbol of perfection. Celtic Druids saw it as a symbol of their God and Pagans as a symbol of power. 5 being a power number.

The biggest meaning behind the pentacle, for me, is it's representation of the 5 elements. Yes I said 5. Earth, air, fire, water, and spirit. Each point of the star representing an element with spirit being at the top most point of the star. It used most often for protection rituals both invoking protection and banishing harm all depending on the direction you have drawn the pentacle much like the way we cast our circles.

The symbolism of the number 5 is very important any many pagan/wiccan practices. . As humans we all have 5 fingers, 5 toes, 5 senses and typically go through 5 life stages. Birth, Adolescence, coitus, parenthood and death. Even the wiccan kiss uses 5; feet, knees , womb, breasts, lips, blessed be.

However, just as in life there is a darker side to this symbol. Many people already see the symbol itself as a symbol of satanism. But while wiccans and pagans are constantly defending this symbol many of them do not know that just like our tarot and runes when a symbol is inverted it means the opposite. To use an inverted pentacle where a single point is downward represents being taken in by ones own carnal urges. Although this symbol can be used to help someone face their own dark side and defeat it so that they can learn to control it should the desire for said dark side to pop up sprout again.

I myself see the pentacle as one of our most powerful protection symbols. This symbol has come to be not just a symbol of protection and magick but in many ways a symbol of the religion itself as it is so commonly associated with the craft. It is beautiful in it's simplicity and holds great meaning for many people out there today.

I hope you enjoyed this article and will continue to check back. Tomorrow's post will be on the triple Goddess symbol.

Last edited by Gaia-sunstone on Mon Jan 23, 2012 5:15 pm; edited 1 time in total

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2Wiccan/Pagan symbols and what they really mean Pt 1 - The Pentacle Empty the Pentacle... and the Pentagram... on Mon Jan 23, 2012 5:00 pm

I've seen countless sites, posts, and even heard elders in many spiritual debates use both of these words interchangeably. I would like to point out, there is a difference. The five pointed star, with the ruling point up, is a Pentacle, while the ruling point down is the Pentagram. This is one of the reasons this symbol was looked on so negatively. The beginning churches of Europe used the Pentacle and the Cross, just as Gaia points out above, and the perversion of these was the upside cross or pentacle... hence the belief that Satanism had taken over the upside down pentacle because the ruling point showed the direction to Hell. This also served the European Rulers of the Inquisition, saying those that used the Pentagram to worship the Sun God, or the Green Man, were actually worshipping the Christian Satan. These "prophets" even went so far as to adopt a picture of Pan, the SunGod, as a picture of their nemesis. Not stealing your thunder Gaia, just a few more thoughts to go along with yours! Awesome post!

Jerry Hubbard
ModernMythos Artisan
Let Our Craft, Inspire Yours
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well thats the whole idea Smile to get every one to add their 2 cents in I probably should have mentioned that was why I referred to it through out as a pentacle and not pentagram Smile although in recent times using the word pentagram instead of pentacle has begun to lose its stigmata and they are merging into one and th esame

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