A pentagram is simply a 5-pointed star with all the points being equal in size. It can also be known as a pentalpha, pentage, or a star pentagon. Its roots lie is representing humans, the heavens and the stars. The five points, also relate to the number five as magical and mystical.
Apart from having different meanings in different religions and these meanings changing over time, the number of five relates to all things five, such as the five senses within humans, the five elements, and its early representation of the five wounds of Jesus Christ. All in all, it was originally seen as symbol of good and a shield from evil, negativity and all-round protection.
Let’s be honest though, if you get caught wearing a pentagram around your neck or anywhere else on your person, you will probably get accused of being evil and get condemned to hell. But why is this symbol feared by so many and why is there so much ignorance surrounding it? Perhaps it has something to do with people’s claiming of the symbol for their own beliefs and intent throughout the centuries and this has resulted in a lot of false things about the pentagram which has been passed down.
History of the Pentagram
The funny thing is that the pentagram has not ever had its roots in anything remotely evil. Its earliest use can be traced back to Ancient Sumeria, and in the 6th century, the pentagram was used as a symbol of the human body, with the four points being the arms and legs and the top point being the head.
It’s symbolism and meaning goes back many years and contrary to popular belief, the pentagram actually has more than one meaning, depending on which belief system is being specified.
In early Christianity, as already mentioned, the pentagram represented the five wounds of Jesus Christ, and at one time, was more popular than the cross. It could also represent the five joys of Mary, but as time moved on, and the belief in the ‘evilness’ of the symbol, Christianity decided to reject the pentagram and use the cross instead.
In Judaism, the pentagram can represent the five books of the Torah.
In Taoism, it represents the connecting of the five Oriental elements of Earth, Water, Wood, Mental and Fire. It also can represent symbolically in other religions, and even the Free Masons refer to it as the ‘Blazing Star’
However, today, the pentagram is mainly used by Pagans and Wiccans to represent the four elements of Earth, Water, Fire and Air. The fifth point, at the top, represents Spirit. These elements, together with Spirit, can also be called the Greek elements.
It is important to also note that the meanings of the pentagram have changed over time, and not every individual that identifies with a specific religion will identify with the pentagram, that is if they even identify with it at all..
Are Pentagrams and Pentacles the Same Thing?
A lot of confusion comes about with the pentacle, which is just a pentagram enclosed in a circle. However, the differences between them end there and the two terms are often used interchangeably.
The circle of the pentacle can represent connectivity to all life.
It stands for eternity, infinity and relates to the cycles of life and nature. By each of the five points touching the circle equally, the connectivity of all is very strong. The circle represents unity and wholeness. Nothing bad can get past the pentacle and it’s protective shield. The circle can also represent the traditional confinement for the secrets of witchcraft, because as we know, in ancient times, many witches had to practice in secret.
Something I found interesting is that sometimes the pentacle is thought of being usually upright and obviously within its circle, whereas only the pentagram can be inverted. With this, it was also said that because of the link between the pentagram and satanists, wiccans rarely use the inverted pentagram anymore and favour the pentacle.
However, as we have now found it, there is no evil attached to it, and whether you use a pentacle or a pentagram, it is entirely based on what your intention is.
In saying that, most pagans and wiccans that I have known do favour the upright pentacle, and so do I.
How Pentagrams Work
In a nutshell, the pentagram or/and pentacle are actually two of the most powerful symbols in witchcraft. They stand for white magic, good, man’s intellect, reason and protection. They make excellent shields against negativity and bad energies. In fact, it is said, that when bad spirits see the pentagram or pentacle, they are powerless and it drives them away, whereas all goodness and positivity are drawn to a pentagram or pentacle.
The top most point ‘Spirit’ which is also the superior point represents the connection of spirit to all four corners of the earth, to all four elements, to all matter, life and energy. Each point corresponds to an element and a compass point. There is also a Guardian, an Angel and elementals attached to each point. So, let’s look at them.
Air is in the East.
Its Guardian is Lord Perelda and its archangel is Raphael.
The elementals could be animals such as birds and butterflies.
Water is in the West.
Its Guardian is Lady Nexer and its archangel is Gabriel.
The elementals could be mermaids and dolphins.
Earth is in the North.
Its Guardian is Lord Gobe and its archangel is Auriel
The elementals could be gnomes and elves
Fire is in the South.
Its Guardian is Lord Gin and its archangel is Michael
The elementals could be dragons and salamanders.
Invoking and Banishing Pentagrams and/or Pentacles for Rituals and Spells
I was taught to use a circle when invoking and banishing, so I will be using the circles in this article, but you don’t have to. Also, please note that sometimes invoking is also referred to an evoking. To draw these, you can use your finger or a wand or athame. Remember that to invoke, we draw in energy from the opposite side of the element that we want to invoke. Also remember that you want to invoke from the highest point. For invoking, you would also use a clockwise circle. To banish, it is the exact opposite, we go in away from the element we are banishing and use an anti-clockwise circle.
Let’s look at the drawing below to make it simpler:
This is the invoking and banishing pentacles for air (East).
Now using the pictures above as a guide, do the invoking and banishing pentacles for the rest of the 3 elements using the instructions below.
Water – West
Invoking: Start at Air and go across to Water, then go down towards Earth, then up to Spirit, then down to Fire and up to Air. From there draw a circle clockwise and end back at Air
Banishing: Start at Water and go across to Air then go down towards Fire, then up to Spirit, then down to Earth and up to Water. From there draw a circle anti-clockwise and end back at Water.
Earth – North
Invoking: Start at Spirit and go down to Earth then go up towards Water, then across to Air, then down to Fire and then back up to Spirit. From there draw a circle clockwise and end back at Spirit.
Banishing: Start at Earth and go up to Spirit then go down towards Fire, then up to Air, then across to Water and back down to Earth. From there draw a circle anti-clockwise and end back at Earth.
Fire – South
Invoking: Start at Spirit and go down to Fire then go up towards Air, then across to Water, then down to earth and then back up to Spirit. From there draw a circle clockwise and end back at Spirit.
Banishing: Start at Fire and go up to Spirit then go down towards Earth, then up to Water then across to Air and back down to Fire. From there draw a circle anti-clockwise and end back at Fire.
Is the Pentagram Evil?
In short, the pentagram is not evil and it is not Satanic – that is if you are even aware as to what a Satanist really is, because Satanism is actually very different from devil worship!
The pentagram started getting a bad rap in the 14th and 15th centuries, when occult studies and practices (astrology, magic and alchemy) started to spread. These practices started using many symbols from Paganism and Judeo-Christian religions.
Once the witch hunts began, the pentagram was associated with Paganism, evil and satanism, thus lumping in paganism with devil worship.
In the mid-19th century, occultists then regarded that the single point upwards represented ‘good’, however if two points were on top, that represented a goat’s horns. The goat symbolism came about from medieval superstitions about beliefs that witches danced with and rode on goats!
By the 20th century, and thanks to the movie industry, it became popular belief that the pentagram was purely a symbol used by Satanists. However, as mentioned before, it has absolutely no roots in any kind of evil at all, and is only seen as evil because of modern movies, the Church of Satan (which in it’s own right is also highly misunderstood) and a whole lot of ignorance passed down through the ages.
Upside Down (Inverted) Pentagram Meanings
An upside down (inverted) pentagram (with two points on top) is also a symbol of the Gardnerian second-degree initiation, meaning the witch needs to learn to face the darkness inside and not let it take control. It is also a symbol of the sixth element of love and will, meaning that these two will rule over matter (the four elements of air, fire, earth and water) and spirit. This is another thing that the witch has to learn.
An inverted pentagram can also represent the wiccan horned God. An inverted pentagram can also mean ‘Fallen Angel’
The Church of Satan
The Church of Satan was formed in 1966 by Anton Szandor LaVey.
They use an upside-down pentagram as their symbol, with the two points on top representing goat horns.
This goat symbol is referred to as the ‘Sigil of Baphomet’
Ironically, the church of satan are actually atheists.
In fact, the members don’t even believe in the Christian depiction of the devil. To them, satan represents positivity, pride and individualism, however, they do not worship Satan as a being, deity or person.
The Church of Satan puts an individual at the center of the universe. They see the world around them as indifferent, and see God in themselves. They don’t believe in a heaven or a hell.
How to Use Pentagrams and/or Pentacles for Protection in Everyday Life
In ancient times, pentagrams were used to protect homes from evil and are still used today for this purpose.
Check out these cool ways to utilize this incredible powerful symbol.
Threshold on the floor – You can place this symbol at the threshold of your bedroom door or front door. Make sure that Spirit points towards the inside of the room or if at your front door make sure that the spirit points towards the inside of the house. This way no negativity can enter.
Above the bed – Place this symbol above your bed, but at the head of the bed. The spirit point should point towards the ceiling.
Pentagrams and pentacles should always be exposed. Many people hide them, especially if wearing them as jewellery for feared of being mocked or labelled as evil, however, it is important that the symbol is exposed.
The powers of the pentagram and/or pentacle are incredible for protection and by exposing the symbol, you will be fully protected.
Use these symbols everywhere, not just in jewellery. They can be used on clothes, crockery, ornaments, carved into wood or the earth or drawn on rocks and stones.
Always remember to cleanse and bless your pentagram and/or pentacle before and after rituals. Everything is energy and you don’t want to have anything negative stuck inside your pentacle.
The best way is to use white sage.
I like to use white sage incense and then fill it with good intent and then leave it out in the moonlight to charge in the moon energy.