Many newcomers to Paganism, particularly Wicca, may be familiar with the symbol of a pentagram, but may not particularly know what it is, what it means and what it is used for. This quick little blog post will help answer some of those questions for any newcomers out there!
A star by any other name.
Pentagrams are known by many names, including five-point star, pentacle, Pentalpha, pentangle, and star polygon. Let’s begin with the technical definition.
a five-pointed star that is formed by drawing a continuous line in five straight segments often used as a mystic and magical symbol.
Wait…so what is a pentacle?
Opinions vary wildly, between different people. To me, they are one and the same. Some claim the difference is the way in which the top point lies (to the north it’s a pentacle, towards the bottom it’s a pentagram). While others make the distinction simply on if it is within a circle (Pentagram is the star only, Pentacle is the star within a circle). Honestly, to me in my personal practice, it doesn’t matter. They are one and the same, I call them both things interchangeably. If you’d like to look into the differences between the two, I would say google it and decide. For all purposes, to me, they are the same, and I will refer to it as a pentagram on this post.
So What is it? and What does it mean?
In Wicca and other Pagan traditions, the pentagram is displayed with one point upright, two points down, and two points out to the sides. Depending on your tradition, the pentagram may represent the human body, or the 4 elements and the all/Ether/Spirit.
Pentagrams can be very plain or overly embellished. From a simple drawing on a piece of parchment to a dazzling pentagram decorated with gemstones and crystals. It can also be combined with other symbols to suit your needs.
What is it used for?
Often used in ritual, many times used in circle casting and banishing. The pentagram is often drawn in the air using an energy tool such as a wand or athame. I have heard of practitioners anointing themselves with oil, using the shape of the pentagram in both rituals and spell casting. Pentagrams are carved into candles, painted on stones, embroidered on to clothing or container bags.
In ritual and ceremonial magic, the pentagram is used as an amulet of warding and protection for the caster as they perform their rituals and ceremonies.
The pentagram is also used for protection or personal safety in your everyday life. As a symbol of protection it can also be hung on the main doorway to your home to keep bad vibes away, or kept in your car, your pet’s tags, etc.
Many modern Wiccans and Pagans of all traditions keep an altar pentagram, as a symbol of earth. By placing sacred items upon it, they can be consecrated, cleansed or empowered.
The Pentagram corresponds to the element of earth. Due to its earth correspondence, many embellish their altar pentagrams with earth correspondent stones such as onyx, aventurine, jade or tiger’s eye.
There are other common correspondences people use in their practices. For example, carving the symbol on a piece of wood or creating it out of natural materials such as sticks creates a link to the natural world. When made of silver it can create a link to Lunar forces and heighten your psychic abilities. Gold pentagrams are associated with mental clarity and the boosting of energy.
However, the significance of a pentagram for you and your personal practice is a deeply personal belief. You do not need to have a heavily embellished silver pentagram to create link Moon energies or to use it for your full moon ritual. A simple pentagram drawn on a piece of paper will work just as well, all you need is intent. So make those pentagrams, and use them for your protection and ritual practice.
As always, hope you enjoyed this article!
Love and Light