The history of one of the worlds most recognized symbols

First off let’s get the bad press out of the way. The pentagram is a very ancient device and was used as an important religious symbol by the Babylonians and by the Pythagoreans in ancient Greece. It is therefore not a symbol of the Christian Devil or any kind of black satanic worship, no matter what various Hollywood movies or any fanciful TV series might like to proclaim. In Wicca it is used as a symbol of faith and during ritual, just as the cross is in the Christian faith. Interestingly, at one time, Christians commonly used the pentagram to represent the five wounds of Jesus before the cross became the universal Christian representation.

The pentagram is by far the best known symbol used in Wicca, although there are others that represent The Goddess and the moon or the Horned God and the sun, and even the Hexagram that represents the universe, which to most people is perhaps more readily identified with the Jewish faith and appears on the national flag of Israel as the Star of David.

In the Wiccan belief system the five points of the pentagram represent the five elements, Air, Fire, Water, Earth and Spirit, which is always the topmost point of the pentagram. They also represent the five senses that we experience, namely, hearing, smell, sight, taste and touch. Along with this the pentagram represents the five limbs, those being, legs, arms and head. Additionally there is representation of the five fingers on a hand or the five toes on a foot. It represents balance and the perfection of the self.

In Wiccan ritual the pentagram is used as protection and as a doorway for the Guardians of the Watchtowers, by which they may enter and exit the circle. Containing five points, the pentagram is a prime number, the sum of 2 and 3, as well as of 1 and 4, and is often seen as mystical because of this.

Wiccans do not believe in the Devil or Hell, so there cannot be by definition, any Devil worship associated with Wicca. The concepts of God and the Devil, Heaven and Hell are beliefs associated with the Christian faith and Islam. They have no place in a nature based religion that seeks a balance in all things and believes in an afterlife in the Summerland, and then reincarnation on Earth.

We should also clear up a misunderstanding as to what is and what is not a pentagram. A pentagram is the symbol of a five pointed star, any five pointed star, although in Wicca it is usually presented as the ‘endless knot’ with no beginning and no end.

A pentacle is a circle used as a tool for consecrations. In Wiccan ritual a protective circle is drawn in which the ritual will be performed, inside of that may be drawn a pentagram. Most Wiccans will wear about their necks as a piece of jewellery, a silver pentagram within a protective circle. It is here that we most often see the confusion between a pentagram and a pentacle, and the terms are often interchanged, especially by those not of the Craft.

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