Often mistaken for a Satanic symbol, the pentagram has been used for thousands of years by many different cultures. In the Wiccan religion, the pentagram is usually seen point-up, unlike the Satanic pentagram, shown point-down. However, this issue is often confused as some Wiccans may use this symbol in both directions, which can have many different meanings. Wicca and Satanism both use the pentagram for ceremonial magic, but there is no direct link with the two groups.
The five points of the pentagram signify the five basic elements: water, earth, air, fire, and spirit. Spirit is often regarded as the highest point although some Wiccans consider all the elements as equals. In Wiccan tradition, the metaphysical aspects of the elements are also represented. The earth element stands for stability and physical endurance and is the lower left point of the symbol. Fire, which is the lower right point, signifies bravery while air, denoting intelligence takes the upper left point. Water signifies emotion and intuition and is at the upper left point. The circle around the star stands for wholeness and unity. The fifth point, spirit, denotes the divine.
This symbol, in the form of a flattened disc, is often a major aspect of an altar and is often used as a tool for rituals. Many magical items such as a chalice or athame handle have a pentagram etched in the handle or other area. For some Wiccans, it signifies Goddess energy, energy of the feminine and can hold consecrated items including crystals or amulets. The number five is an important one in Wicca; many invocations or spells are said five times to aid in efficacy; the number often signifies the very essence of life.
The pentagram, or pentacle, also represents the search for knowledge of the Divine, which is a common concept in many traditions including the Celts, Native Americans, and even the ancient Babylonians. The symbol is used by Wiccans to mark off enclosures or areas where rituals are being performed, which is why it’s so often used for ceremonies. The pentagram is ritually drawn by the athame, a sacred knife or sword, usually in the four directions.
When inside a sacred circle, a Wiccan draws upon the five elements that are signified by the pentagram and strives to change both internal and external realities. Wiccans use the pentagram for healing and growth of the spirit since those following the tradition believe that their abilities should not be used to harm or benefit from the suffering of others. This symbol enhances and focuses the workings of Wiccan practitioners for the good of the craft, focusing on recognizing the wholeness and interconnectedness of all things.
For many Wiccans, the pentagram also functions as a symbol of protection. In addition to the use of salt, iron, silver, or quartz crystals, the pentagram can also be used to protect the person who possesses this symbol from harm. A pendant spell using a pentagram often cast in silver, acts as a protective talisman and many times a pentagram will be found on items in a practitioner’s home.
This symbol has a long and enduring history and will remain a potent and highly symbolic emblem for any practitioners of Wicca wishing to use it for focus, consecration or protection.
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