Most religions have their own special symbol: Christians wear a Cross, Jews have the Star of David and the symbol of Islam is Crescent. Wicca is no exception. The Wiccan symbol is a Pentagram.
The pentagram has existed for thousands of years. For some people the word “pentagram” may associate with worshiping the devil, but the fact is that in the past it was used as a protection sign from evil and was even used by the Catholic church. Today it is a Wiccan symbol of faith.
The Difference Between Pentagrams and Pentacles
A pentagram is a five-pointed star. The pentagram is known as an “endless knot”, because it’s possible to draw it with a continuous motion, without lifting your pencil.
A pentacle is a pentagram inside of a circle. It can be made of wood, stone, metal or clay. It is a very powerful protection symbol and Wiccans usually put it on an altar. Pentacles and pentagrams can take material form, or be completely abstract. If you draw a pentagram in the air above a certain object, it will be just as protected as if you had put a material pentacle on or next to it. Pentacles and pentagrams have always been associated with mystery, magic and protection from evil.
Archaeologists have discovered pentagrams on the Mesopotamian pieces of broken dishes from 3,500 BC. Pentagrams also appear in ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman art. Pentagrams were even used by Christians in the early Middle Ages.
Thanks to the writings of Hildegard of Bingen in the 12th century, a Benedictine nun and abbess, the pentagram has become a central symbol of the microcosm, a reflection of the divine plan on earth and a sacred shape.
The Meaning of Pentagram
Hildegard of Bingen believed that the pentagram is a personification of a human body for five human senses – sight, scent, hearing, taste and touch – and five body parts – two arms, two legs and the head. Since mankind was created in God’s image, she also believed that the pentagram is an embodiment of God.
Other Christians thought that the pentagram is an embodiment of the five wounds of Christ. In any case it was always considered as a protection symbol from evil. Early Jewish tradition associated the pentagram with a Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible. At that time the pentagram was also considered as an embodiment of a truth.
The pentagram became first associated with evil during the Inquisition in the form of Baphomet, a goat creature, which was considered a demon and a personification of the devil. It was believed that the pentagram represents the devil‘s goat head.
Today the pentagram and the pentacle are considered as Wiccan symbols of faith and paganism. Many witches wear the pentagram for protection and some wear it to show their pride in their religion.
The corners of a pentagram represent the Akasha (or Spirit) and the four elements, the substances which are responsible for all living things. Some pentagrams have colored corners, when each color is associated with a specific element (water – blue, fire – red, air – yellow, earth – green, spirit – white or purple). Some witches believe that the pentagram is a personification of the trinity of the Goddess (Maiden, Mother and Crone) and the dual-unity of the God (light and dark).
In some traditions, the corners of the pentagram represent the four elements and the magical intention. Spirit is at the heart of the pentagram and is connected directly with each of the corners.
Choose Your Pentacle
You can buy a pentacle made from a variety of materials, for your altar or as a decoration. Each material has its meaning. Here are the most common ones:
- Silver – represents the Goddess.
- Gold – represents the God.
- Copper – attracts the energy.
- Multi-colored – each corner associated with a specific element.
- With stones located in the corners – usually each stone matches the color of a specific element.
- With one central stone – for example, amethyst – means healing of the spirit. Onyx is for protection. Hematite symbolizes a connection with Earth. Moonstone represents the Goddess.
- With an engraved image of the Goddess in the center – it is usually an image of Isis, the Egyptian Mother Goddess.
- With an engraved image of an animal in the center – usually a wolf.
Pentacles have different sizes. There are pendant pentacles, brooches, earrings and rings. Some of them are so small that other people often cannot understand what are you wearing. One very small pentacle appears in the form of the Egyptian goddess Bast. A small pentagram is engraved on her chest.
About Priestess Licentia
Licentia has been introduced to Wicca at a young age, when she was adopted by a loving Wiccan family. Since then, she has amassed extensive knowledge and experience, and is happy to share it with the community.