Welcome to another Magickal Musings discussion! Today, we discuss one of the most popular esoteric images, the pentagram!
The pentagram, in a nutshell, is the familiar symbol of the five-pointed star, composed of five interlacing lines. The mere sight of this symbol brings up lots of different connotations to people from all walks of life. The following is my experience with this ancient symbol, and how I’ve learned to understand it. Depending on your experience, this may be a review of what you’re already well aware… For others, this article may be a real eye-opener!
If your cultural background is anything like mine, the symbol of the pentagram may have been demonized by your culture, and you may be reluctant to include it in your current spiritual practice… But have you ever looked into what the pentagram really represents?
For a long time, I didn’t… At least not until around 2014, when it started popping up everywhere in my spiritual experience!
Overcoming Superstition Around the Pentagram
While I now identify as an “Eclectic Witch,” I was raised as a member of one of the Abrahamic religions, and my spiritual mentors had very little understanding of sacred geometry… They feared that which they did not understand. This is not to be said of all religious people, but definitely of the particular group with which I was acquainted.
By my definition, “superstition” is what occurs when one allows fear of the unknown to rule their decision making, rather than curiosity… and that’s exactly what I was fed as a child surrounding magick, witchcraft, paganism, and particularly symbols like the pentagram… and not just in the place of worship, either… Overall, most everyone I knew as a child, regardless of their spiritual background, associated the pentacle (the encircled five-pointed star) with “satanism” and “evil”…
As an adult, I’ve chosen to take personal responsibility for my spiritual growth, rather than relying on the teachings of any particular person or organization. In so doing, I’ve learned a plethora of lessons about things I was never allowed to study as a child… One of which is the pentagram.
So, what does the pentagram really mean?
Harnessing the Power of the Five Elements
Each point on the star represents one of the four natural elements, earth, air, fire, and water. The fifth point represents the mysterious fifth element, which is spirit, or consciousness. When the spirit is depicted above the four physical elements, this is typically regarded as a symbol of balance and health. When it is shown upside-down (the inverted pentagram), that is where it becomes questionable. It can be a representation of “evil” or “devil worship,” to some, but to me, it generally just depicts illness or perversion of morals in some way.
When the physical elements take priority over the higher knowing of spirit, imbalance occurs. Some magickal practitioners will actually depict the pentagram facing different directions based on the nature of the type of work they are doing… And it isn’t always for what is generally considered to be “bad” magick. For example, the inverted pentagram can be used in workings where revoking bad habits is the intent.
The Pentagram as a Symbol for Health
For me, the elements have been a wonderful starting point in learning to understand universal law, and my place within it. Without each of the four natural elements, life as we know it would not exist. Without the fifth element of spiritual consciousness, the Universe wouldn’t be able to experience its own magnificence. As I’ve learned better to know myself, as well as connect with nature, the pentagram has revealed itself to me as a symbol of holistic wellness, happiness, and belonging.
While I’ve never consciously used the inverted pentagram in my craft, I can definitely recall times in my life when my energetic pentagram was upside-down, and it wasn’t pretty! In my teens and early twenties, I was full of fear, and was always trying to fix things from the outside, rather than getting to know myself on the inside first. I thought manipulating circumstances would get me by, when in fact, it was the spirit that needed nurturing.