LiPaPo 15: Pentagram and Pentacle

Hello all~ this is the LiPaPo series, standing for Little Pagan Post. (almost) Every day I will post a short little post, exploring an aspect of my beliefs and practices. I hope you enjoy them ~ kitty hugs to all~ Joouna

Perhaps the most characteristic symbols of  witchcraft are the pentagram and the pentacle.

image source: http://www.panix.com/~ddellutr/astro/dvc-two-pentacles.jpg
image source: http://www.panix.com/~ddellutr/astro/dvc-two-pentacles.jpg

The difference between them is that the pentacle is basically a pentagram inside a circle.

Historically, the pentagram has been found in many diverse cultures, from ancient Mesopotamia to Greece, Celtic culture, China, Egypt and early Christianity. Its geometry probably fascinated the people of old all across the globe. Today it is used as a symbol for witchcraft, the Wiccan religion (primarily in pentacle form), the Serer religion, and is also found on the flags of Morocco and Ethiopia. The inverted pentagram has often been adopted by occultists to represent the devil or demons (and that does by no means imply that “the pentagram is a symbol of evil”).

The most common meaning of these symbols in witchcraft today is that it represents the 4 elements (air, fire, water and earth) and spirit, or the divine energy. The pentagram can be drawn in one line, and is thus a symbol of interconnectedness. (There is some disagreement in the community as to whether spirit can be considered an element or not.) In the case of the pentacle, the circle around the star represents the magic circle that is often cast for spellwork or rituals. Thus the symbols are also a primary symbol of working magic. Drawing one in a clockwise direction is used for invoking something, while drawing it counterclockwise for banishing. They also serve as protective symbols.

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