The Cultural Significance of Pentagrams

A pentagram is a symbol that is depicted by a star encased in a circle. Pentagrams always have five points with one of the points pointing upwards. The point of the star that points upwards represents the spirit while the other four points each represent an element; earth, water, fire, and air. When a person wears a pentagram, it often symbolizes the connection they feel with the elements as well as respect for the earth.

What is the Golden Proportion?

The golden proportion, or ratio, is a term used in mathematics to describe two quantities whose ratio is the same as the ratio of the sum of the larger two quantities. With pentagrams, each intersection of edges sections the edges in the golden proportion. Pentagrams include five obtuse and five acute isosceles triangles. The acute triangles are the golden triangles while the obtuse triangles are considered golden gnomons.

Pentagrams as Protection

It has long been believed that pentagrams are a potent form of protection against evil. They are symbols of conflict that are said to shield the home and the wearer. When a path is traced around a pentagram. The elements are arranged in order of density. The spirit comes first and faces upwards, followed by fire, air, water, and earth.

Types of Pentagrams

Pentagrams may be open or circled. Opened pentagrams symbolize an outgoing of self, while as a Pagan religious symbol, an open pentagram symbolizes an active, open approach. A pentagram enclosed in a circle is said to protect and contain. The circle also represents infinity and eternity as well as the cycles of nature and life. When the circle touches all five points, it indicates that the spirit and all the elements are connected. In keeping with the tradition of secrecy in witchcraft, circled pentagrams imply spiritual containment of the magic circle.

A pentagram can also be inverted with the spirit point facing downwards. Many Pagans see the inverted pentagram as a symbol of the dark side and it is often thought of as an evil symbol. Some, however, believe that the inverted pentagram represents the need for a witch to learn how to face the darkness within themselves so that it cannot take control.

Pentagrams and Religion

Until medieval times, the pentagram was a Christian symbol with the five points representing the five wounds of Christ on the Cross. Today however, many Christians consider the pentagram to be a symbol of evil. The pentagram ceased to exist as a symbol of Christianity when it was replaced by the cross. While no longer a symbol in Christianity, the pentagram continues to have deep meaning for several different religions around the world.

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Article approved by Sophia Loren.