The Way of the Pentagram
Its History
Emerald Pent

The Pentagram is much older than people realize and not just for Pagans...!

Be aware, most links on this page are off site links, to other information

Emerald Pent

In the current day. it's use is mainly as a sign of earth based
faiths, showing the four elements topped with the realm of spirit.

There are many other examples:

This was not always so.

You will find links to many sites on this matter
that will speak of its history and use,
scattered throughout, some of them may be a surprise... :)
In fact, I am sure of it..!

But it's also a quick fact list.
for those who don't have the time for extended research

You will also find much the same
information as presented here if you go hunting about
Which I am very happy to see is
in such abundance on the web... :)
But I have tried to present a few "new" facts that
may not be as common

First off:

Of how old it is...way beyond what most people would expect..
3500 BC as a matter of fact

The Pentagrams association with evil is recent.
Before this demonizing the Pentagram was known
and in some cases is still known as:

A sign for royalty.. to mean
that their power spread to the four corners of the world.

A sign of protection against evil
and demons worn by people
and placed over their doors and windows
all over during Medieval times.
Called the "endless knot" it was a symbol of Truth

A sign painted on Knights shields
to show the 5 virtues
and piety.

As a Christian sign
denoting the 5 wounds of Christ.

As a sign showing the perfection of man. By the
Pythagoreans and called the Pentalpha
They were very into its geometry.

The sign of Freemasonry,which
descends from Pythagorean
still uses the 5 pointed star as its sign.
interlaced and upright for
the Master of the Lodge

As well as many others, that are considered "Pagan" signs
For which they have received all manner of bad press
claiming them to be satanists..!

Which is pure nonsense.

See the link above for a page of the full detailed meaning
behind all their Regalia.

For the Rosicrucian faith who
use the Kabala, it was and to my knowledge still
is the sign of humanity reborn

And as a means to study the faith and the inner mysteries

As a sign of life and humanity for the
5 fingers, senses, ages of man.

( Five is considered a sacred number
as almost all things living down to the smallest
have things in groups of 5
see below for a site that gives information on this idea from
just about every angle possible..)

In Egypt, the five pointed star represented
the underground womb. From which all
are reborn. The Celts used it for the same reason.

Hermetic magicians used the Pentacle
for their model of Man in the Microcosm.

The five-petaled Lotus that appears
on the hands of the Buddha in many depiction's
and A sign of mans quest for perfect enlightenment

Shiva is called the 'Panchanana' or five faced
and the Pentagram is still used today to represent it

Gypsies still cut an apple sideways,
to show the Kore, the Pentacle of the Virgin,
which they call the Star of Knowledge.

Among the Jews, the symbol was ascribed to Truth
and to the five books of the Pentateuch.

Which are the first five books of the bible
and represented as a whole ... the concept of truth

The annual Christian feast of the Epiphany,
celebrating the visit of the three Magi
to the infant Jesus had the Pentagram
as its symbol for a time ‚
due to its adopted date by the church
as the birth date of the Christ,
which coincided with Winter Solstice.

( we wont get into why they did that..! )

As a mystical symbol
by the Gnostics, who called it the Blazing Star
and still use it from time to time

For the Druids, it was a symbol of Godhead,
and used in much the same manner as
most current day Pagans as a sign of the elements

The Pentagram with one point upwards
symbolized summer
; with two points upwards,
it was a sign for winter.
during the time of icons VS words
during mans mass illiteracy

Signum Salmonis,
The true mark of the Knights Templars ?
yes... no..? maybe..? You judge for yourself.

During the Roman Republic
the pentagram represented the building trades
Also seen on a great many coins stuck before
the conversion of Rome to Christianity
during the rein of The Emperor Constantine

( And just as a note
the only reason it got dumped in favor
of the Cross is the King chose the cross
as his royal sign and the people followed suit )

Likewise it's all over the temples of Egypt, for the same reason

The old temples of the Latter day Saints
have inverted Pentagrams on them to this day
( The link above is their site that trys to explain that..)

The Jews of old emulated the seal of Solomon,
but did so with 5 points not six..'

The association of the Pentagram
with non-Christian belief, and its modern "elemental" analysis,
was introduced during the revival of occultism
in the 17th and 18th centuries.

The distinction between the point-upwards
and point-downwards Pentagram
forms became accentuated in the minds of Pagans
During this same time frame.

The use of the "inverted" Pentagram
to denote evil is quite recent

And first appears in the works of Eliphas Levi.
a priest/occultest.

He is also the
source of the "goat's head" glyph.

Before this, neither orientation
had evil connotations. And the sad thing is...
not even HE intended it quite that way, by all accounts.
He was writing a thesis on Gargoyles, at least to start with.

Those who take on the personal ethical code of
Wicca the Wiccan Rede of
"An it harm none, do what you will"

Do not wish to be lumped together
with the Satanists who's philosophy tends to be
of the domination of the spirit
by the physical body - the priority of matter and physical existence,
which is just another way of looking at the world.

But it is not our view of the world as a whole
and we have therefore stopped using the inverted form
entirely for any purpose. ( almost )

Which is sad and
dangerous to say the least, as to ban any religions sign,
could led to the banning of them all..
Something to think about.

I found this reference and it says it all very well
of what to a modern Pagan the Pentagram is:
so here it is... in complete form:

"The pentagram has long been believed
to be a potent protection
against evil, a symbol of conflict
that shields the wearer and their home.

* The pentagram has five spiked wards
and a womb shaped defensive,
protective pentagon at the center.

* There are five elements, four of matter (earth, air, fire and
water) and THE quintessential - spirit.
These may be arrayed
around the pentagrams points.

+ The word 'quintessential' derives
from this fifth element -
the spirit.

* Single point upwards signifies the spirit
ruling matter (mind
ruling limbs); is a symbol of rightness.
With two points up and
one (spirit) downwards,
subservient, the emphasis
is on the carnal nature of Man.

* Tracing a path around the pentagram,
the elements are placed in
order of density - spirit (or ether).
fire, air, water, earth.
Earth and fire are basal, fixed;
air and water are free, flowing.

* These point attributions are used in ritually inscribing
as a flourish of the hands or the athame,
different forms of pentagram
for invoking or banishing (grounding)
each of the elementals
according to the nature of the ritual.
The line traces as
illustrated for earth (the last stroke is optional).

Another way of seeing this path is
as Man's spiritual journey through
evolution. The spark of Life descending from
the divine source of life to the
simplest embryonic form (earth),

rising to flow (water - air) on our plane of existence
(compare with the intonation of the AUM
mantra), then again descending to the fire of purification before
again rising as a divine spark to find again his spiritual source."

I hope you have enjoyed and been informed
by my little page of history which is
as I said almost identical with so many others,
with the exception of the facts I have given you

I hope...:)

Enough places to go to read more on the names
and concepts presented here to the best of my ability.

May you enjoy the hunt :)
and come away with a slightly different point of view

My page on the Geometry of the Pentagram HERE


Silver branch link back
Which is no more, but I give them their due anyway :)