I finished an edit on book one in my Witches of Griffin series and decided to blog about a positive symbol that is often misunderstood today. The pentacle as evil is a relatively modern concept, but when viewing the image, some associate it with Satanists or the dark arts. In actuality, this ancient sign is considered a potent and powerful symbol of love and light. Throughout history, this five-pointed star encased in a circle, was incorporated by many religions as a positive emblem. The earliest known use for the pentacle dates back to 3000 BC. The Sumerians and Babylonians are believed to have used it to depict angles and provide direction. Some historians believe the pentacle was used for astrological purposes, with the five points representing Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and Venus.
Pythagoras, the Greek mathematician, studied the geometry of the pentacle and recognized that the division of lines resulted in the “Golden Ratio” making it an emblem of perfection, since it is in perfect harmony and balance with the cosmos. Pythagoras’s followers embraced the mystical concept that the soul was eternal through the process of transmigration. His followers attributed the points of the pentacle to the elements of earth, air, water, fire, and ideas.
In Egypt, the five-pointed star was known as the star of Isis. Isis was one of the earliest and most important goddesses in Egypt. She was the goddess of magic and life.
The Holy Roman Emperor, Constantine used the pentacle as a seal and amulet. When the church was formed, many Christians associated the pentacle with the five wounds of Christ, or the five joys of the Virgin Mary. The pentacle was also said to represent the five virtues, while others associated it with the five human senses.
In medieval times, the pentacle was associated with the legends of King Arthur and said to represent the five primary religions. According to Sir Gawain, a poet, King Solomon designed the five-pointed star as his own magic seal. It was seen as a symbol of truth, with five points that link and lock with each other, forming what is called the endless knot. The pentacle was said to represent the five virtues of knighthood: chastity, purity, courtesy, piety, and generosity. Knights would often have a small pentacle painted on their armor or garb during pilgrimages and battles. It was common for knights to utilize pagan symbols and allot them religious and spiritual meaning.
The pentacle represented a variety of positive attributes throughout history with the stars point reaching toward the heavens. The symbol is often linked with the occult for it is a main symbol used by Wiccans. The sacred nature of the number five was amplified in Celtic traditions from which modern Paganism is derived.
Wiccans see the pentacle as the symbol of Divine knowledge. The five points represent the directions or elements with the fifth point representing the realm of spirit. The circle around the pentagram represents unity as a whole. Thus symbolizing the connectedness that we are all one.
It wasn’t until the 1800’s when the pentacle was inverted so the two points faced upward that a negative association was made and the pentacle became a symbol of darkness. The inverted pentacle is called the Sigil of Baphomet. It is said to represent the goat head of Baphomet.
In the early 14th century, during the Inquisition, when the Roman Catholic Church interrogated the Knights Templar, Baphomet made its first appearance in history. At that time, Baphomet was the term used to describe the idol the Templars were accused of worshipping. Many assume the inverted pentacle’s description was a byproduct of the torture methods used, rather than an actual statue idolized by the knights. Of the 231 knights examined by the Pope’s commissioners in Paris, only twelve, while under torture, admitted to recognizing the idol, there was also little agreement among the knights descriptions of Baphomet. It wasn’t until 1856, when the inverted pentacle was associated with the Sabbatic goat image, drawn by French occult leader Eliphas Levi.
Today the Sigil of Baphomet is widely used by the Church of Satan, which was founded in 1966. The inverted symbol is said to attract evil forces because it has been overturned, harming the proper order of things. It is a sign of antagonism and fatality, with the three downward points symbolizing rejection of the holy trinity.
The pentacle has deep roots in history, as it is an extension to the potent and powerful pentagram. The pentacle is a positive symbol of Divine knowledge and connection. It is used as an amulet of protection. They are often used in magical rituals, invocations, and spells. A pentacle made of silver is said to bind the energy of the Moon, while one made of gold binds the energy to the Sun.
A special thank you to http://www.religioustolerance.org/wic_pent.htm http://www.witchvox.com/va/dt_va.html?a=usma&c=basics&id=2875 http://www.gothwitch.co.uk/Symbols.htm