This is a tool that has been embraced, hissed at, denied, and otherwise chocked off as some new-agey tool. Far from the truth in my opinion.I don’t use the pentacle like most do. To me, it is the North Star that sits atop the world tree as a guide for us in the middle and lower worlds. A visible sign that we can follow.
I do not put the ‘elements,’ on the pentacle. I have seen the North Star as a six
pointed star, and I think this works just as well. I have been connected to the pentacle since childhood by drawing them all over the sky in my kiddy drawings. Funny, I got my crayons taken away. That didn’t stop me, there were sharpies, pens, and pencils all over the place –
Because of the pentacle being the North Star for me, it is also a symbol not only of Arta by Her deep association with the North Star, but it can be a wheel (since all the stars revolve around it akin to a wheel) in devotion to Karnona. With the placement in the Upper-World atop the World Tree, Etno’s teachings are here as well. When you place something upon this ‘wheel,’ in ritual it is only natural for change and consecration to occur since you’re placing this/these item(s) upon the symbolic North Star itself.
Because of it’s being the North Star, it is a perfect symbol of protection and even in imperfect drawings there is still perfection in it’s design. Many wear the pentacle for protection – hell, I do! But, I don’t think limiting it’s history to only Wiccans and Neo-Pagans does this ancient symbol any justice.
For one thing, there is the Tarot. I don’t use Tarot, so this bit will be quite short. The pentacle is not only monetary, but primarily the physical and the imagined made real. That’s as far as I understand it.
I do not consider the inverted pentacle to be ‘evil,’ or a sign of a more sinister path. Not at all. A wheel turns, the stars turn around the North Star- it will be ‘inverted,’ during half of the year. It’s the shadow to the light – a fact that I wish was more understood by many practitioners. Hence, I don’t look with disdain with those who wear one, paint them, or otherwise use them. In fact, some of my good friends use them – and they’re no more ‘evil,’ than me. Heh – I suppose that’s up for speculation?
The five pointed star can be traced through Europe, and into Babylon. Many cultures used this, and even Christianity can’t deny having adopted this symbol.
There is a difference between the pentacle, and the pentagram. The pentacle is the star within a circle – for me it symbolizes the North Star with the rotating tree beneath it. The pentagram is the physical brought ‘down,’ so to speak. Inverting the pentagram brings the power further ‘down,’ and not a connotation of evil or sinister ideas. Thanks asshole media. Besides, the inverted pentacle for me is a symbol of the dark half of the year, and a link to the Underworld. How the F*&$ is that evil?
Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa von Nettesheim (15 September 1486 – 18 February 1535) (I got this whole name from Wikipedia) brought the pentacle into popularity in Europe. It was the Pythagoreans that put the ‘five’ elements onto this symbol. I don’t agree, but I digress. Even earlier, in 3500 BC the pentacle was used in the Ur culture in Mesopotamia.
The pentacle has had many names: The Witch’s Foot, The Druid’s Foot, Goblin’s Cross, The Devil’s Star, The North Star, and many more names besides. Because of it’s place in not only some folk magic traditions, add in the Tarot and it’s small wonder why many use the pentacle. This has been a symbol of man, truth, the ‘blazing star,’ the symbol of the many Gods, as a symbol of man it was also a symbol of the Ancestors, and even more besides this.
Numerically speaking within numerology, the five points are a symbol of willpower, the soul itself, wisdom, resources, understanding, a bridging between estranged concepts, and personal power as well as the ‘human’ number.
Due to it’s association with the North Star, I associate this symbol with evolution, growth, death, and rebirth. If you watch the stars rotate around it, your year will involve learning, ‘deaths,’ and regrowth that you hadn’t achieved previously. This is the symbol of change, as well as many others.
Using the pentacle, pentagram, or many other symbols in ritual are potent. I know of many practitioners that use the ‘Lesser Banishing of the Pentagram,’ and more that use the pentacle in their rites. I don’t view one point more prominent than another, it’s just different trails on the same mountain slope.
For me, with the North Star represented, the North star is the symbol of magic, and wisdom. It is the ‘oldest,’ star, and the one that the Tree rotates with throughout the year. It is this symbol that revolves and changes within us as we age and mature. Some call this the ‘rotating castle,’ that many seek. It’s right there in front of us, for all of us to see.
So go outside, and find the North Star. Bring your pentacle either pendant or wheel or plate, and think about the connections within the star itself.