Pagan Basics: the pentagram

The Pagan Basics series is for those looking to find out more about the basic concepts, symbols and values of paganism.  A series of short articles which give explanations to some of paganism’s most fundamental concepts, images and shared understandings.

We start with the pentagram: a series of five crossed lines which form a star shape:

green pentagram

You may also see an interlinked, or interlocked version, in which the lines go alternately over and under each other.

interlinked pentagramYou may also see it with a circle drawn round it, when it is technically known as a pentacle:

pentacle

Many wiccans will wear a pentagram or pentacle as a piece of jewellery, often as a pendant. This has extended to other pagans, as a generally recognised symbol of paganism.  The five points are said to symbolise the four elements, earth, air, fire and water, together with a fifth representing spirit as the upward point.  As all of these five points have an equal share of the shape, the pentagram represents balance and harmony between all five aspects.  Some pagans will also wear it as a protective symbol, some as an outward affirmation of faith, others just as a means of recognition and identification.   Not all pagans wear a pentagram, wearing or owning one is not mandatory!

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One thought on “Pagan Basics: the pentagram

  1. You really can teach an old dog new tricks. I never thought much about the difference between a pentagram and a pentacle before, now I will be more careful in my nomenclature. Thanks.

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