Pentagram Meaning The Forbidden Knowledge You NEED to Know!

Pentagram Meaning: The Forbidden Knowledge You NEED to Know!

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The pentagram meaning has varied throughout history, religions, and different cultures. It depicted various meanings, including symbolizing unity, evil, the elements, and the divine, while also representing Satanic and Christian beliefs.

The pentagram’s remarkable symbolism is found in the simple beauty of Nature. Examples include apples, flower petals, and starfish.

Please note that I make every effort to ensure this information is correct and accurate through my own experiences and referencing sources throughout AND at the bottom of this article.

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Pentagram Meaning Video For Beginners

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Check out my YouTube video on the Pentagram Meaning

Pentagram Meaning Throughout History

Since the pentagram’s meaning has changed many times throughout history, I thought a timeline would be the easiest way to showcase its development. Feel free to use the Table of Contents above to jump to the section you’d like to know more about!

I’ve strived to write this article as accurately as possible, and I’ve listed all sources used at the bottom of this article for your reference.

Pentagram Meaning in Mesopotamia

Around 3000 BCE, the Sumerians governed Mesopotamia and created the first known written language, called cuneiform, which featured a wedge-shaped script. Sumerians scratched pentagram symbols into stone and also placed them on clay pottery.

Sumerians weren’t concerned with the orientation of the pentagram and frequently placed it in an inverted position. This is the oldest known usage of the pentagram symbol.

Due to inadequate documentation, historians tend to disagree on the reasons for the use of the pentagram, but several theories exist. The first theory believes the pentagram depicts the five planets seen in the night sky, including Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Saturn, and Venus.

Another theory describes the number five as representing Ishtar (Babylonian goddess of sexual love and war); the pentagram symbolizes and honors her as the feminine divine.

Pentagram Meaning in Ancient Greece

The ancient Greek philosopher Pythagoras (570 – 490 BCE) believed every number had unique magical properties. The number five represented human life for various reasons, beginning with the idea that the sum of the first odd and even number equaled five (they did not believe one was a number or odd). Example – 2+3=5.

Another belief suggests five represents human life because the human hand has five fingers, and the human body’s extremities (head, arms, and legs) equal five.

The Pythagoreans (Pythagoras’s followers) chose the pentagram as a symbol of identification and as a health charm. Later, the Greek mathematician Euclid (325–265 BCE) outlined geometry in his book Elements, although he likely sourced the fundamentals from Ancient Egypt.

Euclid proved the Pythagorean theorem and described the formation of the five regular solids, known as the Platonic Solids (tetrahedron, hexahedron, octahedron, dodecahedron, and icosahedron), which he considered perfect.

The concept of the number 5 being sacred led to the addition of a fifth element (quintessence) to the previous four elements that formed a human being. Plato (428–347 BCE) later determined the Platonic Solids represented the five building blocks of matter and paired them with the Elements (fire, air, earth, water, and aether).

The Greeks believed the Pentagram was a sacred symbol due to its mathematical proportions.

Pentagram Meaning in Ancient Greece

Christian Pentagram During the Middle Ages

It may be hard to believe, but during the Middle Ages, the pentagram was one of the main symbols of early Christianity long before it depicted witchcraft; you’ll see it used in many historic churches and buildings.

Christians often used the pentagram to represent the five wounds of Christ, symbolizing his hands, feet, and the stab wound given by a Roman soldier as he hung on the cross during his crucifixion.

It may have even represented the Bethlehem Star, guiding the Three Wise Men to baby Jesus. Additionally, Christians associated the pentagram with the Alpha and Omega (the beginning and the end) because it is created in one fluid motion without lifting the pen.

Believed to repel evil spirits and witches, people often placed the pentagram on front entryways and windows.

Christian Pentagram During the Middle Ages

Pentagram Meaning During the Renaissance

During the Renaissance, humanists (a cultural movement during the Renaissance that refused medieval academia and instead embraced ancient Greek and Roman ideas) believed the circle was sacred and represented God or the divine, and a square symbolized earth and our physical realm. Thus, a human forming a circle could transcend beyond the physical world and into the spiritual symbolically.

Leonardo da Vinci’s (1452-1519) Vitruvian Man (pictured below) depicts a man forming a circle with his arms and legs outstretched. By placing him inside a square and circle, Leonardo da Vinci metaphorically demonstrates that humans can simultaneously exist in the spiritual and physical realms.

Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man is based on concepts from Roman architect and engineer Vitruvius and his writings from De Architecture, which were based on his personal knowledge and philosophical writings by well-known Greek architects.

Pentagram Meaning During the Renaissance, Vitruvian Man.

Influence of Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa von Nettesheim

Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa von Nettesheim (1486-1535), a Renaissance theologian of esoteric ideas, wrote the De Occulta Philosophia (which comprises three books). In his book, he references the ancient script of the Theban Alphabet and analyzes the widely held belief that humans model the universe’s design and that it possesses a soul.

Like Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man, Nettesheim sketched a human (pictured below) with his arms and legs spread, symbolizing a pentagram. Nettesheim believed humans are the perfect example of the universe and that the ideal image of this was a pentagram. Each point represents human body parts and celestial bodies discovered at that time (Mars representing the head, Jupiter the right arm, Saturn the right leg, Mercury the left leg, Venus the left arm, and the Moon near the genitalia).

Mid-19th Century Pentagram Meaning

Before discussing the mid-19th-century pentagram’s meaning, let’s first jump back in time to 1098 to Anselm of Ribemont and a letter he wrote detailing his account of the First Crusade; in it, he wrote that the Turks “called loudly upon Baphomet.”

This was the first time the name Baphomet was mentioned, and most historians believe they were calling upon Muhammad. After this, many innocent people were arrested and falsely accused of worshiping him over the years.

Now that we’ve discussed that bit of history let’s jump forward to the Mid-19th century.

Until 1861, the pentagram had only positive connotations and spiritual meanings until French occultist Éliphas Lévi wrote his book, Dogme et ritual de la haute magie (Transcendental Magic: Its Doctrine and Ritual).

Éliphas Lévi describes a goat head by detailing the pentagram’s orientation and outlining a depiction of Baphomet. Here is an excerpt from Dogme et ritual de la haute magie.

A reversed pentagram, with two points projecting upwards, is a symbol of evil and attracts sinister forces because it overturns the proper order of things and demonstrates the triumph of matter over spirit. It is the goat of lust attacking the heavens with its horns, a sign execrated by initiates.

The flaming star, which, when turned upside down, is the hieroglyphic sign of the goat of Black Magic, whose head may then be drawn in the star, the two horns at the top, the ears to the right and left, the beard at the bottom.

Let us keep the figure of the Five-pointed Star always upright, with the topmost triangle pointing to heaven, for it is the seat of wisdom, and if the figure is reversed, perversion and evil will be the result.

Éliphas Lévi – Dogme et ritual de la haute magie (Transcendental Magic: Its Doctrine and Ritual)

Éliphas Lévi believed an inverted pentagram should be sinister and evil because it placed “matter over spirit” and allowed sexual desires to reign over a sense of reason and logic.

Inspired by Lévi years later, Aleister Crowley used the pentagram in his occult practice, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, as a Banishing Ritual to trap and disperse demons or troublesome entities.

Satanic Pentagram

In 1966, occultist Anton Lavey founded the Church of Satan and, inspired by Éliphas Lévi’s description of the pentagram, created its symbol and logo, the Sigil of Baphomet. People sometimes refer to this symbol as the satanic pentagram.

The Church of Satan does not worship the devil, and instead, members consist of atheists. According to their website’s frequently asked questions page:

We see the universe as being indifferent to us, and so all morals and values are subjective human constructions.

Our position is to be self-centered, with ourselves being the most important person (the “God”) of our subjective universe, so we are sometimes said to worship ourselves. Our current High Priest Gilmore calls this the step moving from being an atheist to being an “I-Theist.”

Satan to us is a symbol of pride, liberty, and individualism, and it serves as an external metaphorical projection of our highest personal potential. We do not believe in Satan as a being or person.

Church of Satan – Fundamental Beliefs

The media coverage of serial killers who had occult interests, like Richard Ramirez, aka ‘The Night Stalker,’ has also contributed to the Pentagram becoming notorious for ‘evil.’ Ramirez left the satanic pentagram at crime scenes frequently, and after his conviction, he drew an inverted pentagram on his palm.

Lastly, fictional movie and television portrayals have villainized this sacred symbol, pairing it with sinister intentions or “dark magic.” Unfortunately, Hollywood magic has powerful effects, and many people genuinely believe that a “Satanic Pentagram” is truly nefarious.

Satanic Pentagram Sigil of Baphomet

Pentagram Meaning During Modern Times

Today, most spiritual practitioners see the pentagram as a symbol of protection, representative of harmony and balance, or knowledge and guidance from the universe or divine. When placed within a circle (pentacle), it indicates a unity of body and spirit and symbolizes life. The circle helps to ward off negativity and safeguard spiritual energy.

In traditional forms of Wicca, an inverted pentagram correlates with Second-Degree Initiation. During this period, there is a focus on shadow work and developing spiritual awareness and emotional control over elements and the Ego. An inverted pentagram represents this concept.

During the Satanic panic of the eighties, combined with misinformed opinions, schools often prohibited students from wearing pentagrams on jewelry or attire. Later, authorities ruled this a breach of the First Amendment and religious rights.

The pentagram was recognized as a religious symbol in April of 2007. Fallen service members at Arlington National Cemetery, whose beliefs align with the pentagram meaning, can now have the pentagram placed on their graves.

Since the pentagram is a prevalent symbol among Freemasons, and because many of America’s founding fathers were members, the pentagram frequently weaves into American culture, often unnoticed.

Examples include the dollar bill, the National Mall, the Great Star Flag of 1837, the Pentagon, the Medal of Honor, and even the national flag.

Pentagram Meaning During Modern Times in the United States Government

Pentagram vs Pentacle – What’s the Difference?

Pentagram vs. pentacle: What’s the difference? This is a commonly asked question, so let’s begin with their appearance. As you can see from the image below, the pentagram is a five-pointed star created in one fluid motion without lifting your pen. A pentacle contains a pentagram within a circle, bringing chaos magic and sigil creation to mind.

Regarding the spiritual differences between the pentagram and the pentacle, the answer depends on who you ask.

Some spiritual practitioners believe the pentagram and pentacle are synonymous and use them interchangeably. They believe both symbols represent our connection with nature and harmony with the world around us.

Since the circle and the pentagram represent symbols that do not have a beginning or end, other spiritual practitioners believe the added circle to the pentacle symbolizes eternity, infinity, nature’s cyclical seasons, and limitless energy.

Lastly, some people believe a pentacle is simply ANY design that contains magical symbols and does not necessarily include a pentagram or star shape. As an example of this, The Lesser Key of Solomon is often referenced as evidence of this belief. Although one could argue, those are sigils, not pentacles, but that’s a debate for another day.

Pentagram vs Pentacle - What's the Difference?

I hope you enjoyed this article on the pentagram meaning! Please feel free to ask any questions below! Lots of love to you, and remember, as always…

Sources

History.com Editors. “Mesopotamia” HISTORY, A&E Television Networks, November 30, 2017, https://www.history.com/topics/ancient-middle-east/mesopotamia

Kynes, Sandra. “Magical Symbols and Alphabets.” A practitioner’s guide to spells, rites, and history. 2020

Bauer, Patricia. “Baphomet”. Encyclopedia Britannica, 8 Jul. 2019, https://www.britannica.com/topic/Baphomet. Accessed 23 June 2021.Copy Citation

Skinner, Stephen. Sacred Geometry – Deciphering the Code. Octopus Publishing Group LTD 2006

Quadrivium – The Four Classical Liberal Arts of Number, Geometry, Music and Cosmology. Wooden Books. 2010

Signs and Symbols: An Illustrated Guide to Their Origins and Meanings. Penguin Random House. 2008

James Morgan. Decoding the symbols on Satan’s statue. BBC News. 1 August 2015. https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-33682878

Stewart, Ian. “Number symbolism”. Encyclopedia Britannica, 4 Nov. 2020, https://www.britannica.com/topic/number-symbolism. Accessed 23 June 2021.

Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Vitruvius”. Encyclopedia Britannica, 19 Dec. 2019, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Vitruvius. Accessed 23 June 2021.

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