Both revered and feared, the pentagram has long since earned its reputation for esoteric power. Indeed, traces of the pentagram can be found as early as prehistory, 3500 years before our era! Symbol of sorcery, protector against the forces of Evil, the pentagram will be linked in turn to many characters such as Pythagoras, Plato, Euclid, Leonardo da Vinci etc, and declined in different meanings and uses.
The meaning of the pentagram or five-pointed star is the figure of a human being in its form, with arms open and legs apart. The top of the star is the head of the human being and the other points are the 4 elements.
The literal meaning of the pentagram is a man or woman controlling and dominating the four elements. It is the sacred symbol of the harmony of body and mind, and therefore the representation of the perfect physical, energetic and spiritual health of man.
The etymology of pentagram
The five-pointed star is derived from the "pentalpha of Pythagoras", from the Greek penta (five) and alpha, the first letter of this language, which has the shape of a small triangle. The five-pointed star is representative of the human body, because the five extremities of man, his five senses and his five natural elements (matter, spirit, soul, strength and life) are marked on it.
The physical interpretation of this symbol indicates that the five forces or elements of nature are concentrated in the human body: earth, water, air, fire and time.
What does the pentagram mean?
It is one of the oldest symbols, its exact origin is not known, because its existence is lost in time. The Sumerians were already using it, and like the Star of David, no culture, society, religion or country has a monopoly on this symbol. Despite its many interpretations, it is agreed that when this star is reversed, it is known to most people as the devil's star.
On a symbolic level, it shows the head of the man below and the four elements above him. This means that he does not control the 4 elements, but rather he is connected to the Earth. It is also said that, since the three points are downwards, it is a negation of the Holy Christian Trinity and the two points upwards indicate the negative side (like a duality) that dominates, compared to the positive side.
The five-pointed star is a symbol of man, not only because of its physical resemblance to the geometric Vitruvian man, but also because its sides contain the golden proportion, a number that appears in all forms of life and in man. It has the property of self-replicating, it generates the golden spiral and this is the tendency of Fibonacci numbers.
The five star can be seen symbolically as the rays coming out of the central Sun, a small circle, radiating its light towards the universe. In addition, the star forms a pentagon in the center where another five-pointed star can be formed, a process that becomes infinite toward the center of the star.
But the envelope of the star is also another pentagon that can be considered the center of a larger star. It can therefore also extend infinitely outwards, symbolizing the hermetic principle: "as above so below".
1. Meaning throughout history
The meanings that this symbol has taken over the course of history are very varied because it is one of the oldest symbols known :
The oldest known form of the pentagram dates back to 3500 BC in the city of Ur in ancient Mesopotamia where it was worn by the ruler as a symbol of power. Emperor Constantine I also used it in his seal and amulet. To the Hebrews, the five-pointed star represented Truth and the five books of the Pentateuch. It is mistakenly called the Seal of Solomon.
In ancient Greece, it was called Pentalpha, being composed of five aes. The Greeks did not assign any other symbolic meaning to the letters of their alphabet. For the Gaians, the pentagram represents the real order of balance on Earth.
The four upper points are the four fundamental elements: Air, Fire, Earth, Water... and the upper point, the human. Surrounded by a circle, it manages to give the impression that everything belongs to one body.
2. The druids associated it with the head of God
In ancient Egypt, it was identified as the symbol of the "underground matrix".
The Celts linked the Pentagram to the underground goddess Morrigan.
Christians have given the meaning of the 5 stigmata of Christ.
In the Middle Ages, the pentagram was inscribed in gold on the coat of arms of knights, symbolizing their five virtues: generosity, courtesy, chastity, piety and chivalry. It was a symbol of Truth and protection against demons. During the Inquisition, the inverted pentagram symbolized the goat's head, or the devil's star.
3. The golden reason or "divine proportion"
The five-pointed star inscribed on the regular pentagon, the "mystic pentagram", was the symbol of the Pythagorean school. The quotient between the diagonal and the side of the pentagon, generally referred to by the Greek letter φ, is attributed special aesthetic qualities and appears very frequently in architecture, as in the Parthenon, in painting and sculpture.
It is often called "golden ratio" or "divine proportion". When a segment is divided in half in this proportion, "the whole is to the greater part, as the greater part is to the lesser part".
4. Inverted Pentagram
The meaning of the right pentagram is the positive man, standing upright, rising from matter to ascend spiritually. On the contrary, an inverted pentagram evokes the negative man, dominated by matter, the latter being separated from the Light. The inverted pentagram is often considered a satanic symbol.
However, one will notice that the right pentagram comprises within it a polygon which can itself contain an inverted pentagram.
The number 5
The five-pointed star is closely related to the symbolism represented by the number 5: it designates the universal quintessence, the vital essence, the vivified spirit, the eternal genealogical movement and the human intellectual force. The five also represent the natural elements of the world: earth, water, air, fire and germs.
There are many meanings of the pentagram, so if you feel close to one of them, we will be happy to hear about you in the comment section. We propose rings, necklaces and many other items around the goth culture. Feel free to visit our store !