In the most technical sense of the word, a pentagram is by tradition satanistic, associated with demons and devil worship, while a *pentacle*, same pentacle as in the tarot deck, is associated with wiccanism.

They are both stars framed in a circle; however the pentacle has one point pointing up. The bottom four points stand for the four watchtowers and the fifth point points up towards the heavens, for spirituality and power.

The pentagram has two points pointing up, and one down. It symbolically represents a goat's head, with the goat being a traditional representation of Lucifer. The single point points down, into the earth, indicating thigns earthly and deep.

The traditional meanings of these differences, however, have mostly been lost. Half of the 'star-ringed-in-a-circle' items sold face any whichway, and are usually labled 'pentagrams', although this is in lore and in fact incorrect.

The pentagram is a five-pointed star, encircled.

With the star pointing up, it is said to be a symbol of the spirit. This is shown in the stereotypical da Vinci picture, with the man, his limbs each drawn in a few positions.

This allegedly represents the five (or six) spiritual points of the body: the head, the arms, the legs, and the centre.

The Satchakra-Narupana by Purnananda gives the spiritual centres in different positions, mostly in the torso. For this reason, I believe the first five positions in the da Vinci pentagram signal the parts used for accepting energy, and the Satchakra-Narupana signal the chakra for changing the energy into different forms.

When the star points downward, the pentagram is said to be representative of the flesh, or Baphomet, the scapegoat. Baphomet, being a goat that was once sacrificed for someone's sins in the Bible, is somehow related to Satan.

Although I can't see the connection, I assume it has something to do with the fact that they both are blamed.

Sometimes, mostly in Satanist circles, the Baphomet is shown with a picture of a goat's head inside. This image appears on the front of The Satanic Bible, by Anton Szandor LaVey.

The pentacle is a powerful symbol in paganism. The traditional pentacle consists of five isoceles triangles stretching out from a center pentagon. The tips of the triangles are ringed by a circle. The imagery of the pentacle is supposed to represent the perfect human form, not unlike da Vinci's "Vitruvian Man".

The five points of the pentacle represent the five earthly elements of paganism: fire, water, air, earth, and spirit. In traditional paganism, the spirit triangle points to the heavens, representing that a pagan values morality and spirituality above all other things. However, in Satanism, which uses the inverted pentacle, the spirit triangle points towards the ground, and the points for fire and earth, which are traditionally on the bottom of the pentacle, point towards the heavens. This is supposed to represent the belief that Satanists hold that one should do whatever he can do obtain what he desires, no matter how immoral other may consider it.

It's an old symbol, the pentagram, this star-shaped figure of the diagonals between the corners of a pentagon, at least it's very old compared to other symbols of similar complexity.

The oldest findings of it are from about 4000 B.C. in Palestine. It was a common symbol with the Sumerians from about 2700 B.C. The similar symbol, which by the way is much simpler to draw, the hexagram, is not found until about 800 B.C.

The probable reason for the earlier occurrence of the pentagram, is that it is a discovered symbol, in contrast to the hexagram, which is invented.

The form of the pentagram is constructed from the movement of the planet Venus on the ecliptic. Here's how:

Since Venus is closer to the Sun than the Earth, it will never come more than 48 degrees away from the Sun on the ecliptic. This means it will only be seen either early in the morning right before sunrise, then often called the Morning Star, or in the evening just after sunset, as the Evening Star.

The periods in which it is seen have a very regular pattern, unlike those of any of the other planets. Venus is visible as the Evening Star for 247 days. Then it moves in front of the Sun for 14 days, before it again shows itself as the Morning Star for 245 new days. Then it disappears behind the Sun for 78 days and comes forth as the Evening Star again.

If you take the point on the Zodiac where the planet first shows itself as e.g. a Morning Star, then draw a line to the next point where it again comes forth as a Morning Star 584 days later, and repeat this until the sixth time, the last point will be nearly exactly at the first position. And the lines will form a beautiful pentagram. The time it takes for Venus to finish this cycle, is one or two days less than eight years.

Since the endpoints of the pentagram doesn't completely meet, the whole star rotates one degree every fourth year, in relation to the Zodiac. In 1460 years the pentagram completes one whole rotation. This was called a Sothis-year by the Egyptians, Sothis being the Egyptian goddess to which the planet Venus was ascribed.

The Central American civilizations were aware of the cycles of Venus. Both the Maya and the Aztecs used the planet's motion to establish both their calendars and their cosmogony.

The period between two first occurrences of Venus at the same point in the Zodiac, without regarding if it's in the morning or in the evening, is 1460 days, which is almost exactly four years, coinciding with the period between the ancient Greek and the modern Olympic Games. The five rings in the symbol for the Olympic Games, together with it's four year period, show the connection between Venus and the Olympic Games. In modern times this connection was evident in the logo of the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles which mainly consisted of a five pointed star.

Pen"ta*gram (?), n. [Gr. , neut. of having five lines. See Penta-, and -gram.]

A pentacle or a pentalpha.

"Like a wizard pentagram."



© Webster 1913.

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