A pentagram is an image of a five-pointed star, often inscribed within a circle. This image, also called a pentacle, has been associated with magical spells for centuries. The image is often displayed on a a small flat disk usually made of wood, wax, clay, or some kind of metal that can be worn on a cord around the neck. In ancient times, a pentagram and pentacle has been used by magicians as an amulet of protection, while Satanists use a pentagram with two points up and two circle around it as the Sigil of Baphomet. The pentagram has magical associations, and many people who practice Neopagan faiths wear jewelry incorporating the symbol. Christians once more commonly used the pentagram to represent the five wounds of Jesus.

The pentagram also has associations with Freemasonry and is also utilized by a number of other belief systems. In ancient times magicians often used these as amulets to protect themselves from attacks by evil spirits or as talismans that enabled them to conjure and command spirits. In modern times pentacles have a similar use. Most often they are used to protect the wearer or help the wearer achieve a specific goal, in which case the material chosen for the pentacle depends upon its intended magical use.

Throughout history the pentagram has been compared to a human figure, with one point as the head, two opposing points as the arms, and two lower points as legs. To many who believe in the pentagram’s magical powers, the solitary point at the top represents pure spirit, and the other points represent the four elements of earth, air, fire, and water.

Witches often incorporate pentagrams into their magical work by drawing the symbol during various spells and rituals and by using it as a focus of concentration that helps them turn thoughts and desires into reality. They also routinely draw a circle around the pentagram because they believe that this circle strengthens the pentagram’s magic and offers additional protection to the user.

The origin of the pentagram’s association with magic is unclear. However, the symbol appears in writings related to an ancient Hebrew mystical system known as the kabbalah, whose beliefs have influenced many occult groups throughout history.

A pentagram within a circle also appears on rings worn by members of a mystical brotherhood founded by the Greek philosopher Pythagoras (c. 570–c. 500 B.C.) The first known uses of the pentagram are found in Mesopotamian writings dating to about 3000 BC. The Sumerian pentagrams served as pictograms suggesting something very similar to the pentemychos (The ancient Pythagorean pentagram, with two legs up). In the Babylonian context, the edges of the pentagram were probably orientations: forward, backward, left, right, and "above". These directions also had an astrological meaning, representing the five planets Jupiter, Mercury, Mars and Saturn, and Venus as the "Queen of Heaven" (Ishtar) above.

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 hierolgyphic sign of the goat of Black Magic, whose head may be drawn in the star, the two horns at the top, the ears to the right and left, the beard at the bottom. It is the sign of antagonism and fatality. It is the goat of lust attacking the heavens with its horns.

Satanists use a pentagram with two points up, often inscribed in a double circle, with the head of a goat inside the pentagram. This is referred to as the Sigil of Baphomet. Less esoteric LaVeyan Satanists use it as a sign of rebellion or religious identification, the three downward points symbolising rejection of the holy Trinity in Christian religion.

Sources :
The Greenhaven Encyclopedia of Paranormal Phenomena by Patricia D. Netzley;

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Pentagram Pentagram Reviewed by Tripzibit on April 03, 2011 Rating: 5

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