Wiccan Pentacle Meaning And Origins Explained

Before discussing the Pentacle symbol, we have to talk about the Wiccan people and their belief systems. Wicca is a modern religion that is earth-centered with ancient practices from Shamanic ancestors.  The people who practice this religion are called Wiccans.

A Wiccan pentacle symbol is in the shape of a disc with a pentagram (an ancient symbol in the form of a five-pointed star) inside it. It is one of the many Wiccan symbols that people have attached meaning to.

Wiccan Pentacle Meaning and Origins Explained
Wiccan Pentacle Symbol by Black Moon on Shutterstock

Origin of the Wiccan Pentacle

There are several theories regarding the exact origin of the Pentacle. One of them is that, in the 1500s, is when pentacles were first portrayed inside grimoires named Heptaméron and Solomon’s key.  However, as a pagan symbol, it was Gerald Gardner who popularized pentacles in the 1950s.

Gerald spent a significant part of his career in Asia, studying magical practices and occult beliefs. He was an educated man in terms of Western esoteric literature. Gardner published a book on witchcraft and even started a coven with some followers. Through the group, modern witchcraft developed into what we call today the Wicca.

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Wiccan Pentacle by Darksomemoon

A pentacle sign would represent your level of initiation into the coven. For first-degree initiates, the Pentacle used had one point downwards, and for second-degree initiates, the symbol had two points upwards. For third-degree initiates, the emblem had one-point upwards.

Another theory is that; ancient Egyptians represented spiritual education using a five-pointed star.  Initiates of the Pythagorean mystery (a small group that viewed the sign in a mathematical perfection form) in ancient Babylon used relics engraved with the Pentacle. It was a secret sign to identify themselves while in hiding.

During Middle Ages, the Pentacle had several names like the Wizard’s foot, the Druid’s foot, and the Goblins cross. The sign was also common in jewelry and battle attire belonging to Christians.

Wiccan Pentacle Meaning Explained

We can trace the Pentacle’s esoteric meaning back to 3500 BCE or 3000 BCE or even older than that. The symbol was common among the Sumerians and the Babylonians. Initially, the symbols’ interpretation was self-knowledge. That has, however, changed over time.

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A Wiccan Pentacle Symbol by Bourbon-88 on Shutterstock

Due to its shape, the Pentacle has several meanings attached to it, like nature’s five elements where each point represents an element. Fire is associated with courage and willpower, and the earth stands for endurance and stability. Water represents emotion and intuition, air stands for intelligence and wisdom, and mind over matter is for the spirit. Other meanings attached to the symbol include;

  • Manifestation– the Pentacle has a circle around it that is believed to be a manifesting tool for divine energy. It helps people manifest things they want, like wealth, love, and a job, to the universe.
  • Divine feminine– because of the open center, it said the Pentacle represents the womb.
  • The Human form–  the five-pointed star resemble a human body that has stretched their hands and legs apart.  It can be used to represent a human when casting spells.
  • Celestial power – the five-pointed star within a circle represents a star inside a moon. Therefore, it is used to call on the energy of the stars and the universe.
  • For protection – the symbol is believed to be powerful enough to protect one from dangerous influences, from outside and within themselves.
  • In Astrology, the five-pointed parts stand for the five planets seen from the earth: Mars, Saturn, Jupiter, Mercury, and Venus.
  • Other people argue that it represents our five senses.
  • It could also represent the wounds of Christ when he was crucified.

Today, the church has tried to argue that the pentacle symbol is associated with worshipping the devil, but this Wiccan symbol is just a representation of their culture. The Catholic Church spread information that this symbol stood for evil. The Celtic pagans of the British Isles and Ireland believed in mythology that connected the Pentacle to Morrigan, a goddess of darkness.

Possible Uses of The Wiccan Pentacle Symbol

This Wiccan symbol has had several uses, both in the past and modern world. They include;

Practicing magic

As we have seen, this symbol was introduced by Gerald Gardner to the Wiccan community as the symbolism of magic. Other coven members also used it as a tool for magic invocation.

Performing rituals

In the past, this symbol was used when rituals were being performed. It was believed to represent the earth’s elements in the ceremony.

Summoning spirits

The symbol was a tool in summoning spirits. The people who wanted to call a spirit would have the symbol on an item or draw on the ground, then chant severally.

Casting spells

The Pentacle is among the Wiccan symbols that would be used to cast a spell. The person casting the spell would recite incantations from grimoires like the Key of Solomon and cast a spell on either someone or something.

In the modern world, you will find the symbol popular in supernatural movies. It is also a famous symbol during the Halloween period where you will find it engraved somewhere or printed as a Halloween decoration piece. This symbol is also familiar to people who read tarot cards. It is said that when you pick a card like that, something negative may happen to you. The symbol can also be found in jewelry and as a tattoo design.

The Pentacle vs. the Pentagram; Comparison and Contrast

These two symbols are almost similar in design. The pentagram looks like a five-pointed star with five lines extending from different corners, intersecting with each other. The five lines come from the Greek word Pentagrammos.

On the other hand, the Pentacle looks like a pentagram, but the difference is that it has a circle around it.  Some people argue that the Pentacle points downwards and the pentagram points upwards.

However, either of the symbols can point up or down, but the most significant distinction is the Pentacle’s enclosing circle. Both symbols were considered tools for rituals, magical invocations, and spells. People who practiced witchcraft would walk freely with the symbol plastered on their clothes to sign that they were practicing magic.

If you enjoyed reading our post on Wiccan Pentacle symbol, its meaning and origin, you will probably want to check out our extensive list of pagan symbols here. Thanks for reading on SymbolsAndMeanings.Net.

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