Guest Author - Leslie Ravenwing
The word alone can make most non-Pagans grimace. The pentagram in Wicca practices is not evil. Even the inverted pentagram is used because to Wiccans there are no evil or bad intentions when it is used.
The pentagram was first associated with evil during the Inquisition. During this time, the image of the devil known as Baphomet was widely used. It was said the pentagram was the shape of his head (he has the head of a horned goat). Thus the inverted pentagram was labels as evil then the thought carried over to anytime the pentagram was used.
Archeologists have found evidence all over the world of the use of the pentagram for thousands of years. Pentagrams have been found on Mesopotamian artifacts dating back to about 3500 BCE. If you study Roman, Greek, and Egyptian art, you will find pentagrams. Many Christians, including Catholics, see the pentagram as a representation of the 5 wounds of Christ (his head from the crown of thorns, his hands and feet nailed to the cross). A Benedictine nun name Hildegard of Bingen stated in her writings in the 12th century that the pentagram represented the forms of humans because the 5 points represented our 5 senses and our head, arms and legs. She concluded since man was made in the image of God, the pentagram was a symbol of God.
In modern times, the pentagram has several meanings and uses. The pentagram is used for protection. Many Pagans wear one daily for this purpose or wear it to show pride in their religion. The points represent Spirit (or Akasha), Water, Air, Earth, and Fire. Some Wicca traditions draw a pentagram in the air as you cast circle to help invoke the elements. Then when releasing the circle, the pentagram is drown in the opposite to release the elements. You can also dram pentagrams with holy water or protection oils on doors and window sills to keep out negative energies.
In the Gardnerian tradition, it is a symbol used with the Second Degree Initiation. This reminds us as we are learning and growing we must face our internal darkness to moce on. Personally, I believe the path from 2nd to 3rd degree initiation is a much more challenging paths then the one from 1st to 2nd degree.
You may still be wondering about the pentagram and it's association with Satanism. You must remeber many Satanic cults will use anything positive from a religion they oppose and turn it into something that will be viewed as a negative to draw attention to themselves (for example, we all know they invert the cross as a sick mockery to Christianity). So not only do they sport the inverted cross, but they also use an inverted pentagram.