The five pointed star has been an image that has generated both fascination and fear in our culture. Known as a pentagram when alone, or a pentacle when encircled, this symbol can be found throughout the ages, including cave petroglyphs, ancient drawings, modern art and in nature herself. The pentagram is strongly associated with the power of the Goddess, and has been associated with Goddess traditions, for encoded in the form of the star is the secrets of creation. Due to the popularity of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code book and movie, a lot of attention is again being placed upon the pentagram.
The pentagram has five points and these five points have a variety of symbols associated with it. The most commonly talked about today is the five elements. In esoteric thought, everything consists of the five elements – earth, air, fire, water and spirit. These are not literally substances, elements in the sense of modern chemistry, with its carbon, oxygen and nitrogen, but five archetypal energies. Earth is the body and material world. Water is the emotions, and relates to what esotericists call the astral world, similar to the collective unconscious of the psychologist. Air is the mind and mental realm, the world of ideas. Fire is the soul, the will or energy, and the realm of pure energy, or potentials. Spirit is the overarching force that guides the other four, generating them, sustaining them and returning them back to the source of creation.
The top point symbolizes spirit and the reversed pentagram is often erroneously believed to be a symbol of evil, but it’s really a symbol of the elements of nature ruling over spirit, rather than the other way around. It shows up on the tarot’s Devil card, showing up when we are ruled by the world, our based natures rather than being guided by pure spirit. Magickal traditions use the inverted pentagram as a sign of transition, when a student is preparing to go through a “dark night of the soul” ritual.
The five points stand for the five senses – touch, smell, taste, sight and hearing, as the circle of the pentacle surrounds them all as the sixth sense. Pythagoras called the pentagram the pentalpha, as it looks like five of the Greek letter Alpha interlocked, the first letter of the alphabet which stands for creation. Alpha today is also a brain wave state of meditation and creativity. The pentagram has been corresponded with the five wounds of Christ and was found on the shield of King Arthur’s knight Percival. In the magickal traditions of Hermetic Qabalah and Wicca, the pentacle is used as a shield, a magickal talisman to protect the magician from harm.
Today many people wear a pentacle charm for protection in daily life.
In the geometry of the pentagram is something known as the phi ratio, a mathematical proportion that encodes all organic life, from spiral nautical shells and pine cones to the proportions of limbs in a human being. With this power of creation, it is naturally associated with the Mother principle, the creative force of the universe. Those same phi ratio proportions have the musical intervals of the Perfect Fourth and Perfect Fifth, the most harmonious intervals of music except for the perfect octave.
You can see the five pointed star itself in so many plants. Edible fruits all come from the five petalled flowers, such as the apple, pear, blackberry, tomato and banana. If you cut open an apple open just right, you can see the pentagram in the seeds. No wonder apples have been associated with magick, witchcraft and goddess spirituality. Many magickal plants, both healing and toxic, are associated with the Goddess and five petals, such as St. John’s Wort, Hawthorne, Roses, Cinquefoil, Periwinkle, Belladonna and Datura. The five pointed geometry is the pattern of nature and the blessing of the Goddess for those who have the eyes to see her gifts all around us.
The five pointed star evokes balance and harmony, from the powers of music, nature, the elements and ultimately life. Think on it, on its divine creative power, when your life needs harmony and protection.