Pentacles and pentagrams are the most powerful symbols to be found within the world of occultism and witchcraft. They are seen throughout modern society, as ear-rings, pendants, on posters, banners, t-shirts and CD album covers. They can be seen in New Age bookstores and in the occult sections of major book retailers. Pentacles and pentagrams can be found almost everywhere.

MEANING OF THE WORD: 

The two words have been greatly confused and mis-defined for the past century. The authoritative definition is:

(1) A five-pointed star, usually surrounded by a circle.

(2) An amulet used in magical evocation, generally made of metal, parchment or paper or  (although it can be of other materials), 

on which the symbol of a spirit or energy being evoked is drawn. It is often worn around the neck, or placed within the triangle of evocation. 

Protective symbols may also be included (sometimes on the reverse), a common one being the five-point Seal o f Solomon, called a pentacle 

of Solomon or pentangle of Solomon. Many varieties of pentacle can be found in the grimoires  of Solomonic magic. They are also used in some neo-pagan magical traditions, such as Wicca, along with other magical tools. The relationship between the words pentacle and pentagram (a five-point unicursal star) is unclear. The Oxford English Dictionary (Second Edition) treats the two as apparently synonymous, but notes that the actual history of pentacle is obscure. In an extended use, many magical authors treat them as distinct. In modern Tarot decks and in some forms of modern witchcraft, pentacles often prominently incorporate a pentagram in their design

 

The Oxford English Dictionary also offers an alternative possible derivation from the Middle French word pentacol (1328) or pendacol (1418), a jewel or ornament worn around the neck (from pend- hang, à to, col or cou neck).[15][16] This is the derivation the Theosophical Society employ in their glossary: ...it seems most likely that it comes through Italian and French from the root pend- "to hang," and so is equivalent to a pendant orcharm hung about the neck. From the fact that one form of pentacle was the pentagram or star-pentagon, the word itself has been connected with theGreek pente (five)

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MEANING OF THE SYMBOL:

One interpretation is that four of the points represent the four aspects of the world; {earth, water, air, and fire} with the fifth top point representing the divine spirit.

When used in Wiccan ritual, pentacles are drawn at the beginning to set protection, positive power and is used to control the elements. Commonly drawn in the air with a wand or athame, the starting point varies from tradition to tradition and according uses or intent. For instance, some covens draw a pentacle in the air with an athame or sword. Others use a feather, or wand and still others use other tools or methods. Some begin at the top and start the star from the top point to the bottom right, others start at the bottom left and move upward to the top. The important part is that the star and circle are drawn in one continuous motion, never broken.

In addition the intent of the ritual also determines the manner in which the pentacle is drawn. When used to invoke a spirit or particular energy is drawn differently than one used for a banishing ritual.

 

PENTAGRAM: the same five-pointed star with words, letters or other characters added.

Often a Pentacle is customized into a Pentagram by adding one or two crescent moons

 

THE PENTAGRAM OF SOLOMON ~also known as the Seal of Solomon.

The legend is that Solomon possessed a seal ring on which the name of God (YHVH) was engraved and by means of which he controlled the demons.

 

INVERTED PENTACLE:

When the Pentacle or Pentagram is up-side-down, with the point facing down, it usually denotes negativity or Satanism.

In the 19th Century Eliphas Levi reported that the symbol represented the goat of Satan, facing heaven horns upward ready to battle heaven. In the Key Of Mysteries, Levi reports "It is the goat of lust attacking the Heavens with it's horns. It is a sign execrated by initiates of a superior rank, even at the Sabbath".

When the Church of Satan was established in the U.S. in 1966, this version of the pentacle was adopted as their symbol of Baphomet. In this form the pentacle is inscribed with a goats head, and Cabalistic symbols which spell out 'Leviathan" an infernal serpent associated with Satan.