The Pentagram is often so misunderstood!
Here I have written an overview to help give understanding of the symbolism, structure and meaning behind the "Pentagram" symbol.
The Pentagram is a symbol of a star encased in a circle. Always with 5 points (one pointing upward), each has its own meaning. The upward point of the star is representative of the spirit. The other four points all represent an element; earth, air, fire, and water. All these contribute to life and are considered part of all of us.
To wear a pentagram necklace or other form of jewellery, is to say you feel the connection with the elements and respect the earth.
The Number 5
The number 5 has always been regarded as mystical and magical, yet essentially 'human'. We have five fingers/toes on each limb extremity.
We commonly note five senses - sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste. We perceive five ‘general ’life-stages or ‘initiations’ in our lives – e.g. birth, adolescence, coitus, parenthood and death. (There are other numbers / initiations / stages /attributions but I'm only referring to those pertaining to the significance of five here).
The number 5 is associated with Mars. It signifies severity, conflict and harmony through conflict. In Christianity, five were the wounds of Christ on the cross. There are five pillars of the Muslim faith and five daily times of prayer.
Five were the virtues of the medieval knight - generosity, courtesy, chastity, chivalry and piety as symbolised in the pentagram device of Sir Gawain. The Wiccan Kiss is Five-fold - feet, knees, womb, breasts, lips - Blessed Be.
The number 5 is prime. The simplest star - the pentagram - requires five lines to draw and it is 'unicursal'; it is a continuous loop.
Drawing a Pentagram
These point attributions are used in ritually inscribing, as a flourish of the hands or the athame. There is a different drawing form of the pentagram for invoking or banishing (grounding) each of the elementals according to the nature of the ritual.
The line traces are as illustrated for earth (the last stroke is optional).
Another way of seeing this path is as Man's spiritual journey through evolution. The spark of Life descending from God, the Divine source of life to the simplest embryonic form (earth), rising to flow (water - air) on our plane of existence (compare with the intonation of the AUM mantra), then again descending to the fire of purification before again rising as a divine spark to find again his spiritual source.
The pentagram may be shown as an interlaced line, symbolic of the web-weaving power of magick. The descending spirit-earth line may pass under (male) or over (female) the water-air line to give two slightly differing forms.
The Five Elements
Here are five elements, four of matter (earth, air, fire and water) and THE quintessential - spirit.
These may be arrayed around the pentagrams points. The word quintessential derives from this fifth element - the spirit.
Tracing a path around the pentagram, the elements are placed in order of density - spirit (ether), fire, air, water, earth.
Earth and fire are basal, fixed; air and water are free, flowing.
The single point upwards signifies the spirit ruling matter (mind ruling limbs); is a symbol of rightness. With two points up and one (spirit) downwards, subservient, the emphasis is on the carnal nature of Man.
Expressing the saying "Every man and every woman is a star",
we can juxtapose Man on a pentagram with head and four limbs at the points and the genitalia exactly central. This is Man in microcosm, symbolising our place in the Macrocosm or universe and the Hermetic / Tantric philosophy of associativity as above, so below.
I am sure there are other interpretations, however I do like to see the Pentagram as a representation of 'all that is' - the elements, earth and ourselves, I see it as a symbol that 'embraces the whole' and as such is wholistic and inclusive.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this explanation. Blessed Be.
With Much Love and an Ocean of Blessings
♥ Mystic Mermaid