The Esoteric Meaning of the Pentacle

war memorialThe pentacle can be traced to Mesopotamia where it was used by the Sumerians and Babylonians as far back as 3500 BCE or 3000 BCE, due to the rather dubious dating process employed by academia.

The original meaning of the symbol related to self-knowledge, but overtime its meaning was corrupted and now opinion is divided.

Scholars say the five-pointed star has a relation to ancient astrology and represented the five planets visible with the naked eye. Others say it represents the five elements and five senses.

The church say it is associated with Devil worship which has subsequently riddled this otherwise beautiful and important symbol with unjustified leprosy!

But the pentacle, or the pentagram, is not sinister at all. The Pentagon it forms in the centre on the other hand is very sinister, but only the building of the same shape and name in Washington DC, not the geometric shape.

The pentacle and the Catholic Church

The five pointed star, and the pentacle as it is called when encased in a circle, has been used by organised religious groups all over the world for centuries.

And as we know there is nothing evil about these type of organisations is there?

Well maybe except the misleading half-truths the Catholic Church spread about the pentacle being associated with the evil.

Ironically, this was something fabricated by the Inquisition, one of the most evil movements in history.

But in one sense, the pentacle does represent evil. But it also represents good, depending on the way the fifth point is facing – up for good, down for bad – a bit like thumbs really.

Facebook Not Like – courtesy of Wiki Commons

The inverted pentacle, point facing down, was an ancient symbol to represent the animal qualities of man. When the point faces up, the fifth triangle represents spirit, or higher consciousness.

By way of explaining the churches interpretation the Devil – who doesn’t really exist – is also known as “the beast” thus represents the same aspects of man as the inverted pentacle.

The Knights Templar and early Christians used an inverted pentacle to reflect this. It was known as the Sigil of Baphomet or The Goat of Mendes. A modern expression for the Sigil became “the scapegoat.”

In the late Middle-Ages the Church began to distant itself from the use of the pentacle – perhaps because it is a symbol of self-realisation.

As mankind moved from the dark ages into the enlightenment age of the renaissance, self-realisation was a threat to the churches control over the population.

Inserire l’Inquisizione! Ironically, the Inquisition used the symbol of Jesus nailed to the cross – an adapted representation of the pentacle!

Condemnation: Image credit Hartwig HKD
Condemnation: Image credit Hartwig HKD

And those pesky rascals got away with murder for several hundred years before the pentacle was adopted by Dark Occultists, Aleister Crowley who described the inverted pentacle as “the descent of spirit into matter” and later Anton LeVay who founded the Church of Satan in the 1960’s.

But it is through the Satanists that we learn more about the true meanings of the Pentacle. And Satanists have nothing to do with a fictional Devil, but do indulge in depredated practices that involve acts of base consciousness.

The base consciousness of man

The inverted pentacle – and the personification of the Devil – represents depraved human nature born from the delusional mind.

This is the result of our habitual minds, principally because we do not understand the concept of “self-realisation.” We are simply not aware of our higher self.

When we are unable to control our thoughts and emotions, we allow our basic instincts to dictate our thoughts and actions and this essentially makes us act like the animals we are on a physical level.

And thus on a spiritual level we become Crowley’s “descent of spirit into matter.”

It is only when we control our basic instincts and become in touch with our true nature that we transcend on to a higher level of consciousness.

This is reflected by the early Christian use to represent the five wounds Christ received when he was nailed to the cross; two in the hands, one in the feet, the sword in the side and the crown of thorns.


To understand this, you may need to alter your view of the story of the Passion from its traditional telling. One interpretation is actually a tale of death and rebirth, or as other ancient cultures call it, reincarnation.

Old values, our base instincts, need to die before new values, higher degrees of understanding, can come into existence. Until one dies, the other cannot be fully reborn and we are in a state of confusion.

This basic psychology of life is symbolised by the crucifixion of Jesus, who we are told (by that honest bunch from the Vatican) died on the cross to pay for our sins and brought back to life for our justification to God.

Our sins are the animal instincts of man – the so-called seven deadly sins, and God is our higher-self which in essence is our true nature, or spirit.

Connecting with the higher-self is our path back to self-realisation, a phrase you will never hear spoken by a church representative.

But despite that, early Christians and Gnostics used the five pointed star as a symbol to explain how to “control demons,” a reference to the basic instincts of man.

The delusional mind has many demons telling us it is okay to do the wrong things.

Not a great deal changed in the Middle-Ages when the pentacle was used by Christians (namely the Inquisition) to represent Jesus and as a potent sign to ward off evil – the demons of our habitual mind.

The pentacle in ancient Celtic symbolism

To the Celts, the pentacle represented the five elements, fire, air, water, earth and spirit. At least this is what people think today.

Cornelius Agrippas Pntagram and human form
Cornelius Agrippas Pntagram and human form – image courtesy of Wiki Commons

This part is actually true, but what many don’t realise is that the five elements are also symbols which are assigned their own meanings.

Each element is associated with qualities of human behaviour, and the ability to control thoughts and emotions, the lower aspects of existence, the base consciousness of man which is our animal instinct.

Have I repeated this enough times yet?

Yes? Good!

The five elements, and an upright pentacle, are attached to positive emotional qualities, each of which is required to overcome base consciousness.  They are:

Fire – courage and willpower

Air – intelligence and wisdom

Water – emotion and intuition

Earth – endurance and stability

Spirit – mind over matter

It’s easy to see how these positive elements are required to overcome the negative elements right? Strengths outwit weaknesses – mind over matter!

The fives in Celtic myth

The pentacle is mostly associated today with Celtic pagans of ancient Ireland and the British Isles.

In Celtic mythology, the dark Goddess of the Underworld, Morrigan is associated with the pentacle, or more precisely the number five.

Numbers tend to be used in myth more often than symbols which usually only appear in the form of weapons, tools or amulets.

In Celtic tradition, Morrigan, also known as the Queen of Demons and Guardian of the Dead, holds sway over life and death together with transformation.

This is the same principle as other religions; resurrection, reincarnation.

Her roles typically involved guiding healers and magicians through their initiation, but would also shift-shape into a crow or raven and appear over the dead bodies of slaughtered warriors she had lead into temptation.

Morrigan is depicted as a seductress and thrives on control and manipulation. Does this not sound like the dark character of your habitual mind leading you into temptation?

A depiction of five points in the cross with the circle in the centre representing spirit
A depiction of five points in the cross with the circle in the centre representing spirit

So there we have it. The pentacle represents the need for you to defeat your demons in order to transcend to a higher consciousness and understand your true nature on an inner level.

You can see this same concept in the image above. The four-pointed cross represents the emotions of the four elements described above and the circle in the centre is spirit.

The head of Jesus with the crown of thorns is a play on the crucifixion, the transformation of higher consciousness after making a sacrifice. The serpent at the bottom represents the Devil – Lucifer from the Garden of Eden.

And there is one more point to make.

You will find the five-pointed star is mostly used by the military today. It is present on war memorials, medals and military uniforms.

The reason for this is because another meaning of the five is harmony out of chaos – the death of old values replaced by new values.

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