Hi everyone, i have a question which keeps coming to mind about pentacles and rituals in different types of witchcraft practices. I know that the pentacle is a symbol of protection and can stand for the 5 elements, but what does it mean when people use it in negative or more ‘evil’ workings? What i am getting at is you see in social media and movies the use of the pentacle and either an object or person in distress in the middle… Is this just yet another case of stereotyping witches or is there more meaning to it? How can using a protective symbol such as the pentagram to create negative spell work be valid if the purpose of the symbol is to protect?
The pentagram can be used in two directions. The point up being the positive and the 2 points up being the negative.
There’s also a lot of mis-interpretation that ks to movies of course. The upside down pentagram is used in Satanism and so forth as well.
You will read about its use in darker magic when studying the occult, the cabala etc.
That happens a lot of the time. But there’s more to it:
The uppermost point of the 5-pointed star is Spirit.
The other 4 points are the Four Elements of Nature.
So when you invert it, you are “reversing the natural order of things” i.e. putting matter over spirit.
Adding to what Temujin said, and taken from my answer here:
The first known writings about the reversed pentagram come from Éliphas Lévi Zahed’s Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magi written in 1856. In it, he wrote, “A reversed pentagram, with two points projecting upwards, is a symbol of evil and attracts sinister forces because it overturns the proper order of things and demonstrates the triumph of matter over spirit. It is the goat of lust attacking the heavens with its horns, a sign execrated by initiates.”
It’s true that Satanists adopted it and this description became very popular. However, I prefer this other interpretation by Llewellyn:
Does a symbol become evil simply because some group uses it? The association of a symbol with an evil group, leading to the assumption that the symbol is inherently evil is nothing new.
The truth is that a graphic symbol, such as a pentagram, is nothing more than lines. It’s what we put into it that matters. If you adopt it to represent evil, then for you—and for those who agree with you—it’s evil. If you think it’s positive and put positive values into a symbol, then it’s positive.
The Congressional Medal of Honor features an inverted pentagram:
This is America’s highest and most-prestigious personal military decoration that may be awarded to recognize U.S. military service members who have distinguished themselves by acts of valor.
In summary, any symbol can have many meanings and the inverted pentagram is not inherently negative.
The swastika was originally a religious symbol used in Buddhism, I believe. Just another example. Don’t forget, intention matters.
Oh ok i gotcha i don’t know why i forgot about the inverted pentagram and the church of Satanism… So by inverting the pentagram, we are changing the the natural order of thing as @Francisco said, so does that mean we are using our intuition for negative purposes if were of such as group?
Thanks for that a very good description… So the answer is then, depending on the individual casting a spell or ritual, then if their intentions are bad or for harm then so then the symbol represents of such, but if we are doing a ritual such as the one shown in the picture below and intentions are positive then so it is…?
True i totally forgot…
It’s hard to tell from the picture (as I think it’s safe to say that this is an actress posing for a photo- she is very likely not actually casting magick, but I could be wrong!) but yes- I agree with what those have said above that those doing a ritual with positive and pure intentions are casting positive magick- regardless of what any symbols they are using may represent to outsiders looking in on the ritual.
I think most of us cast rituals for our personal and private use. So while I would highly encourage writers, game developers, and others who are creating products for the public to enjoy to be extremely mindful of the meanings of the symbols and words they use, I don’t think this is quite as important for private practices.
So if you are hosting a large-scale group ritual (especially with attendees from around the world) I think being mindful and clearly explaining the intention of any potentially controversial symbols or words included would be a sign of respect and appreciation. But if not- then the most important meaning of any symbol being used is just the meaning that you yourself have attached to it.
Just my two cents!
Thank you this makes sense… So it is what intentions we put into it and not the fact of what others think from the outside…
I think I agree with @TheTravelWitch but I’ve always wanted to cast a positive spell inside a circle with a pentagram like that for protection.
I’m the opposite. I like the esoteric and keeping it secret. So I’d be the type of person to include all types of evil looking symbolism in my room and around the place to freak people out at first glance.
The inverted pentagram with the Baphonet within it, Bophenet statue etc etc.
To the outsider looking in, they freak out thinking you are doing some kind of black magic voodoo work. But you’re really not and your intentions are pure.
Only the initiated know
@TheMuslimWitch It’s hard to tell what kind of ritual someone is doing unless you ask them. You can try to guess by looking at the ingredients and the imagery but you would still be guessing. After all, they can trick you into thinking that it’s a healing/positive ritual when it’s really not.
On the other hand, I agree with @Temujin_Calidius that secrecy is important. Nobody has to see any pentagrams unless you show them.
There’s a reason why “to keep silent” is part of the Witches’ Pyramid. Quoting the Bible, don’t cast your pearls before swine. (Matthew 7:6)
Inverted or not, a spell caster is always going to be in the center of a pentagram for protective measures. According to historians, Peter; one of the disciples of Jesus, when sentenced to death, he asked to be crucified in the cross inverted, because he said that he was unworthy to die like his master. In the other hand, the inverted cross…
is associated has satanic for some people. The meaning is what you put on it, human beings always going to see good or evil on things, no matter what. Does a snake bites because is evil, or is just a scared reptile defending its life? You and only you decide if is evil or not. In a pentagram, is not the object, but what comes out of your own heart.
I like that quote it is very elegant
Thank you yes i agree with you… It is just i always see pentagrams in movies social media and i thought perhaps i have missed something but as you have said it is the intention of the caster rather than the opinion of others that counts
I agree it is the intention of the person casting the ritual rather than the observers opinion that counts
Maybe that’s a cook book, she’s trying to cook something and the pentacle is to protect her from burns
hahaha perhaps i guess we will never know. Ah the beauty of witchcraft and our own personal intentions