Secret Symbols: The Pentacle
The pentacle is a secret symbol whose origins are rooted in ancient times. It bears spiritual significance for a variety of cultures and religious groups and is representative of spirituality and security.
What is the Pentacle?
The pentacle is a pentagram that is contained within a circle. However, the pentacle may sometimes be featured without a circular border, in which case it is referred to as a pentagram. In ancient texts, the pentacle is inscribed with different symbols and characters; in addition, the symbol was more often in the shape of a hexagram shape than a pentagram, creating ambiguity in the association between the symbol and the number five.
Pentacles are usually made of parchment, paper or metal, upon which the five-pointed symbol is engraved. Used as an amulet during magical evocation by Wiccans, the pentacle can also contain engravings on the reverse side, as well as other protective symbols. Wiccans also use this symbol to identify fellow practitioners, and this is particularly the case among those who observe a code of secrecy. In Wiccan culture, the pentacle represents the integration of the body and the spirit, as well as the individualís spiritual dominance over the four elements of earth, wind, air and fire.
Origins of the Pentacle
This ancient symbol has been traced to the goddess Kore, who was worshipped in a vast area that extended from modern day England to modern day Egypt. The pentacle became the symbol of Kore, to whom the invention of the Roman alphabet is attributed. Koreís sacred fruit was the apple; which, when cut through the equator reveals a pentagram shape at the core, with each point of which is marked by a seed.
Kora was worshipped within the Coptic Gnostic Church, a religious sect that arose in Alexandria during the fourth century. Koraís festival, the Koreion, was celebrated on January 6, a date Christians later adopted to celebrate the feast of the Epiphany.
In ancient Greece, Pythagoras established a school for the study of math, science, music and other disciplines; members of this underground academic society used the pentacle symbol in order to identify one another.
The pentacle also appears in Hebrew Scriptures, in which the secret symbol is representative of the first and most important of the Seven Seals, which are in turn representative of the seven names of God. In the tradition of the Hebrew Scriptures, the pentacle is emblematic of the first five books of the Torah. The pentacle is also inscribed on the ring of King Solomon, and therefore the secret symbol is sometimes referred to as the pentacle of Solomon.
In Christian tradition, the five points of the pentacle are considered to be symbolic of the five wounds of Jesus that were incurred during the crucifixion. The pentacle is also emblematic of the five points of the star of Bethlehem, which announced the birth of Jesus. The Roman Emperor Constantine wore a pentacle as an amulet.