The Pentacle
The pentacle is the most misused and misunderstood symbol of witchcraft. Usually seen as a five-pointed star surrounded by a circle, it has been mistaken for a symbol of evil, devil worship, and at times even the star of David. A star without the circle is called a pentagram. Before it was used by witches, the pentacle was a Christian symbol. It was used by the Catholic church to symbolize the five wounds of Christ. This star can be found in an around ancient churches dating up to the Gothic period of architecture. The five-pointed mark graced religious paintings of Christ, arches, doorways, and artifacts. Sir Gawain from Arthurian legends carried a shield with a large pentagram emblazoned on the front. This symbol has long been used for protection and as a symbol of faith. It can be found in the stem of a water lily when cut in half and also within the apple when cut sideways. Humans have five fingers, and it also represents the five extremities of the human body: head, hands and feet. Over the course of history, the pentacle was lost as a religious symbol as the cross took on more and more meaning. Today, it is misunderstood as a symbol of evil. Devil worship has taken the symbol of the pentagram and turned it upside down, symbolizing the defeat of Christ. It is often seen inverted with the face of a goat superimposed over it where the two upper points form the horns, the side points form the ears and the lower point forms the face. This symbol is called the baphomet and is used in Devil worship and by the Knight's Templar as the denial of Christ.
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The Baphomet The Pentacle

Suzanne Egbert states: "The meaning of the pentacle as worn by Pagans is rooted in the beliefs of the Greek Pythagoreans, for whom the pentagram embodied perfect balance and wisdom; inserting the star in the circle adds the symbol of eternity and unity."

Today, Wiccans and witches use the symbol of the pentacle as a religious symbol as well. The five points represent the five elements: earth, air, fire, water, and spirit. Some Wiccans use the pentacle to represent the mother figure and the inverted pentacle to represent the father figure. Others are wary of how others view their religion and many witches have given up the use of the inverted pentacle. This symbol, like the Christians of old, is used by witches as a symbol of protection. It is worn on chains and rings to protect their wearer and is inscribed on or over windows and doorways to prevent evil or harm from entering the home or sacred space. The pentacle is a solid object and is also used to symbolize the earth on altars.

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