Too often misconceived, the pentagram and pentacle symbol is misrepresented as Satanic. When I was a teenager I wore a pentacle ring on my right hand. Quite often I would be asked if I was a Satanist, or, when I was unfortunate enough to not be asked, shouted at by those who were ignorant and had no clue.
My ring looked a lot like this one.
Paganism has nothing to do with Satanism… and no, that star necklace/bracelet/ring that I, or my friends, wear is not satanic either. Let me explain.
Anthropologically we can affirm that when cultures get together an exchange of perceptions, beliefs, and customs occur. When a major shift in cultures occur the old set of beliefs shift into something else. For example, Gods and Goddesses of the old days may be seen in monotheistic religions as a demon, angel, saint, or the devil himself. There are a lot of Pagan beliefs, holidays, rituals, etc. from the old days that found themselves in newer faiths. From Ostara to Easter; horned Gods, like Pan, to Satan (whose name also comes from a Pagan deity); to the very ritual structure of many monotheistic religion services. This is very much the case with symbols as well, including the five pointed star.
The five pointed star has been used for thousands of years by cultures all over the world. The symbol has been represented as knowledge, protection, power, a Goddess, the afterlife, and much more. Pythagoreans used a five pointed star as their symbol eons ago. In Judeo-Christian beliefs the star represents the star of Bethlehem, and was once used as a symbol for protection. There are stars that represent honor in the United States military as well. In fact, there are many countries that use the star symbolically in their own flags!
The nautical star
The New Zealand flag
United States flag
Source: army.mil – Metal of Honor
Just because I wore a pentacle on my right hand, or my friends who wear a pentacle around their necks, did not make us Satanists. We choose to use the pentacle for something symbolically way different than a Satanist would. Satanism and Paganism are way different from each other entirely. There are many paths within Satanism, from what I know of, some in which don’t even worship the creature Satan himself. If you want to know more, I suggest doing some research through a direct source (by direct, I mean go to Satanists themselves… not a biased source against them). One source you will find directly linked to the Satanic Bible picture I have listed in this post (see below).
So what is the symbolism behind the five pointed star? Each point on the star is symbolic for the four elements, and the spirit, energy, life force, ethers, etc. Put together into a five pointed star the symbol becomes a power point of what is around us.
Just as Christian may wear a cross around their neck to symbolize that they are a follower of Christ one may wear a pentacle on their hand or neck to represent that they are a part of a path. Those who see my calling upon these five points as Satanic is outright silly as Pagans do not believe that they have a direct line to Satan himself when they call out to these five points. There is a complete separation from Pagans and the Devil/Satan/Lucifer, which is an entity tied into the Judeo-Christian belief system.
Is there a symbol related to the Church of Satan? The that is relevant to the Church of Satan is called the Sigil of Baphomet. I do not have much knowledge behind the Sigil of Baphomet, but I recognize that its founder took many symbolisms from cultures from around the world and in many different time periods.
Here is a point I would like to make to everyone: knowledge and kindness is key. Before putting someone down for something you believe to be true recognize that that individual might have a different cultural background than your own – and that’s okay! What I encourage is knowledge on what a symbol means to a culture themselves. It is not wrong. Seeing as a symbol as wrong would be ethnocentric on your part. The Sigil of Baphomet is absolutely right within the culture it is represented from. The 5-pointed star is absolutely right within the culture it is represented from. The same to a Christian’s cross, the same to the Star of David, and so on. Who are we to place our own meanings towards another culture’s symbol?
The Satanic Bible with the Sigil of Baphomet on the cover (click to see the Church of Satan’s description of the symbol and to do your research on their beliefs)
Back to the Sigil of Baphomet. From some research I found out the Sigil of Baphomet was publicized back in the late 1960s and was developed from the mind of Anton LaVey. The Church of Satan has a lot of copyright and trademark backing within their symbol. I highly suggest visiting their website to better understand the symbol and its history. I found their page on the Sigil of Baphomet very knowledgeable, well written, and great to share.
I hope my discussion about the symbolism of the 5-pointed star and key differences of the Sigil of Baphomet was something unique and offered perspective. Feel free to share, ask any questions, or post comments!
Pagans are not Satanists and Satanists are not Pagan