The Five-Pointed star, or Pentagram, is one of the most ancient and magical star symbols. This symbol has been found in archaeological sites in Mesopotamia dating as far as 3500 BCE. But there is a good possibility that the symbol is far more ancient than that.
The pentagram carries diverse significance across cultures and beliefs. In alchemy and many pagan traditions, it is considered the symbol of the spirit and linked to the five elements. It is also used in magical rituals and as a protective talisman against negative energies. In Christianity, the pentagram is associated with the Star of Bethlehem and occasionally with Christ himself.
The pentagram also represents balance, harmony, interconnection, spiritual awakening, oneness, duality, magic, protection, manifestation, and creation.
In this article, let’s explore the deeper and hidden meanings behind this powerful star symbol.
Pentacle versus Pentagram versus Pentagon
Before proceeding, let’s find out the difference between a few key terms that sound very similar – the pentagon, pentagram, and the pentacle.
The Pentagon is a five-pointed polygon as shown in the image below. All five sides of the pentagon are of the same length.
A pentagram is a five-pointed star made by connecting five straight lines, forming a shape with five corners or vertices. It is as shown in the image below:
It’s worth mentioning that while all pentagrams are indeed five-pointed stars, not all five-pointed stars qualify as pentagrams.
A pentacle is a pentagram enclosed within a circle as shown in the image below.
The pentacle is often associated with various spiritual and religious traditions, including Wicca and modern Paganism. The circle around the star is seen as a symbol of unity and the interconnectedness of all things.
How to draw the Five-Pointed Star or the Pentagram?
You can easily draw a five-pointed star by connecting the alternate points in a pentagon as illustrated in the image below:
As you can observe, the pentagram is a unicursal star, meaning it can be drawn in a single continuous stroke of the pen without lifting your hand.
14 Spiritual Meanings of the Five-Pointed Star (Pentagram)
1. Five Basic Elements
The universe is formed by the combination of four material elements: Earth, Water, Fire, and Air, and the fifth spiritual element known as Ether or Spirit.
In many spiritual traditions, the 5-pointed star primarily represents these five elements – Earth, Water, Fire, Air, and Spirit (or Ether)
The four lower points of the star correspond to the four material elements, while the top point signifies the element of Spirit or Ether, which is present in all the other four elements.
Therefore, in symbolizing the five elements, the five-pointed star signifies the union of both the spiritual and material realms and the interconnection between the two.
Also, the 5 elements correspond to various aspects of human nature which are as follows:
- Air stands for intellect, logic, and reasoning.
- Water stands for your unconscious mind, emotions and dreams.
- Fire stands for drive, will power and creativity.
- Earth stands for everything material like your body, clothes, home, food, etc.
- Ether represents spiritual awakening and enlightenment.
Hence, the star represents these aspects of human nature as well.
2. Creation & Creative Energy
Since the pentagram represents the five elements, it also symbolizes creation, manifestation, and the flow of creative energy. This is because the material universe is created by the combination of these five basic elements.
Not surprisingly, in many spiritual traditions, the star has been used in magical rituals for manifesting desires into existence.
3. Unity, Oneness, and Interconnection
As we saw earlier, the pentagram is a unicursal star which means it can be drawn in a single stroke without lifting the pen. This represents the interconnectedness, interdependence and unity that exists between these five elements. One cannot exist without the other; they rely on one another for sustenance and to maintain a delicate equilibrium.
4. Natural Forces of Existence (Wuxing)
In China, the five-pointed star is used to represent the concept of Wuxing (translated as Five-Phases).
Wuxing describes the five elements of Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water, and the cyclic relationship that exists between them. These five elements are believed to influence various aspects of life, including health, astrology, music, feng shui, cosmic cycles, and traditional Chinese medicine.
There is a relationship of creation and destruction that exists between these elements.
For instance, as shown in the above image, Wood fuels Fire, Fire forms Earth (ash), Earth gives rise to Metal, Metal holds Water (as a container), and Water nourishes Wood (as in plants and trees). This is the creative or constructive relationship.
Conversely, wood depletes water, water rusts metal, metal pollutes the earth, earth extinguishes fire, and fire burns wood.
Thus the 5-pointed star represents the power of these nature forces that shape the universe, the interconnection between them, and the cyclic nature of the universe.
5. Human Body
The pentagram in many ways is the perfect representation of the human body and its connection to the divine.
The five points of the star can be used to represent the 5 senses (sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch) and also the five extremities of the human body – one head, two arms and two legs. In-fact, it is believed that the pentagram can accurately represent human anatomy as the proportions of head, arms and legs fit perfectly within the star.
In his book, “Three Books of Occult Philosophy,” Renaissance-era German magician, and theologian Heinrich Agrippa delves into the symbolic associations of the pentagram in relation to human anatomy and celestial bodies. He connects each of the pentagram’s five points to the five elements (earth, water, air, fire, and spirit) and also associates them with the five classical planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn).
Agrippa believed that understanding these correspondences could be used in magical practices for various purposes, including invoking planetary energies and achieving balance within oneself and the universe.
6. Connection to the Divine
In the previous point, we saw how the pentagram represents the human body.
Considering that the top vertex of the star corresponds to spirit or divine consciousness, the pentagram can be seen to represent the connection between man and the divine. It denotes a connection between the earthly body and the great soul or spirit above.
Thus the upright pentagram can be used as a powerful symbol of connection to God or Divine Consciousness.
7. Divine Protection
Numerous ancient cultures and spiritual traditions incorporate the pentacle (encircled pentagram) as a symbol of protection. When engraved or worn as an amulet, it is believed to safeguard against malevolent energies and harmful influences.
This is because the circle represents God’s infinite love and protection, whereas the five-pointed star represents the human body (as we saw earlier). Thus the pentacle represents God’s protection over the wearer.
In addition to being used as a talisman, the pentacle was also used in protection and manifestation rituals and as an empowerment in magic. In the middle ages, the symbol was put on windows and doorways as it was believed to repel witchcraft and evil.
8. Love, Beauty, & Feminine Energy
In astronomy, if we were to trace the orbital pattern of Venus (relative to Earth) over a 8 year period, we find that it forms a pentagram. This is known as the “pentagonal cycle of Venus”. This is as shown in the image below.
Pentagram was also a symbol of goddess Ishtar – the Mesopotamian goddess of Love, Passion, and Beauty.
Also, Greek mathematician and philosopher Pythagoras considered five as the number of love, as it was formed by the union of the number 2 (feminine) and number 3 (masculine). Pythagoras associated two with the first even number, representing the feminine, and three with the first odd number, representing the masculine.
Thus the five-pointed star is a potent symbol of love, beauty, passion, and feminine energy.
9. Spiritual Awakening, Magic, and Manifestation
Since the top vertex of a pentagram represents the spirit and the lower points represent the material elements, the upright pentagram is seen to represent the victory of spirit over matter, or the victory of the spiritual realm over the material realm. This also represents the divine feminine principle.
Thus the upright pentagram symbolizes the journey from the material to the spiritual – becoming more conscious, connecting with the cosmos, and spiritual awakening.
Alchemically, it also means raising the energies of the four earthly elements (Fire, Air, Water, and Earth) to their highest expression. Therefore, this star also corresponds to magic and manifestation of your higher desires.
Conversely, the inverted pentagram is seen as the victory of matter over spirit or the material realm over the spiritual realm. This also represents the divine masculine principle.
When we combine both the upright and the inverted pentagrams, we get a 10-pointed star which represents perfect balance between opposing forces which is the basis of all creation.
10. Balance, Interconnectedness, & Infinite Nature of the Universe
A unique feature of the pentagram is that every pentagram contains within it, its inverse. As you will notice, the center of a pentagram contains a pentagon and by connecting the alternate points of the pentagon, you get an inverted pentagram. And you can find an upright pentagram within this inverted pentagram, and this can continue infinitely (as depicted in the image below).
Thus, in every pentagram, you can see the upright and the inverted. This concept is very similar to the concept of Yin Yang which suggests that Yin or (divine feminine) contains within it the Yang (or divine masculine) and vice versa.
Therefore similar to the Yin Yang the pentagram also represents the concept of duality – two opposing forces coming together to form the universe. It also represents the deep interconnection and balance that exists between these forces.
Furthermore, in sacred geometry, the number 5 is often associated with the concept of harmony and balance.
Thus the pentagram is a potent symbol of duality, interconnectedness, balance, and harmony. It also represents the infinite nature of the universe.
11. Natural Harmony, and Perfection
The golden ratio is a mathematical proportion (approx. 1.618) found frequently in many natural phenomena . Some examples include the spiral pattern of sea shells, flower petals (of some flowers like sunflower and daisies), pinecones, pineapples, cauliflower, and even the shape of hurricanes and spiral galaxies. It is even found in the human body.
This ratio is associated with harmony, balance, efficiency, and beauty.
Interestingly, many lines and triangles found within the Pentagram are in the Golden Ratio. For instance, the 5-pointed star has 5 acute triangles which are all Golden Triangles. In other words, the ratio of the lengths of one side and the base is in the Golden Ratio as shown in the image below.
Similarly, the ratios of the following lines in the star are in Golden ratio as shown in the image below:
This is why the pentagram was seen by the ancients as representing natural harmony, peace, and balance. It was also considered a symbol of perfection by the Pythagoreans for this reason.
12. Guidance & Direction
In Christianity, the Pentagram is used to represent the Star of Bethlehem (associated with the Sirius star) which guided the Three Wise Men to baby Jesus. This is why the Pentagram can also be seen as a symbol of Guidance and Direction.
In a regular pentagram, each interior angle measures to 36 degrees. The digital root of 36 is 9 (3 + 6 = 9). Similarly, the interior angle of a pentagon is 108 degrees and its digital root is also 9 (1 + 0 + 8 = 9)
Also, the angle of a circle is 360 degrees which also adds up to a digital root of 9.
In sacred geometry, the number 9 is considered significant as it symbolizes completion, wholeness, and spiritual enlightenment. It’s often associated with the culmination of a cycle and the transformation of energy into a higher state. Thus, all of these symbolisms also apply to the Pentagram.
14. Infinity & Limitless Energy
The five-pointed star is unicursal in nature.
This means, just like the circle, it has no beginning or end and hence symbolizes eternity, infinity, and limitless energy. It also symbolizes the cycle of life and the universe. In some spiritual traditions, the pentagram is equated with the alpha and the omega.
With its diverse symbolism,, the five-pointed star stands as one of the most sacred and magical symbols known. It’s no surprise that the ancients held this symbol in such high regard. If this symbol resonates with you, consider using it in your life by meditating on it, wearing it as jewelry, placing it on your altar, or simply contemplating on it.