The recent Memorial Day weekend got me thinking about the pentagram. Why? Well, read on…
For as long as I can remember, my teachers (and innumerable books) have claimed that the “upright” pentagram is a positive and spiritual image. It’s upright. What could be more positive than upright?
It is said that the five points of the pentagram represent the five elements: Fire at the lower right, Earth at the lower left, Water at the upper right, Air at the upper left, and Spirit at the top. What a great symbol this can be!
It’s not only popular among occultists, but among very patriotic American citizens. It’s on the U.S. flag in 50 places…………………….
It’s part of the symbol for the U.S. Air Force.
Here is an older version of the USAF symbol:
And here is a new USAF symbol:
In some of the earliest forms of Wicca, the Pentagram was taken as a symbol for the first or most basic degree of the Craft. The symbol for the third or most advanced degree included the inverted pentagram:
However, as Wicca spread to the U.S., it was discovered that Americans tended to despise this symbol. It was said to represent evil or Satanism. The two upright points implied the horns of the Satanic goat. Sometimes, this goat was even drawn into the image:
But is it truly a Satanic or evil symbol?
It is certainly true that some Satanists have adopted it.
But 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.
Perhaps the most famous example of a symbol becoming evil is that of the universal symbol of good fortune, the Swastika. The Swastika has been found among native cultures all over the world, It’s most “pre-evil” use was in India where it was usually drawn with a flat side:
Hitler himself chose the symbol to represent the Nazi party, but tilted it on one point. Today, in India, it is still a popular symbol and appears everywhere, including on spiritual items. This surprises many Westerners who today only know the symbol for its Nazi associations.
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.
Although the U.S. is a secular country, we do have certain places and objects that are so honored they have acquired a quality that can only be called “sacred.” From the Statue of Liberty (the goddess Liberty Enlightening the World) and the Washington Monument (a representation of masculine energy) to the sublime meaningfulness of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, we have our sacred symbols. In the U.S., perhaps no symbol is more sacred and more honored than the (Congressional) Medal of Honor. Although there are three basic versions of the medal, they are all similar in design: