Pagans/Wiccans view the pentagram as an amulet of protection, a symbol of balance, and a representation of the elemnts and the Gods. Pagans use the pentagram with a point facing up like the one see above. This is not an evil symbol!
Paganism isn’t the only religion that uses a 5 pointed star. Did you know in the Catholic religion, a 5 pointed star is used to represent Jesus hanging on the cross and the places he suffered his flesh wounds?
Each of the 5 points represents one of the five elements:
1) Earth- represents stability and physical endurance. (bottom left point)
2) Fire-represents courage and daring.(bottom right point)
3) Water-represents emotions and intuition.(right point)
4) Air-represents intelligence and the arts(left point)
5) Spirit- represents all and the divine(top point).
The circle around the star represents Goddess and God and, at least to me, represents the continuing cycle of life.
The pentagram may be inverted with one point down. The implication is of spirit subservient to matter, of man subservient to his carnal desires. The inverted pentagram has come to be seen by many pagans as representing the dark side and it is abhored as an evil symbol. Fundamental christians, indeed, see any form of pentagram as such. However, these are recent developments and the inverted pentagram is the symbol of Gardnerian second degree initiation, representing the need of the witch to learn to face the darkness within so that it may not later rise up to take control. The centre of a pentagram implies a sixth formative element – love/will which controls from within, ruling matter and spirit by Will and the controlled magickal direction of sexual energies. This is another lesson of initiation.
The Pentagram As A Christian Symbol
Up until medieval times, the five points of the pentagram represented the five wounds of Christ on the Cross. It was a symbol of Christ the Saviour. This is in stark contrast to today where the pentagram is criticized by modern Fundamentalist Christians, as being a symbol of evil.
The church eventually chose the cross as a more significant symbol for Christianity, and the use of the pentagram as a Christian symbol gradually ceased.
The pentacle is probably the most important symbol in witchcraft. It is a five pointed star with a single point facing upright. A written or drawn pentacle is a pentagram.
In rituals and magic the pentacle is a round disk of earthenware, wax, silver, or clay. It is inscribed with magic symbols including a pentagram and is used to consecrate the magic circle. In some rituals the high priestess may assume the pentacle position.
Some witches may wear a pentacle as a sign of their religion. Some covens use the pentacle as the signal of the witches who are initiated in to the second degree. The pentagram is the witches symbol of power and protection and used to control elemental forces. Pentagrams are usually drawn in the air with a sword. The method used to draw the pentagram depends on its purpose.
Such as pentagrams to invoke are different from pentagrams to banish. Pentagrams are also used in meditation exercises where each point of the star is associated with a specific quality, attribute, concept, emotion or name of a pagan deity.
The magicians pentacle is also referred to as the pentacle of solomon. It represents God or man and the four elements of nature, five senses, five wounds of Jesus, and the five points of man.
The magician attaches pentacles on his robes. Pentacles are also engraved on rings. As a talisman the the pentacle enables the magician to command the spirits.
The pentacle is a traditional tool of the craft. Originally it is thought to have been adopted from ceremonial magic. It is usually a round solid disc often made from stone, wood or copper. On the disc is engraved or painted an up-right five pointed star enclosed inside a circle called the Pentagram. A disc decorated in this manner then becomes called a Pentacle. In some traditions other symbols are added indicative of deities, spirits or the elements as sources of power. The pentacle is normally the centerpiece of the alter on which objects are placed to be consecrated or charged, such things as amulets, charms and tools are placed on it, as is the salt and water for blessing. The pentacle represents the elements of Earth and is sometimes used to summon the Gods and Goddesses.