There are many misconceptions about the pentacle and its meaning. Due to the infiltration of Hollywood into our culture many people believe that the pentacle is a symbol of evil or “black magick.” These beliefs are often supported by conservative Christians who desire to make the earth based religions look evil.
The pentacle is said to have originated in China as a way for Feng Shui masters to understand the elemental interactions between their elements. Nowadays Neo-pagans have adapted the pentacle to represent their five main elements: earth, air, fire, water, and spirit. In reality the pentacle represents what pagans will sometimes call “auma” or everything, the all, Tao, etc. The pentacle represents the circle of life which has no beginning and no end. The pentacle is also a symbol of balance, in the way that each element balances with the other. None of these meanings would be considered “evil” by the majority of people.
There has also been much debate over the direction the pentacle points and whether or not such a thing dictates whether or not the symbol is evil. It is said that a pentacle that is held upside down is an “evil” symbol whereas a pentacle held right side up is a “good” pentacle. This idea mostly came from the use of the inverted pentacle on the cover of Anton LaVey’s “Satanic Bible.” It is important to note that the followers of Anton LaVey (often called satanists) are not considered to be pagan nor neopagan in most magickal circles. Pagan practitioners will tell you that the position of a pentacle does not denote whether or not it will be used for “good” or “bad” magick, but what it will be used for. For example, an upside down pentacle is often called the “banishing” pentacle and is used to sent energy away whereas an upright pentacle can be considered an “invoking” pentacle and be used to call energy forth.
The pentacle can also be equated to the Christian cross when seen in jewelry. Many pagans will purchase an wear their pentacle as a statement of their belief to others who know what it means. One’s pentacle is often very sentimental and many pagans only own one as it is also seen as a magickal tool.
It is important to remember that the pentacle is a symbol of the pagan religion and not a symbol of evil magick. Hopefully through educating the public the stigma attached to the pentacle will be reduced and the true meaning will be understood.