Pentacle vs Pentagram
Pentacle and pentagram are two of the most commonly used symbols in different cultures around the world. These symbols have been used by major world religions and even by occult faiths and magicians. These symbols are found in ancient scriptures of Christianity and even Judaism. Many people think of these two symbols as being the same and thus interchangeable. Of course, the only physical difference between a pentagram, which is a five point star with strokes inside, and a pentacle is that a pentacle contains a pentagram inside a circle. Let us analyze the two closely interrelated religious symbols
What is a Pentagram?
The word pentagram refers to a 5 sided figure as penta is Greek for 5 and gram means to write. However, when talking about this special religious symbol, pentagram refers to a figure made of five lines that looks like a 5 pointed star. In upright pentagram, one of the five points is upright. It is when this pentagram is circumscribed with a circle that it becomes a pentacle. Though there is no unison over the origin of these two closely related religious symbols, most people believe a pentagram/pentacle to have originated over a land mass that today is spread over present day England to far away Egypt.
In ancient times, this symbol probably referred to a supreme Goddess who was called Kore. However, there are many other names ascribed to this Goddess such as Carmenta, Ceres, Kauri, Kaur, Core, Kar, and many other similar names.
Apple was the favorite and sacred fruit of this Goddess. If one cuts through an apple at the core, what he gets is an exact pentagram in both halves of the apple with a seed at the top of all the points. Romans still call this core of the apple as a source of knowledge, the Star of Knowledge. The Goddess Kore is still worshipped in many religions and occult faiths around the world. On January 6th, the festival of this Goddess is still celebrated in many parts of the world. Throughout Roman history, pentacle had been referred to as the Star of Bethelhem that sent three astrologers in search of Jesus Christ when he was born. In earlier times, Christians have widely used pentagram as a personal charm and a protective amulet. At one point of time, pentagram was used to symbolize the 5 wounds of Jesus when he was hanged on the cross.
A pentagram has always been considered as a strong, protective amulet by all Pagan religions. It can be truly compared with the Christian Cross and the Star of David as in Judaism.
What is a Pentacle?
Pentacle is a pentagram that has been covered with a circle. Generally, any talisman is commonly referred to as a pentacle, in particular it is the pentagram circumscribed with a circle. It has been traditionally used by pagan religions for thousands of years as a protective amulet or charm. The addition of a circle to a pentagram shows that all the elements depicted in a pentagram are somehow interconnected. Circumscribing the pentagram inside a circle tells us that all the elements depicted by a pentagram have direct and indirect relation with each other.
What is the difference between Pentacle and Pentagram?
• Both pentagram and pentacle have been used as religious symbols that can be used interchangeably.
• At times, pentagram was used to depict the 5 wounds of Jesus on the cross and Christians wore it in the pendants as a protective amulet.
• Whether pentagram or pentacle, both have been found associated with occult faiths more than major religions of the world.
• In spirit, a pentagram can be compared with the Christian Cross and the Star of David.
• While a pentagram is a 5 point star that is formed with a single line, a pentacle is essentially a pentagram with a circumscribed circle.