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The Pentacle: sacred symbol

Watercolor by Michelle Cole

I’ve been asked more than once what the meaning of the Pentacles I wear hold for me, but recently when asked again, I paused for a moment. It has many meanings for many different people and its basic claim to fame is a world known symbol of Witchcraft. I am one of an unknown quantity of Pagans in this country who wears the symbol with pride as well as joy. Joy because we can wear them without fear. This was not always the case, for some of us much more recently than you might think. In the mid-90’s I met a nurse who was openly told she would be fired if she wore her pentacle in such a way patients could see it. But, when was the last time I even tried to define my personal definition of what the Pentacle stands for.

There was a time when I wore my Pentacles as a challenge, almost as if I dared anyone to voice their objection to me: open that can of worms…I dare you.

But, with years come wisdom and it’s nice to feel that when I have openly visable pentacles on my body I become a face for Paganism, Witchcraft, Earth Religions and the openness to all sources of spiritual fulfillment. I want to be a source of light and laughter in a world of shadows and uncertainties: my spiritual life is what guides me. The Pentacle represents this path, this journey, this spiritual life of mine. That is the first aspect always that comes to me when I think on it.

Starhawk has some suggestions as to more direct use of the pentagram in meditations in The Spiral Dance, among them one where the points represent Birth, Initiation, Love, Repose and Death. The eternal cycle of birth, life, death and re-birth that holds the answer to all our questions within its mystery. The sacred Pentacle is a tool to help focus our intention when used as an aspect of meditation.

Of course I also feel the pull of the sacred directions and elements within the circle of a Pentacle: East/Air, South/Fire, West/Water and North/Earth. But the observant person says, “Those are only 4 points, what is the 5thpoint for?” I’ve heard it explained as Spirit, the spirit that directs the elements and directions. I also see that 5thpoint as being the coming together of all the elements to spark creation, the result of mixing all the elements with spirit. That spark of life that resides in our very center, where spirit and matter mingle and create our unique life experience. The circle that then embraces the 5 points represents to me Above & Below: all that is outside of you. I particularly like the combination of plants or trees with the Pentacle. Trees are such a beautiful example of the idea of “As Above, So Below” seen easily during the sleep of winter. Have you ever studied a bare tree in winter enough to suddenly realize that what you see is a mirror image of what is below the earth’s surface? The root system buried in the nourishing earth would most likely look an awful lot like the above ground branches in the dead of winter.

It was a delightful surprise to receive as a Solstice/Christmas gift from my beautiful friend Mary a lovely box with the image of a pentacle with the Tree of Life, and around the round box are the 4 elements. Don’t you love it when a friend seems to have picked up a direct line into your mind/heart and found something so symbolic at just the right time?


  • xexon 4 years ago

    Don't think I only strip the flesh off Christians, sweety.

    While I have a higher appreciation for your path than I do of the major religions, you are still rooted in the same garder of belief as they are. And just as stuck.

    Only people are sacred. Not things. Not places. Not things written down. But people.

    When you use something such as a symbol or a book or a magic wand, it is YOU who charges it with power. It has none otherwise.

    So why not drink from where the spring comes out of the ground instead of the polluted valleys below where others drink their fill and fill satisfied?


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    Michelle Cole 4 years ago

    Well, if you were aiming to take flesh from these bones, you've failed-miserably.

    Perhaps I should feel some sense of accomplishment that you hold a little more respect for me than for other religions-but I don't feel anything.

    I'm 43 and have the scars to prove it: mentally, emotionally & physically. I learn from life and I don't believe anything simply because I read it or hear it. I'm a big believer in listening to our own inner guidance system and my only response to someone like you is that if you believe you are so far advanced beyond me or anyone else, you still have much work of your own to do.

    If you have so much to teach, so much wisdom to share why not become an Examiner yourself and share with the world your wisdom?

    I neither reject nor automatically accept new ideas or theories or lessons: but talking to me as though I am a child who's feelings are easily hurt has no effect.

    Blessed Be

  • Profile picture of Michelle Cole
    Michelle Cole 4 years ago

    Also, people are not the only things sacred on this planet: ALL life is sacred and is a part of the delicate balance of life here. Animals, plants, insects...all are no less nor more sacred than a human being.

  • xexon 4 years ago

    Actually, nothing is sacred.

    Because when you drink from the source, you lose any distinction between doer and deed. The merge occurs at that moment. Your idea of who you believe yourself to be is pulled aside so that you may see reality of creation without the human mask.

    You cannot possibly go back to the world of belief, as this experience will set you free of it forever. Then things of this world become like props from a movie. The value you once assessed them to be, has turned to cheap carnival jewelry. From your days as an actor in this movie.

    Still pretty to look at, these things like amulets. But they have no power that you don't give them. Nothing here is more powerful than you are. You are endowed with the power of creativity that is normally only assigned to gods.

    And the old saying that you create your own reality is true in ways you cannot yet fathom.

    But dear sister, you are so going to enjoy the ride there. Cause you're ready.


  • Profile picture of Jess d'Arbonne
    Jess d'Arbonne 4 years ago

    Xexon, it's always a pleasure to see you commenting here at
    Thanks for the great article, Michelle. :)

  • KD 4 years ago

    I would have to agree and disagree with you X. Tools are things that many cannot live without. The soul is more powerful sure but here is an exmple- The Samuri could not function without their blades and were not considered one without them. Some would be enlightened in battle and would stop fighting but then they would die.
    Anyways its nice to know that not everybody thinks of symbols as being evil - they are what you make of them like how the swastika used to be the sun wheel.
    The pentacle now reminds me of the Book of Five rings written by a Samuri

  • xexon 4 years ago

    Tools are fine. As long as you know when to sit them down. The danger is in the attachment to them. I AM this. I AM that. No, you're not. You're a naked soul that has beliefs stuck all over you. Most look like 3 year old's who've found the Post-it Notes stash.

    It's okay to stop and examine what you see along the way. But it is EXTREMELY important you keep moving. There are many, many things along a spiritual path that will stop you in your tracks. Including things that look like spiritual paths. They'll put you to sleep as they carress you with the things love to hear. And in your dreams, you will be traveling a spiritual path.

    But the reality is you're stationary and dreaming. Asleep alongside the path you vowed to walk. Don't fear being stepped on, as most travelers have also pulled off.

    To "rest". Just be careful you don't go back to sleep.


  • Profile picture of Michelle Cole
    Michelle Cole 4 years ago

    KD, thank you for your comments and to dear X, I thank you for your input. I agree with you on a lot of things I see you share on the examiner pages and obviously no 2 people will agree on everything in life.
    I will be the first to admit I really have no idea what I am doing, this is the journey, inward to find my passion, my purpose, my reason for incarnating as a human at this interesting, exciting and often frightening period of history on this planet.
    I only know that far too many people underestimate their true power that comes with them from the mostly un-explainable source we come from.
    I am learning the hardest thing to do can be to simply look in a mirror and love and accept this human being I am now, to understand how to accept consequences of a difficult past and how to continue growing into the potential I carry within to be a light of encouragement and an example to others, especially women.
    I am also a little fascinated by your comments and curious about what you have experienced in life...perhaps more to follow, eh?

  • xexon 4 years ago

    Raised as a southern baptist in Alabama. Knew it was wrong at age 5. Embraced a number of paths before finding the one that took me home. I've been a yogi ever since. At least that's what I call myself, so that people will understand my own backgroud and how it shapes what I say.

    People who have experienced periods of darkness in their lives often seek bright and pretty things to take them out of that darkness. They haven't found the lightswitch yet.

    The amulet is a pretty thing. It represents to you the power you wish you had. But ultimately, it's just another dolly you play with. Has no life of it's own until you pick it up. Books are the same way. They can be pretty things too. But only because YOU think so. You assign that worth or not.


  • xexon 4 years ago

    People are very much like tuning forks. When the vibrate, they set off other things in the room around them , making them "sing". This is how most people navigate life. They ping with compassion and listen for what reveals itself to them in the darkness. You can't help but get excited when an answer pings back.

    However, the fast track is about finding the overhead light switch. It illuminates everything at the same time. They'll be no more crawling around on a dark floor with 5 tiny candles to light your way.

    But boy howdy, can you ever have fun with those that still do. They can't see a thing. Walk right up to them. All they see is dark with a sparkle one and a while. So they move off in that direction.

    I've been known to put out my leg at such moments.


  • KD 4 years ago

    I would have to say that everything is sacred. Even in physics an inanimate object is far from being still. The world does create opinions and bearings may differ but we are all still moving through the same ocean. One person may see a star another may see relevance to ease knowlege and illumination.

  • xexon 4 years ago

    God realization comes from an equalization of opposing forces. It becomes like a surface of a lake with no ripples at all. Glass smooth.

    You see no more differences. No more duality. It's ALL "God". You lose your own personal indentity but for an instant. You've been baptised by waters not of this earth. And when you merge back into that personal space you call you, the door is left open to come and go as you please. And you can point others in that direction as long as life is in you here.

    And like any older brother who's gone off and explored the world, when I arrive back home, and tell my tales of distant lands, my younger brothers and sisters are going to think I'm full of it. :)

    I can only grin as I know what awaits them all.


  • KD 4 years ago

    Confucious is a hard man to debate, because you cant debate nothingness.
    However i would have to say that even an equalization of forces can be a strange thing to comprehend . Two rolling wheels may cancel out each other, but two bombs will not- they will only create a bigger explosion.
    The world can never be fully explored.

  • xexon 4 years ago

    Doesn't HAVE to be.

    You've got a 1,000,000 hairs on your body. You don't need to groom each one.


  • KD 4 years ago

    Yup just the nose hairs

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    Michelle Cole 4 years ago

    What you describe, our Yogi friend, sounds very similiar to what I've been hearing from someone I receive newsletters from-not the same thing, but it reminds me of what I hear her saying alot. About how we are blurring the lines between the 3rd & 4th dimensions and she's experienced this blur personally-which is beyond my scope of experience, but it does sound quite interesting.