The Witch’s Star – the Power of Five


Sometimes called a Witch’s Star, the pentagram is a five-sided star, and when drawn, it sits inside another favorite symbol for Witches – a circle that represents unity and wholeness among other similar concepts.  

The four bottom points represent the four elements of the natural world – Earth, Water, Fire, and Air.  Those four elements are symbolic of the four states of matter – solid (Earth), liquid (Water), plasma (Fire), and gas (Air).  The top point is Spirit, elevated above the others yet in balance with the other four. 

Witch's Star

Why the symbolism?

Symbolism is a way for the human mind to keep complex ideas in an instantly recognizable and simple form. Because of this, they connect to our emotions and subconscious mind quickly and succinctly making them powerful tools. 

Archeologists have found symbols created by our ancestors as far back as 350,000 years ago.  They’ve uncovered symbols on ornaments, tools, burial sites, and art as far back as 100,000 years ago. Symbols have been a way for us to communicate meaning without words far longer than we’ve had written language which only dates back to about 8,000 years ago.

The five-sided star has been found in ancient cultures all over the world – on Sumerian pottery circa 3,500 BCE, from about 5,000 years ago in the Liangzhu culture of China, as well as on even older Greek pottery.  It was the symbol for Jerusalem from 300-150 BCE, it represented the five senses in ancient Christianity and is currently the symbol of the Bahai faith. 

Some witches consider the downward position as a negative or evil position while others, including Wiccan witches, use both positions to simply have different meanings.  You might use the upward position to represent spiritual influence over the physical world as we did in Circle. Wiccans use the pentagram in a downward position to represent masculine energy and possibly because of this, modern Satanists started using it.  Satanists are not witches since Satan comes from the Christian dogma.  The term Satanist has been changing recently to have different meanings but is best left for them to define themselves since they have nothing to do with the Craft. 

The Number 5

And finally, the number five is one of a few favorite numbers for Witches.  It represents the five somatic senses for which we interact with the world.  An abundance of mammals, amphibians, and reptiles have five fingers and toes on each limb, and many flowers have five petals “reflecting the five-fold symmetry in plants”.  If you really want to nerd out: “Boron, which has the atomic number 5, and is the fifth element plays a crucial role in plant growth by aiding the formation and strengthening of cell walls” and in space, “five Lagrange points allow for the stable orbit of smaller objects in conjunction with two larger ones, such as the Earth and the Sun”.

Here’s a fun article about the number 5: 37 Amazing Facts About The Number 5 

 To use the pentagram, first you need to know where the elements are on this symbol.  I’ve seen them in different positions from the illustration below but this order puts the earthly elements, Earth and Fire, on the bottom (for Fire, think magma), then the flowing elements, Air and Water, (the elements that enabled life) on the next level, and Spirit above them all.

A pentagram is drawn in a flow of straight lines from one point to another without stopping.  You invoke an element by starting at the highest point possible without bending a line and draw a straight line to that element.  So for Air, you start at Water and draw a line to Air.  Spirit is higher but you’d have to bend the line to get to Air and therefore you can’t make a pentagram that way.  

Above is also a chart to show you how to use invoking and releasing pentagrams.  The word “banish” is commonly used but I prefer “release” – it’s less rude!  Releasing pentagrams start at the element and go in reverse of an invoking pentagram.

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