Humans have always been fascinated by symbols. There are symbols in all religions and have different significances. Pentagram and pentacle are two enduring symbols that have enthralled people for centuries and are used interchangeably. But there is a difference between Pentagram and pentacle. Let’s solve the mystery 🙂
Comparison Table: Pentagram vs Pentacle
|Etymology||Comes from Greek “pente” meaning five and “gramma” meaning “character” or whatever is written.||From Latin “penta” meaning “fivefold” and “culum” suffix to French “pentacle” meaning “an ornament hung around the neck”|
|Geometry||The simplest regular star polygon with 15 line segments and 10 vertices.||The simplest regular star polygon is circumscribed within a circle.|
|First usage||During Sumerian civilization between 4500 B.C. and 1900 B.C.||In Middle French around 1328 A.D.|
|Use||It is drawn in ritualistic and occult practices||t is used as a talisman, charm, amulet and worn as jewelry or kept on the altar.|
There was a time, better known as the pre-historic period when human beings did not know the art of writing or the skill of speaking. But communication was imperative. So, the solution? Symbols. They communicated with drawings symbolizing the objects they wanted to indicate. The use of symbols, therefore, predates civilization.
Religion is another arena of human life that is ancient, if not prehistoric. Inevitably, various symbols have been used in religion throughout the ages to signify various beliefs. Pentagram and Pentacle are two such symbols.
Pentagram and pentacle are astoundingly comparative images that are related to esoteric and religious beliefs. They are generally mistaken for one another. A few people aver that a “pentacle” is simply another more word for “pentagram”.
Subsequently, these are exchangeable terms for some individuals and various references guarantee they are only something very similar. There is justification for such confusion and misinterpretation as they look extremely similar but differ largely in origin, application, and significance.
A pentagram is made by defining a ceaseless boundary in five straight segments while a pentacle is typically a charm or a talisman or some other special object inscribed with a pentagram or some other relevant figure.
A few sources basically characterize it as an encompassed pentagram. The accompanying conversations further dive into their differentiation.
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Pentagram is a very misunderstood symbol in itself. In Wiccan practices, it represents the five elements- fire, air, water, earth, and spirit. But it has got bad press as a satanist symbol or the symbol to invoke the devil.
Though Satanists might use the pentagram in this way it is far from the true essence of the symbol. In its truest form, it represents the life force itself. Quite contrary to what it has come to represent, the pentagram actually shields from negative energy and draws life force energy towards it.
The term has its origin in Greece. The Greek term “pente” means “five” and “gramma” means “character” or “what is written”. The Greek term as a whole translates into “a figure with five points”.
Due to its geometric shape, it is also called a star pentagon or pentangle. This geometric and esoteric symbol has significance in various cultures and religions. In Wicca, as discussed earlier, it symbolizes shielding and protection against evil energy.
In ancient Judaism, it represented the five books (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy) of the Torah. While in ancient Chinese tradition, it stands for five-phase which are fire, earth, metal, water, and wood.
A pentacle is a pentagram circumscribed by a circle. It is majorly and widely used as a talisman or a charm ( both not the same thing ) to be worn as jewelry or for keeping in altars. Usually, a pentacle talisman has other spiritual or holy and lucky symbols as well. It is inscribed ( along with other symbols) in wood or metal or crystal and such other items.
The circle represents the direct or indirect connection between all the elements and their wholeness together. Even though a pentacle having a pentagram represents all the elements, it is usually associated with the element of earth and is kept in an altar as representing earth.
In tarot, the pentacle is one of the suits and represents earthly abundance and material success. A pentacle made of silver is used to heighten intuition whereas one made of gold is used for wisdom, if carved from won’t it symbolize a connection to nature. In some covens, it is also believed to represent East, West, North, South, and spirit.
This term has it’s origin in Latin language. Pentacle comes from Latin “penta” meaning “fivefold” and “culum” which is a diminutive suffix. However, it is also traced to the middle French heritage where the word “pentacol” or “pendacol” means an ornament or charm hung around the neck.
This talisman symbolizes deep reverence towards nature and the connection between all the elements and spirit.
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Difference Between Pentagram and Pentacle
Taken from Greek, pentagram means “a figure with five points” like a star. The French root of the term pentacle provides a more satisfactory meaning of the term, “an ornament hung around the neck”
A pentagram is called the simplest regular star polygon with 15 total line segments. It has 10 vertices in total. A pentacle is a pentagram enclosed in a circle. Therefore, it also has 10 vertices.
3) First usage
It is said that the pentagram was first used during the Sumerian civilization between c 4500 B.C. and c 1900 B.C. The term spectacle was first used in middle French around 1328 and it was used to refer to a talisman. The French language borrowed the Latin terms “penta” and “culum” to form “Pentacle”.
Pentacle is used as a talisman, amulet, or charm used as jewelry or on an altar. Pentagram is used in ritualistic practice.
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The pentacle is utilized to concentrate and direct energies in magick and furthermore to secure you. Nothing can contend with the outright security that a pentacle gives you. Use it to keep negative energies, detestable spirits, and devils out during your customs and spell projecting, while you at your generally defenseless. It even enables you to order and control the powers who are trying to hurt you.
If set outside your home, the pentacle will ensure the house and each and every individual who lives in it.
Naomi is an educator with 2 decades of experience working with children of all ages. She is a keen observer of the magic and importance of Maths in our daily lives. Follow me on Linkedin