The pentagram, or pentacle, is a five pointed within a circle. Few symbols have been subject to more confusion than the pentacle. Though a five-pointed star with or without a circle has occurred in several cultures, many of their original meanings were lost to the murky depths of time.

The symbol we know as a pentacle today was originally a very important Christian symbol. Representing the five wounds of Christ, this symbol was said to banish demons, quill evil, and turn aside sorcery. It is still found in hex signs painted on barns, by the Pennsylvania Deutsch, to protect them.

It was not until the mid 20th century that the symbol became viewed as a symbol of witchcraft, rather than one to protect from it. The movie "The Wolfman" was one of the driving forces in this major shift of belief. The producer, George Waggner, needed a symbol to represent evil and witchcraft. He settled upon an old Christian symbol that had fallen out of favor and been all but forgotten, the pentagram. A score of movies, books and television shows continued to use the pentacle for the same purpose, cementing the connection in the minds on modern man.

When Gerald Gardner created Wicca in the 1950s he of course used the one symbol already explicitly linked with witchcraft to represent his new religion.

     A few other misconceptions about this symbol are:

The pentagram is a symbol of Wicca and the pentacle is satanic.(or vice versa)
They are the same symbol.

The inverted pentagram is Satanic.
Though the Church of Satan uses the inverted pentacle, it is also the symbol of the second-degree initiation in various Wiccan traditions.

The pentagram is as symbol of all nature religions, pagans, or druids.
The ONLY pagan religion to accept this symbol as their own is Wicca. Because of its history no reconstructionalist, druid, or other pagan group would associate themselves with the pentacle unless they were actually practicing some Wicca derivative.

A pentacle is something you can wear like jewelry; a pentagram is the symbol on anything else.(or vice versa)
I am still trying to find out which brain child conjured this one up. Both symbols may be called a pentagram or pentacle. Both terms come from the Latin meaning five points. The only difference between the terms is that "pentacle" is sometimes inaccurately used to refer to sigils in used in ceremonial magic around the 18th and eairly19th centuries. This was due to the ignorance of authors publishing penny pamphlets on magic and sorcery and accrediting them the ancient philosophers.
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