The upright pentacle (or pentagram) is the most commonly recognized and loved symbol of Paganism today. It is an ancient symbol of deep significance in many other traditions including the Gnostics, Druids, ancient Egyptians, ancient Israelites, and Christians. The pentagram is a simple five pointed star. At its heart is a pentagon. When the five pointed star is surrounded by a circle it becomes the pentacle.
The five points represent the elements of Earth, Air, Fire, Water with Spirit at the top, and thus also the directions of East, South, West, North and Within. A circle around the pentagram represents the eternal circle/cycle of life and nature, and of wholeness. In ritual and ceremony the pentacle corresponds to the element of Earth. It has long been believed to be a protection against evil for both the person and the home, worn as an amulet or used to guard entrances to the home through windows and doors. So it has a modern day threefold function: as a mark or sign of being a Pagan, as the element of Earth in ritual, and as a powerful protector.
The word pentacle or pentagram comes from the Greek pente meaning 5. Five is a prime number and the pentacle is the simplest form of a star that is unicursal - you can draw it as one continuous loop which is sometimes called the Endless Knot. The number 5 is both magical and mundane. We have five fingers and five toes. We are gifted with five senses through which we experience the physical world: sight, smell, hearing, touch and taste. We can perceive five stages or rites of passage as we journey through life: birth, adolescence, coitus, parenthood and death.
The pentacle is the Star of the Goddess. The wild rose, with its five petals, is a symbol of the Goddess, of Venus, Aphrodite, motherhood, regeneration and eternal life. In Celtic tradition the pentacle was ascribed to the dark Goddess Morrigan who held sway over life and death and transformation. It was a symbol for Hygeia, the Goddess of Health. And its symbolic origins may lie with the Goddess Kore, or Ceres. Her sacred fruit is the apple. If you cut an apple through its equator, both halves will reveal a near-perfect pentagram shape at the core and each point of the star holds a seed - the deep mystery of all potential. A small twig of English Oak (sacred tree of the Druids) also reveals a five pointed star at its heart.
Not surprisingly we carry a large number of items with this symbol!
Experiencing The Green Man by Rob Hardy & Teresa Moorey
So what is different about this new book about the Green Man? The answer is that there are lots of books about the practical, external, search for the Green Man but not a great deal about the inner journey. This book gives proper attention to the practical quest but includes much food for the inner way: a Green Man pathworking, celebration descriptions, a full-blown ritual for invoking and linking with the Green Man, mask making and more. Refreshing.