The Pentagram

When drawn correctly, the pentagram represents Man, arms and legs outstretched and head erect. This is the form of the five-pointed star within the pentagram. It is a square representing the four-fold world with a fifth point -- the Manas or spirit -- mid-way to Heaven. Manas is the godhead; the ultimate degree of consciousness; the goal of all magi. The pentagram is thus employed to draw the Manas from around the practitioner -- from the Cosmic and Mental planes. It also reminds us that the Manas comes from within us all; from within our minds and bodies.

The five-pointed star has always been used to represent these concepts of Individual and Universal Manas and their relations to each of us. It is thus a very powerful symbol for Human potential.

Five itself is linked to Man: Five fingers, five toes, five senses, five main appendages. This reminds us that we have something more than the four-fold world around us: A fifth; a quintessence; Manas.

In terms of the physical world, the pentagram is again the four-fold world, plus a fifth: Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Ether (or Space). In the Tibetan system we find Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Awareness, linking the symbol again to human consciousness and potential.

The pentagram may be the most recognized and potent of all sacred symbols; unfortunately, it is also the most misused. When turned with the Manas down, it represents human downfall, linked by some to Original Sin. In this sense, it has become a symbol of evil, which doesn't do justice to the true meaning behind the symbol. When Peter asked that he be crucified upside down, it was in deference to Jesus, whom he saw as rightfully positioned with his head "mid-way to Heaven." By inverting the symbol, Peter was admitting he had not yet progressed beyond the level of consciousness that kept him trapped in the four-fold world.

Those who employ the inverse pentagram are thus admitting they lack greater spiritual insight and base their views largely on what the world around them describes. They are admitting to being material beings in a material world, an attribute often given to the Devil, leading to the adoption of the inverse pentagram by Satanists -- those concerned only with physical and material wealth, gain, and stimulation.