A pentagram is a five-pointed star, usually encased within in a circle. It comes in two basic guises: standard and inverted.
The standard pentagram is a star with one point facing upward and two down. It represents man as a spiritual being. His head is the upper point of the star, his arms are the two adjacent points, and his legs the two lowermost points. The circle represents infinity or God, that which transcends the natural realm. Alternatively, the five points have also represented the five elements, the building blocks of the universe in ancient Greek philosophy: earth, air, fire, water, and spirit. While modern Christianity has tended to demonise the pentagram, whether standard or inverted, it was once used as a Christian symbol, with the points of the star representing the five wounds of Christ.
The inverted pentagram has two points facing upward and one down. When any symbol is inverted, it takes on the opposite meaning of the original. In this case, instead of man as a spiritual being, the symbol represents man as a carnal being: an animal. Pie-in-the-sky spirituality is exchanged for real-life concerns of survival, reproduction, material prosperity, pleasure, and all things animalistic. The priority is this world, not a hypothetical afterlife.
Rather than seeing the star as a man standing on his head, the image of a goat’s head fits the frame, with the horns occupying the two top-most points, the ears to the sides, and the chin to the bottom. Historically, the goat has symbolised fertility, and the horns communicate defiance. The three downward-facing points symbolise a denial of the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), making this an anti-Christian symbol.
I choose the inverted pentagram as an accurate representation of how I see life. While the study of man as a spiritual entity is important, man’s known existence consists of life as a sentient mind housed in a body, propelled through time in the material world. Since this is our lot, life is about what we do with the here and now; it is not necessarily a training ground for an afterlife. Nor is the body, with its passions, a faulty, fallen thing that must be cured or redeemed.
An inverted pentagram is typically thought to represent evil. This is only true in so far as man, conditioned by religion, often characterises his animal self as evil and seeks to cleanse himself of his natural impulses through religious devotion.
The religionist follows an imposed set of rules that force him to sacrifice the richness of his carnal existence, in the pursuit of a mythical hereafter. This life is wasted on the pursuit of impossible ethical ideals, cycles of guilt and forgiveness before a holy God, and impatience for it all to be over. The true potential of life passes him by while he waits for a pipedream. This makes religion a cruel joke of monumental proportions.
It was only through a long, hard struggle of many years that I came to fully realise that this life is the real life, that every moment is now, that the creature known as man is wondrous, not fallen. This symbol is a potent reminder to me of the most fundamental and important things I have learned about myself, despite a world that sought to pull the wool over my eyes.
Frankly, I find it hilarious that some people are terrified of this symbol. They think I’m making a statement that I worship the devil; they think the symbol has magical power as a portal for demons to access the world. That’s what a diet of horror movies and Christian misinformation will do for you.
The fact that I need to wear my pentagram pendant underneath my shirt in daily life reminds me that superstition is rife; dangerous lies fester in the unquestioning minds of the majority; and beneath the mask of piety sometimes lies a malicious heart that would delight in harming me, given half a chance. It reminds me that individualists are never quite safe.