Practical question for a radical: Yea or nay on pentagrams?

I recently received a pentagram necklace as a well-intended gift from someone who thought it was a Star of David. We both had a good laugh when I told her my first association with it was a pagan/Wiccan/Satanist symbol.

Now, I’m not one of those reactionist people who gets wild-eyed at the mere mention of such belief systems, and I’m not freaked out to see such symbols. I did a little bit of reading online and discovered some Christians in the Middle Ages used the pentagram to symbolize the five wounds of Christ, the five senses, and five aspects of good health. That’s certainly not how I think of pentagrams, nor probably most who would see it if I wore it.

If I choose not to wear this necklace, I want it to be for an actual, thought-out reason, not just “it’s evil.” It’s a nice necklace. I have no lack of jewelry, though, so I could give it away and never notice its absence. But I tend not to wear religious symbols of any kind unless there’s a specific reason I’m doing it. (Crucifixes are part of my RenFaire costume, for example.)

Thoughts? I realize this is a periferal issue to what we usually talk about on YAR. But, it could bring up how we view pagans, Wiccans and Satanists. That might be a good reason to wear it: it may prompt thoughtful discussion with people I meet. Or then again, it could just prompt eyerolls and disdainful comments.

Comments (8)

  1. nicolas

    Do you like the necklace?

  2. Skylark (Post author)

    Yes. I do. It’s different–in a good way–than what I normally wear. I’ve thought about taking the pendant off and wearing just the chain.

    I’ve also thought this is way too much thought to put into a stinkin’ necklace.

  3. nicolas

    Personally, I don’t think it’s a big deal. If you like it, wear it. It’s possible you’ll get eye rolls and disdainful comments, but you can get those for wearing a cross (or Uggs) too. Anyone who actually engages you in conversation can quickly learn what your beliefs are, and it might even be a talking point (“Actually, Christians in the Middle Ages…”).

    These days, a necklace probably won’t increase or decrease your opportunities to interact with people. Whatever we might think of how someone dresses, we tend to be willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

    I vote go with what you like.

  4. stevekimes

    Everything we wear has a cultural communication. There is no such thing as an artifact that has a “permanent” meaning, it is all about context. If you would have wore a cross among the first century believers, they would have been confused, and some perhaps insulted. Not because they didn’t believe Jesus was crucified, but because a cross emphasizes the shame aspect of the gospel instead of the glory.

    As far as a pentagram, it has many meanings, depending on the context. A “satanic” context would require the pentagram to be point-down, “upside down” or the “goat’s head” position. A pagan context could have the symbolic meaning of five elementals of the universe. A modern context could mean that you like heavy metal music.

    So, in wearing it, you need to take into account two things– what does it mean to you and what does it mean to those around you. If it means nothing to you and nothing to those around you, then do as you please. If most of the people in your church see it as a satanic symbol and you don’t want to be associated with satanism, then that isn’t the best context to wear it– unless you want to spend your every moment in church explaining it to those who don’t understand your purpose in wearing it.

    It isn’t wrong to wear it– especally if you just want to be “cool” or show your appreciation to your friend. But you might want to consider what it means to others around you.

    Steve K

  5. Skylark (Post author)

    Thanks, folks. :) Since I couldn’t decide firmly “yes” or “no,” on wearing the necklace, I decided not to wear it for the simple reason if I don’t feel strongly, it’s probably not a good move. Instead, I’m going to hang it in my apartment or maybe use it in a windchime. If at some point I do feel strongly and can wear it with confidence, I can always start wearing it.

  6. jfisher

    What does it take to redeem such a symbol? I would highly admire anybody taking on that challenge. In my eyes, it would be a small step towards putting the world to rights -redefining or rescuing the face of an evil into a powerful pointer to Christ.

  7. John

    Did you know that the worlds most powerful pentagram is the Pentagon.

    It is an inverted pentagram without the star points.
    A powerful source of world-wide black magic.

    It was also built on a site that was called hells bottom

  8. Tim "somasoul" Baer

    That’s interesting, John. Did you know that if you look at a map of DC The White house sits on Hell’s Head? Congress Hell’s Feet? And The Supreme Court sits on Hell’s Crotch. I swear.

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