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...difference between a pentacle and a pentagram?

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Question by xc
Submitted on 12/7/2003
Related FAQ: Alt.Religion.Wicca Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
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What is the difference between a pentacle and a pentagram?


Answer by Dean
Submitted on 1/22/2004
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A pentacle has the circle around the 5 points, a pentagram is just the star part.

 

Answer by Steve
Submitted on 3/30/2004
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Many people believe that a pentacle is satanist and a pentagram is Wiccan. Not true. A pentacle is the same as a pentagram, a five pointed star with a circle around it, but a pentacle is one that is on jewelry, whereas a pentagram is one that is used for rituals, usually as an altar, with it symbolized in the ritual circle.

 

Answer by Kiwi
Submitted on 4/9/2004
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The five pointed star evolved from the Goddess religion in existance long before Christ.  It is the sign of Venus (Goddess of Beauty, Love, Women, etc.) and is modelled after the path the planet Venus makes in the sky over a year.
Christian leaders (in the 13th Century?) publically associated the symbol with that of devil-worship in an attempt to crush the popular, competing religions of the time.
Hope that helps.
chevalier@orcon.net.nz

 

Answer by Third In Command God
Submitted on 5/29/2004
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The difference between the two is that a Pentacle is a five-pointed star with a circle around it and pointing upward, as to where a Pentagram is a five-pointed star with a circle around it and pointing downward. A Pentacle represents the religions Pagan, Wiccan, and Druid. Pentagrams are linked in religion to Satanism.

 

Answer by Ameniatha
Submitted on 8/30/2004
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Actually they are one and the same.

A pentagram or pentacle is a five-pointed star. Pentagrams were used symbolically in ancient Greece Ancient Greece. The Pentagram has associations, and many people who practice pagan faiths wear them. Christians once commonly used the pentagram to represent the five wounds of Jesus Christ, but nowadays some Christians associate the symbol with Satanism. However, most who use it are not Satanists.
Some sources refer to the pentagram as the star of Solomon. The word pentagram comes from the Greek word (pentagrammon), a noun form of (pentagrammos), (pentegrammos) a word meaning roughly "five-lined" or "five lines".

 

Answer by Emily
Submitted on 9/23/2004
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They are the same. I don't know what you people are talking about, one being related to satanism and one to wiccan religions. They are the same but like said before, a pentacle is on jewelry.

 

Answer by Water Willow Wiccan
Submitted on 10/11/2004
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The pentagram is not linked to satanism!!!
the pentacle is the symbol of the seasons,elements etc.
and the pentagram is like the pentacle but with a circle around it,thus making it the symbol of the god and goddess because of the circle and also the elements etc because of the star.
It is not the sign of satanism.
Christians made that up century's ago because they believed that magic etc was evil like satin.Wiccan people don't believe in satin!!

 

Answer by Water Willow Wiccan
Submitted on 10/11/2004
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The pentagram is not linked to satanism!!!
the pentacle is the symbol of the seasons,elements etc.
and the pentagram is like the pentacle but with a circle around it,thus making it the symbol of the god and goddess because of the circle and also the elements etc because of the star.
It is not the sign of satanism.
Christians made that up centerys ago because they believed that magic etc was evil like satin.Wiccan people don't believe in satin!!

 

Answer by Margarine
Submitted on 10/29/2004
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A pentagram a card you send to someone when you really hate them.  A pentacle is a person who has five testicles.

Hope this helps.

 

Answer by Raeven
Submitted on 11/16/2004
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The word pentagram comes from the Greek word pente meaning five and gram is from the Greek verb graphei, "to write". Thus, a pentagram is a five pointed star, or a "five line" shape. It usually refers to a symmetrical, five pointed star, with equal sides.
An upright pentacle is a pentagram surrounded by a circle, or a pentagram on a flat disk.

 

Answer by NoExpertBut...
Submitted on 1/1/2005
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A pentacle is considered a five pointed star pointing up with no circle, a five pointed star pointing up with a circle, a five pointed star pointing down with a circle a five pointed star pointing down with no circle...different sources will tell u different answers all of them are correct and all are incorrect. Personally i think a pentacle is the same thing as a pentagram, in other words compare the WOLF MAN to a modern day witch, they will both call the same thing a pentacle and a pentagram

 

Answer by kirsti
Submitted on 1/17/2005
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a pentacle is a star with a circle around it, point pointing up is the wiccan symbol, pointing down is the satanic symbol. pentagram is the five pointed star WITHOUT the circle around it.

 

Answer by Snap Dragon 15
Submitted on 4/22/2005
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Pentacle represents mind over matter and a pentagram represents the opposite- matter over mind, making the pentacle more a symbol of good and the pentagrams more a symbol of ignorance... or something of the sort... or so I've been informed.

 

Answer by anu_dew2000
Submitted on 6/10/2005
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I think that the pentacle is a star, pointing up, inside of a circle.  Each of the 5 points represents an element: spirit, air, earth, water, and fire.  Anyway, these represent good.  A Pentagram is just a star, and it is the sign of satanic doings.  However, many people mistake the pentacle for being a sign of satan.  It is not.  Another sign of satan is an inverted, or upside-down, pentacle.

 

Answer by Silver Raven Wing
Submitted on 7/3/2005
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There are 3 types of pentagrams: an open one(often called the pentacle) which is a plain star, a closed pentagram with a circle around it, and an inverted one with the point facing down and a circle around it but none are related to satanism

 

Answer by mistiq
Submitted on 7/10/2005
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Actually, the pentagram is just the shape of the five-pointed star surrounded by a circle (and no, it doesn't matter if it's inverted or not, because if the star is pointing downwards then it's just called a - you guessed it - inverted pentagram!) A pentacle, however, is when this shape is printed or cut into a flat disk (usually made out of metal, but sometimes other things like wood) or just actually physically formed.

 

Answer by AlyviaJayne
Submitted on 8/22/2005
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A pentacle is a five point star with a circle around it with one point at the top. This represents nature or more appropriately the human body with the head at the top and the arms out at he side while the two legs point downwards. A pentagram is the same star only with two points at the top and this represents a sign of the devil with the two points pointing up for the horns and his chin at the bottom.

 

Answer by DJ Jaybee
Submitted on 12/24/2005
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A pentagram is a 5-pointed star. A star with 5 points; formed by 5 straight lines enclosing a pentagon.

A pentacle is a 5-pointed star in a circle.

A positively charged pentacle is oriented with one point upwards or North. A negatively charged pentacle is oriented with one point downwards or South.

The points each represent an element -  fire, air, water, earth, the 5th (topmost) point being the spirit. In this orientation the upper right point is Water, lower right point is Fire, lower left point is Earth, upper left point is Air.

The pentagram can be said represent the human physical vehicle made of the elements combined with spirit or life consciousness running through it.

A positive charge = Male/Yang/Sun/Light
A negative charge = Female/Yin/Moon/Dark

By negative charge we are not referring to a force that is bad - just the opposite polarity.

A altar pentacle can be metal - brass, copper, silver etc - or can be made of wood eg: from an ancient strongly grounded (wise) tree. It's used to represent Earth within the temple, with the circle defining the area of focus and grounded earthly magnetic centre of working.

In high magick / sex magick - a ten pointed star consisting of two pentagrams, a positive (pointing up) and a negative (pointing down) pentagram overlaid within a circle would represent the male and female opposites eg: and potentially reveal the mystery of the priest and priestess in a 69 position for generating sexual elixir - and electromagnetic energy and that can be directed by concentration of will.

DJ Jaybee
Sign of Defiance

 

Answer by Trick
Submitted on 1/10/2006
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Pentacle - one point, standing for 'spirit' in Wiccan/Pagan beliefs, pointing upwards

Pentagram - commonly confused with the pentacle, has two points facing up, and actually is the design linked with Satanism

Christianity, as mentioned, over the ages has taken all images concerned with pagan beliefs and taught them to be something to do with Satan.  This is similar with the belief that women are the original sinners, as opposed to the equals of men.

 

Answer by Amethyst Dawn
Submitted on 1/13/2006
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the pentagram is not a satanist sign, learn your stuff

 

Answer by Odaced
Submitted on 1/27/2006
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Too many people have made there own beliefs and other people have followed them. You choose your belief or you might as well make your own.

 

Answer by Lunar High priestess
Submitted on 4/5/2006
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Not true, a pentacle is just a plain old 5 pointed star with no circle and a pentagram is a 5 point star with a circle. An inverted pentagram is just an inverted pentagram, nothing special there. In other religions even a Pentagon star, 9 sided star is used in ceremonies, in a religion called: eneagramma  (a little history too)
History of the Nine-Pointed Star
In its email message of 10 November 1998 to the Universal House of Justice, the National Spiritual Assembly of xy enclosed a letter dated 22 September 1998 addressed to it by Mr. xx, a Bah' who is a philosopher, and sought advice concerning how to respond to Mr. xx's questions about the Bah' nine-pointed star.

Mr. xxs research deals with the problems of the person and consciousness and with issues of philosophical modelling. His studies have led him to conclude that the "Nine-Point Bah' Star (eneagramma) represents Unity and in [a] philosophical sense can be interpreted as a model of [the] 'Universe Consciously recognizing itself', a model of a 3-united world, 3-united reality, 3-united space-time." He has presented some of his ideas at professional gatherings. Mr. xx notes that, while he is familiar with V. I. Yeremeyev's research on the history and meaning of the nine-pointed star, he has been unable to find either relevant historical material concerning the acceptance of the nine-pointed star as one of the symbols of the Bah' Faith or explanations which shed light on its deep spiritual significance. The Research Department has studied these questions, and we provide the following response.
Nine-Pointed Star as Symbol of the Bah' Faith
With regard to the designation of the nine-pointed star as a symbol of the Bah' Faith, the following statement from a letter dated 28 October 1949, written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, indicates that:
The 9-pointed star is not a part of the teachings of our Faith, but only used as an emblem representing "9".... Strictly speaking the 5-pointed star is the symbol of our Faith.. (Published in Babai News, no. 228 (February 1950), p. 4, and in Lights of Guidance: 2 Baba'i Reference File [rev. ed. ], comp. Helen Hornby (New Delhi: Bah' Publishing Trust, 1988), p. 415)

Further, the Universal House of Justice, in a letter dated 22 August 1963 to a National Spiritual Assembly, affirmed that:
We wish to point out that the symbols of the Most Great Name and the nine-pointed star, although Bah' symbols, are not in any way the symbols of the Bah' Faith in the sense that the cross is the symbol of Christianity or the crescent the symbol of Islam.

The use of the nine-pointed star as a symbol of the Faith was permitted by Shoghi Effendi, as explained in the following extract from a letter dated 30 August 1981, written on behalf of the House of Justice to an individual believer:
In a letter to the Temple Guides Committee, dated 5 December 1944, the Guardian's secretary stated on his behalf that the nine-pointed star was not a symbol of the Faith in any special sense, but that it was developed by Mr. Bourgeois (the architect of the House of Worship in Wilmette) and other Bah's as a symbol that could be used. Shoghi Effendi also approved the use of the nine-pointed star on Bah' gravestones....

We attach for Mr. xxs interest copies of articles from Star of the West which contain statements by Louis Bourgeois concerning the nine-pointed star [Note: these were not included with the digital text I received. -J.W.]:
Star of the West, volume 11, number 5, 5 June 1920: An article entitled "Bahai [sic] Temple Strikes New Art Note", reprinted from the newspaper New York humerican, 23 May 1920.

Star of the West, volume 11, number 9, 20 August 1920: "The Model for the Bahai [sic] Temple, Chicago", facsimile of pages from The Architectural Record, June 1920.

For a discussion of the purpose and significance of the Bah' House of Worship, the Mashriqu'1-Adhkar, Mr. xy might wish to peruse a letter dated 25 October 1929 written by Shoghi Effendi. The letter is published in Bah' Administration: Selected Messages 1922-1932 (Wilmette: Bah' Publishing Trust, 1995), pages 180-187.
Significance of Number Nine
In a letter dated 9 July 1939 written on his behalf, Shoghi Effendi explains the significance of the number nine and its importance as a symbol:
...regarding the significance of the number nine: its importance as a symbol used so often in various connections by the believers lies in three facts. First, it symbolizes the nine great world religions of which we have any definite historical knowledge, including the Babi and Bah' Revelations; second, it represents the number of perfection, being the highest single number; third, it is the numerical value of the word "Baha".

Further, in a letter dated 19 February 1932 written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, the importance of the numerical value of the word "Baha" is set out:
Concerning the number nine: the Bah's reverence this for two reasons, first because it is considered by those who are interested in numbers as a sign of perfection. The second consideration, which is the more important one, is that it is the numerical value for the word "Baha". (B = 2, h = 5, a = 1, and there is an accent at the end of the word which also = 1; the 'a' after the 'B' is not written in Persian so it does not count.) In the Semitic languages both Arabic and Hebrew every letter of the alphabet had a numerical value, so instead of using figures to denote numbers they used letters and compounds of letters. Thus every word had both a literal meaning and also a numerical value. This practice is no more in use but during the time of Bah'u'llh and the Bab it was quite in vogue among the educated classes, and we find it very much used in the Bayan. As the word "Baha" also stood for the number nine it could be used interchangeably with it.

For Mr. xxs interest, we also attach the following materials which relate to the significance of the number nine:
A short document entitled "Significance of the Numbers Nine and Nineteen in the Bah' Faith", which was prepared several years ago at the instruction of the Universal House of Justice. "Sixth Meditation, A Sacred Geometry", from Julie Badiee's An Earthly Paradise: Bah' Houses of Worship Around the World (Oxford: George Ronald, 1992), pages 88-95. Pages 92-95 deal with the significance of the numbers nine and nineteen.

Orientation of the Nine-Pointed Star
Mr. xx expresses the view that, because of the "deep meaning of the Bah' Star ... it should be symmetrical and all the triangles should be equal". Further, he believes that "It can not be turned upside down, when the top of the first triangle (Word) is looking down", and, in this regard, he refers to Express-Baba #i, number 155, 1998, page 6. The Research Department has not been able to examine the publication referred to by Mr. xx, as it has yet to be received at the Bah' World Centre. We deduce from his comments that Mr. xx is enquiring about the appropriate way of orienting the symbol of the nine-pointed star.

The Research Department has, to date, been unable to locate detailed guidance in the Bah' Writings concerning the appropriate style and the way of orienting the symbol of the nine-pointed star. We provide for Mr. xxs information the following two extracts from letters written by the Universal House of Justice which relate to the placement of the nine-pointed star on grave markers:
We ... have always, following the Guardian's clear instructions regarding permissible gravestone symbols for Bah's, sought to make clear that any form of the Greatest Name on grave markers is not permitted. The nine-pointed star in its many versions may be used, with such verbal inscription as will fulfill individual needs.
(9 April 1971, to a National Spiritual Assembly)

Thank you for ... the designs for ...'s gravestone.... We have only one comment. We understand that there are traditions about the placing of a star which have symbolic meanings to the general public and that, generally, it is preferable for the central point of the star to be directed upwards rather than downwards.
(6 November 1989, to a Policy Committee at the Bah' World Centre)

Finally, with regard to the use of the nine-pointed star, the Universal House of Justice, in a letter dated 18 November 1997 written on its behalf to an individual believer, provided the following general guidance:
The nine-pointed star is regarded by many people, both Bah' and non-Bah', as a symbol of the Faith, and hence any use of it should be under conditions which are dignified and appropriate. As you can well understand, problems can readily arise when there are differences of opinion about what constitute such conditions. The House of Justice is reluctant to specify in details what is acceptable, and encourages believers to turn to the National or Local Spiritual Assemblies, or to believers in whose good judgement they nave confidence, for advice on such matters.
   
Significance of the Numbers Nine and Nineteen in the Bah' Faith
In the Bah' Sacred Writings, the numbers nine and nineteen have symbolic meaning.

In both the Arabic and Hebrew alphabets, each letter has a numerical value. The Bab, the Founder of the Babi Faith, and Bah'u'llh, the Founder of the Bah' Faith, often used the numerical value of words to symbolize concepts.

Nine, as the highest single-digit number, symbolizes completeness. The Bah' Faith regards humanity as an organic entity which has developed through its embryonic state to infancy, then to adolescence and is now coming of age, which is the state of fulfilment; so likewise the number nine reflects a sense of fulfilment or culmination and perfection. Bah' Houses of Worship, for example, have nine sides, and one commonly used symbol of the Bah' Faith is a nine-pointed star. Nine is the minimum number of members in a Spiritual Assembly or House of Justice, the administrative bodies elected by Bah's around the world.

In Arabic, the word Vahid holds the numerical value of nineteen and symbolizes "unity". In the Bah' calendar, which was formulated by the Bab, there are nineteen days in a month and nineteen months in a year. In the history of the Babi Faith, the Bab and His first eighteen followers constitute the first vahid of His religion.

While the symbolic use of numbers in the Sacred Writings of Bah'u'llh and the Bab is important, there is no occult meaning to them, nor do Bah's susbscribe to divination by numbers or other such practices.

Any other questions email me at: dark_goddess_moira@yahoo.com

 

Answer by Nadia
Submitted on 4/14/2006
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Pentacles are pentagrams with a circle around them, while pentagrams are just plane old star-shaped stuff. Pentacles are the ones which are generally worn on jewelry and used in tarot cards.

 

Answer by Gackt is hottttt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
Submitted on 5/2/2006
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i beg to differ. A pentagram and a pentacle are two totaly different things first off a pentagram has the tip of the star pointed up and the pentacle's is pointed down.two completely different meanings to one is stood for good the other for evil.

 

Answer by Wyntr
Submitted on 6/28/2006
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a pentagram is used in invokings and banishings.. during ritual and castings.

a pentacle is a symbol of the 5 elements.. fire, water, air, earth and spirit.. it can be used as a symbol of protection and is commonly used as one of 'the chosen symbols' that represents Earth.

its not just about physical appearance people.

 

Answer by mike
Submitted on 7/10/2006
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Dean was EXACTLY right! A pentacle is a 5 point star inside a circle. A pentagram is just a 5 point star WITHOUT the circle. Just remember, "pentacle" rhymes with "circle".

 

Answer by Nick
Submitted on 8/13/2006
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The pentagram is NOT only for the satanic religion and a pentacle is not just jewelry.
A pentacle is five pointed star surrounded in a circle that symbolizes the 5 elements (earth, air, fire, water, and spirit) it is a Pagan symbol and it is pointed upward. An inverted pentagram which faces downward is used as satanic symbol. It is also simply a mathematic symbol.

 

Answer by firelight
Submitted on 9/11/2006
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The diffrence between a pentagram and a pentacle is the pentagram is a 5 pointed star with the circle around it And the pentacle is of the way of reliogon. And be careful what ways they go.

Blessed Be with all heart!!!

 

Answer by ELYANA
Submitted on 9/15/2006
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It is generally accepted that a Pentagram is the five-pointed star itself, while a Pentacle is the five-pointed star enclosed by a circle. The pentagram is reputed to originally be one of the Seals of Solomon (who also gave us the Tetragammatron as well as a wealth of other magical symbols). The pentacle has been a widely used pagan symbol, said to have originally been discovered by the ancients when they cut an apple in half horizontally. Both are used as symbols of power and protection. While modern pagans may argue the true meanings and uses of these symbols, my research has led me to understand that these are mainly differences based on the perspectives of the traditions/practices the individuals adhere to.

 

Answer by David
Submitted on 10/7/2006
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Dean is right. A Pentacle is simply a pentagram with a circle around it. It has nothing to do with the direction that the star points (Pointing down is called an inverted pentagram or pentacle) or with what it's used for. Also, the inverted pentagram is used in some Wiccan traditions as a symbol of rank, so it's not necessarily a Satanic symbol.

 

Answer by cataylst
Submitted on 10/11/2006
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the difference between them is that a pentacle is a five pointed star within a circular barrier while a pentagram is 'open' - meaning it has the same star design but with no circle. the circle around a pentacle indicates protection and safety within, and is often used in Wiccan rituals as a boundary and protector from 'outsiders' - or to create more privacy when casting spells. the pentacle is generally seen as a 'positive' symbol for magic while the pentagram is more closely associated with a 'negative' or 'satanic' symbol, with the single point facing downwards to symbolize the head of a goat (a supposed demonic creature). but this really is not accurate because although the pentagram symbol has been occasionally recorded in history as being used as a negative talisman in 'dark' rituals, the 21st century religions have abolished this, as the negative image of the pentagram was helped considerably by the Christianic churches. Today, the pentagram is now only considered as the unity of man and woman, the goddess, Venus, etc., and the four  elements, with the fifth point encompassing the 'divine' or 'spirit'.    

 

Answer by Tiffany cook
Submitted on 10/13/2006
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Do you believe that it is the sign of the devil{I believe it}Cause those kind of things does'nt come from God.

 

Answer by PJ
Submitted on 4/15/2007
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"Third In Command God", you have ill-conceived knowledge of Paganism. The first person to reply was correct - the general view amongst Pagans is that the pentagram is a five-pointed star (designed a certain way, not like an 'ordinary' star) and a pentacle is the same but with a circle around it. so a pentagram is not linked to Satanism. An upside-down pentacle/pentagram is called an 'inverted' pentacle/pentagram and is linked to Satanism and evil in general, though for some people it may mean something entirely different.

 

Answer by justin
Submitted on 7/4/2007
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The difference between a pentacle and a pentagram is that a pentacle it a five pointed star with the point facing upward and it has a circle around it. A pentagram is a five pointed star with the point facing downward with no circle around it. Also the pentacle is sometimes associated with the devil and a pentacle is more associated with wicca and paganism.

 

Answer by SieraMari
Submitted on 7/18/2007
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I was taught that a pentacle is what you wear and a pentagram is what you draw.

 

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