The Elusive Circle With Star Inside

circle with star inside
The symbol of a star enclosed within a circle is called a pentacle. It's an encircled pentagram and has been around for centuries and dates back to the Stone Age. The ancient symbol has been surrounded by controversy even in the modern world due to its many representations. 

From Wicca to Satanism and horror to religious connotations, many meanings are associated with the pentacle symbol.   

What Is A Pentacle?

The Pentacle is a Pentagram enclosed in a circle. It represents the five elements that make human beings: air, fire, water, earth, and spirit, and the circle around it shows wholeness and unity in all elements of nature.

The Pentagram, an ancient spiritual symbol, is a star with five points, with one point aligned upwards. In other words, it’s the Pentacle without the circle around it.

People often confuse the terms Pentacle and Pentagram even though they are different from one another. 

circle with star inside
The Pentacle is on the left, while the Pentagram is on the right.

Pentagram – The Star Within the Pentacle

A Pentagram is a five-pointed star not enclosed in a circle, but a circle encloses the star in a Pentacle. Some believe that a Pentagram is merely a drawing of a star but becomes a Pentacle only when seen as a physical object.

People have been using the Pentagram symbol for centuries. In ancient times, it featured in seals and tombs in Egypt and Mesopotamia and was also present on Greek coins. 

Greek Use of the Pentagram

The Greek mathematician Pythagoras and the Pythagorean followers used the Pentagram, probably to recognize one another. According to sources, the mathematician considered it a symbol of health. In some depictions, the letters in the Greek word health lie at all the points of the star.

While Greeks generally used this symbol to ward off evil, it might have been a mark of tax collectors, as seen on the pottery from the kingdom of Judaea. Pentagrams symbolized the five knightly virtues in Europe during the Middle Ages.

The Pentagram in the Middle Ages

Besides that, in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, a 14th-century romance, Sir Gawain’s shawl, and shield have a golden Pentagram. It marks his loyalty, virtue, and kindness. Pentagrams were also used as protective symbols to defend against spirits, demons, and witches.

Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa published a unique version of the Pentagram symbol in the 16th century, symbolizing man as the perfect work of God. The head, limbs, and feet represented the five points of the pentagram. 

The Pentagram and the Occult

Éliphas Lévi, a French occultist from the 19th century, expanded the concept through the tetragrammaton Pentagram, which consists of numerous symbols representing human existence. 

Many religious groups have also been using the pentagram. Muslims consider it as Solomon’s Seal. Some traditions regard the five points as representing love, truth, peace, freedom, and justice. 

Called the haykal for the Bahāʾī, it means temple or body in Arabic and is the original symbol of the faith. 

Pentacle Symbolism in Occultism

There are many meanings associated with the pentacle symbol in the context of occultism.

Pentagram Symbolism 

You can draw the five-pointed Pentagram symbol is drawn in a continuous line of five straight line segments. It’s a famous symbol often drawn in occult or magic. 

There have been various meanings associated with it over the years. It symbolized perfection, protection, the Devil, and humanity, among others. Its segments depict the golden ratio in a mathematical context, making the symbol aesthetical. 


Wicca is an earth-centered spirituality whose gods and symbols have Celtic roots. Their celebration days depend upon the Sun and Moon cycles. Wicca’s main symbol is the Pentagram, and Pentacles are used frequently.

The symbol doesn’t represent evil or good but symbolizes their faith, especially the five elements: fire, air, earth, water, and spirit. The Pentacle shows the unity of these elements and symbolizes an overall love for Nature.

Wiccans use the Pentagram symbol to help identify each other in the altars, rituals, and sacred art. During their rituals, Wiccans draw the symbol in the air to invoke or banish some energies based on the direction in which they draw it. 

Also, Wiccans use Pentacles as talismans that protect people and sacred spaces from evil powers. They can be worn around the neck, hung on an altar, or carefully engraved in an important place.

Pentacle Symbol in Tarot

The Pentacles symbol in tarot cards, referred to as Coins, depicts things in both material and spiritual worlds. The cards address prosperity and success, including money, career, health, and family.

The cards also associate with the winter season and the element Earth, representing stability and determination. 

During a reading, if a Pentacles card comes up, it indicates that something in the material world requires attention. It can be positive, like a successful transaction or inheritance, and negative, such as health issues or hurdles in success. Emotionally, it symbolizes safety and abundance.

circle with star inside
The Pentacles suit in tarot represents prosperity in both the spiritual and physical world.

Symbolism In The Church Of Satan

The Church of Satan adopted its official seal, the Sigil of Baphomet, in the 1960s. Its design includes the Goat of Mendes inside the inverted Pentagram symbol, surrounded by a circle, and Hebrew letters spelling Leviathan at each point.

circle with star inside
The Church of Satan has co-opted the Pentagram for its Sigil of Baphomet.

The symbol depicts the idea that man is a carnal beast who lives in a cosmos indifferent to existence. The Satanists believe that individuals can pursue their desires instead of surrendering to a god. 

circle with star inside
The Sigil of Baphomet is technically using a Pentacle in this case.

The Pentacle and Pentagram as a Christian Symbols

The Pentacle was a popular symbol of Christianity way before the cross became popular. According to scholars, the symbol also represented the Star of Bethlehem, which led the three wise men to Jesus Christ.

Additionally, the Pentagram represented the Alpha and Omega since it could be drawn in one stroke without lifting the pen. Christians also used it as a protective amulet to ward off demons. It was also carved above doors, windows, or cribs to protect kids from harm.

It also represented the five wounds of Christ, two on the wrists, two on the ankles, and one on the side pierced by a soldier’s spear.

circle with star inside
The Five Wounds of Christ with the Tree of Life symbols © Alan Murray-Rust 

The Pentacle is among the most potent symbols in the world. It was revered by many ancient cultures, like Egyptian, Greek, Chinese, Babylonian, Indian, and even Mayan. The mystic symbol holds many meanings, such as love, life, light, unity, and the quest for divine knowledge.


Vanessa's liberal arts background has prepared her well for Symbol Scholar. A self-proclaimed theology nerd, Vanessa has interests in world religions, Reformation theology, history, and more. When she's not working, Vanessa enjoys spending time with her family, reading, exercising, and watching professional basketball.

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