Pentagram tattoos take inspiration from Pagan and Wiccan traditions. Traditions that are equipped with a rich inventory of symbolism to inspire a stunning tattoo design.
Due to these symbols’ cultural and mystical associations, a pentagram tattoo can bear a significant meaning for the wearer.
The pentagram or pentacle is a five-pointed star, typically encircled. It is the main symbol of the Wiccan faith, much like the cross is within the Christian faith.
The Wiccan religion is based on the stewardship of nature and dictates that each point of the star represents a classical element such as earth, water, air, and fire, plus an additional element, the Spirit or self.
Deciding to have a pentagram tattoo can be a sentimental yet fun and creative process, as you can customize the design to suit your identity.
Read on to discover the five-pointed star’s history, symbolism, and inspiration for your tattoo design.
History of the pentagram
According to Ancient Greek philosophy, the pentacle originated as the symbol of Kore, or Ceres, the Greek agricultural and fertility goddess.
Her sacred fruit was the apple, and interestingly, when you cut an apple in half crossways, you find a five-pointed star.
That is why some cultures call it the ‘star of wisdom’, and associate apples with knowledge. Giving your teacher an apple at school has never made more sense!
What’s more, prior to the pentagram’s association with the Wiccan faith, it was used to symbolize the Five Holy Wounds of Jesus in early Christianity.
Even now, when declaring an altar sacred, numerous Christian churches anoint it in five places, indicative of the Five Holy Wounds.
Believers in the Pagan and Wiccan faith often wear the pentagram on an engraved necklace or bracelet or place the symbol around their homes or on a dedicated altar.
Since a settlement was made in 2007 between the US Department of Veterans Affairs and Wiccans after the extensive campaigning of dedicated activists, military veterans of the Wiccan faith can choose to have their grave headstones inscribed with the emblem in US national cemeteries.
Meaning and symbolism of the pentagram
In the Wiccan faith, the five points represent the spiritual and natural earthly elements; the circle around the pentagram encompasses these elements, symbolizing protection and the everlasting circle of life and nature.
The circle also represents the ideas of eternity and infiniteness of the universe due to its continuous shape.
When deciding on a pentagram tattoo and where to place it, the tattoo must face up rather than down. The latter is used as the symbol for the Church of Satan, established in 1966.
The point-upwards-facing pentagram, however, represents the Spirit ascending above matter.
The top point represents the Element of Spirit, and the other four points represent the four Spiritual Elements.
Choosing your design of a pentagram tattoo
The magical thing about a pentagram tattoo is that you can embellish the surrounding area of the shape and how it looks to suit your tastes.
A personalized pentagram will deepen the tattoo’s meaning as you can incorporate your aesthetic sense or even add a sentimental element to the design.
For example, you might like the star shape to be outlined as tree branches to emphasize its symbolic connection to nature and the earth.
Or perhaps instead of a transparent background, you would prefer drawings in each section of the five-pointed shape.
Equally, the pentagram tattoo could interweave with adjacent tattoos, or you could expand the design.
In visual terms, this might look like a pair of moons cresting the outer circle of the pentagram with stars sprinkled around its entirety, which would accentuate the circle’s connection to the wider universe.
The outline of the shape does not have to be bulky and imposing, either. The pentagram design can be made as delicate as you like.
For a more feminine interpretation of the design, images of flora and fauna would compliment it well.
Choosing your colour
The colour of your pentagram tattoo is also an important factor to consider. In some Pagan traditions and magical systems, different colours are associated with the four cardinal elements.
Traditionally, the top point, representing Spirit or self, would be purple or silver, and it symbolizes our connection to the Divine or our true self.
The point on the upper right is tied with air and is usually a lighter colour, such as white or yellow, as it speaks to creativity or the arts.
The lower right point symbolizes fire and is typically coloured red and associated with courage and bravery. The lower left point is earth, which is usually a brown or green colour, connected to strength and endurance.
The upper left point is water and would be coloured blue to represent emotions and intuition.
While these are the traditional colours associated with the pentagram, many opt to have their tattoo in all one colour, such as black or dark green, to show unity among the different elements, or even just for aesthetic reasons.
However simple or embellished you choose to design your pentagram tattoo, the five-point, upward-facing star and the surrounding circle will largely remain the same.
You can rest in the comfort that there is a community of like-minded individuals committed to protecting nature. Or a group of individuals that appreciate the symmetry and unity of this beautiful shape.