Symbols Meaning Changed - Pentagram

1. Identify a symbol whose meaning has changed throughout history. Write a few paragraphs delineating the earliest intended meaning of the symbol and the historical event(s) or cultural changes that precipitating a change in the interpretation of that symbol.

The origin of the pentagram symbol is somewhat sketchy. While one source claims it was discovered about 6,000 years ago, another claims pentagram symbol was originally found in caves of ancient Babylonia. There, we are led to believe that it is copied from the planet Venus. The Greeks thought the symbol had magical properties. The name pentagram actually comes from a Greek word meaning "five-lined" or "five lines". The Pentagram was even used as the official seal for the city of Jerusalem around 300-150 B.C. Medieval Jewish religion referred to the symbol as seal of Soloman or Solomans’s Shield. Even the medieval Christians used the symbol to represent the five wounds of Christ. In those times it was also used to symbolize the proportions of the human body. Later in the Middle Ages and Renaissance the pentagram symbol was used as a charm to ward off witches and demons. In Renaissance times this symbol was considered for its’ geometric proportions. Finally in the twentieth century the five-pointed star became associated with witchcraft and occult practices. This is also where the pentagram was transposed, to symbolize earthly gratification, or triumph of the individual. The pentagram is also used by wiccan to symbolize the five elements. The pentagram is also sometimes recognized with a circle containing the five pointed start. The circle symbolizes eternity and infinity or the cycles of life.


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