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What exactly is the difference between a Pentagrahm, and Pentacle? Wiccan, and Pagan??

I am new to the Wiccan culture, but have always been  intrigued and it all feels quite natural. There is still so much i want to learn, so i thought i would start with some of my questions i am most curious about.

 

 

What exactly is the difference between Wiccan and Pagan?

 

A Pentagrahm, and a Pentacle?

 

I know the Pentagrahm is an upside down, and supposedly satanic, but thats all I know about it really.

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This is debatable, but within the Wiccan community, the most common difference between a pentagram and a pentacle is that a pentacle is an altar tool whereas a pentagram is not. A pentacle is the dish or tile placed on one's altar to represent earth, used to bless cakes, used for protection and blessing, etc. A pentagram is the symbol (whether or not it's inverted or has a circle around it).

Also, even when it's inverted, it's not necessarily Satanic. Many Wiccan groups use it to denote degrees and whatnot. The symbol itself isn't Satanic or evil.

As for the difference between Wicca and Paganism, Paganism is an umbrella term that encompasses all non-Abrahamic faiths (that includes MANY like Wicca, Asatru, Hinduism, etc.) OR it could be used to classify earth-based religions which would include Wicca, eclecticism, Druidism, etc. (and not Asatru, Hinduism, etc.)

Wicca is a form of religious Witchcraft that, in and of itself, is a sort of umbrella term. Think of "Paganism" like "Christianity". Christianity has denominations. "Wicca" would be like "Protestant". There are several forms of Wicca and Protestantism under the umbrellas of Paganism/Christianity respectively. Wicca has British Traditional Wicca (Gardnerian, Alexandrian, etc.) as well as Neo-Wicca (solitary eclectic Wicca), and much more under its "umbrella".
With regards to the pentacle and pentagram; as Aislynn indicated the answer will vary depending upon whom you ask (however her assumption that her way of looking at it is "most common" I feel is erroneous). Although a traditionally trained Wiccan, my definition is very different from what you might hear from others, is based upon correct language usage and is really quite simple - the pentagram is a two dimensional representation of a 3 dimensional object (i.e. the Pentacle). Think about it for a moment; the suffix "gram" means something that is written or drawn; it has only two dimensions length and width; no depth - a diagram is a drawing of some object; a telegram is a written message. I can wear a pentacle around my neck; I can place it on my altar; it is 3 dimensional having length, width and depth. The pentagram is not the object merely a representation of it. I would totally disagree with the definition of the pentagram being a star and the pentacle being an encircled star.

The upside down pentacle or pentagram is absolutely not Satanic. Some traditions use it as the designation for a person who has reached the 2nd degree. Just because the Satanists have adopted it; that it has been badly misrepresented in media productions and it fits conveniently with fundamentalist Christians choose to believe; does not make it so!!!

I won't go into the difference between Wicca and paganism as Aislynn has covered that very well. Just suffice it to say all Wiccans are pagan but not all pagans are Wiccan. It should further be understood that although Wicca is a form of Witchcraft - all of the Wica are witches, but not all witches are of the Wica.

I would disagree with Aislynn on one thing however. That is not all non-Abrahamic religions are pagan. That is a kind of assumption that is prevalent within the "new age" culture. I know several people who do not follow an Abrahamic (i.e. Christianity, Islam or Judaism) path, but would be insulted if you called them pagans. For instance I have some friends that follow one of the many Native American religions and they would be highly offended if you referred to them as pagans. This is one area in which we should be careful of usage. As pagans, we do not have the right to place our labels on others or to imply that others should accept our viewpoint.

Just my thoughts.

Gwynhwyver
I'm sorry. It is the most common that I've come across in my experience.

Gwynhwyver said:
With regards to the pentacle and pentagram; as Aislynn indicated the answer will vary depending upon whom you ask (however her assumption that her way of looking at it is "most common" I feel is erroneous). Although a traditionally trained Wiccan, my definition is very different from what you might hear from others, is based upon correct language usage and is really quite simple - the pentagram is a two dimensional representation of a 3 dimensional object (i.e. the Pentacle). Think about it for a moment; the suffix "gram" means something that is written or drawn; it has only two dimensions length and width; no depth - a diagram is a drawing of some object; a telegram is a written message. I can wear a pentacle around my neck; I can place it on my altar; it is 3 dimensional having length, width and depth. The pentagram is not the object merely a representation of it. I would totally disagree with the definition of the pentagram being a star and the pentacle being an encircled star.

The upside down pentacle or pentagram is absolutely not Satanic. Some traditions use it as the designation for a person who has reached the 2nd degree. Just because the Satanists have adopted it; that it has been badly misrepresented in media productions and it fits conveniently with fundamentalist Christians choose to believe; does not make it so!!!

I won't go into the difference between Wicca and paganism as Aislynn has covered that very well. Just suffice it to say all Wiccans are pagan but not all pagans are Wiccan. It should further be understood that although Wicca is a form of Witchcraft - all of the Wica are witches, but not all witches are of the Wica.

I would disagree with Aislynn on one thing however. That is not all non-Abrahamic religions are pagan. That is a kind of assumption that is prevalent within the "new age" culture. I know several people who do not follow an Abrahamic (i.e. Christianity, Islam or Judaism) path, but would be insulted if you called them pagans. For instance I have some friends that follow one of the many Native American religions and they would be highly offended if you referred to them as pagans. This is one area in which we should be careful of usage. As pagans, we do not have the right to place our labels on others or to imply that others should accept our viewpoint.

Just my thoughts.

Gwynhwyver
The pentacle has been used by a great many religions, even in Christianity where it has represented the five wounds of Christ and has represented Mary, his mother.

In some Wiccan tradtions the upside down pentacle represents a second degree person in the tradtions, so there are other meanings than just Satanism.

Meanwhile I have seen pentacle and pentagram used nearly interchangably but I believe there is a distint difference.

pentacle |ˈpentəkəl|
noun:
a talisman or magical object, typically disk-shaped and inscribed with a pentagram or other figure, and used as a symbol of the element of earth

pentagram |ˈpentəˌgram|
noun:
a five-pointed star that is formed by drawing a continuous line in five straight segments, often used as a mystic and magical symbol.

So it would appear that a pentagram is drawing the five pointed star and when that is put on a talisman or magical object, typically disk-shaped and inscribed with a pentagram we then refer to the object to be a pentacle.

I think we have to be careful to know which we mean when we use each of these two words.

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