Origin and Symbolism of 5 – Pointed Stars
So today, let’s look at the origin and symbol of the five-pointed star, starting from the perspective of semiotics and astrology, and then discuss the occult to dig deeper into why the star ring is so popular.
It suddenly dawned on me that a variety of unknown cultures can be glimpsed through this symbol, and it’s not as simple as I first imagined. In Mesopotamian literature, from Sumerian cuneiform scripts to Pythagorean math, it represents a special symbol of corners and holes. To the Sumerians, it also represented the number 306, but it’s the opposite of a five-pointed star, meaning it’s a five-pointed star with two upward horns. The number and the meaning behind it remind me of the number 306 in I-Ching philosophy and its special meanings. Simply put, the pentagram itself is a symbol of esoteric semiology.
Next, let’s briefly discuss its astrological aspects. In Babylonian texts, each side of the five-pointed star also represents a position: front, back, left, right, and above. You’ll find that many plants in nature have this shape: apples and star fruit have this shape as well. It symbolizes nature’s endless cycle of life. In ancient times, philosophers believed that the world was produced by the four elements: air, fire, water and earth. When these elements reach a balance point, a fifth element—spirit—appears, indicating a return to spiritual balance. This theory is similar to the concepts found in the three-thousand-year-old Indian practice of Ayurveda. In Ayurvedic thought, it’s believed that human beings need to balance various elements to achieve a completely healthy state of body, mind, and spirit.
In the occult, the five-pointed star with its points facing upward represent life and good health. Naturally, the five-pointed star has become a symbol of protection and the healing of injuries. Speaking of the occult, the following two important scholars need to be mentioned:
★Henry Cornelius Agrippa (1486-1535) was a European philosopher and Kabbalist during the Renaissance. His book “Three Books of Occult Philosophy” published in 1531 was very popular. It provided a set of systematic and regular logic and reference materials about preceding religions, occultism, medicine, divination, alchemy, elements, etc.
★Another occultist was Eliphas Levi (1810–1875), an 19th century French poet and occultist who published more than 20 books on alchemy and occultism. He also created another five-pointed star, adding some new elements to it, thinking that this could represent “human beings” in a diverse and comprehensive way. This was called Levi’s five-pointed star.
Picture from : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%89liphas_L%C3%A9vi and https://www.learnreligions.com/pentagrams-4123031
Additionally, in some ancient cultures, the five-pointed star was a symbol for some goddesses. In ancient Egypt, the five-pointed star was called the womb symbol of the underworld. In Celtic legends, the five-pointed star represented Morgan, the goddess of the underworld. In ancient Babylon, the five-pointed star also represented the symbol of the goddess of the underworld. The Babylonians even painted five-pointed stars onto food containers thinking it would prolong the shelf-life of their food.
Do you remember when we were all kids and first learning how to draw? This shape was an indispensable part of the learning process. We’d learn to draw complete five-pointed stars to decorate night skies, shining brightly next to scribbled moons. Five-pointed stars have quietly accompanied us throughout history. From the night sky in kids art all the way back to ancient beliefs, you can find traces of this magical image.
Remember when we talked about stars in another article:
Take a look at the Star Ring from a different perspective – as a symbol of guardianship and healing. Does this inspire more of your imagination? By understanding the star ring’s popularity from the astrological or occult perspective, does this give you a better understanding of pentagrams? Are you the same as me? Do you believe that there’s unquantifiable or unexplainable energies in this world that have long driven humanity toward better goals?
Jewelry Designer: Liliana