Nov 21, 2011
5 min read

Restoring the pentagram to its proper place

The pentagram. At the sound of its name the average person might think of “Satanism”, you may walk down the aisle of a video rental store and see it on the covers of horror movies, but has it always been this way? Has the pentagram always been associated with evil? How did it come to mean this?

Below are two stars that appear several times on the outside of the LDS Nauvoo temple. These two inverted stars are actually tied deeply to Jesus Christ and have been for a very long time; I’ll explain.

The pentagram, or day star/morning star is an ancient representation of the planet Venus. Jesus Christ, in the New Testament is referred to as both the “Day Star” and the “Morning Star” in connection to the planet Venus.

“We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:” (2 Peter 1:19)

“I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.” (Revelation 22:16)

In eight earth years, venus will have orbited the sun 13 times and during those eight years, the Sun, Venus and the Earth will experience five conjunctions where they are all perfectly lined up together. If you draw a line connecting these five conjunctions, guess what design you get?

pentagram11d

You get a pentagram! There is another potential connection to Jesus Christ in this motif and it’s related to the colors that make up the pentagram. We see the colors blue, white and red and maybe we think that this is out of American patriotism; maybe, but I doubt it. In the book of Moses we read:

For by the water ye keep the commandment; by the Spirit ye are justified, and by the blood ye are sanctified; (Moses: 6:60)

Look at the order, it is the same as the colors in the pentagram, blue = water, white = spirit, red = blood. Another amazing connection to Jesus Christ and his divine mission.

Some people think that turning a symbol upside-down makes it take on the opposite meaning. It’s true that some might use that interpretation, but remember, symbols in and of themselves are not good or evil, they only communicate ideas. Take a look at this stained glass window from a Catholic church in my home town and note the upside-down cross:

But wait! Isn’t an upside-down cross symbolic of evil? Isn’t that an anti-Christ symbol? Perhaps, some use it to convey that meaning, but take a closer look down below at the two figures. I suspect that both represent the apostle Peter; the left figure is him as a fisherman and the right figure is him holding what may be the “keys to the kingdom” along with bread, possibly, in his hand. The other reason I believe it is Peter has to do with the upside-down cross.

It is said that Peter was martyred by being crucified upside-down because he did not feel worthy to die in the same way as his Master.

So upside-down doesn’t necessarily mean “evil” it just might signify an alternate meaning that we might have to dig a little deeper to understand. The pentagram was a symbol of good for millennia and was even used as a symbol of Christianity before the cross came along in reference to the five wounds of Christ, look it up.

Here’s a small sampling of examples where the pentagram is used on various Christian churches, both right side up and upside down.

So if it has been used for so long as a Christian symbol, when this association with evil occur? Believe it or not, the pentagram’s association with evil comes from the opinions of one man in the mid-1800s.

A man named Eliphas Lévi, who was once studying to enter the Roman Catholic priesthood, published a book In 1855 called “Transcendental Magic”. He was the first person to declare that an upside-down pentagram meant evil while a right-side-up pentagram meant good. Those in the occult successfully hijacked the symbol and unfortunately the blemish placed upon it still remains. Note that on 6 April 1841, the cornerstone of the Nauvoo temple was dedicated. The decision to incorporate pentagrams into the Nauvoo temple pre-dates the publication of Eliphas Lévi’s “Transcendental Magic” and subsequent connection of this symbol to evil by fourteen years.

In LDS symbology, I believe that the reason we turn the pentagram upside-down is to distinguish it from an upright star which has a different meaning. I believe when we turn a star upside-down it is to represent a planet instead of a star, the downward point indicates the reflection of light from the sun to the earth. A planet does not produce it’s own light, it reflects it from a brighter source, much like Christ reflected the love from the Father to us.

Take a look at the photo of the Nauvoo temple stars again and pay attention to the one on the right. Note the elongated point, extending down toward the earth, this star is also representative of Venus reflecting its light down to a terrestrial plane indicating also the condescension of Christ.

Interestingly, the city of Nauvoo was actually named “Venus” for a couple of years. [source] The more you dig, the more interesting the story becomes.

Conclusion

Symbols are like the letters of the alphabet, their meaning depends on their arrangement and the context in which they are presented. Saying “it is cool outside” could meant that the temperature is low or it could mean that there is something awesome going on ;)

To judge a symbol out of context is to not understand it and we fear what we do not understand. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes strongly in the idea of “restoration” or putting things back in their proper place and context. The pentagram was once an ancient Christian symbol that has only recently been hijacked; I’m glad to see the LDS Church standing by the pentagram and displaying it in a context which reveals its meaning in truth.

It’s time to welcome the pentagram back to Christianity where it belongs.

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Janet
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Janet

Fabulous post — I never thought about the pentagram. And we use it to represent each of our 50 states on our flag. So, we have the Pentagon in Washington DC — probably Masonic, like a lot of other things there, but having it be associated with war decisions is a little disturbing. Perhaps the original builders had in mind conquering evil. I love temple symbolism. I wish we incorporated more symbols on our modern-day temples.

John
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John

Great job restoring truth!

Prior to Christianity the pentagram was a symbol used by the pythagoreans of Greece. It dates back further than that but information escapes me. However the Pentagram was used by the Catholic church to represent the five wounds of Christ which was only one of its respsentations.

Andrea Messer
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Andrea Messer

could it be the star of Bethlehem… was the star of Bethlehem Venus? thanks for taking the time to explain these symbols :)

Marty
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Marty

I think the problem with such explanations/interpretations is that they are often not sufficient and rather shallow. In my opinion, its true meaning always should be considered on a much deeper spiritual level, and in the Gnostic context. So, for example a Pentagram symbol represents the Spirit chained to matter remembering its Divine origin. The dualism Spirit-matter as specifically found in the authentic esoteric Traditions like so-called Gnosticism and Manichaeism. Liberation/Salvation of the Spirit from corruptible matter/flesh.

Blake Niflis
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Your forgetting that both Jesus and Lucifer are considered the “Morning Star” in the bible. They are also both represented by a lion. Jesus is King, the lion. Satan devours like a lion. To me, a right-side up pentagram would represent Jesus, an inverted one would represent the opposite.Why would Satan associate himself with holy symbols. Satanic churches associate themselves with inverted symbols for a reason.

izzymuse
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izzymuse

Are there any teachings of LDS leaders on this? Anything to explain Joseph Smith’s or Brigham Young’s intended meaning? There are many inverted pentagrams in and on the LDS temple and buildings in Salt Lake City Utah. Thanks

Tanya Bridgewater
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Tanya Bridgewater

Christians hi-jacked the symbol from pagans first.

Rob
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Rob

Here are a few feelings I have about this subject. Using the example of Peter’s martyrdom being hung upside down as an example of the GOODNESS of that inverted symbol, is taking that scene out of context. It was Peter himself who proclaimed doing it for the reason that he was “UNWORTHY” to be hung right side up in the manner that Jesus was. This infers an EVIL connotation for this inversion taking place. Not because PETER was being evil for wanting this, but because Peter felt he had DONE evil by being tempted of Satan when he tried to… Read more »

Rob
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Rob

To follow up on my previous comment…”Beware of the man who eventually seats himself inside the Navoo Temple proclaiming to be God” and saying “All is well in Zion”. Those inverted pentagrams are a SIGN of Satan’s Coming to THAT Temple. Those symbols are at the TOP, representing Satan being CAST from Heaven ( inverted positioning), DOWN to Earth, in his final attempt to destroy the works of God. As referring to D&C 112 and God’s Judgments BEGINNING upon His OWN HOUSE….Put all these scriptures & symbols TOGETHER. Where did this rebellion begin in the Preexistence ? In God’s HOUSE… Read more »

Rob
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Rob

A five pointed inverted star is not in and of itself a bad symbol, as depicted by the symbol on the Temple representing Venus (The Morning Star representing Jesus Christ ). It becomes bad when the inverted star is inscribed within a circle and has a purely occult meaning. It helps to understand the OCCULT meaning of these symbols to see how they oppose the Lord’s meanings of these symbols which are arranged in a different format. An inverted star ONLY becomes a pentagram (Satan’s symbol of himself representing the “Son of the Morning, Venus), when it is inscribed within… Read more »

Rob
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Rob

The process used in this blog to justify the use of the star windows in the Temple is what is know in the scholarly realm as “Forcing the Text”, in order to match the author’s bias, rather than letting the text speak for itself.

cj
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cj

The book of Genesis tells us that “God” created the earth , planets, stars and sun. He in turn set them in motion. The symbol or shape they make while in motion belongs to the one who created them . Satan who is nothing more then a thief and a liar has stolen this symbol for his own evil use. Does this now mean that he owns it? Genesis does speak not only for itself but also speaks for the God.

Derek Cordon
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Derek Cordon

Just came across this and I like your analysis. I too have been frustrated with the misuse of this holy symbol. When I asked my 15 yr old daughter to create a logo (attached) for my Holy Places iOS app that I released a year ago, she used this symbol from the Nauvoo temple. I have had some suggest that I change it since they are put off by it but I refuse to give into the dark side’s usurping of this celestial symbol. I am with you in restoring this symbol to its proper place!
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