The Five-Pointed Star as a Symbol


Humans have been fascinated by stars — those luminous points of light embedded in the night’s darkness — for millennia. Long before any understanding of their scientific significance emerged, the stars’ association with the heavens has turned them into symbols of the warfare between light, or spirit, and darkness, or material forces. The five-pointed star (the pentagram) in particular (Figure 1), with its symbolic representation of the twinkling of stars, has become an icon of the human microcosm.

Figure 1. The five-pointed star, a pentagram.

When did the five-pointed star first appear? And what has transformed it into such a popular symbol? While we cannot be certain about the answers to these questions, some of the examples of historical facts are truly fascinating. In particular, the relation between the pentagram and the celebrated “Golden Ratio,” has motivated a number of historians of mathematics to investigate the topic quite thoroughly.

A pentagram appears on a jar dated to 3100 BCE, found north of Thebes in Egypt. The incision appears to have been done in one continuous motion, and the fact that such a feat can be easily achieved for the five-pointed star may have been one of the —> Read More Here


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