How to Draw a Pentacle

The pentacle shape is a geometric figure consisting of a symmetric star inscribed within a circle. Early pentacles were often inscribed with hexagrams (6-pointed stars) or heptagrams (7-pointed stars), not just the pentagrams (5-pointed stars) that are more prominent today.

The word pentacle may be derived from the Greek root penta, meaning five, or from the Latin/French/Italian root pend, meaning hang. Practitioners of magic and adherents of paganism have often worn pentacles as protective amulets around the neck.

You can draw a perfectly symmetric pentacle with a compass, protractor, and straightedge. The following instructions show the procedure to draw a 5-pointed star pentacle, but they can be adapted to draw 6- or 7-pointed stars.

Step 1: Use a compass to draw a circle with the center marked. With a pencil and straightedge, lightly draw a straight line from the center to the outer edge of the circle, i.e., draw a radius.

Step 2: Using the radius as a guide, lightly draw four more radii in pencil, each separated by an angle of 72°. (Recall, 360/72 = 5.) You will now have five evenly spaced lines emanating from the center of the circle, creating five evenly spaced points around the circumference.

Step 3: Darken the points on the outside of the circle, and label them with the numbers 1 through 5. (Either clockwise or counter clockwise, it has no effect on the end result of the pentacle.) You can now erase the radius lines.

Step 4: With the straightedge, draw five lines connecting the following pairs of points to form the star:
  • 1 and 3
  • 3 and 5
  • 5 and 2
  • 2 and 4
  • 4 and 1
how to draw a pentacle
You now have a symmetric 5-pointed star pentacle. You can make the basic drawing more ornate by thickening the lines, weaving intersecting lines, changing the radius of the circle, or adding other accents. Examine Celtic jewelry and tattoo designs for more inspiration.
woven pentacle

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