A Symbol’s Journey: Pentangle, Pentacle, Pentalpha & Pentagram: The Endless Appropriation of the Endless Knot

The oft-repeated symbol of the pentangle (pentacle, pentalpha or pentagram) is believed to have travelled to Northern Europe from the Fertile Crescent and Mesopotamia of the third millennium BCE through the classical Greek and Roman worlds into Celtic Gaul by the 1st century BC. By the early medieval period, the protective qualities of the five-pointed-star (or ‘endless knot’) symbol is said to have been harnessed by Sir Gawain to defeat the Green Knight.

Here, in the story of Faust (illustrated by Fritz Kredel in a humorous 20th century woodcut), when placed at the threshold of a building, it prevents Mephistopheles from leaving having once entered the room.

(Drudenfuss=pentagram but also a wizard’s or witch’s ‘foot’).

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