Vandals cut pagan graffitti into lawn of Orthodox church

Members of St. George Greek Orthodox Church were shocked to find someone had cut a large pentagram into a one-acre plot adjacent their church. The Very Rev. Constantine Valantasis, pastor, said his parish's plans for a community garden there will not be derailed by the weekend vandalism that has desecrated the space.

Members discovered the pentagram following Saturday evening worship services at 364 First St. SE.

"Initially, I was disappointed," said Valantasis, pastor at St. George since 2005. "However this was intended, it's a satanic symbol."

"I couldn't believe it," longtime church secretary Elizabeth Schrock said. "We've had this land for a very long time."

The encircled pentagram appears to have been created by someone using a reel mower, which is quieter than its gas-powered counterpart.

Undaunted, Valantasis said the ground at the southeast corner of Albright Avenue and South Street SE will be broken for the garden at 6 p.m. Thursday following a "Blessing of the Ground."

"It's sort of a spiritual cleansing," said Valantasis, who will be assisted by other area Orthodox clergymen.


A five-point star, the pentagram is one of humankind's earliest known symbols, with long history of varied meaning and usage.

The word itself comes from the Greek term "Pentagrammos" meaning "five lines." Its earliest known usage was by ancient astronomers as far back as 4,000 B.C., for tracking the trajectory of Venus. It also was used in the worship of the goddess Venus.

The pentagram, believed by some to hold magical powers, also has been embraced over the centuries by various pagan religions, occultists, magicians, Rosicrucian Christians and Freemasonry, and was once an early symbol of the five wounds of Jesus on the cross.

Satanists adopted the inverted pentagram, which is usually accompanied in illustrations by a goat's head.

Today, the pentagram is most commonly associated with the Wiccan religion. For Wiccans, the pentagram represents fire, air, water, earth and spirit.