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Thursday, August 28, 2014

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Pentacles

Pentacle/Pentagram


The main Wiccan symbol is the upright 5 pointed star (called a pentagram), and a pentagram within a circle, (called a pentacle). One point of the star is generally aligned upwards, except when it refers to the second degree initiation or male principle . Satanists inverted both symbols and adopted them as their own symbol.

Upright pentacles and pentagrams are among the most widely used religious symbols. They have been used in many eras and by many cultures and religions of the world: by ancient Pagans, ancient Israelites, Christians, magicians, Wiccans and others.

In ancient Greece, Pythagoras (586 - 506 BCE) established a school which pursued knowledge in mathematics, music, religion, and other specialties. Driven underground, his followers used the pentagram as a secret sign to identify themselves to each other. The Masonic Order has traditionally traced its origins back 2,500 years to the Pythagoreans.
 
During the times of the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament), the pentacle was the first and most important of the Seven Seals - an amulet whose seals represented the seven secret names of God. It was inscribed on King Solomon's ring, which is often called Solomon's Seal in error. Each point of the pentagram was also interpreted as referring to the five books of the Pentateuch - the first five books in the Hebrew Scriptures; a.k.a. the Torah.

It was used to symbolize the star which allegedly led three Zoroastrian astrologers (a.k.a. the three wise men) to the baby Jesus; it was called the Three Kings' star.
 
In Christian times The five points of the pentagram have been interpreted as representing the five wounds of Christ (2 wrist, 2 ankle and 1 side).

For Wiccans, the pentagram references the 4 cardinal directions plus spirit, or the 4 primal elements (earth, air, fire, water) plus spirit. In its common position, it can represent the unity of the world within one reality or the divine.

Sometimes the pentacle is inverted, or positioned with only 1 point downward. This inverted pentacle usually symbolizes a grounding motif, a giving back to the earth, or a releasing of some sort.

 

Inverted Pentacle/Pentagram

Some religious and spiritual groups have used the inverted pentacle. During the 20th century, Satanists inverted the upright pentacle and adopted it as their own symbol. However, the symbol is most commonly shown with the head of a goat within the pentagram as shown below.

 

Sigil of Baphomet

The inverted pentacle with a goat's head is called the Sigil (or Sigl) of Baphomet. The second word may have come from two Greek words, baphe and metis, meaning "absorption of knowledge." It has also been called the Black Goat, Devil's Goat, Goat Head, Goat of Mendes, and Judas Goat. Baphomet was supposed to be worshipped by the members of the Knights Templar.

Tools of the witch

 

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