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Pentagram


Veggie dancer
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Hi folks, I don't know much about the pentagram symbol. This is what I've gathered..

 

The points represent the 5 elements: earth fire water air spirit.

It is a symbol for protection.

And I've seen Sam and Dean on 'supernatural' use it to capture evil spirits ;) ... But I don't know who really uses it or how.

 

Is it a purely Wiccan thing or do other Pagans use the symbol in anyway?

 

Where does it originate?

 

I really ''like' the pentagram symbol but thought if I am going to wear a pentagram I should really know a bit more about what it is about.

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Druids also use the pentagram as do Ceremonial Magicians and Christians. The Golden Dawn used the pentagram as a protection and invocation by drawing it in the air with a knife while calling upon angelic guardians (the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram being the best known). In Christian mysticism it depicts Christ's initial wounds, the nails in the hands and feet plus the crown of thorns, a dot in the centre sometimes depicts the post mortem chest wound from Longinus' spear. In the many western Paganisms the five point do indeed usually symbolise the four classical elements and the element of spirit but they can also symbolise the bases of matter and spirit weaving into the three realms. I have also seen the pentagram used in the martial arts to depict the five useful planes of defence, there is no vertical line in a pentagram which reminds a student to always block to the outside or to strike from outside to the centre.

 

So it means a heck of a lot to various different people really. No wonder it has been around for quite a while.

Edited by Badger Bob
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IIRC, it was used in the middle east thousands of years ago. Then Pythagoreans used it as a symbol to recognise each other. But the modern usage begins with the Christians. In medieval times it was a Christian symbol, and appears as such in the Christian tale of Gawain and the Green Knight (which was used by the poet Robert Graves to invent the myth of the oak and holly kings).

 

After that, i suspect it came to modern Wicca via alchemishts, modern ceremonial magicians and possible freemasonry. Although paganis of other pagan religions will use it as a pan-pagan symbol, it is Wiccan.

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Although paganis of other pagan religions will use it as a pan-pagan symbol, it is Wiccan.

 

I would very much dispute that sentence, it is used as the outward symbol of Wicca but it doesn't belong to Wicca any more than the cross belongs to the Roman Catholic Church. If the pentagram is anything I would say it is Pythagorean and is used by many branches of Paganism influenced by them, and even that is ignoring its earlier usage.

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oops...I should have said (in that last paragraph) that some pagans of non-Wiccan pagan religions will use the pentacle. Few of those I know do, as our religions have a wealth of their own symbols. For example, druids tend to use the awen, Kemetics the ankh, Heathens the mjollnir etc :)

 

Although paganis of other pagan religions will use it as a pan-pagan symbol, it is Wiccan.

 

I would very much dispute that sentence, it is used as the outward symbol of Wicca but it doesn't belong to Wicca any more than the cross belongs to the Roman Catholic Church. If the pentagram is anything I would say it is Pythagorean and is used by many branches of Paganism influenced by them, and even that is ignoring its earlier usage.

 

Sorry, Bob - in that sentence I was reffing to modern pagan usage only, I hope the rest of my post made it clear that it had a much wider usage in its past.

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Sorry Moonhunter, I was a bit abrupt but I could hear the Witches bristling ;-) . The Awen is not universally used among Druids as it has its roots in Iolo Morgannwg's work of fiction, Barddas. In many orders the Awen is used for non-Pagan Druids and the Pentagram for Pagan Druids. Then again Druidry shares about 90% of its DNA with Wicca.

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The Awen is not universally used among Druids as it has its roots in Iolo Morgannwg's work of fiction, Barddas. In many orders the Awen is used for non-Pagan Druids and the Pentagram for Pagan Druids. Then again Druidry shares about 90% of its DNA with Wicca.

 

I've just googled the awen.. I have seen that symbol but didn't realise it was Druid! I thought it might be a Freemason thing.

Also... There are non-pagan Druids??? :o

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IIRC, it was used in the middle east thousands of years ago. Then Pythagoreans used it as a symbol to recognise each other. But the modern usage begins with the Christians. In medieval times it was a Christian symbol, and appears as such in the Christian tale of Gawain and the Green Knight (which was used by the poet Robert Graves to invent the myth of the oak and holly kings).

 

After that, i suspect it came to modern Wicca via alchemishts, modern ceremonial magicians and possible freemasonry. Although paganis of other pagan religions will use it as a pan-pagan symbol, it is Wiccan.

 

Do you know what it's use was about in the Middle East thousands of years ago?

I just the other day I walked past a church with a pentagram shaped window, that's what got me wondering more about the symbol.

 

Don't know anything about pythagoreans or Gawain and the green knight! ... I love it how on here what I think is a simple question leads at once to a lot more! And a bunch of things to google ;)

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I've just googled the awen.. I have seen that symbol but didn't realise it was Druid! I thought it might be a Freemason thing.

Also... There are non-pagan Druids??? :o

 

Yes. Try The Ancient Order of Druids, created in 1909. One of the recent Archbishops of Canterbury is a member.

 

 

Do any of you use a pentagram practically in working magic? As a tool?

 

Not me. But then, I am a Heathen! :o_viking:

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I'm not aware of any use in Traditional Druidism of the pentagram. Part the training does involve studying and sometimes using certain methods gleaned from other pagan practice's - the purpose being to understand them with regard to dealing with certain problems that may arise and which may need to be tackled using Druidism.

 

Ed

 

 

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The pentagram is featured in various invocations, or seals, in an ancient magical text known as the 'Clavicule of Solomon'.

 

In the school of Pythagoras the number five typified Light (he derived many of his ideas from Egypt). Among the Greeks five was the number sacred to Apollo (light again). The idea has therefore been put forward that the pentacle represents Light and was once used as an emblem of Health.

 

Apparently, among Gnostics, the seal of Solomon was assigned to Sophia and regarded as the mark of, or passport to, the Kingdom of Light.

 

I've also seen it painted on barns in Pennsylvania, in which case used as a hex sign to ward off evil by the old Pennsylvanian Dutch (corruption of Deutsch meaning German).

 

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I'm not aware of any use in Traditional Druidism of the pentagram. Part the training does involve studying and sometimes using certain methods gleaned from other pagan practice's - the purpose being to understand them with regard to dealing with certain problems that may arise and which may need to be tackled using Druidism.

 

Ed

 

Hi Ed, that sounds a bit cryptic.. Are the 'certain problems' something you can't share outside fellow Druids or is that something you can explain a bit more?

 

I'm also so intrigued by the news that you get non-pagan Druids.. I'm guessing Ed and Badger Bob are Pagan Druids else you are unlikely to be on UKP but how do non pagan Druids differ from pagan ones? Is it the simple fact that they don't choose to label themselves that way? Or is there a difference in what they actually do or believe in their druidry?

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Do any of you use a pentagram practically in working magic? As a tool?

 

My general reply must be, yes.

 

However I also want to clarify if by a "tool" you meant something solid and permanent in form (like, say, a knife would be); or if you meant something else?

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Hi Ed, that sounds a bit cryptic.. Are the 'certain problems' something you can't share outside fellow Druids or is that something you can explain a bit more?

 

I'm also so intrigued by the news that you get non-pagan Druids.. I'm guessing Ed and Badger Bob are Pagan Druids else you are unlikely to be on UKP but how do non pagan Druids differ from pagan ones? Is it the simple fact that they don't choose to label themselves that way? Or is there a difference in what they actually do or believe in their druidry?

 

Hi,

What I mean is that (and I haven't reached this level myself ) in our system we study some of methods and practice's used in witchcraft and other arts, including the use of tools and symbols, so as to be able to help someone who comes asking for help because what they may have attempted or got involved in has had a negative effect, or in the circumstance of someone using these tools in such a way as to direct inappropriate energy towards us ...in this way there will be some theory of the pentagram passed on though we don't actually utilise the pentagram in Druidism itself...

 

May I hasten to say here that any such problems are not necessarily a reflection on the system that the person follows. Problems come along for people on all paths. They have done for me on my path, I'm happy to say that they haven't been too serious or long lasting and I've also learned from them...:)

 

Yes I am pagan!

 

Rowan Williams is a secular Druid - that is story/poetry based as opposed to religious.Traditional Druidism is a religion..

 

In Traditional Druidism our practice provides a framework which holds whatever core belief one has - so one can be Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim for example in one's core belief and still be Druid. For some (esp. Christians and Muslims) this might be incompatible with their core faith...in which case Druidism isn't for them...

 

Ed

 

 

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Do any of you use a pentagram practically in working magic? As a tool?

 

My general reply must be, yes.

 

However I also want to clarify if by a "tool" you meant something solid and permanent in form (like, say, a knife would be); or if you meant something else?

 

Well I think what I'm asking could be either something solid and permanent or something like drawing a pentagram.

What sort of thing have you used it for? (If that's not too much of a personal question)

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I'm guessing Ed and Badger Bob are Pagan Druids...

 

Yes we are but from very different traditions. ED doesn't use the pentagram in his tradition but I do in most of the traditions I have followed (OBOD, BDO, AODA, DOGD, a traditional group based in Derbyshire and a ceremonial magic Druid order based in Edinburgh). I have used the pentagram as a protective device, drawn in the air in a similar manner to the LBRB of the Golden Dawn, drawn on the ground as a magic circle or delineated by stones to form a sacred space. The AODA use it in some very creative ways with Ogham detailed in John Michael Greer's books (Druid Magic Handbook I think, don't have it with me) and I have used it ritually within a traditional Druid Group, in a similar manner to calling the quarters.

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I'd prefer not to go into detail, Veggie Dancer. Nothing against you or anyone else here though x

 

Yikes! I just re-read what I'd written and realized it could have be taken in a very wrong way! Hope you understood what I meant? Sorry!

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I'd prefer not to go into detail, Veggie Dancer. Nothing against you or anyone else here though x

 

Yikes! I just re-read what I'd written and realized it could have be taken in a very wrong way! Hope you understood what I meant? Sorry!

 

Don't worry at all Isrith, I'm not surprised or offended that you don't want to go into details.. I wasn't sure whether or what to ask. :) hope I didn't offend by asking. :)

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I'm guessing Ed and Badger Bob are Pagan Druids...

 

Yes we are but from very different traditions. ED doesn't use the pentagram in his tradition but I do in most of the traditions I have followed (OBOD, BDO, AODA, DOGD, a traditional group based in Derbyshire and a ceremonial magic Druid order based in Edinburgh). I have used the pentagram as a protective device, drawn in the air in a similar manner to the LBRB of the Golden Dawn, drawn on the ground as a magic circle or delineated by stones to form a sacred space. The AODA use it in some very creative ways with Ogham detailed in John Michael Greer's books (Druid Magic Handbook I think, don't have it with me) and I have used it ritually within a traditional Druid Group, in a similar manner to calling the quarters.

 

Hi Bob, thanks that gives me a really good idea of how you have used the pentagram symbol. :)

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