The five pointed star?

Discussion in 'Magick' started by SHYSTAR, Sep 22, 2005.

  1. SHYSTAR

    SHYSTAR Willing to Learn

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    Hi, i'm quite new to this site but i do have a few questions :)
    The first is this - What Does The Five Pointed Star Symbolise? (point Downwards and usually with a circle around it!)
    Some say it is the star of David - but i disagree, I believe this star is used in the worship of satan or something, 'caus it's always in the movies concerning WitchCraft and the like -I was once told that this is suppossed too represent the head of satan, being the the upper two points were his horns, the two below, are his ears, and the final downward one is the beard/horn - Can Anybody Out there help me Pleeeaaassse! - Please help as my Brother and I agree to disagree on this one!
    Thanks always - give God a call, he's waiting!!
    Love
    SHYSTAR :) xx
     
  2. bgruagach

    bgruagach eclectic Wiccan

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    Hi Shystar.

    You asked this question already in this thread and were given some clear answers, including links to webpages that go into lots of detail about how the symbolism of five-pointed star in various traditions and religions.

    To repeat the answers from that other thread, the five pointed star has a lot of different symbolism associated with it. The symbol has been used by a lot of different religious and spiritual traditions throughout history including Christianity as well as various Pagan religions.

    My understanding is that the association of the five-pointed star with "evil" (and Satanism in particular) is actually a relatively recent thing. It was Anton LaVey's Church of Satan that really pushed the image of the five-pointed star shown with two points up and a goat's head drawn inside it (the upper two points represent the goat's horns, the bottom point is the goat's chin and beard.) I'm not sure if the goat-head-in-a-pentagram image appears at all before LaVey's time. (Perhaps someone can clear that detail up.)

    As we mentioned in the other thread where we discussed this topic, this website provides a lot of explanation about the five-pointed star and how it is interpreted in different religions.

    The Star of David is a SIX pointed star, not a five-pointed one. The Star of David is usually drawn with two triangles, one pointing up and one pointing down, laid on top of each other.

    Here is a webpage that talks about the Star of David and has a very clear picture of one.

    Here is a page about the five-pointed star (the pentagram) that shows a clear picture of one.

    Movies are rarely ever good sources of information about history and reality in general. If you believe what movies tell you, then I have some really good oceanfront property you might be interested in that's for sale in Kansas...
     
  3. 17th Angel

    17th Angel לבעוט את התחת ולקחת שמות

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    I have a very old book not really sure when it was made.... but I can say for sure it was made before the CoS.... it is titled "abi in malam rem." The cover is red leather and on the front is the inverted pentagram.... And the goat within, it is also on the hard spine of the book.... So I guess the answer is yes, it was used before LaVey(R.I.P) came around...
     
  4. bgruagach

    bgruagach eclectic Wiccan

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    According to http://www.templarhistory.com/pentagram.html]this website article about the pentagram, the "evil" associations with the two-points-up pentagram, and the drawing of a goat's head in the symbol, started in the 1800s courtesy of Eliphas Levi.

    Do you think the "abi in malam rem" book is older than the 1800s?
     
  5. Child of a New Day

    Child of a New Day New Member

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    I have read that Christians used to use the five point star to symbolize the five wounds of Christ. Different groups, different beliefs, different meanings.
     
  6. taijasi

    taijasi Gnōthi seauton

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    Re: The five pointed star, or the six?

    (Good god this is long ... got a cup of coffee? :p)

    What occurs to me as the most universal of all the possible (esoteric) symbolisms of the 5-pointed star ... is [the indication of] Divine Man. Consider Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man. The correspondence to the pentacle (among many other figures) is obvious, but what does this signify?

    AgniDeva just posted something in Hinduism (Brahman and the OverSoul thread) which will relate. It is the idea that for those with clear-seeing (corresponding to the Delphic Injunction, "Man, Know Thy Self") ... the physical body is but the first of many layers which must be peeled away, like onion skin, to get to our innermost being. This may occur literally, from an existential/metaphysical point of view, but not until we first learn to do so theoretically & temporarily, through a very gradual process including meditation & progressive revelation (as the result of spiritual development or unfoldment).

    Thus, any emphasis upon "astral projection" or out-of-body experiences can only be a fragmented and unfulfilling approach in the long run, if we are seriously considering walking the spiritual path rather than dabbling. For, to accomplish an oobe/projection, is simply to realize - sooner or later (if also at great cost) - that we still have several "bodies," or subtler layers of the aura to go ... before we reach our true Self. Better to walk on earth, and learn to do so mindfully & compassionately.

    So, the star may signify the outer form with its lower two points (the dense body, plus its nephesh - or "vital soul"). The next two points would suggest desire-mind, or kama-rupa - the false identity which we maintain and call 'personality' (or lower self) ... plus the individual Soul, or reincarnating spiritual Self (aka Higher Self). The uppermost point of the star may signify the Bliss Sheath (sambhogakaya, Buddhi, or 'Christ principle' - as yet unfolded for the majority of Humanity), and/or the Atman, or Atmic Principle (that portion of the Divine which dwells, relatively permanently, in Nirvana - or Highest Heaven, and serves as both Humanity's highest expression of Goodness/Godliness, as well as Deity's direct incarnation, as it were, into the Divine Tabernacle of every human soul - from first incarnation to last).

    It is said that at the first two Initiation Ceremonies (definite events that occur for the Soul at a certain point upon the Path), the Presence of God is made known to the candidate by the blazing forth of that bright, 5-pointed Star Whom Moses also knew ... as the burning bush (the same kind of symbolism - an indication, rather than the face of God). These are the Birth and the Baptism initiations, as symbolized by the Christ, though every initiate in every religious tradition has also symbolized them according to the need of the times.

    A Soul within whom the Christ or Buddhi has been born (burst into flame, as it were) ... and who has also undergone the purification of the astral plane (the quelling, or transforming of desire) ... eventually becomes pure of heart, esoterically speaking, and at the 3rd Initiation Ceremony (the Transfiguration) - this Soul sees God. This means that the Being behind the Star is finally perceived, or directly beheld, and for a few wonderful moments THAT consciousness is shared, experienced, and forever-thereafter more greatly attuned to.

    Then in time, two additional Initiations ensue, the Renunciation and the Ascension (ridiculously misunderstood as the latter has obviously become ... the former being emphasized as one of pain & sacrifice rather than the Joy that is conveyed thereafter). These Five Initiations together could be said to also correspond to each point or arm of the 5-pointed Star, symbolizing quite literally the five steps taken by each individual Soul on its ascent "back to the Father" (or more & more inward into the Sanctuary of the Divine, to speak more Universally). After these five steps, one further Initiation (the `Decision') remains for the Adept, but this is a change only in the past few decades to a structure that has existed for Humanity for many, many millions of years.

    So, incidentally, if the Mosaic Law written on stone tablets is still held up by many as of import, then the esoteric significance and relevance of Initiation & the Initiation Ceremony - is like the Firmament out of which those tablets were recently formed & cast, and to which they will return. For Initiation is a door to be passed (literally a New Beginning), and all books are but provided to help us study & prepare. And until we, too, stand face to face before the One Initiator - prepared at long last to receive the charge - we may invoke the Star ... if we are prepared to do His Will as best we may. And the example that comes to mind for me, is that of His greatest Servant (who taught us how to pray), as well as that of many dozens of others known & recognized as such ... while those who work quietly and unknown must be many, many score.

    Not meaning to change the thread, but meaning to show a correspondence - and to suggest the esoteric signficance (one of many) behind the six-pointed star (or Seal of Soloman), consider two images from the following website: http://prs.org/symbprint.htm. The first is a little more than halfway down - Macrocosm & the Microcosm - and shows the idea that "God created us in His own image" (as above, so below - the Hermetic Axiom). Obviously the imagery (as all depicting esoteric matters) is purely symbolic and anthropomorphic (see my .sig line), but it depicts Deity reflecting itself into the manifested world(s).

    This is wonderfully, beautifully, cleverly done by Augustus Knapp (and Manly Hall), so as to include the 7 colors or Rays (the beard), the 2nd Divine Principle - or Cosmic Christ (red cross of the heart), and the metaphysical standing of Christ above the world in the upper half (the cross atop the green globe at Deity's crown) with the Christ principle as yet eclipsed or superseded/subject to the world in the bottom half (the reverse image, very bottom). Also, perhaps it's simply my creative imagination, but as I look at the reverse image of Deity, it still seems like I can make out the features of a being right-side up - if a bit strange in comparison with Deity up top. The top part of the beard becomes the crown, and the parts on the side are - indeed - like horns.

    Remember, Demon est Deus inversus - and though the average christian struggles with the paradox of an all-loving, all-good `God' creating "evil" or Satan, s/he is apt to forget than without this definition (of evil, a value judgment) - there can be no Good! To recognize the struggle of these principles within the world - as well as their peaceful, harmonious resolution/balance in the form of yin-yang is a keen observation, but to project this understanding onto Deity itself (whomever & whatever the latter may be) - is presumptuous and absurd. Best to stick to the seemingly trite simplification that "God is Good" and that things will work out ... if we can only keep in mind that the latter must occur, not despite us, but thanks to us, through us, and for all of us - where us is both Humanity, and every individual.

    The rainbow ring-pass-not of the Knapp-Hall image is a reminder that everything we know of (as reality, manifestation, the field of evolution & existence) occurs "in God's hands" as the Christian puts it ... while the symbolic passage of the Prodigal Son, the Soul - the cross at the top & bottom (down the involutionary arc into matter, as well as up the evolutionary arc, from matter to Spirit) is caught up in the very Purpose for manifestation itself! Christ is thus both a the very heart of manifestation, as well as - truly enough - the very reason for it. This is the Christ principle, of course - speaking universally - and not one man in particular, unless we mean all men.

    Central to the figure is the six-pointed star, or Soloman's Seal, indicating Spirit going forth into matter, as well as matter returning to Spirit. These are often shown as two, interlaced triangles (Trinity descending, Trinity ascending), although this image doesn't emphasize that fact. A little lower on the same page - almost at the bottom - is the Rosicrucian Crucifixion, indicating in purely symbolic form the penultimate stage (indeed, the crucial point) of the entire human pilgrimage. The figure of Christ indicates this principle within all of us (and not Jesus per se, except as an ideal exmplar of the goal) ... whereby the form (human, vegetable, animal & mineral kingdom) is completely and utterly yielded (though not always culminating in physical death, certainly) for the higher Good - or Spirit. This occurs above the world, symbolizing the completion of the human trek, and this means that spirit and matter have been balanced, and their distinction transcended as seeming opposites.

    This is all to scratch the surface of the pentacle, pentagon, and hexagon as symbols ... and I still get a chuckle out of the Templars' baphomet (as if a more pious, devoted group of spiritual custodians - of mysteries and treasure - has scarce existed in 2,000 years!). But to be certain, a pentacle flipped, just as a triangle flipped, can signify evil if that is the intention ... and the notion that this is a purely human construction is mistaken. The error lies in ascribing a greater significance (meaning, power, ontological standing, etc.) to the indicated "evil" than it could - even possibly - represent. I like the wordplay on evil such that it is a veil for truth, worn too long or too proudly.

    Consider, in the case of the baphomet, that it is the animal nature (humanity's carnal nature - whether physically, emotionally or intellectually) which is over-emphasized ... aptly symbolized by the inverted pentacle, or pentragram (indicated here). While to many this is only so much New Age fuzz ... a statement of rebellion, perhaps, or symbolic of an interest in the "occult"/witchcraft/etc. ... it might be remembered that the language of symbols is the most powerful language of all. So the fact that children seem to universally draw stars as these (upright) five-pointed figures, especially around Christmastime ... hmmm, that raises my eyebrow. Ask a child, sometime, what those stars mean to them, by the way. Ask them what a star is. I do not have children, nor have I done this - but I think the answer might be interesting. :)

    Peace,
    protokletos
     
  7. bgruagach

    bgruagach eclectic Wiccan

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    Symbols mean different things in different cultures. It's always an entertaining exercise to look at how a symbol can be interpreted in a specific culture or philosophical system -- and even more revealing if one compares this interpretation with ones drawn from different philosophies, religions, and cultures.

    It might be worthwhile noting too that the word pentagram (not pentragram -- that's a misspelling) means a five-sided or five-cornered figure. A pentacle is often defined as a physical object that has a symbol, usually a pentagram, drawn on it (although in some of the old grimoires you'll find that they use the word pentacle to refer to all sorts of things, which don't necessarily have a five-sided or five-pointed symbol such as a star on them.) A pentagram or pentacle can be either one point up or two points up. If you mean a two points up pentagram or pentacle, then the usual way to identify them is to say they are inverted pentagrams or inverted pentacles.

    If we are to claim that we have a truly universal interpretation of a particular symbol then that interpretation must be common to all cultures, religions, and philosophies where the symbol is mentioned. That means that all the extraneous interpretation must be stripped away leaving only the commonality. So far in this thread all of the interpretations that have been presented regarding the pentagram have been based on specific religious or philosophical outlooks rather than anything like a universal interpretation.

    Sharing our different interpretations of a symbol is good -- but we should be careful to not assume that our context-specific interpretations are somehow universal when they are not.
     
  8. lucius

    lucius New Member

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    Just a couple of points I'd like to make.

    The pentagram (5 pointed star) is more usually shown with one point upwards.
    It is the symbol of the microcosm, and of man according to some authorities on the kabbala, whilst the six-rayed star of david is the symbol of the macrocosm.

    In Crowleyan symbolism, the pentagram is a symbol of the Star Goddess, Nuit.

    The inversion of the pentagram is supposed to symbolize satan because quite literally, the two points resemble the horns of said bad devil.
    In one sense, as the upright pentagram symbolizes also Adam Kadmon, the 'cosmic man', who roughly equates with Christ in some systems of christian mysticism, it's inverted form represents satan, according to the belief of some gnostics, a kind of 'dark twin' of christ.

    The uses of the pentagram in ritual magic are well known.
     

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