The Pentagram – What Does It Mean To You?

The Pentagram, the symbol widely recognised as representing Paganism as a whole, specifically Wicca and Witchcraft, is a five-pointed star made of five straight lines, sometimes surrounded by a perfect circle (then called a ‘pentacle’). It is the symbol of faith, as the Cross or Crucifix is to Christianity, and the Star of David is to Judaism.

It is widely accepted, although not by all, that the five points of the star represent the five elements: fire and earth, the ‘legs’; air and water, the ‘arms’; and spirit, being the upper-most point. In the case of the pentacle, where the circle is also shown, this represents all the elements being brought together as well as the many cycles of life – birth, death and rebirth.

Unlike most commonly thought, the upright pentagram (as shown above) does not represent Satanism, who use an inverted pentagram (often with the head of Baphomet pictured with it), but the inverted pentagram has been, and is still, used as a sign of second-degree initiation into Traditional Wicca (i.e. Gardnerian, Alexandrian).

An exercise that I have put to a couple of different forums over the years was to determine your own Pentagram – if earth, air, fire, water and spirit are signified by the pentagram, what would your own, personal, five points be?  And, if you wish to make it a Pentacle, what does the circle surrounding it represent?  They might be important things to you, like family, independence, creativity; or they might be words that describe you, who you are, like outgoing, caring, open-minded.

Think carefully – it’s trickier than you think, to pick just five! And you don’t have to stick with an earth/air/fire/water/spirit format – just five things that represent you.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

 

Traditions of Paganism, Wicca & Witchcraft

There are numerous different branches of Paganism, Wicca and Witchcraft  This page will be periodically updated with short explanations of different traditions.  If you follow a particular path that isn’t listed, feel free to email me with a short spiel of what your tradition is about and I’ll add it in!

Alexandrian Wicca
Founded by Alex Sanders and his wife Maxine in the 1960s, Alexandrian Wicca is very similar to the Gardnerian tradition.  It is a blend of ceremonial magic with heavy Gardnerian influences and Hermetic Kabbalah.  It focuses on the polarity between the genders, and dedicates equal time to both God and Goddess in its rites and ceremonies.  The main differences between Alexandrian Wicca and Gardnerian Wicca are the tool uses and names of deities used, although even these differences have blurred over the decades.
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Dianic Wicca / Witchcraft
Founded by Zsuzsanna Budapest in the USA in the 70s, it has a main focus on the worship of the Goddess and on feminism.  They generally do not acknowledge a male deity.  A combination of elements from British Traditional Wicca, Italian folk magick, feminist values and healing practices, it is most often practiced in female-only covens.
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Gardnerian Wicca
Founded by Gerald Gardner in the 1950s, Gardner claimed to have learned the beliefs and practices from the New Forest coven, who initiated him into their ranks in 1939.  Some consider Gardnerian Wicca to be “where it all began”, and subsequent Wiccan traditions derived from Gardner’s religion.  Practiced in covens, traditionally of 13 members, led by a High Priest and High Priestess, Gardnerian Wicca celebrates both a God and a Goddess, the union of which results in everything around us.  Membership is generally gained only through initiation by a High Priest or Priestess, and rituals and coven practices are kept secret from outsiders.
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