Wednesday, December 05, 2007

the star that shines in controvercy

I realized today that I am not displaying a pentacle on my blog.
I planned to rectify the problem and immediately started searching for an image that would suit my blog, it dawned on me then that by adding the controversial little trinket to my side bar I would be inviting more than my fair share of hate speech, and negative energy to my home on blog lane and I would thus like to take this opportunity to not only defend myself but also give those who are less enlightened about the subject a little history/ symbology lesson on this very harmless symbol.

From bitter experience I have learnt that the Christians will be the first to attack me for my “blasphemies” so I am going to address this group first.

No doubt you believe it is a symbol of pure evil, used to denote those who dabble in the dark arts.
While this is a complete misinterpretation one can not blame conservative church goers for the misunderstanding considering the history the church has had with this symbol.

In medieval times the pentacle was actually a Christian symbol, with the five points of the star representing the five wounds of Christ and the five joys that Mary had of Jesus (the annunciation, the Nativity, the resurrection, the ascension and the assumption).
It also served as a protective talisman that (ironically) was believed to ward of witches.

The pentacle also featured in the 14th century poem “Sir Gwaine and the green knight”..
Representing the five virtues of knighthood (noble generosity, fellowship, purity, courtesy, and compassion.) the pentacle was emblazed on sir Gwaine’s shield as a remainder of the virtues nature sir Gwaine strived to embody.

However some time in the twentieth century the church rejected the symbol as it had increasingly become associated with a rebellious group set on rejecting the teachings of the church.
Used as a sign of rebellion or religious identification for these so called Satanists the star was turned upside down, with three points pointing downwards the group made their rejection of the holy trinity clear to the outside world.
Usually inscribed within a double circle the star was named the sigil of Baphomet and became the official insignia for the church of Satan.

Having said this I do concede that the Pentacle in some form does have some satanistic connotations (even though it is a direct result of its Christian connection), but I would also like to point out that the pentacle is one of the oldest symbols in history and it’s first known uses date back to 3000BC since then it has enjoyed attention in so many teachings, religions and cults that it would be short sighted to limit this piece to a never ending battle between the Church and those who had fallen from its grace.

The Neo-Pagan Pentacle

In modern society the pentacle seems to be coming out of the closet again and it is not uncommon to see people donning pentacle jewelry or clothing.
Personally I believe that the increasing popularity of esoteric believe systems such as Wicca and neo-Paganism has greatly contributed to the positive PR drive around this ancient symbol.
As a crucifix might identify a Christian so a pentacle may identify a wiccan a witch or a pagan and a as a religious symbol it is no les meaningful than its Christian peer.

To completely understand the very loaded meaning of the pagan pentacle one needs to understand a bit about the believes that govern it first and while I fully intend to get into that at a later stage I fear that my genesis of witchcraft my be too much to digest at this point in time

What I am going to say though is that the four bottom points of the star represent the elements Earth, Wind (or air), fire and water, elements that were first linked to the star by the Pythagoreans who considered the pentacle a mathematical perfection.
The top most point represents Spirit and many believe that spirit will rule over all other elements… however since this is a religion that promotes freedom of expression the symbol is open for personal interpretation.
The pagan pentacle is inscribed by a single circle that represents the circle of life (birth death and rebirth).
This symbol is used in ritual magic and during the invocation of the elements.
It is not however meant as symbol of evil at all!

Other meanings have come from all corners of the world and its connection with the planet Venus is one of the most widely known.
However the reason for the parallel being drawn between the planet and the five pointed star is not a common fact and it might interest you to know that the planet Venus traces an imperfect pentacle across the heavens every eight years.
Wether the ancients were aware of this or not, I don’t know but it would be my number one theory on the true origins of the pentacle.


Please note that intend to elaborate on this subject in the coming weeks giving specific attention to the influence that the pentacle has had on our history.

In closing I would like to say that I strongly believe that the pentacle is a symbol of human nature.
Over hundreds of years good people have taken this symbol and have praised it for its embodiment of purity and wholeness, but at the same time those with less wholesome intentions have stripped it of all its virtues just to dress it up as the symbol of darkness.

A symbol does not have intent so it cannot harm nor does it have choice so it cannot decide between good and evil.
It will only mirror the intent and choice of those who choose to interpret it

I only find it disturbing that the naïve are always inclined towards a negative interpretation


SaM-GiRL said...

I believe in freedom of speech, and that you should stand up for what you believe in, so while I think it wasnt neccesary for you to put up this post, I also appreciate that you atleast considered all your fellow bloggers feelings on it. We have our own blogs to say what WE want to say in the first place right? But you always get these ppl that are gonna try and diss you for something youve said or done.... to hell with them.

Glugster said...

Very interesting read. I am now rubbing my hands waiting for the hate speech to commence. May I partake in the answering of hate-speecher comments. I promise I will behave.

angel said...

fascnating lee.
to each his own i reckon...
like glug, i also wanna see what's going to come out of this now...!

Divalicious said...

Look girlie, you are who you are and you believe what you believe in. I think you're a pretty cool cat and I'll not stand here and cast judgement on anybody for anything.
There's not a single HUMAN out there that is perfect or pure. What's the old saying? Don't huck a rock if ya live a glass pad.

Claudia said...

Good coverage and history there! I was also thinking, just about the point you got to where you say it's a symbol of human nature, in a way it also represents the human body-like DaVinci's Vitruvian Man!

Pink ditz said...

This was very interesting. I never knew the history behind this. I went to a catholic school where a girl in my class was dubbed statnic for having a so called "witch star" I thought it was rediculous but never knew the exact histroy behind it!
people really need to start to be more open minded.

Nosjunkie said...

Whoohoo I am so proud to be your blog buddy peeps I couldnt have asked for a more open minded bunch of people it just goes to show that you can learn so much if you just open your mind to the possibilities.

to sammy hunny thanks its good to know that there are people who can accept a person as they are I dont pretend to know what your believes are but I think I have a pretty fair Idea and I am glad that stigma has not blinded you

Glugs you may have your go at any person with the nuts to come and spread hate around here and you dont even have to behave this is my blog after all and encourage everybody to speack their mind even if your mind is swearing like a sailor

Angel: to each his own!

Diva thanks I think your pretty funky yourself. I believe that knowlige will end judgement. thats half of the reason why I put this up because I believe that the stigma attached to a silly little star is just that, silly, and if people understand the history we can move on

Clauds: you are so so right hunny, it is one of the things that I did not mention, yes the pentagle is a representation of the human body
Good one Hun

Pink: It really is a pitty that people can jump on the wrong band wagon so quickly however at the same time I would like to point out that hollywood has given the pentacle a new side.
movies have really made people believe that it gives you magical power and if you combine that with all the other stuff the movies have made witch craft about to be you get a really confused and often dangerouse kid who doesnt know what their doing.
Again I am stressing open mindedness here

Odat said...

Hey, like the others said, you owe none of us an explanation as to what goes in your blog or not...I do appreciate the background tho. I have nothing against what others believe in or don't. So, my dear, pentacle away!!! ;-)

Nosjunkie said...

Thanks O-dat I didn't take you for the judgemental type and as soon as blogger lets me as a new page element I am posting my pentacle

SaM-GiRL said...


Anonymous said...

I think you should move the icon that states that you are a brilliant writer farther away from the title "the star that shines in controvercy," seeing as how you misspelled "Controversy."