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August 12th. 2016 ...
When Reality Rattles your Idea of the Perfect Witch
Designing a Pagan Last Will and Testament
Hungarian Belief in Fairies
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Pollyanna Propaganda: The Distressing Trend of Victim-Blaming in Spirituality
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How to Bond with the Elements through Magick
Magical Household Cleaning
Working with the Elements
April 2nd. 2016 ...
An Alternative Conception of Divine Reciprocity
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Rebirth By Fire: A Love Letter to Mama Maui and Lady Pele
Blowing Bubbles with the Goddess
Magic in Sentences
The Evolution of Thought Forms
March 28th. 2016 ...
Revisiting The Spiral
Lateral Transcendence: Toward Greater Compassion
Spring Has Sprung!
January 22nd. 2016 ...
Coming Out of the Broom Closet
Energy and Karma
Community and Perception
December 20th. 2015 ...
Introduction to Tarot For the Novice
Magia y Wicca
October 24th. 2015 ...
Facing Your Demons: The Shadow Self
The Dream Eater--A Practical Use of Summoning Talismans
Native American Spirituality Myopia
A Dream Message
Feeling the Pulse of Autumn
October 16th. 2015 ...
Sacred Lands, Sacred Hearts
September 30th. 2015 ...
September 16th. 2015 ...
Nature Worship: or Seeing the Trees for the Ents
Vegan or Vegetarian? The Ethical Debate
August 6th. 2015 ...
Lost - A Pagan Parent's Tale
July 9th. 2015 ...
Love Spells: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
The Magic of Weather
June 7th. 2015 ...
A Pagan Altar
A Minority of a Minority of a Minority
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Why I Bother With Ritual: Poetry and Eikonic Atheism
May 6th. 2015 ...
Gods, Myth, and Ritual in Naturalistic Paganism
I Claim Cronehood
13 Keys: The Crown of Kether
March 29th. 2015 ...
A Thread in the Tapestry of Witchcraft
March 28th. 2015 ...
On Wiccan Magick, Theurgy, Thaumaturgy and Setting Expectations
March 1st. 2015 ...
Choosing to Write a Shadow Book
Historiolae: The Spell Within the Story
My Concept Of Grey
February 1st. 2015 ...
Seeker Advice From a Coven Leader
The Three Centers of Paganism
Magick is No Illusion
The Ancient Use of God/Goddess Surnames
The Gods of My Heart
January 1st. 2015 ...
The Six Most Valuable Lessons I've Learned on My Path as a Witch
Manipulation of the Concept of Witchcraft
Publicly Other: Witchcraft in the Suburbs
Pagans All Around Us
Broomstick to the Emerald City
October 20th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Conjuring Spirits
A Microcosmic View of Ma'at
October 5th. 2014 ...
The History of the Sacred Circle
Abandoning Expectations and Remembering Your Roots
September 28th. 2014 ...
Seeking Pagan Lands for Pagan Burials
Creating a Healing Temple
September 20th. 2014 ...
GOD AND ME (A Pagan's Personal Reply to the New Atheists)
September 7th. 2014 ...
Deer Man- A Confounding Mystery
August 31st. 2014 ...
Coven vs. Solitary
A Strange Waking Dream
August 24th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Cultural and Spiritual Appropriation
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
The Pentagram: A New Look At An Old Star
Article ID: 11269
Age Group: Adult
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Author: Miles Pendry
Posted: December 3rd. 2006
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As a High Priest and Witch of twenty-seven seasons, I have often been asked by curious individuals to explain the meaning of the pentagram I wear. I usually reply with the generally accepted explanation of how each of the five points of the star represents the five primal elements in balance and harmony in an enclosing circle.
If I am in a particularly talkative mood, I will usually expand upon the pentagram’s representation of mankind as reflected in both the microcosm and macrocosm. There is, however, a deeper and more personal definition that I am moved to share during this season. A byproduct, I imagine, of my current funk of introspection and preparation for hibernation. Or, as Ebenezer Scrooge (of Dickens’s Christmas Carol) might explain, “maybe an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of an underdone potato”.
As I sit contemplating my pentagram, I realize how it means much more to me than a symbol of my belief as a Witch. It is far more than a map of the elemental alignments and universal harmony. It also represents hope, and a shining light to a small child lost in the darkness of his life…of my past.
As I consider this small silver star, I am reminded that the same stars shine over my head now as they have since the moment of my birth, more or less. When I look up into the darkness of a cold, black, New Hampshire night sky, those same stars shine back, impassive, unblinking, and unchanging.
I stand many miles and many years beyond where I stood watching those stars of my youth. The seasons at my feet cycle past…Beltane to Samhain and back again. The Wheel of the Year spins faster and faster with each passing season, each turn spinning the years dizzyingly past. Yet the stars above remain indifferent. I think that is why I continue to wear my pentagram to this day. It reflects the one stable, constant, immutable element in my otherwise chaotic life.
I remember as a child, standing alone in the cornfields of the Midwest at night, looking upwards and sensing an unreachable, untouchable greatness, of a cold, distant presence that was uncaring, yet perpetual and unchanging. I think that if there was an aspect of the Gods that I most honor to this day, it would be that distant, unvarying constant and a knowing that something in my life was stable.
With parents who were both physically and emotionally abusive, who uprooted and moved me almost every year so that I could never put down roots or make friends or develop any sense of security, it was comforting to have a quiet, isolated place to run to and a star to hold onto.
The pentagram means far more to me than the five traditional elements it represents, deeper still than the circle of the microcosm/macrocosm of man. The pentagram to me will always represent those stars in that cold, unchanging night sky that I, as a child, looked up towards so many years ago and cried for a little bit of stability to steady my footing as my life sped out of control around me.
I was emotionally raw, stripped bare, unable to tolerate any degree of emotional contact. Wounded as I was, I did not need or want love or intimacy. I felt lost, powerless and unable to control my direction or destiny. The ship of my life was adrift in an ocean of fear, confusion and pain.
I wanted and needed a star to follow, a constant, unwavering light to guide me out of my darkness.
Some people call that light “Jesus” and walk a Christian path. Some people choose to meditate on the light and speak its sacred name “Ohm”. Others still may call that light “Allah” and pray to it five times a day.
As for me, it makes no difference what you name the light, or what religious text you lay before you. Religions change. Old Gods die. New gods are invented and venerated.
A thousand years go by, and it’s Jesus instead of Jupiter. A thousand more years go by, and it’s Money instead of Marduk. Our culture’s concept of God is continually deconstructed and reinvented, sometimes out of necessity, sometimes out of convenience and almost always for somebody’s profit.
But my star still shines in the night sky.
That distant star doesn’t love me. I cannot have a close personal relationship with it. For all I know or care, that star is not even aware or capable of knowing I exist... let alone give a damn about how I live my life, whether or not I give that life to it or if I try to convince others to give their lives to it. More than likely, it is (as described by They Might Be Giants) a swirling mass of incandescent gas. It just shines, nothing more.
But I look to it and honor it all the same...perhaps even more so because of its indifference. My star is there for me when I look up every night. It will be there when and if I remember to look up tomorrow. That is more than I can say about any other person, place, or material thing in my life.
Seasons change, people change, and the world as we know it moves on; but tonight I know my star will still be there in the sky above, shining, regardless of whether I am looking at it or not. (I am human, after all, and sometimes I forget to take the time to look up.)
They say that in time, even stars must die. After all, supernovas are an accepted scientific fact. That may be true. My star might eventually grow old and tired, and burn out in a final flash of glory.
But it won’t happen in my lifetime, and when it does finally happen, I don’t plan on being here to worry about it.
Location: Brookline, New Hampshire
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