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Introduction to Tarot For the Novice
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Sacred Lands, Sacred Hearts
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September 16th. 2015 ...
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A Thread in the Tapestry of Witchcraft
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February 1st. 2015 ...
Seeker Advice From a Coven Leader
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The Six Most Valuable Lessons I've Learned on My Path as a Witch
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The History of the Sacred Circle
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Article ID: 14918
Age Group: Adult
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Author: Crick [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: April 1st. 2012
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Magical signs are geometrical designs, designed to represent the mysteries of deity and creation, and thus are of special interest to those who have an interest in the mystical arts and similar disciplines.
The primary signs are the Triangle, the Double Triangle, (which forms a six - pointed star and is also known as the Seal of Solomon) , the Tetragram (a four pointed star formed by the interlacement of two pillars) and the Pentagram, (which is a five pointed star) . There are of course many other diagrams that are specific to their disciplines and utilization. These primary signs are traced on paper/parchment or at times are engraved on specific metals and glass. They are then empowered with the intent of the rite or energy work being invoked.
Lets begin with the Triangle.
The Triangle is based on the idea of trinity as found in all things. It represents Deity, Omega and Alpha and thus is closely associated with the powerful numerical number of “Three”.
The number three can be found utilized throughout the world’s religions.
The triangle is generally traced on the ground with a magically enhanced sword or rod. This is done in circles of evocation where the triangle is drawn within it and, depending on the position of the magician at its point or base, spirits were conjured from the nether world. It is the act of manifestation that defines the power of the Triangle and which separates it from the Circle, which in its own right represents Infinity.
The Double Triangle, which is known as the Sign of Solomon, is symbolic of the Macrocosm. It is formed by the interlacement of two triangles and thus its points constitute the perfect number “Six”. Among many mystical disciplines, the Double Triangle represents the masculine and feminine aspects as being integrated. Magicians will often have it engraved on their brows and breasts during their ceremonies and it is sometimes engraved on the silver reservoir of a magically enhanced lamp.
The Tetragram is symbolic of the four Elements and is used in the conjuration of the four Elementals. These Elementals are the Sylphs, which represent air, the Undines, which represent water, the Salamanders, which represent Fire, and the Gnomes who represent the Earth.
In addition to these alchemical associations, the Tetragram represents the magical elements of Salt, Sulfur, Mercury and Azoth. Amongst the Hebrew, the Tetragram represents the name of their God. To the Kabbalists it represents Adonai as it relates to the world of Malkuth. And in mystical philosophy, the Tetragram represents the concept of Spirit, Matter, Motion and Rest. Finally, in the hieroglyphs, the Tetragram represents the concept of Man, the Eagle, Lion and Bull.
The Pentagram, the sign of the Microcosm, was held to be the most powerful means of conjuration in many rites of varied nature, including those of the mystics from the Abrahamic religions. This particular sign has undergone more of a transformation in meaning than any other magical diagram in history. It is interesting to note that the use of the pentagram dates back to Uruk IV, circa 3500 BCE, in Samaria, where the general interpretation appears to be "heavenly body."
By the cuneiform period, circa 2600 BCE, the pentagram or symbol "UB" came to mean "region, " "heavenly quarter" or "direction". In association with the Hebrews, the pentagram was ascribed to Truth and to the five books of the Pentateuch. In Ancient Greece, it was called the Pentalpha. Pythagoreans considered it an emblem of perfection or the symbol of the human being. The Pythagoreans used it as a sign of recognition and they called the Pentagram "Hugieia" which is usually translated "Health, " but can also translate as "Soundness or Wholeness", and in a more general way, any "Divine Blessing". Hugieia (Hygeia) is the Greek Goddess of Health, who is called Salus by the ancient Romans.
The pentagram was also associated with the golden ratio (which it includes) and the dodecahedron, the fifth Platonic solid, which has twelve pentagonal faces and was considered by Plato to be a symbol of the heavens. The Greeks, Aryans, and Etruscans (circa 400 BCE) shared a coin bearing a pentagram and the characters "PENSU" (Etruscan for five) . It should be noted that the texts of Solomon from the mediaeval period gave great importance to the pentagram, under the name "Solomon’s Seal."
It is documented that the first English mention of a pentagram appears in the legend of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Stanzas 27-28 (1380 CE) , wherein Gawain, who is traditionally the Celtic sun-hero, carries a shield " shining gules with the Pentacle in pure gold depicted thereon.
The early Christians attributed the pentagram to the Five Stigmata of Christ and/or the doctrine of the Trinity plus that of the two natures of Christ. It can be found on gravestones in the Claustro da Lavagem in the Convento at Tomar, Portugal, the monastery of Ravna, Bulgaria and the Church of All Saints at Kilham Humberside, Yorkshire, England, which incorporates the symbol on the columns which support the Norman doorway. It is indented on the gateposts of the churchyard of S. Peter’s, Walworth, England, which was built in 1824 CE.
There is a huge inverted five-pointed star on the steeple of the "Marktkirche", or Market Church in fourteenth century Hanover, Germany. There are also the numerous inverted stars that surround a statue of Mary and the Christ Child in Chartres Cathedral, built circa 1150 C.E. And last but not least, it is the official symbol of the Baha'i Faith. It is sometimes referred to as the haykal, which is Arabic for "temple" or "body."
And yet with the exception of Eliphas Levi who was associated with Catholicism, the Pentagram has never had any associations with negative energy or evil connotations until Eliphas Lévi himself made the claim -- with no justification or established historical precedent -- that the pentagram with one point upward represents the good principle and with one point downward, the principals of evil. (Eliphas Levi had trained for the Roman Catholic priesthood and was a prolific writer on Free Masonry magical associations.)
The Pentagram has been used by all secret and occult societies such as the Rosicrucians, the Illuminati, and on down to the Freemasons of present era. In today’s society, Neo Pagans and Christians alike now often subscribe the pentagram to evil connotations, though to my mind this is a huge misnomer.
At any rate, these symbols each have a long history of magical associations and, when utilized properly, can be of formidable power to the magical practitioner.
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