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Pentagrams & Christianity

excreationist

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Prior to its modern association with the occult, the pentagram was used as a symbol for the Holy Wounds
Connections between the pentagram and Christianity are many. It adorned jewelry, amulets, and battle attire of early Christians, especially before the cross was introduced. This was not only because the pentagram was associated with the five wounds of Christ, but also because it could be drawn in a single stroke, through one continuous movement of a pen, representing beginning and end (Alpha and Omega) as one.

Some also theorize that the pentagram was an expression of an early, secret Gnostic heresy, found hidden here and there throughout Christianity's history, a symbol of Isis/Venus as the "secret goddess," or female principle. This symbolism commonly shows up in the Arthurian Grail romances, which many see as Gnostic and in kabbalistic teachings disguised as knightly quests and their tales. For example, a pentagram appears on the shield of Sir Gawain in the fourteenth century poem, "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight."

The pentagram was embodied as a symbol of this feminine principle by the five petaled rose, found in many gothic cathedral ornamentations—they are truly subtle, not quite secret pentagrams.

Possibly due to this, and to misinterpretation of symbols used by ceremonial magicians, the pentagram later became associated with Satanism and subsequently rejected by most of Christianity sometime in the twentieth century.
I got to this topic because I was looking into "LineNum" shapes:
Circle - 1 line, Cross - 2 lines, Triangle - 3 lines, Square - 4 lines, Star - 5 lines.
Maybe there is another possible shape with 5 lines/strokes that isn't problematic....

I thought it was interesting that this issue seems to have been a relatively modern problem....

The pentagram is quite mathematically significant in regard to "sacred geometry"
e.g.
golden-ratio.png
 

Politesse

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Yup, you can often find pentagrams incorporated into Christian artwork before the 19th century, especially popular as an architectural motif. I have found in teaching about this over the years that most Pagans and Satanists are well aware of this, Christians not so much.

Interesting pentagram facts:

-In Paganism, the pentagram is often taken to symbolize the five essential elements of fire, water, earth, air, and spirit/akasha, or the five directions.
-Pagans and Satanists can generally be spotted at a glance if they are wearing a pentacle or pentagram, as Pagans wear it with the star pointing up, Satanists down. The exception is when a Pagan woman becomes pregnant, as she may invert the Pentagram to symbolically draw power from the heavens into her womb.
-The Japanese religion of Shinto also uses the pentagram symbol coincidentally, wherein it is called the gobōsei and symbolizes the overlapping nautre of the balance between the Daoist traditional elements of water, wood, metal, air, and earth.
 

excreationist

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-In Paganism, the pentagram is often taken to symbolize the five essential elements of fire, water, earth, air, and spirit/akasha, or the five directions.
BTW in my "energies" the star (5 lines) means "spirit" [rather than all 5 elements]
energies.png

I think these are about the oldest traditions for the 4 element symbols (which are very arbitrary IMHO)
4elements.png
I guess the advantage is that you can combine two to create the star of David....
 

Politesse

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-In Paganism, the pentagram is often taken to symbolize the five essential elements of fire, water, earth, air, and spirit/akasha, or the five directions.
BTW in my "energies" the star (5 lines) means "spirit" [rather than all 5 elements]
View attachment 35963

I think these are about the oldest traditions for the 4 element symbols (which are very arbitrary IMHO)
View attachment 35966
I guess the advantage is that you can combine two to create the star of David....
Yes, your bottom row of symbols come from the medieval alchemists; in combination they are associated with the alchemist's hexagram, an important symbol in its own right. A symbol is a flexible thing by nature; the Magician's Book of Correspondences has quite a bit to say about both five- and six-pointed stars, and I've encountered many more interpretations "in the wild". For high magicians in the Golden Dawn lineage, each point of the star takes the name of one of the archangels, and it forms the basis of the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram which precedes most rites. The body itself is made into a pentagrammatic shape as the ritual proceeds.
 

excreationist

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Yes, your bottom row of symbols come from the medieval alchemists; in combination they are associated with the alchemist's hexagram, an important symbol in its own right. A symbol is a flexible thing by nature;
Yeah some people changed the symbols so that it no longer can become a hexagram:
With the line away from the point...
4elems4.jpg
With the line towards the point:
4elems3.jpg
Also in those versions the line crosses over the triangle while in this one it is contained in the triangle:
4elements.png
These don't even form a proper hexagram:
4elements-earth-air.jpeg
Which is about the only thing those symbols had going for them....
the Magician's Book of Correspondences has quite a bit to say about both five- and six-pointed stars, and I've encountered many more interpretations "in the wild". For high magicians in the Golden Dawn lineage, each point of the star takes the name of one of the archangels, and it forms the basis of the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram which precedes most rites.
The good thing about the pentagram and hexagram though is that they can't really be changed (except being rotated) unlike the 4 element symbols.... BTW I don't find the names of archangels to have an objective basis unlike the design of a pentagram, etc.
The body itself is made into a pentagrammatic shape as the ritual proceeds.
Yeah I made a pentagram-like symbol based on the body in Leonardo's famous drawing.... (since I used a circular line for the head I had to do the arms as one straight line rather than two bent lines)
man.png
Maybe you meant something like this:
Pentagram_and_human_body_(Agrippa)2.jpeg
I think the Vitruvian man looks more like a pentagram
 
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