Monday, February 9, 2009

Origin of the Pentagram and related hypocrisies

The Pentagram or pentacle is thought by some occultists to trace its esoteric significance to an astronomical observance of the pattern of Venus' conjunctions with the Sun.
The pentagram (pentacle or pentalpha) is arrived at by plotting the recurrence of Venus' westward elongation from the Sun, over five consecutive synodic periods, which in time will create the points of a pentagram. This period is approximately 584 days long, each period determining a different point of the observed pentagram, taking approximately eight years, five days to complete the figure. One would get a pentagram by picking any sunrise date on which the morning star is prominent and then repeating the observation at 584 day intervals following that date.
Keep in mind though that there is a 0.0789 day slippage every 584 days, totaling a one day slippage each 12.67 synodic periods. This means that the pentagram figure is slowly revolving within an oval in a clockwise direction, alternating either one or two points ascendant roughly every 160 years. There is no observation point on Earth that would present a regular pentagram. Moving further north elongates the figure while on the equator the figure is an irregular pentagon.
The use of the pentagram dates back to Uruk IV circa 3500 BCE in ancient Mesopotamia where the general interpretation appears to be "heavenly body." By the cuneiform period circa 2600 BCE the pentagram or symbol "UB" means "region," "heavenly quarter" or "direction".
Venus is equated with the Sumarian goddess, Ishtar (Inanna) whose symbol is an eight or sixteen point star.
In association with the Hebrews, the five point symbol was ascribed to Truth and to the five books of the Pentateuch.
In Ancient Greece, it was called the Pentalpha.
Pythagorians 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 Pentagram has been found everywhere from Egyptian statues to Gaulish coins. In fact, the Greeks, Aryans, and Etruscans (circa 400 BCE) shared a coin bearing a pentagram and the characters "PENSU" (Etruscan for five).
It is 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) where Gawain, who is traditionally the Celtic sun-hero, carries a shield " shining gules, With the Pentagle in pure gold depicted thereon.

"It is a symbol which Solomon conceived once
To betoken holy truth, by its intrinsic right,
For it is a figure which has five points,
And each line overlaps and is locked with another;
And it is endless everywhere, and the English call it,
In all the land, I hear, the Endless Knot."

And yet with the exception of Eliphas Levi who was associated with Catholicism, the Pentagram has never had any established definition or translation in regards to evil or any other negative connotation.
It was Eliphas Lévi who made the claim, with no justification or established historical precedent, that the pentagram with one point upward represents the good principle and one downward, the principals of evil. Eliphas Levi had trained for the Roman Catholic priesthood and was a prolific writer on FreeMasonry magical associations. And as such his motives are somewhat questionable.
In fact the five-pointed star is also defined as a symbol of Christ, "the bright and morning star": and, inverted, one point down, it represents the descent of Christ, which represents his Incarnation. Lo and behold, there is a huge inverted five-pointed star on the steeple of the "Marktkirche", or Market Church in fourteenth century Hanover, Germany and there are the numerous inverted stars that surround a statue of Mary and the Christ Child in Chartres Cathedral circa 1150 C.E.
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 also be seen 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, built in 1824 CE.
And yet in spite of thousands of years of the Pentagram being seen as a symbol of health and many other positive aspects, the Pentagram is now held forth by a few so called organized religions as being a symbol of a dark foreboding and evil.
It is one thing to establish a religion/spiritual path which is often a mishmash of beliefs from other religious belief systems. But for such religions who were formed after the fact to engage in such blatant distortions doesn't do much to contribute to the understanding and acceptance that these same religions claim as tenets of their own beliefs. Until the members of such religions find the will and Inner strength to empower the truth, there will always be such institutional hypocrisies.
And as such these misnomers will continue to belie and disrupt any real effort at understanding and good will towards others...


seamoon said...

This was very interesting to me as I had never found information like this before. I hope others that read this will no longer view it as evil. Such a beautiful symbol that has to be hidden from uneducated people.

I was glad to find this blog and will continue to read what you write.

Lance and Jenn said...

I got a tatoo of an inverted pentagram on the center of my back. The reason I chose this symbol is just that, it's a symbol. I did my research on the symbol, and loved and related to the ACTUAL meaning of this beautiful star. Thank you for attempting to enlighten the masses.