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Ch.16 The Pentagram(WMB 16.a)

Extract from: Wicca: Magical Beginnings written by d’Este & Rankine, 2008 (Avalonia.) PB / Kindle @ https://amzn.to/3Ay4HJr.

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Chapter 16 - The Pentagram- part a



The pentagram has become a symbol which is used to represent the Wiccan tradition, as well as a number of other modern Pagan traditions in more recent times. In the tradition of Wicca it is taken to represents the four elements - Air, Fire, Water & Earth - in perfect balance thereby creating the fifth element, that of Spirit. These elemental attributions can be traced back to at least ancient Greece.

However in the past the association of the pentagram with witchcraft was basically a negative one, serving in an apotropaic manner to protect from the devil and witches. Thus in Germany in the 1820s we find its use described in an amuletic manner:


“on these mountains on the night of the thirtieth of April, the witches, with the fallen spirits, held a great festival, a witch demoniac carousal … on that night they make a pentagram on the threshold of their doors, to prevent his satanic majesty, or any of his imps, from entering their houses.”[1]


This theme is mirrored in Goethe’s Faust, where the pentagram is a protection from demons and devils, which Mephistopheles complains to Faust about.



“Mephistopheles: Remove that parchment, and the path is plain.

Faust: Oh, ‘tis the pentagram that gives you pain.”


This idea was not restricted to Germany, as can be seen by the following example, taken from a story reproduced in two different women’s magazines of the late 1830s in England:


“The dog, or rather the devil, could not escape through the door, on account of a pentagram described upon the threshold; this figure, “the Druid’s foot,” “sive salutis signum,” being a bound which spirits cannot pass without permission.”[2]


[1] Travels in the North of Germany: In the Years 1825 and 1826, Dwight, 1829 [2] The New Monthly Belle Assemblée, Rogerson, 1838 and The Ladies’ Cabinet of Fashion, Music & Romance, Henderson, 1839






Extract from: Wicca: Magical Beginnings written by d’Este & Rankine, 2008 (Avalonia.) PB / Kindle @ https://amzn.to/3Ay4HJr. Shared here with the intention to inspire and inform the now and future generations interested in Wicca and other Pagan traditions inspired by it.

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Hello

My name is Sorita d'Este

and this is my website and blog!  Thanks for visiting - I hope you are finding what you are looking for!

 

Many years ago I dedicated myself to the pursuit of both esoteric knowledge, and an understanding of polytheism, the Gods and Nature.  I have been a full-time writer, author and publisher, specialising subjects linked to the occult, witchcraft, Paganism, mythology, ancient religions and magic - and all kinds of things in between since 2003. 

 

I live on a hill in Glastonbury, overlooking the marshes of Somerset,  a place of myth and legend, and a crossroad for many different religions. Here I am frequently found digging and growing, serving my fluffy rescue cat and navigating the unknown with my teenage son.  

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