Today we are going to have some fun with symbols. Starting with the pentagram, I am going to go through a progressive journey until we get to a representation of the Cosmos as a whole, with the union of all things.
I would like to encourage you to take a symbol and play with it as much as you can. Find all of the representations you can think of, or interpretations that you can find, and just play. Just take one thing and go right down the rabbit hole and all of the sub rabbit holes you find as you go down that one.
So the pentagram or five pointed star has many different interpretations and representations. We can put the alchemical Elements on it, which means Spirit goes to the top point. In its upright position it is often considered to be a representation or image that represents the right-hand path because Spirit is moving up into the heavens. If we were to then invert the pentagram or put it into its averse form both horizontally and vertically, we then have Spirit moving down into matter.
There is a difference between the inverted and averse pentagrams and it is discussed in Lon Milo DuQuette’s book about Thelemic Magick (The Magick of Aleister Crowley: A Handbook of the Rituals of Thelema). In one of the rituals Crowley doesn’t say the pentagram is inverted, he says it is an averse pentagram, and there was some debate around what an averse pentagram is. So if you were to take a pentagram and just to flip it on a horizontal plane, you would get an inverted pentagram, whereas averse means you can turn it on a vertical and horizontal plane, so for the averse pentagram you would draw it on a piece of paper and then turn the paper 180 degrees which flips it on both planes.
Now what happens if we take both of them? If you know me, you know I don’t like all this left-hand path and right-hand path, good and evil, black and white, and all that crap. It all needs to come together in union.
If we were to put the the pentagram into a circle which now becomes a pentacle by the way, seems to still be some debate and argument around the pentagram and pentacle, but the pentagram is a five-pointed star, and a pentacle is a five-pointed star inside a circle. Another rabbit hole which I am not going to go down now. However, if we were to put the pentagram into a circle, then we take that same thing and we copy it, overlay it and then spin it 180 degrees and remove the circle, we end up with a decagram, and that is another sub rabbit hole I am not going down today.
What we are going to do now is put the pentagram into the circle and we are going to divide the circumference of the circle into six equal parts, so that we end up with six points on the circumference. Then we take the pentagram and we give it some perspective so we move the five points of the pentagram onto five points of the circle. Now we can see it with perspective, somewhat three-dimensional. Then we take that and copy, overlay and turn it 180 degrees, and you will notice that we get a hexagram with a cross in the middle.
The hexagram is a representation of the union of two opposing forces. So you’ll see in the image we have a red and a blue triangle which is fire and water. We often consider this to be a union of Man and God.
Now we’ve gone from the pentagram which is a representation of the five Elements. It can be placed in such a way to represent the right-hand path and in such a way to represent the left-hand path. So we have these two opposing forces that we are putting together and getting the hexagram, creating the union of the two opposites.
Within this image of the double pentagram which is forming the hexagram you also get the cross in the middle. There is however one line missing so if we were to draw a line from the top point to the bottom point, we see the Witches’ Foot within the symbol. If you want to go down another rabbit hole, then consider gazing at this symbol and altering it into a three-dimensional object from its two-dimensional plane. There is a whole lot of magic wrapped up with that, and you would need to have a look at how the acute angles hold power and what you can do with that if worked with and released properly.
If we take all the other stuff away, we have a Witches’ Foot which has six points. Whereas the hexagram was two separate triangles that are brought closer together and made to overlap which brings those opposing forces into union, with the Witches’ Foot, we have a six-pointed figure with lines intersecting to create a seventh point in the center.
This is where we can now ascribe this to the Witches’ Compass, to the representation of the Cosmos and to all things, to all three Worlds and four cardinal directions. Here we get into the mystery of 1734. If you don’t know what 1734 is, then go and have a look for Robert Cochrane and his letters, and specifically his letters to Joseph “Bearwalker” Wilson who went on to form the 1734 Tradition. I will get to the relation of 1734 in a minute.
So we have the Witches’ Foot which has seven points. Six points on the outside and one in the centre. Because this is a two-dimensional image, you will now need to bring it into a three-dimensional representation. You have the vertical Line that is the Axis Mundi, the World Tree, with the three Worlds, Upperworld, Middleworld and Underworld. The crossed lines over that then need to be moved into a horizontal plane, and then you have four cardinal points. THink of the vertical line as yourself standing up going from top to bottom, from sky, into the earth. Then extend four lines from your center out to the four directions on a horizontal plane. That is the Witches’ Foot in three-dimensions. This becomes the Witches’ Compass, and this is where one interpretation of the Mystery of 1734 comes in. One Compass, with Seven Directions, Three Worlds on the axis and Four Winds on the cardinals.
This is the representation of the Cosmos. When you look at the directions on the Witches’ Compass, they each go into a Mythical Land where you find particular Spirits and you can tie the North point to the North Pole Star, or if you are in the southern hemisphere, you can use the South point tied to Polaris Australis, but this is where it becomes more personal, so you have to go down that rabbit hole yourself. But what you’ve got is a representation of the Cosmos with your four cardinal directions and the Axis Mundi with the Three Worlds. You can then go from there, and go absolutely crazy and play as much as you possibly want to and can.
So I just wanted to kind of play with one symbol and see where we could take it. There are so many interpretations and representations that you can bring into just one symbol. The pentagram itself has so many different representations. You can take it into purely being Hygieia, the Greek Goddess of health, split up the name itself and put that on the points of the pentagram, and relate those to the alchemical Elements. See how one element flows into another one as you follow the lines around.
Just go crazy and start playing. This doesn’t need to be confined to symbols. You can do this with numbers, words, names, especially if you look into gematria. Then you start creating numbers out of words, and words that equalling the same number have a relationship with each other. There’s just so much you can play with in Witchcraft and Magic.
I think a lot of people miss out on this type of stuff because we read something a person said, and that’s sort of it. Explore it further. Take an image or symbol and combine it with another, and find out if there is any representation you can pull out of it, which can lead to a better understanding of your own personal cosmology. Have some fun.