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THE PENTAGRAM

The most widely recognized symbol of Paganism is the Pentagram,  associated with mystery magic and symbolic meaning.
The pentacle is worn both ornamentally and symbolically by many Pagans for protection.
The number five is attributed to the influence of Mars.
Thus some Witches think of the five pointed star within the circle as force or power contained and controlled by divine wisdom.

Its five points represent spirit, fire, water, earth, and air.
The four points symbolize the four directions with the fifth point as the sanctity of Spirit.
The circle around the star represents the God- Goddess, unity and wholeness.
The "spirit" is at the topmost point representing The All and The Divine.Water, fire, earth, and air were the traditional "four elements" of alchemy. The "fifth element" (the akasha or "quintessence"), the spirit, was used to explain phenomena that were otherwise unexplainable.

The pentagram is a widespread sacred symbol used since ancient times in many areas including Egypt, India, Persia and Greece.
Almost all cultures had a five-fold symbol, which was very important to their religious and spiritual life.
Whereas early Christians wore the pentagram as a symbol of their faith, attributing it to the five wounds of Christ.
The followers of Archimedes are said to have worn a pentagram because it represented angles and mathematical relationships.T
To the Jewish peoples, it symbolically designated the Pentateauch, the Five Books of Moses.
To the followers of Pythagoras, it was called "The Pentalpha" being composed of five interlaced A's or Alphas.
In the legend of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, the pentagram was Sir Gawain's glyph, inscribed in gold on his shield,
symbolizing the five knightly virtues - generosity, courtesy, chastity, chivalry and piety.
In Freemasonry, Man as Microprosopus was and is associated with the five-pointed Pentalpha.
The women's branch of Freemasonry uses the five pointed Eastern Star with two points up as its emblem.
Each point commemorates a heroine of biblical lore.
The star of life, a symbol of divine illumination, became stigmatized as a sign of heretical thought and eventually as something evil. These negative attributes were further reinforced by the use of the upside down pentagram by some satanic cults who are probably more "Anti-Christians" than "Pagans". as their beliefs are not those of most Neo-Pagan groups.
Modern media continues to distort the meaning of the pentagram by showing it in both its upright and inverted position,
yet portraying all who use it as evil.
In spite of this difficulty history, the symbol has survived, and continues to be used by those who uphold the search for divine knowledge.
The sacred pentagram maintains its many wonderful and magical ancient attributes and is still the symbol of life it has always been.

The Witches Creed
(Doreen Valiente)

Hear now the words of the witches,
The secrets we hid in the night,
When dark was our destiny's pathway,
That now we bring forth into light.
Mysterious water and fire,
The earth and the wide-ranging air.
By hidden quintessence we know them,
And will and keep silent and dare.
The birth and rebirth of all nature,
The passing of winter and spring,
We share with the life universal,
Rejoice in the magickal ring.
Four times in the year the Great Sabbat Returns,
And the witches are seen,
At Lammas and Candlemas dancing,
On May Eve and old Hallowe'en.
When day-time and night-time are equal,
When sun is at greatest and least,
The four Lesser Sabbats are summoned,
Again witches gather in feast.
Thirteen silver moons in a year are,
Thirteen is the coven's array,
Thirteen times at esbat make merry,
For each golden year and a day.
The power was passed down the ages,
Each time between woman and man,
Each century unto the other,
Ere time and the ages began.
When drawn is the magickal circle,
By sword or athame of power,
It's compass between the two worlds lies,
In Land of the Shades for that hour.
This world has no right then to know it,
And world of beyond will tell naught,
The oldest of Gods are invoked there,
The Great Work of magick is wrought.
For two are the mystical pillars,
That stand at the gate of the shrine,
And two are the powers of nature,
The forms and the forces divine.
The dark and the light in succession,
The opposites each unto each,
Shown forth as a God and a Goddess:
Of this did our ancestors teach.
By night he's the wild wind's rider,
The Horn'd One, the Lord of the Shades.
By day he's the King of the Woodland,
The dweller in green forest glades.
She is youthful and old as she pleases,
She sails the torn clouds in her barque,
The bright silver Lady of midnight,
The crone who weaves spells in the dark.
The master and mistress of magick,
They dwell in the deeps of the mind,
Immortal and ever-renewing,
With power to free or to bind.
So drink the good wine to the old Gods,
And dance and make love in their praise,
Till Elphame's fair land shall receive us,
In peace at the end of our days.
And Do What You Will be the challenge,
So be it in love that harms none,
For this is the only commandment.
By magick of old be it done!

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