LiPaPo 16: Wearing the Pentagram

Hello all~ this is the LiPaPo series, standing for Little Pagan Post. (almost) Every day I will post a short little post, exploring an aspect of my beliefs and practices. I hope you enjoy them ~ kitty hugs to all~ Joouna

For many witches, deciding to wear a pentagram/pentacle on a regular basis (on a necklace/ring/whatever) is sort of a rite of passage. Before, the only people who know about your witchcraft are the ones you tell. Afterwards, any keen spotter may notice it. In both witch-positive and also non-welcoming areas, this is an action of taking on responsibility. Wearing the pentagram says “I am a witch!” not just to yourself but potentially anyone else too.

With “non-welcoming areas” I mean areas where a large number of people do not tolerate witches, or Pagans in general, due to religious convictions of their own. As unfortunate as this is, it happens, and I hear about it very often. In this case it is be a good decision to keep it discrete, and/or prepare a strategy to deal with people who feel it is their duty to preach to you or even harrass you. In extreme cases where witches are indeed persecuted physically, even violently (yes even today), of course extreme caution is advised, and the best idea would be to move away if possible.

In “witch-positive” areas it can be a wonderful experience, but it also comes with responsibility. People, once they confirm you are a witch, may come to you asking you to help them with your abilities, knowledge and gifts. You may be asked to give readings, help them work spells, or guide someone on their path. In this case it is crucial to kniw your own limits. Help whenever you can, but if something is beyond you, say so. Attempting to muddle through something you know nothing of will just inflict lots of damage. Also, do not assume that you must accomodate everybody. If you have important priorities, or feel like someone is just using you, then you have all the right to say no.

In neutral areas there will still be people who spot the pentagram and respond in a variety of ways. They may ask in a polite, interested way, or they may go “OMG ARE YOU A WITCH???” (it happened).

The simple fact is that we witches are a minority, with myths and rumours created  about us over time, and while nobody around here will give a second glance at someone’s cross necklace, a pentagram may draw attention and questions. However, the moment we decide to wear the symbol that declares “I am a witch!” is deeply powerful and magical. If you feel ready for it, go ahead and claim it.

LiPaPo 15: Pentagram and Pentacle

Hello all~ this is the LiPaPo series, standing for Little Pagan Post. (almost) Every day I will post a short little post, exploring an aspect of my beliefs and practices. I hope you enjoy them ~ kitty hugs to all~ Joouna

Perhaps the most characteristic symbols of  witchcraft are the pentagram and the pentacle.

image source: http://www.panix.com/~ddellutr/astro/dvc-two-pentacles.jpg
image source: http://www.panix.com/~ddellutr/astro/dvc-two-pentacles.jpg

The difference between them is that the pentacle is basically a pentagram inside a circle.

Historically, the pentagram has been found in many diverse cultures, from ancient Mesopotamia to Greece, Celtic culture, China, Egypt and early Christianity. Its geometry probably fascinated the people of old all across the globe. Today it is used as a symbol for witchcraft, the Wiccan religion (primarily in pentacle form), the Serer religion, and is also found on the flags of Morocco and Ethiopia. The inverted pentagram has often been adopted by occultists to represent the devil or demons (and that does by no means imply that “the pentagram is a symbol of evil”).

The most common meaning of these symbols in witchcraft today is that it represents the 4 elements (air, fire, water and earth) and spirit, or the divine energy. The pentagram can be drawn in one line, and is thus a symbol of interconnectedness. (There is some disagreement in the community as to whether spirit can be considered an element or not.) In the case of the pentacle, the circle around the star represents the magic circle that is often cast for spellwork or rituals. Thus the symbols are also a primary symbol of working magic. Drawing one in a clockwise direction is used for invoking something, while drawing it counterclockwise for banishing. They also serve as protective symbols.