The Rantin’ Raven: The Riddle of the Pentagram

The Pentagram
The Protective Talisman Par Excellence

Sometimes reading about a symbol again and again can be redundant, but I found some very interesting points in this piece. This is a refreshing article that brought The Pentagram into a new light.” Please take a moment and check out the link at the bottom.

Brightest Blessings Sisters and Brothers,

SunRay Sorceress

…The Pentagram has more meanings than any other symbol in Wiccan iconography. It means perfection, evolution, working to completion, and is a glyph of the way energy moves between the Godhead and humanity and back again. It symbolizes the five physical senses with the spirit at the center; different forms of it represent each of the four magical elements while one form represents all four elements with spirit either at the top or bottom; it also represents motion of the Universe, weaving itself within a place of perfect stillness.

…An interesting thing about these Pentagrams is that they are drawn backwards from the usual direction taken in invocation and banishing. Movement deosil, or clockwise, is generally considered to be constructive and invocational; movement widdershins (counter-clockwise) is considered destructive or negational. Yet the Invoking Pentagram is drawn with a counter-clockwise stroke, the Banishing Pentagram with a clockwise one – as seen by the person drawing them. In meditating on this oddity, I came to the conclusion that as seen by a person or entity on the other side of the Pentagram (at whom, presumably, it is being drawn) it is consistent with general magical practice. As with all things Wiccan, your mileage may vary.

Witchcraft Chapter six – Witchcraft in Isolated Societies

by Ilil Arbel, Ph.D.

In many isolated societies, the belief in Witchcraft has never died. The witches don’t hide their activities, and live as important members of the society. This happens in the Maori societies of New Zealand, the Barotse of Africa, and the Quiche of Guatemala. Among the people of the Marquesas Islands, witches are respected, but feared as well.

All of these societies believe that magic is neutral. The witches can heal or curse, depending on their character. Necromancy is widely spread, and the witches operate mostly at night.

Spells and incantations have particular power when the witch uses parts of the patient’s (or victim’s) body. Nail parings and hair are the best. If not available, the witch can use clothes that have been worn by the person. The strongest magical potions are produced from extremely unpleasant ingredients. The witch cooks the brains of dead babies, menstrual blood, bits of human bones, pieces of gravestones, powdered frogs and toads, and bats’ blood.

Obviously, all that is a low form of the Old Religion, corrupted over the long centuries. It’s not even particularly interesting, unless one is a student of anthropology. But some societies maintained a fascinating relationship to the Old Religion. Two forms are of particular interest. The first includes witches who lived surrounded by the modern world, but maintained the old ways. The second are the truly isolated groups.

An ancient group that has survived in Europe, almost intact, are the Basque witches. They live in the area between Northern Spain and Southern France. Those witches have maintained a system similar to the old covens; they have been relatively tolerated by the Catholic Church for centuries; and they observe a strict code when initiating new converts. Their order is headed by “La Señora,” an immortal woman who lives in a cave in the Pyrenees. This is clearly a description of the Mother Goddess in one of her many guises.

The Gypsies in England, at least those involved in Witchcraft, also have a woman as their leader, but she does not have to be immortal. When the leader dies, they “adopt” a new leader. Sybil Leek, the great English witch, was their leader for many years. Obviously, they worship a representation of the Great Goddess, a priestess, rather than the Goddess herself

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