Pentagram (also pentacle and pentangle): One of the oldest and most powerful images in religious, occult and hermetic symbology. The five-pointed star, an outstretched figure of a man, represents the microcosm, mankind as the universe in miniature. Its unbroken, continuous configuration, represents perfection, and is capable of binding evil powers.
The fife points also represent the alchemical elements of fire, water, earth, air and spirit, and in Christianity, they stand for the fife wounds of Christ. Pointing upwards the pentagram invokes the forces of Heaven, but inverted, it can depict the Devil's Goat, and a soul resigned to the underworld.
Universally respected, feared and especially misunderstood, the pentagram is a very ancient symbol of harmony, health and mystical powers and still considered to be one of the most potent. A common and unfortunate misconception, especially more recently, is that the pentagram has an inherently negative or offensive meaning, representing evil, especially being portrayed by the popular media in association with ‘black magic’.
The Pentagram, an astro-alchemical hieroglyph, is a geometric, five-pointed star with interwoven bars that can appear either isolated or within a circle, usually with one point uppermost, imbued with many esoteric qualities. Some commonly used alternative names for the pentagram include pentacle, pentangle, and pentalpha. It is believed to have originated over 5,000 years ago in Mesopotamia, as a graphic description of the astronomical movements observed in the conjunctions between the planet Venus and the Sun. Representing Venus, the pentagram is also known as the morning star.
Passing through Sumerian and then Egyptian cultures the pentagram is argued as being the original device central to the Seal of Solomon as well as serving as the ancient seal of Jerusalem for 150 years.
Many interpretations exist for the meaning of this mystical star, reaching across many cultures, religions and ages, mostly being of a positive or ‘good’ nature. Pythagorean mystics in ancient Greece interpreted the symbol as being the sum of the numbers two, (representing feminine/terrestrial), and three, (representing masculine/celestial), making five, the microcosm of the human mind and spirit. From that time, the symbol increasingly took on greater occult and religious significance. The five points came to represent, for Christians, the protective power of the Five Wounds of Christ; for alchemists and Gnostics, the five elements of spirit, air, fire, water, and earth; for medieval sorcerers and magicians, the force of Solomon over nature and the spirit world.
Like the circle, the ‘endless’ attribute of the pentagram represents perfection, continuity and eternity, with the power of binding evil forces and elements and therefore denoting good luck. As illustrated by Leonardo, the symbol is an allegory of the outstretched figure, the microcosm of man reflecting his integral personality and potential perfection.
Talismans and amulets were frequently created using the pentacle as their focal point, often with the addition of Latin or Cabalistic Hebrew characters and within a protective circle. These could be drawn on virgin calfskin or chalked onto doors and floors, or fashioned from metals, ivory, etc as rings and amulets and inscribed in wood, rock or bone.
As with other emotively meaningful symbols, the pentacle’s inversion is usually, though not exclusively, used to mean the ‘Goat’s foot’, or Devil’s Goat, representing Satan, and the ‘black hand’ in medieval magic.
Plantagenet: The English royal house from 1154-1399, beginning with Henry II and ending with the abdication of Richard II. The family then became bitterly divided and branched into the houses of Lancaster and York, culminating in the Wars of the Roses, and the death of Richard III at the battle of Bosworth in 1485. The Plantagenets sponsored the development of the great English gothic architectural tradition.
Princess Eugenie’s Blue Heart Diamond: The fifth largest blue diamond in the world, incredibly rare due to its sublime, ocean-blue colouring. It is thought that the princess consort of Napoleon III (1852-1870) held it in her possession for some years, even coining the specific shade of its colouring ‘Eugenie Blue’, before the infamous master jeweller, Cartier, spirited it away to become part of his own collection.
Pugin: Augustus.W.N 1812-1852; English scholar, architect and designer, largely responsible for the Gothic Revival of the Victorian era. Pugin, together with Charles Barry, built the Neo-Gothic Houses of Parliament at Westminster, between 1840-60.
Quinquerosa is the alchemical symbol of the five petaled black rose with the microcosmic pentagram representing the Opus Magnus; the perfection of man.
The triangular clock reflects the alchemical principle of the paradigm threefold man. Salt, mercury and sulphur are harmonised with the four elements, earth, water, fire and air, coming together in the seal of Solomon, or six pointed star.
In solid pewter and brass, with quartz clock movement.
Three plays an unmistakably fundamental role in all religions. Christianity has its trinity and also heralds three virtues - faith, love and hope. From Egypt we have Isis, Osiris and Horus and in Hinduism Brahma, Vishnu and Shive.
Water is the element of three and the triangle & water are heavily associated in alchemist medical signs.
Three is also frequently encountered in tales of quest and rights of passage. Commonly fiary tails and myth speak of three tests or riddles that one must withstand or solve.
The triangle shares in the symbolic significance of three. In antiquity it is sometimes regarded as a symbol of light. Often the triangle is used as a sign for God and is extensively used by Freemasons.
Reliquary: A specially made receptacle, from a ring or pendant, to a chest or a display case, to protect or display a holy relic.
Ring Cross: The symbol of a cross contained within a circle, also known as the Celtic Cross. The earliest versions of this symbol have been found in Ireland, and widely held myths state that it was introduced by either Saint Patrick or Saint Declan during his conversion of the Pagan Irish. Saint Patrick combined the symbol of Christianity with the Sun Cross (Odin’s Cross), therefore imbuing its meaning with energy, power and life.