Symbols - Pentagram - TRUTH

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Gaia-j
7/13/2004 8:44 PM
1 out of 17

SYMBOLS OF THE TEMPLE :
SYMBOLISM OF THE PENTAGRAM -- (c) By Gaia

There have been accusations -- made by people who either do not know better, or who do not care of the FACTS but want to simply discredit and disrespect the LDS church and Temples -- that the Pentagram found on LDS temples is a "Satanic symbol". NOTHING could be further from the TRUTH.

Symbols are a very powerful language in themselves. The work of many famous theologians, ethnologists, anthropologists, linguists, archaeologists, sociologists and psychologists has
focused upon Symbolic and mythic language, and how various universal symbols and archetypes are used by and in turn affect human culture.

Let's look at just one single symbol -- it will become clear how powerful, universal and profound symbols are -- and how impossible, ignorant, and even *foolish* it is to claim a single, simple, negative definition or "meaning".

SYMBOLISM & HISTORY OF THE PENTAGRAM: (edited by Gaia,
from material by Calixto and others)

The five-pointed star is often represented as the morning star. The descending ray of the Nauvoo Temple's inverted five-point starstones (there is only one surviving example and it is damaged) was extended
downward. Such an orientation suggests the rising morning star.
This "star" is not a star at all, but the planet Venus.

Venus has long been associated with the Pentagram (aka "Pentalpha", since it's composed of five "A's") because from the earth, Venus actually inscribes a Pentacle (5-pointed star) in its apparent "movement" through the heavens. (Dictionary of Symbols, 1991, pp. 333-334). No other celestial object, whether planet or
star, has this orbital characteristic; it is wholly unique to Venus (the Morning/Evening Star).
Scripturally, Jesus has been associated with Venus as the "Morning and Evening Star".

Venus' brightness is a reflection of the sun, which is invisible below the horizon when Venus is at it's brightest. The extended ray points to the source of the morning star's brightness, not the planet itself, but the sun's brilliance.

The earliest physical evidence of the existence of the pentagram comes from the very place where agricultural civilization is popularly believed to have started. The pentagram was frequently found on potshards and tablets (which have been dated to as early as 3500 BCE) in the location of the Kingdom of Uruk (at the mouth of the Tigris-Euphrates valley). The symbol was found accompanying signs relating to the foundation of written language. There is also evidence that the pentagram was used in ancient Mesopotamia to indicate the seal of royalty, and power which extends to the four corners of the earth.

Continued p 2



Gaia-j
7/13/2004 8:44 PM
2 out of 17

The pentagram has appeared in myth and folk lore ever since that time. The Greek Pythagoreans (a school of both science and metaphysics, founded by Pythagoras 586-506 BCE) referred to the pentagram as 'pentalpha' because it could also be formed by laying 5 alphas (A) together. The Pentagram became a major mystical symbol in the Mystery school established by Pythagoras in Croton. Pythagoras seems to have learned of the symbol which studying in Egypt. The Pythagoreans viewed the Pentagram as a symbol of wholeness or soundness. It represented Ugieia or Hugieia, which is the root of hygiene. Hugieia also indicates exactly what the
Pythagoreans meant by it: soundness or wholeness (which is one meaning of health) or divine blessing. To the Pythagoreans, wholeness was important, and they greeted each other with Hugiaine! ("Be whole/ Sound/Blessed"), instead of Khaire! (the normal greeting meaning "Cheer"). The Pentagram was their symbol of recognition. It was the link to the Divine Aperion or "One which was the source of the Universe." (Interestingly for modern mystics, indications are
that the Pentagram was often inscribed "inverted" in this time period without prejudice.)

The pentacle was used to represent the four philosophical elements plus spirit. The four elements are caused by the four qualities (hot, dry, cold, and wet). Discussion of these elements can be found
in De Caelo by Aristotle. There were also associations with the first five regular solids (the Platonic Solids).

The points also represent various seasons in the year and in life, as well as the phases of the moon. Air was the point associated with spring, childhood, and the 1st quarter of the moon. Fire was associated with summer, youth and the 2nd quarter of the moon. Earth
was associated with autumn, adulthood, and the 3rd quarter of the moon. Water was the element of winter, old age and the 4th quarter of the moon. Spirit was associated with death and the new moon.


Since all of nature could be described in one glyph, it is obvious why the Pythagoreans assigned the name of "Wholeness" to the Pentagram. Wholeness was vital to health in their view. Only by maintaining the proper balance of the four elements and qualities
(as expressed by the four humours) could one maintain health. Also important was the harmony in the union of body and soul (this was Virtue or Arete). Soundness of mind was a prerequisite for all happiness and prosperity. In one symbol, one found soundness and
wholeness in the microcosm, and the macrocosm, and between the two.
It is in short, symbolic of Balance, Harmony, the Union of Opposites.

Some sources indicate that the inverted Pentagram was utilized by the Pythagoreans to show that their House or Order was well rooted or founded (the lower point being the root or foundation). These sources also say that the Five Truths on the pentacle were Zoos,
Psyche, Physis, Hypopteros Drys, and Dikaion, and were listed clockwise from the bottom point.

Continued p 2



Gaia-j
7/13/2004 8:49 PM
3 out of 17


PENTAGRAM - "GOLDEN SECTION":

The Pentagram is related to a mathematical principle called the "Golden Section" -- a naturally pleasing mathematical relationship symbolized by the pentagram, used in geometry, architecture, and even music. "the human body is divided by the rule of the Golden Section, exactly at the navel. (Lawlor, p. 59). It was
therefore used both as a symbol and as a mathematical relationship, extensively in architecture. Many temples and cathedrals have used this to build creations that naturally appeal to human senses of
proportion, balance, unity, and beauty.

CHRISTIAN AND JEWISH SYMBOLISM:
In late antiquity and in the medieval world, the Pentagram took on a new meaning as well. To Constantine, and others, the Pentagram represented the five wounds of Christ (the scourges, the crown of
thorns, the nails, and the spear; or alternatively, the four wounds from the nails plus the spear wound). Constantine used the symbol extensively as his personal seal and amulet. He had even considered
making it the official symbol of Christianity. This did not happen, although the Pentagram continued to be used in the manner in the medieval time period to represent Christ's sacrifice. If things had gone slightly differently, Christians would be wearing the Pentagram around their necks, not crosses.

At this time too, the Pentagram was associated with the Seasons. The upright Pentagram represented the summer season, while the inverted Pentagram represented the winter season. Jewish mystics associated the Pentagram with the five books of the Pentateuch. They also associated a vertical rhombus with the four letters of the Holy Name, Tetragrammaton YHVH. This is the name of Yahweh or Jehovah.

The Jews attribute the pentagram to the five books of the Pentateuch (first 5 books of the Bible). The Muslims attribute the pentagram to the five pillars of faith and the five times of daily prayer. The symbol is prevailent throughout Islam and is featured both upright and inverted.
Within Christainity the pentagram symbolises the 5 wounds of Christ on the cross.
In it's inverted form it is said to point the way to the Nativity -- the birth of the Christ child; and is also referred to as St.
Peter's Cross. According to legend, St. Peter considered himself unworthy to be crucified upright as was Jesus, so instead he was crucified upside down.

cONTINUED p 3



Gaia-j
7/13/2004 8:52 PM
4 out of 17


One of the last Pagan Roman Emperors, Constantine (who converted to Christianity on his death bed in the mid 300's CE) used the pentacle as the symbol of his royal office.
In Aurthurian legend the pentagram was emblazoned in gold upon the shield of Sir Gawain and symbolised his mastery of the 5 virtues (generosity, courtesy, chastity,chivalry and piety). In the legend and thence forth throughout England the pentagram is known as
the "Endless Knot".

In Freemasonry the pentagram or 5 pointed "Seal of Solomon", is associated with Man as Microprosopus.

"UNIVERSAL MAN":
Leonardo daVinci's "universal man" is often seen with his arms and legs outstretched, and along with his head, all five forming the "points" of the Pentacle -- also know as the "Microcosm" of the Universal macrocosm. Jesus has been associated with this as the
ultimate "Universal man".


PENTAGRAM AND KABBALISM:
In Christian Kabbalism (Kabbalah is a Jewish mystical system, it was somewhat altered and developed into a Christian metaphysical- mystical sytem during the Renaissance and later) there was another association for the Pentagram. In Hebrew, Jesus' name can be
represented as YHShVH or YHVShH ("Yeshua" or "Yehovashah"). These five Hebrew letters can be placed around the points of the Pentagram, just as the Pythagoreans placed UGIEIA - UGIQA around the
Pentagram. This fact, and the association with the wounds of Christ meant that this symbol was still very holy to these thinkers.

THE INVERTED (UPSIDE DOWN) PENTAGRAM:
Throughout the ancient world, and past the renaissance, the Pentagram was drawn either upright or inverted without any real preference. There was no real regard for orientation of the Pentagram, and the inverted Pentagram can be seen without any negative connotation in Masonic imagery, and even as the symbol of the attainment of the Second Degree in Wicca (which has many commonalties to the Craft of the Masons).

The first person who applied a negative connotation to the inverted Pentagram was Eliphas Levi (Alphonse Louis Constant, a French Catholic deacon who lived from 1810-1875)). He was the first to argue that the "upright" Pentagram was associated with good, and
the "inverted" Pentagram was associated with evil. He drew a diagram that displayed the two Pentagrams side by side. In the upright Pentagram, he drew the figure of a man. This man is the microcosm. Spirit is shown topmost and honored, dominant over the physical
elements of earth, air, fire and water. This was the symbol of good, he argued. In the inverted Pentagram, Levi drew the head of a goat. Matter is honored above spirit, the passive and base exalted above the active and Divine. The goat's head represents lust, and
reinforces the image. Around the goat's head, Levi wrote the words SAMAEL and LILITH, the two chief demons of Hebrew Kabbalistic thought. The Pentagram was associated by Levi with a creature he claimed to be the Baphomet supposedly worshipped by the Knights
Templar.

Continued --


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