I have created a series of Pentacles in my line of jewelry. In “Pentacles as Amulets”: the five pointed star is found in nature; reproduced it in art, architecture and jewelry for centuries. From early times, the meaning has been consistent: the five points represent the various active and passive principals in the universe and reflected in human nature.
A Little Background:
In the 1880s, a group of influential individuals in England founded “The Golden Dawn”: and became an international organization dedicated to the research, understanding and practice of the world’s metaphysical “sciences and philosophies”. Before this group existed, the studies of the Tarot, Astrology, Qabalah and many others were separate, scattered and “incomplete”; (or so our texts have recorded of this period in history). The Golden Dawn as an organization sent their members all over the world to record, study and master the practices of the Occult (the study of what is “hidden”) for their use.
As what usually what happens amongst intelligent individuals in an organization, there were different opinions and splintered into a variety of different groups. One of their youngest and head strong was Aleister Crowley. Much of his exploits have been recorded elsewhere, but leave us to say his road was a hard one. In his youth he took great delight in poking fun at the establishment (including the Dawn itself!) not really taking into account it would have been better off to age more gently, the Dawn shattered over a series of quakes from the misunderstanding of all of it’s members, – with Crowley’s assistance.
Aleister Crowley’s life was a roller coaster of experience, decisions and it’s consequences. In his old age met and befriended Gerald Gardner. Their friendship has been romanticized in story and song over the years, but the culmination was that the lore learned and developed by Crowley was passed down to Gerald Gardner (amidst other resources) – including a very Jungian perspective of the personality and the importance of understanding one’s “Dark Side”; (please note: “Dark Side” used here pertains to the inner desires of the flesh and spirit which is selfish or otherwise encased in fear or other disabling motivations). Jung was a champion of facing one’s Dark Side and is best illustrated in popular metaphor in Star Wars when Luke Skywalker faced ”the dark side” with the aide of Yoda (Yod – the hand of god in the Hebrew alphabet associated with “The Hermit” of the Tarot).
To his credit, Gerald Gardner when founding his Gardnerian Tradition included in his symbols the Gardnerian Pentacle: a symbol illustrating the inverted five point star in the center of the larger pentacle with the single point up.
A quick comment:
It should be noted here the Gardnerian Tradition is vast. Since it’s founding in the mid 20th century many branches have evolved producing variations in practice and group structure. From region to region there are differences. Because it’s nature is an oral tradition – much is handed down from teacher to student. Thanks to print and now the internet, there is a movement to regulate the lessons, rites, songs and symbols of the faith, however the resistance to homogenize the faith is powerful and for good reason. Much of the study of the Occult depends on one’s perspective and ability to interact with their fellows and environment. Different people have different ways of expression.
This particular design is used by some circles and not in others – this is by no means their “official symbol” – indeed it is but one of many and should be viewed as such. There are several circles who have not used this pentacle for a variety of reasons; one is because of the confusion concerning the reversed pentacle within the larger one. Because of extremely bad press and an uninformed Hollywood, many people have considered any inverted pentagram is about Satan. The Gardnerian Tradition doesn’t include Satan in their pantheon – Satan is of the Christian Religion not Gardnerian at all. To hold the Gardnerians accountable for this is perverse and completely inappropriate; and yet when faced with the outer communities misconceptions folks tend to modify their own activities to avoid problems. The decision to include this particular amulet is up to the High Priest or High Priestess involved. In some cases it is not even considered.
Case in point: when Hitler stole the Swastika from the Hindi tradition. A symbol meaning the “Spiraling out from the core of the Divine” was perverted to refer to Nazis; the Hindi traditions who used it for thousands of years had to ease off from their use lest they be accused of something they have no connection. So it is in popular culture, as narrow minded people continue to pervert symbols and language, more and more people are confused with what is actually being said and done.
About this Amulet:
This Gardnerian Pentacle Amulet is sometimes offered to members symbolizing an achieved state of being: able to contain the knowledge of spiritual oppression; thus: transcending it. In some circles, the only ones who wear this amulet have mastered themselves with the ability to “change their minds”: in other words: turn depression to a state of bliss, convert one’s own anger to calm, break unproductive and unhealthy patterns of one’s life. It is not just to “face one’s fears”, but to rise above them.
As with all of my jewelry, this piece is created as a “blank” and holds no “charge” in of itself. The piece must be blessed by the person either gifting it or by the person who receives it. More information concerning the Gardnerian Pentacle my be found in my website.