Pentagram: Symbol of the second degree

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As mentioned in the Witch/Wiccan F.A.Q.s at,

“[i]n some Wiccan traditions, the reversed pentagram is a symbol of “second degree” status – one who has been elevated from “initiate”.” This is in reference to the initiation rites used in most Wiccan traditions.

Vivianne Crowley, pagan author of Wicca: The Old Religion in the New Millennium, explains:

The symbol of the second degree is the downward-pointing Pentagram popup window, a symbol associated with the Christian Devil. This is not however the symbol of the Christians’ ‘Evil One,’ but the symbol of the Horned God, the Dark Lord of Death.

Why is the pentagram reversed? The pentagram with its five sides is a very important symbol in Wicca. In terms of spiritual growth, the pentagram is symbolic of the four functions of the personality, together with the fifth or transcendent function, the Self. The five-pointed pentagram shows that the fifth function has emerged, but is not yet transcendent. It lies buried beneath the other four. It is only with the third degree that the pentagram tilts over and attains its rightful upright direction. To turn the pentagram we must uncover that which is hidden, the unknown parts of ourselves.

– Source: Vivianne Crowley, Wicca: The Old Religion in the New Millennium. Thorsons, London. 1996. Pages 194-195

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This post was last updated: Jul. 6, 2006