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A Note on the Inverse Pentagram

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Subject: A Note on the "Inverse" Pentagram

   by Don Webb V*
   The pentagram first appeared in Egypt, although it was never a
   popular of frequently used sign. The first pentagram was a
   pottery marking, a five pointed star in a circle. William
   Arnett's The Predynastic Origin of Egyptian Hieroglyphs (1982)
   shows the pentagram existed side by side with the five-line star,
   which became the standard in Egyptian art. Five pointed stars
   were found in Gerza and Tarkhan, all Upper of Middle Egyptian
   protodynastic sites (Set was the ruler of Upper Egypt). One of
   the Tarkhan pentagrams has a five-pointed star attached to a boat
   -- considered one of the first signs of the soul's journey
   through the celestial Tuat. The current Setian Pentagram,
   symbolizing the soul's separate journeying through the universe,
   has the same symbolism.
    The pentagram was used a Mason's mark in the late nineteenth and
   early twentieth dynasties. It is found on the roof of the
   Ramesseum, for example. It seems to be associated with the game
   "pentagram" still played in the Mediterranean. To play pentagram,
   sketch a pentagram and gather nine pebbles. Put them at the base
   point of the star. Your job is to place all nine pebbles on
   vertices of the star, leaving the base point clear. You move the
   pebbles into the star by moving up the vertex and then making a
   sharply angled turn. You can move as far as you want along a line
   of the pentagram, but you have two constraints to your movement.
   One, you must make one turn, no more no less (except for the last
   pebble). Two, you cannot cross over any pebbles already placed.
   Like many such puzzles, there is one and only one solution.
   Playing the game is an example of Initiation. After many false
   starts you suddenly get it.
   That the game was played among the mainly Setian tomb craftsmen
   of Set Maat, is an interesting phenomena. If you're interested in
   Set Maat (which doesn't have to do with "Set" the god, but the
   word "Set" meaning a place), read:
    Romer, John. Ancient Lives: Daily Life in Egypt of the Pharaohs.
   New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1984.
    If you want to know more about the game of pentagram, read:
    Pennick, Nigel. Secret Games of the Gods: Ancient Ritual Systems
   in Board Games. London: Kegan Paul, 1989. Reprinted York Beach,
   ME: Samuel Weiser, 1989.
    The pentagram journeyed to Greece with Pythagoras. Inscriptions
   show this use of it to mainly have had the two points upright --
   as in the current Setian symbol or the sign of the second degree
   of Wicca. Pythagoras used the symbol as a representation of the
   philosophical movement of bridging the gap between human and the
   divine. This movement was later developed by Plato in his break
   with Delphic spirituality and the proposal that humans could,
   after breaking with the confining nature of popular belief,
   actually aspire to divine status by way of hard work.
   Plato's ideas in this matter can be best seen in his Symposium.
   For a through analysis of Plato's ideas on the divine and need to
   break with popular religion, see:
    Morgan, Michael. Platonic Piety. New Haven and London: Yale
   University Press 1990.
   If you are interested in Aliester Crowley's idea on the inverse
   (or as he would say averse) pentagram, you should read:
    Duquette, Don Milo. The Magick of Thelema. York Beach Weiser,
    The pentagram's power lies in the exactitude and purity of its
   form. It has been used throughout European magical practice
   festooned with Roman and Hebrew letters and sigils of various
   sorts. Oswald Wirth adopted a simpler version -- the pentagram,
   connoting the head of a goat, contained in a double circle with
   the word "Leviathan" (LVYThN) written in Hebrew counter-clockwise
   around the inside of the circle.
   Maurice Bessy chose Wirth's design for the cover of his book,
   Histoire en 1000 images de la magie (published in English in
   1964). Anton Szandor La Vey traced the illustration from Bessy's
   book in 1969 to become the symbol of the Church of Satan. It has
   since become very popular for album covers, T-Shirts, horror
   movies, and other aspects of youth culture. If you would like to
   make a tracing of the symbol, see:
    Bessy, Maurice. A Pictorial History of Magic and the
   Supernatural. Feltham: Hamlyn Publishing Group 1964.
    In the Santa Barbara Working of June 21, 1975, Set instructed
   Michael Aquino to remove the letters and goat image. This
   restored the pentagram to its pristine form with two points
   elevated. If you are interested in the Santa Barbara Working see:
   Aquino, Michael. Book of Coming Forth by Night in The Ruby Tablet
   of Set. San Francisco: The Temple of Set, 1975. (This book is
   restricted to Setians only; however finding a bootleg copy on the
   Internet is quite easy).
   This five-thousand-year-old symbol continues to remind us of the
   wonder of the soul making his or her way through the universe
   inspired by its challenges and his or her own Beauty. This symbol
   of Struggle and Beauty reminds each Setian of his or her need for
   Precision and Passion.
   The Order of the Trapezoid and the Order of Setne Khamuast WWW
   Site have special magical techniques using the pentagram for
   practical attainment, and it remains an ongoing field of study in
   these Orders.


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