How many initiated Wiccans or otherwise, have been using the so called `invocation and devocation’ pentagrams in wiccan/ witchcraft or magical circles? Quite many thousands, I imagine. Back in my early `initiate/ first degree’ days (almost 2 decades ago now), I was taught those invocation pentagrams, and used them (still do) when standing in one of the quarters (North, East, South or West) and calling a respective element (Earth, Air, Fire or Water).
To be honest, it was hard trying to remember which way to `draw’ those pentagrams, as they differed for each quarter/element. One easy solution was taught to me – that for Air and Water (East and West), one started drawing the pentagrams `towards’ the altar. But for Earth and Fire, this was not possible..
Well, last year, while talking about this in a shamanic ritual, I was doing a fire invocation pentagram with an actual flaming torch (outdoors, in the woods).. and explaining it to someone. An astrology friend said, `well, you know why don’t you? it’s because Leo is there!’. That’s all he said, and that’s all he needed to say. In a flash the whole thing clicked in my head, as I worked / visualised the related images. And as soon as I got home I drew it all up and looked at it to make sure – and then wondered – `why on earth had no one told me about this in my old coven days? and why have I not read about this full explanation for some 15-20 years?’
And I resolved to share what I had learnt/ worked out openly. hence this blog post. (but even this took me months to get down and actually do.. because of my laziness of having to sit and do all that explanation *fully*).
It’s not just this stuff that is lurking in my mind as one of many `do blogs’ ..There are plenty more magical things I have learnt, worked out, reverse engineered or just created by trial and errors or experimentations (magical).. that require sharing.
This morning, I woke up and had (out of the blue) just one thought.. that my subconscious had surfaced.. and it was.. to begin that sharing!
(ps. I had since then learnt, some of this stuff comes from or practised by the `Golden Dawn’ western magical tradition practitioners).
So here it is..the full explanation…starting with astrology.. (there are still some questions..which I will pose and hope someone can answer).
1. The 3-Dimensional view of our Earth & the Sun.
Above is a graphical representation of what the Earth & Sun will look like, if viewed from space, from a point of vie `above’ the plane of the ecliptic (ie the orbital plane of planet Earth around the Sun). As you can see, the Zodiac signs are star systems far away, but they can be `projected’ onto a sheet in each of the 12 directions where those systems exist.
2. Making Earth the Centre.
In astrology, we draw charts of the Sky, as if they are seen from the Earth. So Earth is placed in the centre. You can see from above graphics, how – slightly shifting the Sun-Earth pair gives rise to this. And because the zodiac systems are so far away in relative terms to the Sun-Earth distance, the view of them do not change. In this graphics, watched from the Earth, the Sun will appear to be set against the Zodiac sign of Aries. (ie Sun in Aries).
3. Astrological Chart – a graphical representation of the Sky
In the pic above, I have `got rid of’ the details and 3-dimensional elements, and only left-in the Earth, Sun and the positions / directions where Zodiacs are. This is a `view from the `top’ (above the Ecliptic plane). And this is what it means when we see or draw an astrology Birth chart. Note: The fist sign of the Zodiac – Aries- is drawn in the `rising sign’ position at Spring Equinox.
Note: This is the starting point now, for the invocation pentagrams!
4. Elements and Fixed nature of Zodiac signs
In astrology, each sign of the Zodiac is assigned one of the 4 elements (Air, Fire, Water, Earth). I’ve grouped and shown these in the 4 corners of the diagram. (not in any order or direction). In astrology, there are qualities that are assigned to signs. The qualities are Cardinal, Mutable and Fixed. I have highlighted the `fixed’ signs.
As you can see, Leo is the fixed Fire sign. Taurus is the fixed Earth sign, Aquarius the fixed Air, and Scorpio the fixed Water sign. Note that I kept their positions in the astrological chart.
here on it gets easy to do the invocation pentagrams.
5. Fire invocation Pentagram using astrological chart
The fire invocation pentagram is drawn, by starting the first arm of the pentagram from the `midheaven’ position, and `into’ Leo, the fixed Fire sign, thereby activating the element of fire. The pentagram is then completed by carrying on the other 4 arms of it as shown in diagram above.
6. Earth invocation Pentagram using astrological chart
Here, for the invocation of Earth energy, we start from the same (midheaven) position,, then drawn the first arm of the invoking pentagram `into’ Taurus, the fixed Earth sign.
7. Air invocation Pentagram using astrological chart
For the Air invocation pentagram, the first arm of the pentagram is drawn such that it `enters’ the fixed sign of Air..ie Aquarius (as shown above).
8. Water invocation Pentagram using astrological chart
The first arm for the water invoking pentagram is drawn such that it enters the fixed water sign, ie Scorpio.
Note: I have shown these (Fire, Earth, Air water) `not in the order’ of invocation, but in a way that initially shows you the symmetry of them.
Of course in Wicca / Witchcraft circles, the order of invocation, is
- Air/ East,
- Water/ West
- Earth/ North
I hope you found these full visuals useful and finally can see why the invocation pentagrams are drawn the way they are done. It is purely based on astrological convention of drawing the chart, relative zodiac positions on that chart, and where on that chart the fixed signs for each of the elements are situated.
The most important thing to have in mind is that it’s all just `conventions’ created by a magical system, and that in space there are only relative positions… there are no ups, downs left and rights; And that in magic, you – as the practitioner who is exercising the Will- has the choice and say in how and what you do!
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Copyright /sharing note: As an artist, magician and an educator, I work very hard to create these visual aids to help others. Am happy for anyone to share this on social media/ reblog above blog, provided copyright note (c) Mani Navasothy / http://www.QuantumPhoenix.net remains. No publication of these graphics in any book /course / training allowed without express written (and magical) permission from myself. Thank you.