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Glossary of Wiccan, Neo-Pagan and Occult Terminology

HEXAGRAM (aka 'Star of David')


There are many symbols seen in the various Neo-Pagan religions, and stars are some of the most popular.   But it can be confusing when there are different styles and types to choose from.

The number of points can be significant from a numerological point of view.   Here are a few of the more common star symbols, along with some background on their meanings.

In alchemy, the upright triangle represents fire, and the upside-down triangle is the symbol for water.   Together they symbolize the unity of opposites.   The hexagram is seen in the Great Seal of Solomon, and this symbol is often used in Ceremonial Magick.

The number 6 represents balance and beauty.

As the Star of David, the Hexagram is the primary modern emblem of the Jewish religion.   How it came to be such is a matter of some debate.  Legend has it that the emblem was used by the Biblical King David (hence the name 'Magen David,' or shield of David).

In reality, it was not associated specifically with the faith until the middle ages, when it began to appear on flags, tombstones, and synagogue decorations.   It is probably not coincidental that the symbol was important to the flourishing Kabbalistic tradition of the same time period.   Kabbalistically, the hexagram symbolizes the six directions of space, the divine union of male and female energy, and the four elements.

The Star of David is also important in the Rastafarian and Messianic Christianity.

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One of the major problems with 'defining' Paganism and/or its beliefs and practices is that it is an 'organic' movement, in that it is undergoing constant change and re-evaluation from within, and as such any 'one-size-fits-all' approach to understanding Paganism will be found wanting.

Due to the very 'organic' nature of Paganism, and the many differing Paths and Traditions within it, in many cases no one definition may be universally accepted by all Pagans.   Therefore, where such cases of possible conflicting and/or contradictory meanings of certain terms occur I have endevoured to give not only the generally accepted meaning, but also any major 'variations' in belief and/or practice.

Christians who believe this difference in meaning of certain key terms, beliefs and practices to be unique to Paganism need to remember that such conflicts also arise within the Body of Christ - the Church.   Take for instance the differing practices amongst Christians concerning Baptism and the different attitudes towards women in the clergy.

- Jean-Luc
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