Tuesday, October 30, 2012

'The Sacred Meaning of the Pentacle' Guest Post by Brigid Ashwood


Greetings! Thanks so much to Uplifting Reads for allowing me this opportunity to share with your audience.

The Earth Child's Handbook is an educational, craft and activity book for children and families who follow a pagan and earth-centric spiritual practice. The symbol on the cover of the book is a painting I created specifically for the series. I call it the "Kid's Pentacle" and it features craft supplies arranged in the form of a five pointed star with a circle around it.

The Pentagram or Pentacle is perhaps the most mis-understood of religious symbols. These days the two words are often used interchangeably, although in truth there are subtle differences. Practically the Pentagram is a 5 pointed star while the  Pentacle is a 5 pointed star surrounded by a circle.

In it's original usage - the term pentacle was simply another word for amulet or sigil, and the image inscribed on the object was not necessarily a 5 pointed star but any symbol that was of spiritual significance to the wearer. In modern terminology the most correct definition is Pentacle as the five pointed star surrounded by the circle, and it is this symbol in particular that is commonly worn by modern Pagans as a reminder of their faith. In this context the symbol represents the 4 elements of creation (earth, air, fire, water) - with the 5th point of the star representing the divine or "spirit". 


To modern Pagans this is a sacred symbol, it represents the vital importance of mother earth and our connection to it as both dependent and caretaker. The Pentacle emphasizes the interconnectedness of all creation and with the top point facing ever upwards, the continuing journey of our souls perfection, our desire to be reunited with spirit. Spirit to Pagans is the first element - the divine - that which is called "God" in Abrahamic tradition. The exact definition of course varying according to religious tradition and individual belief.

Modern misunderstanding of this symbol comes from it's appropriation by groups to whom it's original meaning is of little value and hence in their minds is worthy of no respect. Just as the Indian Swastika and the Christian Cross have been appropriated by hate groups, inverted and corrupted - so has the Pentacle (and Pentagram) been used with the same disregard.

Modern Pagans aim to honor this sacred symbol and hopefully educate their communities regarding it's true grace.

About the Author:

Brigid Ashwood is an artist, illustrator, blogger and author of various and sundry titles such as The Earth Child's Handbook (Books 1 & 2), Oracle of the Tarot Deck and more. She is a core contributor to Wired's GeekMom Blog and creates freebies for Geeky Kids with her monthly Printable Fun feature. Her artwork ranges from New Brow contemporary, Pop Surrealism, Steampunk, Fantasy and Fairy illustration, Celtic Knotwork, Witchy Pin-up to New Age, Pagan and Goddess imagery.

The Book http://www.earthchildshandbook.com

GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/brigidashwood Amazon 

Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/brigidashwood

Facebook page for book: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Earth-Childs-Handbook/124662954255734 

Art & Blog http://www.brigidashwood.com http://www.brigidashwood.com/blog/ 

Wired Blogger author Page http://www.wired.com/geekmom/author/brigid 

Twitter: http://twitter.com/skwerlgrrl

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BrigidAshwoodArt 

Tumblr: http://www.skwerlgrrl.com

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/105571732813733771460/posts

Author Brigid Ashwood has an amazing giveaway for readers! 
  
Tour wide Giveaway features: Both volumes of The Earth Child's Handbook, signed by the author. A one of a kind Pagan Kid's tote bag to hold your books. Your very own craft kit bag that includes safety scissors, glue stick, tape, colored pencils, crayons and 7 tubes of glitter glue. A $90 value! 

Check out this picture and then enter the Rafflecopter below!

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

1 comment: