Many great spiritual teachers, scientists and psychiatrists have delved into the vast world of symbology. Carl Gustav Jung was one of these and he studied and wrote extensively on the subconscious mind and how abstract images or symbols affect, alter and forge the conscious mind into action. Within the Wiccan religion, symbolism forms a large part of magic, ritual and communication with the world around the practitioner as well as with the spirits across the veil. It is very seldom that Spirit will communicate with a string of sentences from known languages such as English. Spirit communicates instead with the language of symbols. It is for this reason that Wiccan Symbols are extremely important to learn. They knowledge of these symbols will assist you with communication as well as successful magic in your own life.
In this article we will cover the main Wiccan symbols as well as others that are less well known, to use in your magical and mundane life, around your home and in areas of your life where you need the entire concepts without anyone else consciously knowing what they mean.
The Pentagram, The Pentacle and the difference.
The Pentagram is the star shape or five-pointed star without a containing circle. It is extremely seldom that this image is used within Wicca as a symbol of the faith. The Pentagram is used in invocations and there are various ways of tracing this image in the air in front of you to invoke or banish the elements. Each element has its own trace. The pentacle on the other hand, is the symbol of Wiccan faith. It is the symbol of the 4 elements and the 5th or upright point of the star being positioned to place spirit before the mundane. The upright pentacle is also the symbol of the 1st degree in Gardnerian Wicca. The inverted pentagram is a simplified version of the Goat of Mendes, shown below, as well as a depiction of placing the mundane or the self over spirit.
The inverted pentacle in Wicca is the mark of the 2nd degree initiate within the Gardnerian tradition. It symbolises the path of introspection as well as the descent of the Goddess.
The Goat of Mendes
The Elements and their placement on the Wiccan Pentacle
As we mentioned above, the pentacle’s 5 points each have a different element assigned to each of them. By looking at the image above you can see the balance, which is always something extremely important in Wicca. It is spirit that encompasses everything and is the head of the hierarchical chain within the symbolism of the pentacle. It is then balanced by male-female on the left and female-male on the right. This mirrors the entire cosmic world view within the Wiccan religion.
Spirit, Ether, Akasha, The Universal
The symbol above reflects the beginning of the Flower of Life, pictured below. It is also the first conscious moment within the Wiccan story of creation. The black point in the centre is the Source, the Universal spirit and the circle is the representation of the first act of consciousness, which would of course take place in the most natural way, a circle.
The Sacred Geometrical design of the Flower of Life
The Element of Air
Found on the upper left point of the Wiccan Pentacle, the element of Air is masculine. It is represented to be masculine by the upright or phallic triangle. The line through the top of the triangle assists us in remembering that the element of Air governs the head, the mind, the thoughts and all ideas in clarity or in confusion. It is placed in an origin position as the first conscious thought of spirit is what gave rise to what we know as life.
The Element of Earth
Represented by what is known in Wicca as the ‘womb-triangle’, earth is positioned at the bottom left of the Wiccan pentacle. It is helpful to remember that this symbol is earth by looking at the positioning of the line, which is at the lowest point of the triangle, just like the earth beneath your feet. Earth is feminine and governs the stability, the foundation and the entire world around you.
The Element of Fire
Fire is represented by the upright phallic triangle only. It is also masculine, just like air. Fire is passion and drive, energy, chaos and attributed to the willpower of the Wiccan practitioner. It is a constant moving force and is used within Wicca to send off magic. It is positioned in the bottom right of the pentacle because it balances Earth and is the opposite element of water.
The Element of Water
Water is the first element found on the right of the Wiccan pentacle. It balances the masculine energy of Air, thought and reason, and is represented by the ‘womb-triangle’ like Earth. The difference between Water and Earth is that water cannot be held. It is the emotional ebb and flow of all life. It is the first heart action of the Goddess and it governs every emotional aspect on this planet.
The symbols of the Goddess
The goddess within Wicca in her general aspect is the Lady of the moon and the stars. She is the night sky. She personifies everything feminine. Her name is The Lady or the White Goddess or the Dark Goddess, her form is known as the triple goddess, and it encompasses the maiden (represented in the top image by the waxing crescent), the mother (represented by the full moon), and the crone (represented by the waning crescent). The image below the triple Goddess symbol is another variation of this symbol. The Goddess is everything in the void, the darkness, the left-hand side, the potential, wisdom of the ages that has not yet been realised, and with the elements She is Earth and She is Water.
The symbol of the Horned God
The symbol above is the symbol of the divine consort of the Goddess, The Lord of the Hunt, The Horned God. He is the wild woods, the half goat, half man God. He has both a light and shadow side and has many personalities within himself, just like the Goddess. The symbol above seems like a crescent moon, but it is only meant to look like that to represent the fact that he is the divine consort of the Lady. The crescent moon above the spirit circle is in fact horns. He governs everything masculine, everything in the light, everything tangible and already made manifest. Elements that belong to him are Air and Fire.
The Rebirth and Spirituality Spiral and its importance
The Spiral concept is perhaps one of the most important concepts to learn with Wiccan symbols. The spiral on the left is known as the reincarnation or rebirth spiral. The spiral on the right is known as the spirit spiral. When both spirit and reincarnation are placed on top of each other, the circle of the truth of existence is complete. Wiccan philosophy teaches how the spiral is the map of the universe. Not a straight line upward or downward but a spiral through life, round and round again, this means that you can be on the same path as the person next to you but on different distances from the next phase of your existence.