Wicca symbols have been with us for centuries but are still as relevant to modern day Pagans and Wiccans as they ever were. Although there is some variation in the symbols from group to group, they are more often consistent in the conditions that they represent than not. This is an article on some of the most popular and potent symbols, which I have chosen because to me, they most strongly embody Wicca and what it stands for.
One of the most instantly recognisable of Wicca symbols is that of the pentacle - also known as the Witch's Foot. It is a 5 point star in a circle and each point represents (going clockwise and starting at the top):
The circle around them unifies and binds them all. This Wicca symbol is extremely important and powerful as it represents you and your place within the world and its elements - you are the spirit. Each has equal placing, and to take out one element would be to change the very nature of the union.
This is the symbol that Wiccans wear to identify themselves and others with, making it the most identifiable mark of the Wiccan religion. It is worn with pride, and to mark the wearer's dedication to, and respect for nature.
However, wearing this Wicca symbol is not without potential issues. There has long been a great misunderstanding that Wicca is somehow connected with dark forces, even Satanism. Fortunately, this could not be further from the truth. In fact, the wearer is stating that they are on a Magickal path, but one which will take them away from evil, not towards it. It signifies their desire to worship and honour natures in all its forms, and with respect for its great power. It is a personal pledge to give to nature and not to take from it unnecessarily.
Very similar to the pentacle, is the Wicca symbol of the pentagram - the 5 pointed star of the pentacle but which stands alone. This dynamic symbol represents the perfection found in nature and may be more familiar to you than you think - think of Leonardo Da Vinci's Vitruvian Man! Pythagoreans also viewed it as a mathematical perfection. As much misunderstood as the pentacle, it has also been considered connected with dark forces, particularly when inverted.
But there are signs that things are changing and Wicca is starting to shake off these old style views. In April of 2007 in America, it was ruled that the pentacle would be recognised and issued in military cemeteries and for tombstones, where previously this had been denied.
So, what do the individual Wicca symbols that make up the pentagram represent in themselves?
Earth is sometimes formed as a Wicca symbol by using the quartered circle, the perfect cross within the sphere or alternatively as an inverted triangle with a horizontal line half way up. The symbol of earth is a feminine energy - earth and Mother Nature are often one and the same. It is the very foundation of our existence.
The Wicca symbol of air is almost the same as the triangle symbol for earth but the triangle is upright. This element is all around us, essential for life itself but also invisible so an element that we can easily take for granted. This symbol urges us to honour and respect it. On Wiccan altars, incense is often used on the east to represent air.
Water and fire also use the triangle but without the lines through them. Fire is upright and water is inverted.
The force and destructive power of fire cannot be mistaken. It is wondrous to behold when contained, but there is an ever present sense that it could take control from your hands at any time. This Wicca symbol acts as both a reminder and a warning to take seriously the great force that nature can be.
Water is the giver of life as well as deep and mysterious. Many people find that they have a great affinity with water and the sea, more so than the other elements as it seems to personify so many human emotions and characteristics. It is hard not to stand and watch the ocean without feeling at one with it.
These core Wicca symbols are only a few of the hundreds that you can study to further your understanding of both Wiccan and the planet that we inhabit, instilling a respect that will make you feel more complete.
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