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Thread: The Inverted Pentagram on Church Architecture

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    The Inverted Pentagram on Church Architecture

    Will someone explain for me the relevance of this allegedly "satanic" symbol and why it is sometimes found on Christian architecture?
    Why would Anton lavey, a jew and founder of the Church of satan use this as the most definable symbol of his religion?
    I was informed that it was not meant to attract demons, but to prevent them from gaining passage into a Christian church.

    The Christian Morning Star


    On the Mormon Nauvoo temple


    Amiens Cathedral, north window, France


    On the spire of the Hanover Market Church, Germany

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    The pentagram is not a christian symbol, but a heathen symbol. It represents the fife elements (fife? yes). However, it is actually a symbol of good spirits, and the number of fife is the ultimate unity. It is a very powerful symbol.

    The conception of inverted or not though only exists since the early 20th century, Crowley and other people created this concept to illustrate (and it really wasnt more) the different usages in different cultures. The Celts used it mostly in its upside form (with one point on top) while other cultures used it 'inverted'. But there wasnt a deeper meaning to it, it is just how it established in the specific culture.



    LaVey created, based on Crowley's writings, the Sigil of Baphomet, with Baphomet, the goat headed 'creation', as a picture of the devil (not Lucifer is the devil, but Baphomet). You linked the 666blacksun-page, so you know what it is about.
    However, LaVey's symbolism goes on, the Sigil is aimed to break the spell, and so the hebrew letters around read LVIThN, Leviathan, the son of Tiamat, the mesopotamian dragon of whoms body the world is made. Leviathan is the dragon of the abyss (a bad translation), norse ginnungagap, the ur-chaos from which all life sprang. Leviathan is the first born creature and thus the link between the ur-chaos and life. In the bible Leviathan became the beast 666, or 616, 'cause 666 is a wrong translation.

    The symbolism is aimed to break the chains that hold the old creatures and gods bound. But there is more symbolism to it, actually it has a quite complex meaning, which is not that easy to explain, as it involves a lot of really old knowledge, from mesopotamian and egypt traditions to the Kabbala, Hinduism and whatever else. Crowley was a hyper-educated person, and his mind obviously exploded on too much information, it is hard to determine the point on which he became insane. However, much of LaVey's views are built on those (along with 19thC theosophy ideas and others), and it is likewise important to understand that LaVey didnt like what became of his Church. He turned his back on his own creation, and many of the later writings actually were written by his daughter who took over the Church and turned it into just another elitist circle with perverted rituals and stuff, mainly because the people misunderstood deeply what he was up to.

    The name 'Church of Satan' was chosen for several reasons, the main point you'll also find on your blacksun page. Another reason was the same reason why Crowley named himself a Satanist. Both guys found a childish pleasure in shocking the public. And around 1900 in England it was not only shocking, but also persecutable. Remember the last witch was burnt in England 1898, the laws were still there, and now Crowley and Levi used the forbidden terminology.

    Likewise LaVay in America, remember it was the time of the puritans. But there was also the amandment that guarantees freedom of religion, and the most shocking name of course was Satan, in a completely christian based society.

    However, as said, the symbol is not of christian origin, not even of judaic origin, it is one of the oldest symbols and it occurs, like the swastika, in almost every culture. So it obviously made its way, like many other heathen symbols, into the christian symbolism and also architecture.

    I've lately seen a documentary about a nun monastery where an Irminsul tree was the center point of the altar. I cant say if christians just used known symbols to decorate their building (like in this case) or if they had some sort of deeper thought behind it.
    The pentagram though points to spirit energy, and it is part of the rituals to conjure spirits. So maybe their thought was to keep the old spirits out of their building by using it a certain way. Which would made sense in so far as they defined all old spirits as demons, a sort of threat to them.

    Some people argue that the direction of the toppoints play a role, one allows the spirits to enter, the other forces them out. Since it is used different in different cultures I dare to argue that it doesnt play any role in which direction it points.

    Hope this helps in one way or another
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    The pentagram really has nothing to do with 19th century spiritism/occultism or "spirits" in general. An inverted pentagram would represent the descent of celestial/angelic influences unto earth. It is a symbol of the perfect man with the points representing the 4 subtle elements and the Spirit. In the Middle Ages the 5 and 6 pointed stars were used as symbols for Christ, who is the Mediator between Heaven and Earth.

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    I was under the impression that the pentagram was associated with the sacred feminine. Venus and Earth have five conjunctions in eight Earth orbits, and draw a pentagonal precession in the sky.

    In any event, it seems that all faiths use it one way or another, and it is only recently that Satanists or pagans have attempted to sort of co-opt it for their own, resulting in a predictable backlash of fundamentalist Christian hand-wringing and condemnation.

    There are also many ways the pentagram/pentacle/pentagon embody the golden section and what might be called "sacred geometry", but I've forgotten more than I remember along those lines.

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