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Occult Symbols

Occult Symbols

Baphomet – The Goat of Mendes

The image of Baphomet was originally created in 1854 by occultist Eliphas Levi for his book Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie (“Dogmas and Rituals of High Magic”). It reflects a number of principles considered fundamental to occultists, and was influenced by Hermeticism, Kabbalah, and alchemy, among other sources.
Eliphas Levi’s Baphomet of Mendes


The Rosy Cross or Rose Cross


The Rose Cross is associated with a number of different schools of thought, including that of the Golden Dawn, Thelema, the OTO, and the Rosicrucians (also known as the Order of the Rose Cross). Each group offers somewhat different interpretations of the symbol. This should not be surprising as magical, occult and esoteric symbols are frequently used to communicate ideas more complex than is possible to express in speech.
This specific version of the Rose Cross is described in The Golden Dawn by Israel Regardie.
For the full article, please check out The Rose Cross.

The Tetragrammaton – The Unpronounceable Name of God
God is called by many names in Hebrew. The tetragrammaton (Greek for “word of four letters”) is the one name that observant Jews will write down but will not pronounce, considering the word to be too holy for utterance.
Early Christian transliterators pronounced it as Jehovah from at least the 17th century. In the 19th century, the word was retransliterated into Yehweh. The confusion stems from Latin sources, in which the same letter represents both J and Y, and another single letter represents both V and W.
Hebrew is read from right to left. The letters making up the tetragrammaton are (from right to left) Yod, He, Vau, and He. In English, it is commonly written out as YHWH or JHVH.
Occultists based in Judeo-Christian mythology consider the Hebrew names of God (such as Adonai and Elohim) to hold power, and none is more powerful than the tetragrammaton. In occult illustrations, God is most commonly represented by the tetragrammaton.
Cosmology of Robert Fludd – The Soul of the World
Robert Fludd, Utriusque cosmi maioris scilicet et minoris metaphysica atque technica historia, 1617
Robert Fludd’s illustrations are some of the most famous occult images from the Renaissance. His diagrams frequently attempted to communicate the relationship between levels of existence and the composition of the universe through proportions of spirit and matter.
For a full description and explanation of this image, please read Robert Fludd’s Illustration of The Universe and the Soul of The World.
Robert Fludd’s Union of Spirit and Matter
Renaissance Occult Illustrations. Robert Fludd, Utriusque cosmi maioris scilicet et minoris metaphysica atque technica historia, 1617
Creation, for renaissance occultist Robert Fludd, springs from the union of two opposite forces: the creative power of God impressing itself upon a receptive anti-substance he called the Hyle.
The Hyle
One might suggest that it is a part of God, the dark void existing in opposition to the creative power more commonly associated with God. Note that the Hyle is in no way evil. It is, in fact, the essence of not being anything: it is infinite non-existence. Neither half subsumes the other, as is indicated by the fact that while the Hyle circle and the triangle of God intersect, both also exist outside the boundaries of the other.
Intersection of Hyle and God
Within this intersection are the three realms of renaissance cosmology: physical, celestial and spiritual. While they are more commonly depicted as concentric rings, with the superior spiritual realm being the outermost and the inferior physical realm being the innermost, here they are depicted equally. This should not be taken that Fludd has changed his mind but rather the limitations of symbology. He needs to lay them out in this manner in order to display their associations with the tetragrammaton.
The Tetragrammaton
The unpronounceable name of God, known as the tetragrammaton, is comprised of four letters: yod, he, vau and he. Fludd associates each of these letters to one of the realms, with the repeated “he” letter being set in the middle, outside of any of the three realms yet at the center of God.
Robert Fludd’s Macrocosm and Microcosm
Renaissance Occult Illustrations. Robert Fludd, Utriusque cosmi maioris scilicet et minoris metaphysica atque technica historia, 1617
Background
Western Occult Tradition
Robert Fludd’s Created Universe as Reflection of God
Renaissance Occult Illustrations. Robert Fludd, Utriusque cosmi maioris scilicet et minoris metaphysica atque technica historia, 1617
Renaissance occultists often offer apparently contradictory views on the created universe. There is a common sense of a struggle between spirit and matter, where material things are imperfect and contrary to spiritual things, as per contemporary Christian teachings. Illustrator and occultist Robert Fludd often espouses this view. However, there is also a common school of thought extolling the creations of God, and this is the issue Fludd addresses in this particular diagram.
Symbols of God
The second is the use of the triangle. Because Christianity envisions God as a tripartite being of Father, Son and Holy Ghost united within a single godhead, the triangle is commonly used as a symbol for God.
The upper triangle, with the tetragrammaton centered within it, is therefore the totality of God.
The Created Universe
The lower triangle has three concentric circles within it, with its center being a solid mass. The solid mass is actual physical reality as we common experience it, the most material portion of creation. The circles represent the three realms: Physical, Celestial and Angelic (labeled here as the Elemental, Aether, and Emperean).
Robert Fludd’s Spiral Cosmology – Intermediary Steps Between Matter and Spirit
Renaissance Occult Illustrations. Robert Fludd, Utriusque cosmi maioris scilicet et minoris metaphysica atque technica historia, 1617
Neoplatonic philosophy holds that there is a single ultimate source from which all things descend. Each stage of descent from the ultimate source contains less of the original perfection. The result is a series of graduated layers, each one more perfect than the one below and less perfect than the one above.
God: The Ultimate Source
DEVS
deus
Spiraling Creation
Creation Model Versus Literal Composition of the Heavens
Sigillum Dei Aemaeth
Seal of the Truth of God. John Dee, public domain
The Sigillum Dei Aemeth, or Seal of the Truth of God, is most widely known through the writings and artifacts of John Dee, a 16th century occultist and astrologer in the court of Elizabeth I. While the sigil does appear in older texts of which Dee was probably familiar, he was not happy with them and ultimately gained guidance from angels to construct his version.
Dee’s Purpose In Popular Culture
Sigillum Dei Aemeth
Tree of Life
Ten Sephirot of Kabbalah. Catherine Beyer
The Tree of Life, called the Etz Chaim in Hebrew, is a common visual depiction of the ten sephirot of Kabbalah. Each sephirot represents an attribute of God through which he manifests his will.
The Tree of Life does not represent a single, cleanly definable system. It can be applied to the formation and existence of both the physical world and metaphysical worlds, as well as to one’s own soul, state of being, or understanding. In addition, different schools of thought such as Kabbalistic Judaism and modern Western occultism, also offer different interpretations.
Ein Soph
Read more: Robert Fludd’s Spiral Cosmology – Intermediary Steps Between Matter and Spirit, for another occult model of the unfolding of God’s will into physical creation.
Vertical Groupings & Horizontal Groupings
The next three sephirot (Hesed, Gevurah, Tiferet) are the primary emotions. They are the spark of action and are goals until themselves.
The final three (Netzah, Hod, Yesod) are the secondary emotions. They have a more tangible manifestation and are means to other ends rather than being the ends themselves.
Malkuth stands alone, the physical manifestation of the other nine sephirot.
Hieroglyphic Monad
From John Dee. Catherine Beyer
This symbol was created by John Dee and described in the Monas Hieroglyphica, or Hieroglyphic Monad, in 1564. The symbol is intended to represent the reality of the monad, a singular entity from which all material things are said to derive.
The image here includes graph lines to illustrate the specific proportions described by Dee in which writings.
Summary of the Hieroglyphic Monad
The symbol is constructed from four distinct symbols: the astrological signs for the moon and the sun, the cross, and the zodiacal sign of Aries the ram, represented by the two semi-circles at the bottom of the glyph.
For the full article, please check out John Dee’s Hieroglyphic Monad.

  • Blessed be thy feet, which have brought thee in these ways
  • Blessed be thy knees, that shall kneel at the sacred altar,
  • Blessed be thy womb, without which we would not be
  • Blessed be thy breasts, formed in beauty,
  • Blessed be thy lips, that shall utter the Sacred Names of the gods.

It’s important to keep in mind that Wicca is a newer religion, and many of its terms and rituals are rooted in Thelema, ceremonial magic, and hermetic mysticism. As such, it’s not surprising that many phrases–including “Blessed be”–appear in other places long before Gerald Gardner incorporated them into his original Book of shadows

In fact, the King James Bible includes the verse, “Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

“Blessed Be” Outside of Ritual

Many times, people use the phrase “blessed be” as a greeting or parting salutation. But, if this is a phrase rooted in the sacred, should it be used in a more casual context? Some people don’t think so.

Some practitioners feel that the use of sacred phrases like “Blessed be” should only be used within the orthopraxic context of traditional Wiccan practice, i.e. in rituals and ceremonies. In other words, using it outside of the context of the spiritual and sacred is simply inappropriate. It is regarded as a sacred and spiritual phrase, and not something that you might shout across the parking lot at the pet store, or to an acquaintance at a social gathering, or a coworker on the elevator.

On the other hand, some people use it as part of regular, non-ritual conversation. BaalOfWax follows a NeoWiccan tradition, and he says,

“I use blessed be as a greeting outside of ritual when I’m saying hello or goodbye to other Pagans and Wiccans, although I generally reserve it for people I’ve stood in circle with, rather than casual acquaintances. If I’m writing an email that’s coven related, I usually sign off with blessed be, or just BB, because everyone understands the usage. What I don’t do, though, is use it when I’m talking to my grandma, my co-workers, or the cashier at the Piggly Wiggly.”

In April 2015, Wiccan Priestess Deborah Maynard delivered the first prayer by a Wiccan in the Iowa House of Representatives, and included the phrase in her closing remarks. Her invocation ended with: 

“We call this morning to Spirit, which is ever present, to help us respect the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part. Be with this legislative body and guide them to seek justice, equity and compassion in the work that is before them today. Blessed Be, Aho, and Amen.”

You may decide that you’d like to use “Blessed be” outside of ritual, but only with other Pagans — and that’s okay too.

Do I Have to Use “Blessed Be”?

Like many other phrases in the Pagan lexicon, there is no universal rule that you must use “Blessed Be” as a greeting or in a ritual context, or even at all. The Pagan community tends to be divided on this; some people use it on a regular basis, others feel uncomfortable saying it because it’s just not part of their liturgical vocabulary. If using it feels forced or insincere to you, then by all means, skip it. Likewise, if you say it to someone and they tell you they’d rather you didn’t, then respect their wishes the next time you encounter that individual.

Megan Manson of Patheos says,

“The expression just wishes blessings upon someone, from a non-specific source. This seems to fit Paganism very well; with such a variety of deities, and indeed with some forms of Paganism and witchcraft having no deities at all, wishing blessings upon another without reference to where those blessings are coming from would be appropriate for any Pagan, no matter what their individual creed.”

If your tradition requires it, then feel free to incorporate it in ways that feel natural and comfortable and appropriate. Otherwise, it’s a matter of personal preference. The choice to use “Blessed Be,” or to not use it at all, is entirely up to you.

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