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The Pentagram as Pentagrammaton

The PentagrammatonThe Pentagrammaton

The pentagram is a powerful symbol of protection and balance in which the lower points represent the four manifest elements. Each point and element is shown in its characteristic color above: red for Fire, yellow for Air, blue for Water, and black for Earth. The four elements correspond to the four Kabbalistic worlds and hence to the four Hebrew letters or sounds of the Tetragrammaton, the holy "four-lettered name" of God from the Bible:


Remembering that Hebrew is read from right to left, this name, yod-heh-vav-heh, is most properly transliterated as YHVH, but sometimes as YHWH (Yahweh) or JHVH (Jehovah). The Tetragrammaton is obtained by taking the lower four points of the pentagram counterclockwise ("right to left") in turn, starting at the bottom-right.

The upper point of the pentagram is shown in white, representing the fifth, unifying element of Spirit. This point also symbolizes the Hebrew letter shin. Considering all five points of the pentagram in turn now, a new word is formed - the Pentagrammaton, or "five-lettered name:"


This new word, produced by placing shin in the middle of yod-heh-vav-heh, is yod-heh-shin-vav-heh, usually transliterated as YHShVH: Yeheshua (also translated as Yoshu or Joshua). While this was not an uncommon name, and indeed was the name of the man who succeeded Moses as the leader of Israel, Christian influence on the Western Mystery Tradition highlighted the fact that this is the name of Jesus in Hebrew (Jesus is the Greek form of Joshua, which means "the Lord saves"). Thus the pentagram illustrates the emanation of the Pentagrammaton (representing the mystical Christ) from the Tetragrammaton (representing the Godhead).