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Stars as Esoteric Symbols

Star SymbolsStars are often encountered as esoteric symbols, and the meaning of any particular star depends on the number points it has and sometimes the orientation of these points as well. The stars have always been invested with a sense of hope and destiny, so look to the stars for inspiration, from the protective five points of the pentagram to the numinous nine of the nonagram.
"Every man and every woman is a star."
Aleister Crowley, The Book of the Law, I:3 (1904)

As a light shining in the darkness, the star is often considered a symbol of truth, the spirit and of hope. Aleister Crowley's famous maxim links the symbol of the star with the concept of the divine spark within each of us. Their nocturnal nature leads stars to represent the struggle against the forces of darkness and the unknown, as suggested by Carl Jung's use of the Mithraic saying - "I am a star which goes with thee and shines out of the depths." While the multiplicity of stars can have associations of disintegration, their fixed nature brings connotations of order and destiny, and it is on this framework that astrology is founded. The Star is the seventeenth trump in the Major Arcana of the Tarot: it is a card of hope and, esoterically, the uniting of spirit with matter though the mediation of the soul.

The Pentagram The pentagram is a powerful symbol of protection and balance, with each of its five points representing one of the five elements. It can symbolize natural order, the element of earth and the Horned God of paganism; it also plays an important role in Ceremonial Magic. The pentagram encapsulates the microcosm and internal energies, leaving the macrocosm and external energies to the hexagram. The Pentagram
The Hexagram The hexagram is a potent symbol of the relationship between the macrocosm and the microcosm, between Heaven and Earth. Most commonly seen as the Star of David, it has strong links to the Kabbalah and the Tree of Life. Classical astrology also meshes well with the hexagram, and it is a versatile and powerful symbol in Magical Ritual. The hexagram also has a more mystical, unicursal form, which is discussed separately. The Hexagram
The Septagram The septagram is a seven-pointed star, a symbol of synthesis, integration and occult intelligence due to its links with the number seven. It is associated with the seven planets of classical astrology and to other seven-fold systems, such as the seven Sufic latifah (subtle faculties), the Hindu chakras and the days of the week. The Septagram
The Octagram The eight-pointed star known as the octagram is a symbol of fullness and regeneration, and through its links with the great eight-fold systems of East and West - the trigrams of the I Ching and the pagan wheel of the year - it gains connotations of wholeness, rebirth and cyclical infinity. The Octagram
The Nonagram The nonagram or nine-pointed star is a symbol of achievement, completeness and also of boundaries. As a trinity of trinities, it can symbolize the utmost sacredness. It has links to nine-fold systems, such as the nine Taoist kanji (psychic centers, which are similar to the Hindu chakras) and the Enneads of ancient Egypt. The Nonagram
The Pentagrammaton The five points of the pentagram symbolize the four manifest elements beneath the unifying element of spirit, and the relation of these elements to the Kabbalistic worlds and the Hebrew alphabet allows the pentagram to illustrate the emanation of the Pentagrammaton (representing the mystical Christ) from the Tetragrammaton (representing the Godhead). The Pentagrammaton
The Unicursal Hexagram The unicursal hexagram can be drawn in one continuous line (unlike the normal hexagram), accentuating the ultimate unity between the divine and the manifest that every hexagram represents. Its points are of disproportionate size, which places the emphasis on the spirit-matter dynamic, on the more direct paths to complete union. The Unicursal Hexagram