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The Unicursal Hexagram

Unicursal HexagramUnicursal Hexagram

The standard form of the hexagram is not unicursal (i.e. it cannot be drawn in one continuous line, but rather has to be constructed in two separate halves). Unicursal forms (like the pentagram) are more convenient for ritual work where symbols are traced in the air with magical tools, and so a unicursal version of the hexagram was devised, probably by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, though Aleister Crowley later claimed it as his own invention. The figure is still used as a symbol of his Thelemic system and included in some versions of his Thoth Tarot deck.

The Golden Dawn article, Polygrams and Polygons, introduced the unicursal hexagram, allocating the sun to the upper point, the moon to the bottom and the four elements to those remaining. The fact that this form has a central point that is drawn as part of the figure (rather than the intermediate space of the normal hexagram) makes it useful for constructing solar hexagrams during rituals (the sun lies at the center of an astro-kabbalistic hexagram, making it impossible to "begin at that point").

All hexagrams represent the uniting of the macrocosm with the microcosm, but the unicursal version creates both the divine and the manifest with the same, single line, further accentuating the ultimate unity of the two. The disproportionate size of the points also places the emphasis on the spirit-matter dynamic, on the more direct paths to complete union.