The symbol of the Pentagram is both ancient and mysterious, modern and self-evident.
As an occult glyph it is closely associated with today’s modern Witchcraft tradition – though its roots pre-date even Pagan times. As a contemporary symbol it is included in everything from corporate logos through to the national flags of many countries.
In their book Magic of the Iron Pentagram writer Jane Meredith and Witch Gede Parma offer a new approach to this established symbol by extending the pentagram’s magical essence into new areas.
A Tool for Reawakening
In their book Meredith and Parma explain the background to the iron pentacle in particular.
They describe it as ‘…a magical tool of experiential spirituality.’ and one that arises from the work of two contemporary and connected traditions of Witchcraft; namely those of Anderson Ferring and Reclaiming.’
The Iron Pentacle is said to be a revolutionary construct that relates directly to the physical extremities of the human body – much in the same way that was described by Da Vinci in his emblem of the Vitruvian Man back in the 15th century.
Th authors also consider the physical material from which the Iron Pentacle is created to be significant; for iron is the most common element on this planet and is also found within every cell of the human body.
Path to Ignite Awareness
The authors also extend the concepts wrapped around this tool. They state that it reveals our own deep connection to divinity and allows us to open to a more authentic experience of who we are.
It is said to be able to teach us how to balance five specific qualities. These are;
The writers dedicate one chapter of their book to each of these five concepts or principles.
1 – Sex is first introduced as relating to the apex of the Pentacle. Here it is described essentially as a function of the head rather than the genitals. It is also connected to the Star Goddess and the birthing of all things.
2 – The second aspect of the Iron Pentacle is that held by the position of the right foot. This is said to equate to the human characteristic of pride. It is said to be in this position as it represents the process of stepping forward into the realm of relating, interacting and being seen.
3 – The third position is described by the authors as being connected to the left hand and as such pertains to the concept of Self. At this point the authors explain how the ancient Greek axiom of ‘Know Thyself’ is important in helping to establish one’s unique sense of identity.
Here the author’s comment on the difference between the true expression of self and the self-indulgent social disease of narcissism which currently pervades the whole of the Western World.
4 – The Principle of power holds the fourth position of the Iron Pentacle. Here Meredith and Parma observe the effects of this dynamic from both a personal and sociological standpoint.
They reflect upon the uses of Power to effect social and political change as well as investigating process that initiate transformation using Power.
5 – The final quality of the Iron Pentagram is offered as that of Passion. One of the techniques that is offered by way of extending our inner sense of passion is that of the vow. Here the authors unify the two by way of externalising our selves and committing to that which is most sacred to ourselves.
Iron Pentacle Tools
In the closing segment of this book the readers are offered a sequence of techniques that are said to augment Iron Pentacle work.
These include grounding and centering, creating ritual space, casting a circle, meditation, trance, and the aligning of the Three Souls. It closes with a brief look at what is known as the Pearl Pentacle – one which relates to the concepts of Love, Law, Knowledge, Liberty and Wisdom.
Our Review of ‘Magic of the Iron Pentacle’ by Jane Meredith and Gede Parma
Magic of the Iron Pentacle is a book that calls more upon the Pagan philosophy of Starhawk than the core Witchcraft tradition of Gerald Gardner and this makes it a book that is heavy on pseudo-psychological analysis as seen from a Wiccan perspective rather than a handbook on how to use the properties of the Iron Pentacle within a practical or ritualistic magical context.
The discrepancy between the two key elements of Wicca – theoretical and practical, makes this book a real challenge to read for it not only does not reference standard and accepted interpretations of the pentagram as used in magic ritual – such as when used in the invocation of elemental powers, but instead tries to supplant upon this most treasured and potent of magickal glyphs its own erroneous parameters.
This is annoying at times and it feels throughout that someone, somewhere down the line has decided to try and make a mark in the magical world by appearing to move magical philosophy into a new and contemporary environment by re-inventing the wheel – or pentagram in this case. I do not think that this was initiated by the authors themselves but that they are guilty of failing to be more discretionary in explaining exactly how magickal symbols operate and function.
Quite frankly this is not a book that I enjoyed very much due to its inherent sense of lack of core authenticity. As separate commentaries on five primary elements of human expression it is filled with many interesting moments which Wiccans will enjoy and appreciate but as a whole the book only really works, rather ironically (sic.), when you take the iron and pentacle out if it.