Drawing Pentagrams

It is customary to draw invoking and banishing pentacles for the elements, as part of a spell or ritual. The traditional ways of doing so have seemed strange to me, and so I would like to explain my own methods, and the reasoning behind them.

The five points on a pentagram can be seen to relate to the five elements; earth (bottom left), air (top left), fire (bottom right), water (top right) and spirit (uppermost point).

The pentagram itself can be drawn in a clockwise motion – associated with invoking or bringing, or anticlockwise motion – associated with dispersal or banishing.

Therefore, when drawing an invoking pentagram, I draw towards the point in a clockwise direction, and when drawing a banishing pentagram, I draw towards the point in an anticlockwise direction.

For example, the two points connected to earth are spirit and water. Drawing from spirit to earth is an anticlockwise motion, and would be used for banishing, and drawing from water to earth is a clockwise motion and would be used to invoke.

For reference here are the invoking pentagrams on the top line, and banishing pentagrams on the bottom line;

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9 Responses to Drawing Pentagrams

  1. Michael says:

    Please enlighten us. Thanks in advance.

    • Pixi says:

      Hi Michael,

      I’ll reply to your longer comment up here, just cause it’s not really a follow-up to Will’s comment.

      I personally draw pentagrams the way I described in this post, because that’s what makes sense to me. The way I’ve always found described in books is to start by drawing towards the element you’re working with, and to draw in a clockwise manner to banish, and an anticlockwise motion to invoke. I changed the direction I draw in, so that I do clockwise for invoking and anticlockwise for banishing, because that made much more sense to me. But I kept the idea of drawing towards the element in question instead of starting from that element, because for me it feels like I am focussing more on the specific element when I finish a stroke on it, than begin on it. So, for example, drawing an invoking earth pentagram for me would consist of six strokes; to earth, to spirit, to fire, to air, to water, and to earth. Drawing towards earth begins and ends the sequence, which just works better for me.

      I am in no way trying to advocate that my method is the correct way to do things. If it feels more logical to you to begin with the element you’re focussing on, then absolutely go ahead and do it that way. I’ve never found anyone or anything that can tell me why it has to be done in just one specific way – no-one has ever given me a reason to believe there is just one right way. So I believe that the “right” way, is the way which works for you. Hope that helps. :o)

      • Michael says:

        Six strokes. Now that feels better to me than five if your not starting at the element. I’ve just always wondered why the Golden Dawn used the system and why people copied it if there was no reason other than tradition, which is often a good enough reason unless something superior comes along. I would still like to know if anyone has a technical reason other than a feeling but your answer is appreciated and is self consistent, which I feel is of utmost importance in a ritual. Being self consistent and ‘feeling’ right at the same time. Thank you and best wishes.

  2. kai says:

    Hi :) Makes definite sense to me. Thank you for posting this! The way you present it feels natural and logical.

  3. will says:

    You say: “The traditional ways of doing so have seemed strange to me, and so I would like to explain my own methods, and the reasoning behind them.”

    You then go on to explain your methods (which, as stated is different than the standard way) but do not mention the REASONING behind why you do it differently. Great job making magic your own… but you really didn’t explain the WHY.

    • Pixi says:

      Hi Will,

      I guess I didn’t really explain the difference between what I do, and the “traditional ways of doing so”. Normally the pentagrams are drawn in the opposite direction – you would make an anticlockwise motion when drawing an invoking pentagram, and a clockwise one for banishing.

      No-one has ever been able to give me a good reason for doing it that way so I thought it would be more logical to pair clockwise motion (usually associated with invoking) with the intent of drawing an invoking pentagram, and likewise anticlockwise motion with banishing.

      Does that make more sense?

      • Michael says:

        If using a clockwise – invoke and counter-clockwise banish why not start and end at the element in question? I too ‘feel’ that clockwise is creative and counter-clockwise is destructive, dexter vs sinister, Right path vs left path. So why not begin and end the pentagram with the element which is the focus? This seems more logical and seeing as how everyone either rolls their own or smokes someone else’s why not create what seems the most logical system? This is not meant to be critical, I really am curious about why the pentagram is drawn the way it is and if there is any worthy reason to do so other than because thats the way it always been done. Thanks!

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