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Wicca: Explained



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The seven pointed star

sevenstar.gif

Order of the Planets as they appeared to the Ancients in an Earth-centered universe:

1- Moon; 2-Mercury; 3-Venus; 4-Sun; 5-Mars; 6- Saturn; 7-Jupiter

Seven are the planets known to the Ancients

Seven are the colors of the rainbow

Seven are the stars in the plough (The Great Bear)

Seven are the nights in each quarter of the moon

Seven are the directions of the circle

Seven are the power centers of the body

Seven are the planes of the Universe

Seven are the notes of the musical scale

Seven are the Tenets of the Wicca

 

The number seven has always been a magical and mystical number. The sacredness of the number seven is taken from Pagan sources, as it is found in the famous pagan romance, The Golden Ass, by Lucius Apuleius, who was a priest of Isis. The story is a parable of his initiation, and he tells how he obtained a vision of the goddess upon the seashore by night, at the time of the full moon: "Wherefore, shaking off my drowsy sleep, I arose with a joyful face and moved by a great affection to purify myself, I plunged my head seven times into the water of the sea; which number seven is convenable and agreeable to holy and divine things, as the worthy and sage philosopher Pythagoras hath declared." (William Adlington's translation, 1566)

There seems to be something basic about the number seven in nature. There are the seven colors of the rainbow, and the seven notes of the musical scale. Western science recognizes seven chief glands in the human body, called the endocrine glands; while Eastern yoga systems speak of the seven chakras, or centers of force, in man's subtle body.

Medieval astrology has its seven Ancient and Sacred planets: Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury, and the Moon or Luna. There are the seven visible heavenly bodies which make up our solar system, the planets Uranus, Neptune and Pluto not being visible to the naked eye. Strictly speaking, of course, the Sun and Moon are not planets, and are more correctly described as the two luminaries; but the term 'seven sacred planets' was used for convenience. Everything upon Earth is under the governance, astrological speaking, of these seven influences.

This is why we have the seven-day week. Each day is ruled by one of the planets. The Sun rules Sunday, the Moon Monday, Mars Tuesday, Mercury Wednesday, Jupiter Thursday, Venus Friday, and Saturn Saturday. These rulerships go back to the days of ancient Chaldea and Babylon.

Also, in the Northern Hemisphere, we have the most conspicuous constellation of the night sky, the Plough, or the Great Bear (Ursa Major), which points to the North Star or the Pole star, and which consists of a group of seven bright stars.

Occult philosophy connects the number seven with the planes of the universe. There are four planes, corresponding to the four elements; but as each plane above the physical has both a higher and lower aspect, the planes can be tabulated as seven:

7. Higher Spiritual \ Force: Fire

6. Lower Spiritual /

5. Higher Mental \ Form: Air

4. Lower Mental /

3. Higher Astral \ Force: Water

2. Lower Astral /

1. Physical Form: Earth

The terms 'higher' and 'lower' in this connection are purely figurative. The planes are not places, but states of consciousness, and they are interpenetrating.

All of these manifold correspondences of the mystic number seven are summed up in the seven-pointed star, which some traditions in Britain regard as the sign of authority in Witchcraft. These traditions connect it with the Seven qualities, which they regard as the seven basic requirements for attainment in magic: Humility, Respect, Trust, Kindness, Truth, Honor and Dignity. (Doreen Valiente)

The seven pointed-star, therefore, makes a suitable lamen for the leader of the coven to wear. A lamen is an old term for a magical pendant worn round the neck so that it hangs upon the breast over the heart.

It is a notable fact that if the signs of the seven planets are written round the star in the order of their apparent motion, from Saturn the slowest moving to Luna, which has the swiftest apparent motion, then by tracing along the lines of the star one sees the order in which the planets rule the days of the week, beginning with Sunday (the Sun) passing to Monday (the Moon), and so on ending with Saturday (Saturn).

Seven is pre-eminently the sacred and mystical number. Most people are familiar with its popular connotations, such as the seven continents, the seven seas and the belief that the seventh child of a seventh child has supernormal powers. But there is an important idea connected with this number which is less well known, and that is its association with the magic circle.

In the magic circle, we have the four quarters, or cardinal points, north, south, east and west, plus the height and depth, above and below. These are the six directions, and the center of the circle, the place of stillness from which they all radiate, is the seventh.

THE CENTER
(Mircea Eliade)

A universe comes to birth from its center;

It spreads out from a central point that is,

As it were, its navel...

The Center is precisely the place where a break in plane occurs,

Where space becomes sacred, hence pre-eminently real.

A creation implies a super-absence of reality, in other words,

An eruption of the sacred into the world.

from http://www.wiccanway.net/teach35.html