Symbols of Identity

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I like symbolic jewelry- especially necklaces.  I think a lot of people do- I’ve certainly seen a lot of people wearing cross necklaces- but many Pagans think this way too. 

triskelnecklaceCeltic Reconstructionists usually use the triskele, or triple spiral, as their symbol.  Being very Celtic-inspired, the triskele is what I wear most of the time as my symbolic necklace.  It symbolizes the sacredness of three in Celtic worldview, especially the Three Realms- Earth, Sea, Sky.  Spirals represent the cycles of life, death, and rebirth and are also symbols of the sun.

 People of Asatru wear the Thor’s hammer, those of the Feri tradition wear a septagram, and I think Kemetics probably wear an ankh. 

We all know what the symbol for Wicca is- the pentacle.  Back in the day, I used to wear one all the time- even when I was in high school.  I didn’t really get in trouble over it- most people mistook it for a Star of David.  The pentacle (a pentagram within a circle) is, however, one of the most controversial  symbols to wear, because of the associations with Satanism (which many Wiccans are quick to point out that Satanist pentacles are not the same as Wiccan ones- the Satanist pentagrams/pentacles are inverted- two points up). 

The pentagram originated in Sumer, not as a religious symbol, but as a pictogram.  Later the Pythagoreans revered the symbol for it’s mathematical perfection.  It was then the medieval neo-Pythagoreans who used the pentagram to represent the classic five Greek elements.  After that, the pentagram became a common symbol of European occultism, and this is how Wicca inherited the symbol.  Interestingly, the pentagram was used in Medieval times as an amulet to ward off witches and demons.
By the way, the pentagram has also been used in Christianity (the five wounds of Christ), and in Judaism (official seal of the city of Jerusalem).

goddesspendantsAnother alternative is wearing Goddess jewelry.  I did this in my twenties to avoid the controversies of wearing a pentacle, and also because it suited my beliefs better.  I wasn’t in Wicca for the shock value or occult aspect.  I was (and am) a Goddess/Nature worshiper.  I was Pagan, and Wicca was the only kind of Paganism I knew of.  I have a variety of Goddess necklaces that I wear from time to time, but my favorite is the simple elegant cameo I inherited from my mom.  I like the idea of passing down a cameo- wearing a tradition to my daughters and granddaughters.

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2 responses »

  1. Love your post! I’ve been wearing my pentacle since high school as well, and although not many people there noticed, I was shopping at Wallmart and this creepy salesman asked me about my “star of david” and told me that he had “other Jewish items” for sale “in the back of the store”. Not really sure what he meant by that, seeing as that I was in the electronics section…. 😛

    Now I wear a sword pendent along with my pentacle, just because I like swords. It has Celtic like designs on it.

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