Monday, November 12, 2012

Mysterious Monday: Pentagrams

A pentagram is a five pointed, star-shaped figure that is often—and wrongfully—associated with Satanism. In my research for my NaNo story, I discovered many things, including how little I know about higher math.

Now, a star is not a pentagram. A pentagram has the “drawing lines” as it were, bisecting the star shape. Similar, but not exactly the same, is the pentacle, which is a pentagram located inside of a circle.

Most pentagrams have what’s called a “golden ratio. A golden ratio states that, well, there are all these complicated mathematical ratios that I could go into, but I don’t want my head to explode at this particular point in time. So, since a picture is worth a thousand words, here’s the picture and explanation from Wikipedia.

Basically, a golden ratio states that:

Red/green = green/blue = blue/magenta = some symbol that seems to stand for the golden ratio. The significance of the golden ratio? Hell if I know, but apparently, it is something that makes things aesthetically pleasing to the human eye. It is found in nature, works of art, and even ancient buildings such as the pyramids.

Another cool thing that I found is something I wound up using in my NaNo novel. It is called, “Wu Xing”. Wu Xing is an Oriental methodology of healing, using the elements, only in Chinese lore, there are five elements instead of four: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. There are three “cycles” to Wu Xing—the controlling cycle, the generative cycle, and the destructive cycle. The controlling cycle is the one that seems to keep with the format of the pentagram. In the controlling cycle, wood breaks the earth, the earth absorbs the water, the water douses the fire, fire melts the metal and metal splits the wood.

It is this cycle I have used in my story to explain the Nephalim healing methods. The Nephalim lay a victim in a pentacle and place the five elements on the body part that is in the point of that element. They chant until the “session” is over, ancient words of power. When they are done, they take the elements with them. After five sessions (to match with the five elements), the victim is healed. If the trauma is severe, the healing may take up to five, five session healings.

So what do you think of when you see a pentagram? Do you have nightmares from Algebra class, do you think of Satanism, do you think of Wicca or the Christmas stars on Main Street or what?

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