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Eliphas Levi's Pentagram

The Tetragrammaton Pentagram


Eliphas Levi Pentagram
Eliphas Levi, 19th century

19th century occultist Eliphas Levi constructed this pentagram. It is commonly interpreted as a symbol of mankind, as many pentagrams are. However, it is a symbol of many things that unite in the existence of mankind, as is evidence by the variety of additional symbols involved.

Union of Opposites

There are several symbols representing the union of opposites, including:
  • The conjoined symbols of Venus and Mercury in the center of the image
  • The sun and moon symbols to the right and left of the Venus/Mercury symbol
  • The alpha and omega symbols above and below the Venus/Mercury symbol
  • The caduceus, which is below the Venus/Mercury symbol and partially within the omega

The Elements

The four physical elements are represented here by a cup, wand, sword, and disk. These associations were common in 19th century occultism both through tarot cards (which use such symbols as suits) and ritual tools.

The eyes at the top might represent spirit. While all elements were commonly assigned a point on the pentagram, the position of spirit was of particular significance. Levi himself believed point-up pentagrams (such as this one) to be good, with spirit ruling over matter.

Alternatively, it's been suggested that the absence of a symbol in the upper left (with the first syllable of Tetragrammaton) might represent spirit.

Astrological Signs

The idea of macrocosm and microcosm is that mankind, the microcosm, is a miniature reflection of the universe, the macrocosm. Thus, all of the elements can be found within mankind, and so can influences of the astrological planets. Each here is represented by astrological symbol:
  • Sun, Moon, Mercury and Venus in the center, as already described.
  • Mars on the upper left point
  • Venus (again) on the upper right point
  • Saturn on both lower points
  • Jupiter on the upper point

The Tetragrammaton

The Tetragrammaton is normally a four letter name of God written in Hebrew.
Read more: The Tetragrammaton Symbol

The Hebrew Letters

The Hebrew letters are difficult to read and have led to some confusion. They possibly create two pairs: Adam/Eve and (more questionable) Shining/Hiding.

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