Deconstructing the Darkness


I’ve been approached by people who look at the pentacle I wear around my neck and cringe. Once, while riding on the Staten Island ferry, a wandering preacher actually stood in front of me, and said, “Did you know that’s a sign of evil?” I almost answered, Did you know that you are a rude bastard?

But I didn’t say such thing. Instead, I told him, “Have you tried reading up on topics you don’t understand, and maybe learning something before you insult other people with your ignorance?” He looked at me with the kind pity that only the most oblivious of the holier than thou brigade can fully express. I shook my head and walk away, thinking, Why is it so easy for people to darken some of life’s brightest things?

Norman Partridge’s introduction to Johnny Halloween: Tales of the Dark Season shows an example: “By then I understood those monsters. I knew their secrets, their strengths and weaknesses. More importantly, they were easy to recognize. But the Zodiac was different. There were no bolts in his neck requiring periodic recharging. He didn’t sleep in a coffin by day, powerless, afraid of the sun. No pentagram marked his palm.”

He equates the pentagram with symbols of monstrous evil. The first time I read his commentary, I wondered why Partridge believed that a pentagram would have given him a clue when it came to the Zodiac Killer’s plans. But, I should have guessed it, for most people are terrified by the things they refuse to understand.  There is also the bit about propagating erroneous myths (something Mr. Partridge has done quite effectively throughout his fiction writing): “The Scarecrow peeled plastic wrap and Styrofoam away from the T-bones. He circled the posts, squeezing blood from the meet. Then he crisscrossed the circle, blood dribbling between his gloved fingers as he formed the sign of the pentagram.” Boo! Scare?

And in case the demonization of tangible symbols isn’t enough, he always finds room for the putting a malevolent garb on an entire holiday, or culture, or both: “What Johnny was thinking about was the power that painted hand would hold tonight, on Halloween, when witches and broomsticks and all other crap that goes bump in the night holds sway.”

Whenever I write about this kind of literature, there is always a reader who asks about why I continue reading these stories if I find them offensive and dimwitted. Well, the first answer is that don’t think of them as offensive or dimwitted. I believe they are a reflection of our society’s thinking when it comes to the unknown. Also, they might offer much needed fertile ground for complex discussions (i.e. showing others how pentagrams aren’t evil, and how the horrible witches birthed out of certain authors’ minds are only real to their makers, and how Halloween is scary for some and a time of feasting and sharing for others…   

I’m thinking that the next time someone says something about my pentacle not being a thing of good, I will take a moment to explain its parts: the hope of a new moon, shining in the middle of a five-pointed star that signifies balance between Fire, Air, Earth, Water and Spirit. I might even tell them that my pentacle, like a hammer, can be used to break and destroy or to build and fortify. The choice lies within the soul wielding the symbol. I choose to let mine shine ;-)

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Thematic Photographic 215: “Shiny.” Why not join, and add your shine to the mix?

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Countdown to Halloween 2012 & The Real Witches of Halloween 
. . . because real Witches like to share their dark and shiny bits 
 

60 comments:

  1. Your pentacle is beautiful,absolutely gorgeous! And i believe what you told him is far worse than calling him a rude bastard, not that he could possibly understand..
    Blessed be!

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    1. I, too, believe that the spoken words were harsher in a deeper sense, but snark is always such a sugar rush lol

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    2. Oh goody, i am not the only one with the horniness full moon crazies. And you are right about the snark comments..It feels sooo good!

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    3. Nope, the nastiness is quite universal lol

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  2. that's a beautiful pentacle!!!

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    1. Thank you. I'm quite fond of it ;-)

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  3. That's a very pretty pentacle. You know I wore mine for several years and never once did I have someone comment on it in a negative way. I guess I just look unapproachable? Or maybe it's the man at my side with his tattoos, bald head and goatee that scares them off. lol

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    1. Maybe I need to star glaring more... Heck, I won't even try. I'm pretty sure I grin in my sleep ;-)

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  4. Your words: "people terrified by what they refuse to understand". This is the problem in a nutshell..refusing to understand...not willing to try. All goes back to intolerance. Frustrating, aggravating, disheartening. But still we all will continue to wear our pentacles proudly and happily. Damn the torpedos...!!

    Beautiful beautiful necklace, I love it.

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    1. "Damn the torpedoes...!! indeed.

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  5. Your pentacle glistens beautifully in the flash of the camera, but pales by comparison to the wearer's inner light. That is what empowers the symbol of your faith and your power. Keep shining my Witchy Sister, and maybe someday some of that Light will open the eyes of the blind.

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    1. That is what I love about symbols, that they are open to the interpretation of the viewer and tend to reflect each person's inner self. Let's make them shine!

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  6. That was a great answer to that rude bastard.

    And it is a very pretty necklace!
    ~

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  7. I don't really know what to say about this post...but at least the Winchester Brothers get it...they use pentacles and pentagrams as symbols of protection, and they are sexy dudes as well :D XXX

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    1. The Winchester Brothers and Harry Dresden!

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  8. Oh...and I would probably have gone with the "your very rude" option...very loudly, so that all the other passengers turned to look...and cried and pointed at him, so people new I was being harrased by a total strange...but that's just me :D XXX

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    1. If you go off on all the rude (oblivious) people around this town, your head might explode.

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  9. Enjoyed this and how this ties in with the thoughts of so many misguided never exploring or seeking knowledge of other topics. Funny how we just take what is told to us never ask questions or learn for ourselves.

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    1. Particularly when the alternative is so appealing... There is no greater pleasure than to find unknown beauties through someone else's eyes. It is like discovering the world over and over again ;-)

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  10. Wow - I didn't know that, Magaly. I'm REALLY glad that you took the time to explain it. Two thousand years of brainwashing can't be dispelled overnight - even by those of us who are searching for the truth about the past. Luv ya!

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    1. History is very powerful, and so is myth... I'm pretty sure there are lot's of non-Canadians out there wondering about the exact coordinates of the Presidential Igloo ;-)

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  11. I think that particular one is so pretty! I love it's ornate design and antique finish!

    I would have so many questions for you if it were I who approached you instead....I would see the symbol as a beacon leading me to a new horizon :)

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    1. I'm the same way. Whenever I see things that I can understand (and someone willing to talk) I ask questions. I feel a little richer every time I learn something new.

      Thanks for your words about my pentacle. I think it got all excited.

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  12. I was raised Freemason, so I did my stint in Rainbow Girls and the Eastern Star. The symbol for the Eastern Stars is, well, a five pointed star. I would get massive grief over my ring. To top it off, each point has a letter: F A T A L. Isn't that fun? People thought I wanted to kill off livestock and newborns, even though I told them that FATAL stood for, "Fairest Amongst Thousands, Altogether Lovely".

    Gotta love ignorance.

    \IiiI

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    1. What do you mean you don't want to "kill off livestock and newborns?" I'm all disappointed now. I was going to ask you for some baby fat for flying ointment.

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    2. I know, I'm a bad, bad witchy woman ;-)

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  13. Gorgeous pentacle! Well said. Some people will never understand or even attempt to, so fearful that it would invite the devil into their life. It's what they have been instilled with. Just keep on being your beautiful loving self, Magaly, and don't let them get to you.

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    1. I wonder how many things are missing from this individuals' lives just because they are too afraid to look for what's already there. It's kind of sad...

      I don't think I can't stop being myself if I tried, so let's be thankful that I don't have to, right? ;-)

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  14. It's truly extraordinary how little people know ~ about our past, about symbols, about meanings. Few realize the 5 pointed star was once as revered as the six pointed star, considered more "holy" by most ancient beliefs and that it's the path Venus travels around the sun. If knowledge was as praised as blind belief, what a treat this world would be to share with all.
    On a happier note ~ thanks SO much for grabbing some pink!
    ♥Sharon

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    1. So many society have managed to mutilate their culture by forgetting their history. I love your words about knowledge, they are true and make me hope that maybe one day...

      And on the pink, I will stop by to see what else I can do ;-)

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  15. I've taken a shine to your pentacle. You've hammered the shiny theme.

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    1. Bob, you are such a charmer. You've put a very shiny smile on my face and it's only 5am ;-)

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  16. What a gorgeous necklace!! Gee! Should I be nervous now...I looked at it!!
    Ha
    Hugs
    SueAnn

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    1. SueAnn, you wicked darling love lol. You're right, run! It might kiss you shiny!

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  17. I guess that whatever human's mind doesn't understand is always attracting some nonexistent concepts, half taken from the person's own mind, half taken from the society's imagination. i also think that what you said to that person was far more wise rather than throwing any offensive words.

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    1. I'm glad I went with my mind and not my gut.

      It is sad... that people make up these strange views of the world. I think imagination is the best gift we have, but my goodness the terrible things some do with it!

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  18. Symbols are usually generalized and it only takes one to make something good into bad. Swastika is a symbol for goodness but Hitler made it evil. It's the same with the pentagram. I quite like your pendant and wouldn't think of it as an evil symbol. :)

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    1. I've always felt bad for what happened to the Swastika and to the good people who lost their symbol to the craziness, ruthlessness, and straight up evil of a monster. I wonder, if we, as a people, can ever get over something that horrible.

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  19. Your pentacle is stunning! I love it! Very beautiful! Did you have it made specially for you? Why do people have to say stupid things!! Errrrrrr....

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    1. It was made specially for me, but I've seen a few that are like it. The metals I used were recycled from different bits donated by different friends. That way, they are always with me ;-)

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    2. Very special, like you!!! ;o)

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  20. Like Soviet Russia the Hammer has always been a favorite symbol of mine.

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    1. I need to get you a sickle lol

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  21. Very nice shiny- I especially enjoyed your little story, and your come back to him was perfect (not always so easy on the spot) but it surely should have hit home for him. When someone opens their mouth and inserts their foot in it before thinking- deserved to be put in his place. Your hammer is exceptional! As is your lovely necklace.... no cringing here!

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    1. Karen, you are too funny. Non-cringing behavior is highly appreciated lol

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  22. I got that once from a regular customer at the photo shop I was working at. I told my manager and he laughed his ass off. I think that was my only job that truly accepted me for being Pagan.

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    1. Yay! for your former manager. I'm always a little happier when I see people with common sense ;-)

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  23. I find I get mixed reactions from my pentacle, I have heard blessed be's and such from the most unlikely of sources, and had my fair shares of you are evils from others. I still wear it right out though, I guess it never really bothers me. I will say though that my Yes I am a Witch, Deal With It bumper sticker gets even better reactions, lol.

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    1. I get the same. Many surprised looks, for instance. And people who want to touch it and know what it means.

      I need to get a sticker like yours.

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  24. Merry Meet. New follower here. I like the hammer analogy, use that in the future.

    I might have said, any minister worth his salt would know Christianity has Pagan DNA lol

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    1. I will remember, next time ;-)

      You know, I'm pretty sure that if he was ready for some truth (or learning) he would have already figured out where many of the Christian rituals and beliefs come from. But, and I'm just speculating, I have a feeling that his sort prefers to ignore truths he doesn't like.

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  25. I stopped wearing my pentacle awhile back. Not because I don't like it, but because in my neck of the woods, it's rather useless. You can't wear it the way you want to, and if you did, your entire family would suffer the consequences. One day, I will live...."not in the South".

    You pentacle has always been the most bright.:)

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    1. I used to get interesting looks in North Carolina and Georgia. In the Midwest, people just looked a little confused.

      I understand keeping some things private for the sake of family. It sucks, but many times is necessary.

      Shine on!

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  26. The hammer is ingenious, great shot.

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    1. Well, thank you. I do like hammers in general and this one is special. I feel this shot reflects exactly what the hammer represents in my heart: light, beauty and hope ;-)

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  27. Your pentacle is absolutely gorgeous! You are so right...people fear what they don't understand and they hate what they fear. Ignorance is probably the largest instigator in many wars. And though it is a sad state of our world, there are people like ourselves, who never lose the hope that one day the truth will shine forth. Warmest hugs, sweetie.

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    1. One day, even if it's not all of us, maybe most of us will understand each other or do our best to and to respect each other's differences. Just imagine the wonders we could experience through the sharing of someone else's light. Yum!

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  28. Rather than judge the wearer, how nice it would be if people saw it as an opportunity to learn. I think it's lovely, and I'd probably want to know more about where it comes from, and why it's significant. Thank you for the reminder. I wish I could bump into folks a fraction as interesting as you on my own travels!

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    1. It might be my big hair and my huge grin. I think the attract attention lol I tend to talk quite a bit, too, and really pay attention (some might call it staring). But it makes for interesting things to write about.

      And yes, asking a question or three can make such a huge difference.

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