Levi's Pentagram

    Eliphas Levi’s depiction of the Pentagram is packed with various cabalistic symbols. Let us first look at the perimeter. Tetragrammaton is the descriptor for the four-lettered name of God, יהוה. It is broken up into it’s five different syllables, Te, Tra, Gram, Ma, Ton. The three T’s are filled in black, while the rest of the letters are white. The magickal implements, the wand, cup, sword, and disk, are all present, but are in a slightly different order. The cup comes before the wand, putting both of the passive implements with three-letter syllables, a reference to Binah, with both of them relating to Heh’s in the Tetragrammaton. The top two syllables have their letters numbered 1 2, and 1 2 3. This is a break down of the number 5 and provides the building blocks for all complicated number and pattern sequences. In rhythm, collections of 2 or 3 beats are the smallest two perceptual units. Once 1 is used, it’s either turning a 2 into a 3, or a 3 into 2 2’s. These numbers may also refer to Chokmah and Binah. Two of the T’s that begin the syllables of YHVH have 1’s over them, while the third doesn’t. That strikes me as a direct absence to allude but not directly reference the letter Aleph, whose enumeration is 111, but also balancing it out with Tau’s the last letter of the hebrew alphabet. This balance occurs multiple times in this image.

    In the pentagram are various hebrew words. On the right side is the word אדם, Adam, which means, “Man of Earth,” and enumerates to 45. On the left side we see the word הוה, or Eve, which enumerates to 16. The original spelling of the name Eve was חוה, which means “to breathe” or “to live.” Adam and Eve together are Humans of Earth who Live and Breathe, but also the number 61, the enumeration of אין, making humans a microcosm of the cabalistic Nothing. The symbols of Earth and Air can combine to make a hexagram. These are again rebalanced with the planetary symbols of the opposing energy, Mars with Eve, and Venus with Adam. The circles have squares inside of them - a reference to the old alchemical axiom of squaring the circle. The hebrew word CPR (Kippur, Yom Kippur means “Day of Atonement”) translates, “to atone” or “to forgive,” which seems very resonant with Mercy, referencing a name of Chesed. PChD translates to “fear” or “awe,” and is another name for the sphere of Geburah. These two together can relate to the main tenants of many religions, Forgiveness, and Awe of God, and the two spheres above Tiphereth. The Sun and the Moon have their symbols on opposing halves of the pentagram, with two different versions of the Saturn symbol. The one on the left uses a sword for its “t” aspect with a dull and rounded symbol for the “h” aspect. On the right side, the sharp/dull aspects are switched, as is the implement. It is now a wand for the “t,” and something sharp for the “h.” This relates to both sides of our unconscious potential. On one side it can be very inspirational with logic tailing behind, while on the other side it can be very logical with less unknown driving forces. At the tip of the spirit point is a small circle. Directly below that is a symbol of Jupiter, the highest force on the tree of life below the abyss. The eyes below that both show how the pentagram relates to the structure of the human body, but also demonstrates how all these oppositions exist inside us all, both physically and mentally, at the same time. It also allows that small circle at the top to reference the Ajna Chakra, the highest chakra still the body. Between and below the eyes is the Alpha, which opposes the upside down Omega where the two bottom V’s meet. Inside this Omega is a Tav, the Greek equivalent of the last letter of the alphabet.
    These letters relate to the word “Azoth” or “Azot,” the essential transformational element of Mercury. Rising from this are the kundalini serpents of the Caduceus, intertwined like DNA and also expressing another polarity. This lower zone relates to the Muladhara Chakra. Moving up through the center of the pentagram we encounter the symbols of Mercury and Venus sharing the + they both contain. Mercury and Venus oppose each other in a horizontal fashion on the tree of life, and combing them would exalt one to Tiphereth, the center of the tree of live, and this pentagram. The symbols of the Sun and the Moon sit on either side of the Mercury half of the symbol, another balance. The overall shading of the pentagram is referencing a duality as well, as it does with the picture of the sign of benediction.