I’m creating a virtual star chart, to record my progress in Dry July. The star for making it through Thursday 22 July without touching the demon drink is the pentagram, or in its more interesting incarnation, the pentacle.
I first came across pentagrams in one of Mary Stewart’s Merlin books, where Merlin describes meeting a stranger who bore a cunning device, made up of five straight lines that intersected to form a star. My edition had an illustration of the star-device: I promptly taught myself how to draw the star, and I have been drawing it ever since. It’s one of my favourite doodles. I am however, quite glad that I didn’t come across this elaborate pentagram within pentagram within pentagram design: I’m sure that my grades in Latin would have suffered even more if I had been able to pass the time drawing endless variations of it. For a time I used to put pentagrams on students’ essays to indicate my pleasure in a skillful argument, or even just a happy turn of phrase, but then I realised that they might interpret it as a religious symbol, so I have turned to fatuous happy faces instead.
Pentagrams seem to feature in many religions, especially in contemporary revivals of ancient Wiccan rites. Whatever, really. My INTJ characteristics come to the fore when I read such stuff: I roll my eyes, and wonder how anyone could believe in such tosh, before telling myself that if someone believes in fairies at the bottom of the garden, then that’s none of my business. Whatever floats your boat really, and if your boat is floated by Wicca, then that’s very nice for you. I’ll leave you to it, and go back to my doodling.