The Martinist Pentacle
On all documents of the Martinist Order, the Universal Pentacle is imprinted, and it constantly puzzles the profane who, too often, confuse it with the Star of David.
God, the First Principle of the Universe, is represented by a circle, the symbol of eternity. The action of eternity, passing from latent power to action, is symbolized by the mystic relation from center to circumference; it is the ray projected six times inside the circle, which produces the hexagon, emblematic of the six periods of creation.
The central point forms the seventh period, that of rest. It is between these creative emanations (eons), that nature evolves by its two great currents of involution (descending triangle, black) and evolution (ascending triangle, white).
Let us observe that nature, symbolized by the seal of Solomon, does not reach God, but only the creative forces emanating from Him. From the Center of the Universe to God Himself (Circle), man's power takes birth, uniting the effects of Divinity to the fatalism of nature in the unity of his free will symbolized by a quaternary (the cross). This cross, the image of man, unites the center of the universe (the human soul) to God Himself. It expresses the opposition of the dual forces which gives birth to the quintessence. It is the image of the action of the active over the passive, of spirit over matter.
The vertical bar symbolizes the Active; the horizontal bar represents the Passive. The triangle pointing up represents all that ascends, it is particularly the symbol of fire, of heat. The one with the point down represents all that descends, it is especially the symbol of water, of humidity. The union of the two triangles represents the combination of heat and humidity; of the sun and the moon. It symbolizes the principle of creation, the circulation from heaven to earth. This figure (the Seal of Solomon), gives the explanation of Hermes' words in the Emerald Tablet: "It goes up from the earth to heaven and, vice versa, it goes down to earth and receives the force of superior and inferior things. "
Such, concluded Papus about the Martinist Pentacle, is the explanation of the most complete synthetic figure that the genius of Man had ever discovered. It reveals all the mysteries of nature. It is true in physics as well as in metaphysics, in the natural sciences as well as in theology. It is the Seal that unites reason to faith, materialism to spiritualism, religion to science. As for Solomon's Seal, or the Six Pointed Star, which is an integral part of the Martinist Pentacle, it is explained by Papus and Teder as follows:
"Solomon's Seal represents the universe and its two ternaries, God and Nature. For this reason, it is called the sign of the macrocosm or Grand World, in opposition to the Five Pointed Star which is the sign of the microcosm or small world or man. The Seal of Solomon is composed of two triangles: that which has the head facing up and represents all that goes up. It symbolizes fire and heat. Psychically, it corresponds to the aspirations of man ascending towards his creator; materially it represents the evolution of psychic forces from the center of the earth to our planetary system, the sun. In a word, it expresses the natural return of moral and psychic forces to the principle from which they emanate. The triangle that points downwards represents all that descends; it is the hermetic symbol of water and humidity. In the spiritual world, it symbolizes the action of the Divinity upon its creatures; in the physical world, it represents the current of involution coming from the sun, center of our planetary system and going to the center of the earth. Combined, these two triangles express not only the law of equilibrium but also the eternal activity of God and the Universe. They represent the perpetual movement, the constant generation and regeneration by fire and water. In other words, the putrefaction term used in the past instead of the more scientific one of fermentation. "
Solomon's Seal is then the perfect image of creation and according to Papus and Teder, it is with this significance that Louis Claude de Saint-Martin enclosed it in his Universal Pentacle.