A Meditation on the 7-Pointed Star of Druidism

by Archdruid El Arseneau

The innermost part of the sigil is the seven pointed star, what we call the “Mithril Star” or the “Seren Derwydd,” but also known as a “septagram” or “heptagram.”

*The acute heptagram is known among Wiccans as the Elven Star or Faery Star, a sacred symbol to those who follow the Faery tradition. In recent years, it has been adopted as an identifier by members of the Otherkin subculture (and some believe that the three founders of OMS are of the Sidhe). Blue Star Wicca also uses the symbol, where it is referred to simply as a septagram. The acute heptagram is also a symbol of magickal power in other Pagan religions.

*The obtuse heptagram was used as a symbol in the Kabbalah, and later by Aleister Crowley and the Ordo Templi Orientis where it was known as the Star (or Seal) of Babylon.

*The heptagram is also used in Christianity to symbolize the seven days of creation and became a traditional symbol for warding off evil, thus the reason that most sheriff's badges are obtuse heptagonal shaped. The heptagram is also the symbol of perfection (or God) in many Christian religions.

*In alchemy, a seven-sided star can refer to the seven planets which were known to ancient alchemists.

In the second age of Reformed Druidism, we interpret the symbol by the Welsh word “Derwydd” (Druid) with each point standing for one of the seven attributes of a Druid:

Point #1: Doethiweb – Wisdom
Pont #2: Eluseugan - - Compassion
Point #3: Rhyddfrydwr – Liberal
Point #4: Wmbredd – Abundance
Point #5: Ymnellltuaeth – Noncomformity
Point #6: Dysg – Learning
Point #7: Delfrydwr – Idealist

(Note: I intend to expound on these attributes in later essays).

Around the septagram is a snake swallowing it’s own tail, also known as Ouroborus. This snake symbolizes a circle, and is one element that transforms the OMS sigil into a Reformed Druid sigil.

*The snake itself is an old symbol of the Druids (St. Patrick was said to have driven the snakes out of Ireland. Since snakes have never been indigenous to the island, we know the legend is referring to the Druids). The Ouroboros is one of the oldest mystical symbols in the world. The serpent or dragon appears in Aztec, Chinese, Celtic, and Native American mythologies, among others.

*The serpent or dragon eating its own tail can be traced back to Ancient Egypt, circa 1600 BC. However the pig dragons of the Hongshan culture (4700–2200 BC) of China are older. From ancient Egypt it passed to Phoenicia and then to the Greek philosophers, who gave it the name Ouroboros ("self-devourer").

*In Norse mythology it appears as the serpent Jörmungandr, one of the three children of Loki, who grew so large that it could encircle the world and grasp its tail in its teeth. In the legends of Ragnar Lodbrok, such as Ragnarssona þáttr, the Geatish king Herraud gives a small lindorm as a gift to his daughter Þóra Town-Hart after which it grows into a large serpent which encircles the girl's bower and bites itself in the tail. The serpent is slain by Ragnar Lodbrok who marries Þóra. Ragnar later has a son with another woman named Kráka and this son is born with the image of a white snake in one eye. This snake encircled the iris and bit itself in the tail, and the son was named Sigurd Snake-in-the-Eye.

*In Gnosticism, this serpent symbolized eternity and the soul of the world.

*It is also present in some Hindu folk-myths, as the dragon circling the tortoise that supports the four elephants which support the world on their backs.

*The god Quetzalcoatl is sometimes portrayed as an ouroboros on Aztec and Toltec ruins.

*In alchemy, the ouroboros is a purifying sigil. Swiss psychologist Carl Jung saw the ourobouros as an archetype and the basic mandala of alchemy. Jung also defined the relationship of the ouroboros to alchemy:

The alchemists, who in their own way knew more about the nature of the individuation process than we moderns do, expressed this paradox through the symbol of the uroboros, the snake that eats its own tail. ouroboros, has been said to have a meaning of infinity or wholeness. In the age-old image of the uroboros lies the thought of devouring oneself and turning oneself into a circulatory process, for it was clear to the more astute alchemists that the prima materia of the art was man himself. The uroboros is a dramatic symbol for the integration and assimilation of the opposite, i.e. of the shadow. This 'feed-back' process is at the same time a symbol of immortality, since it is said of the uroboros that he slays himself and brings himself to life, fertilises himself and gives birth to himself. He symbolises the One, who proceeds from the clash of opposites, and he therefore constitutes the secret of the prima materia which [...] unquestionably stems from man's unconscious.
– [3]

*The famous ouroboros drawing from the early alchemical text The Chrysopoeia of Cleopatra dating to 2nd century Alexandria encloses the words hen to pan, "one, the all", i.e. "All is One". Its black-and-white halves represent the Gnostic duality of existence.

*As a symbol of the eternal unity of all things, the cycle of birth and death from which the alchemist sought release and liberation, it was familiar to the alchemist/physician Sir Thomas Browne. In his A letter to a friend, a medical treatise full of case-histories and witty speculations upon the human condition, he wrote of it:

[...] that the first day should make the last, that the Tail of the Snake should return into its Mouth precisely at that time, and they should wind up upon the day of their Nativity, is indeed a remarkable Coincidence.

It is also alluded to at the conclusion of Browne's The Garden of Cyrus (1658) as a symbol of the circular nature and Unity of the two Discourses,

All things began in order so shall they end, so shall they begin again according to the Ordainer of Order and the mystical mathematicks of the City of Heaven.

Behind the Seren Derwydd and Ourobourus are two Coast Redwood trees. These symbolize the two upright lines of the Druid sigil, completing the picture. The Coast Redwood is sacred to the OMS, and also symbolizes eternity, due to their long lifespan (some being over 2,000 years old).


*Note: This reference was drawn from Wikipedia.