Why I think Pentagrams are cool… and Rock’n’roll… and Anarchist… etc


That’s right, 5 elements. Who knew? In school they said there were loads more. But no.

anarchy sign

Ever notice how this looks like someone was trying to draw a pentagram in a circle in a hurry but then they had to run before they did the last two lines because the cops were coming?

Coincidence? Hah!

Lots of Anarchists will tell you that they don’t believe in organised religion. Duh!

But that doesn’t mean that you can’t spare a thought for the spiritual side of life.

One of the things that pissed me off about the Anarchist Federation (apart from that they were really rude to me) was that they insisted on everyone being a “materialist”.

A “materialist” means someone who believes only in material things. It doesn’t have to mean that they are “materialistic” in the sense of wanting to own lots of stupid crap they don’t need – lots of Materialists are total Communists, against anyone owning anything at all.

I was essentially brought up to be a Materialist, though my parents didn’t ever actually use that word, and now they seem a lot more open minded to spiritual stuff.

Basically, i was brought up my my parents, my schooling and my friends to believe that the universe, all existence, was just matter – stuff that had no “life force” or whatever. In the beginning there was a singularity and then it exploded, causing protons, neutrons and electrons to come into being, and then some of the electrons started orbiting around some of the protons and neutrons to make hydrogen atoms, then helium, then all kinds of other shit, till eventually there was our planet and a bunch of different atoms started interacting with each other in a way that had such a momentum to it that it started to replicate and make RNA, then DNA, then one day human beings came into existence, with brains capable of creating the illusion we called consciousness, because our ancestors whose DNA made them conscious did a lot better at surviving and reproducing in this universe of swirling matter than those that didn’t.

So that’s the creation story i was brought up to believe in. It doesn’t have as many interesting characters as some of the others i’ve heard, but it’s mine. No snake telling a naked woman to eat fruit, no big eggs cracking and different races of people coming out, no mischievous coyotes, no magic turtles or fish or any of that shit. Just matter.

Well, that’s all very well, but it doesn’t really help when it comes to trying to actually BE one of these sacks of conscious matter. Consciousness is annoying like that. It insists on being dealt with as if it really existed and wasn’t just an illusion. It insists on being taken seriously, and when it isn’t then it asserts itself by plunging you into an existential crisis that often results in physical pain, as if to say to it’s host body “oi! fucking pay attention to me!”

So what are we to do? Ignore it and keep getting hurt? Or try and see what these spiritual types have to say on these questions, these people who take consciousness so seriously that some of them even think it exists completely outside of the material realm?

The great thing about being open-minded to spirituality as a materialist anarchist is that you can just use whatever bits and pieces work for you at that moment in time without being bound to any set of doctrines or laws at all, because you know deep down that its all bollocks, even if it massively helps you out in dealing with your existential crises, relationships with other humans, and can even leave you feeling like you’ve just taken loads of drugs even when you haven’t.

Pretty much a win-win situation i would say. Which is what brings me back to the Pentagram. As you can see from the diagram it supposes that there are 4 material elements and one extra one called the spirit. But the spike of the 5-pointed star that is labelled “spirit” is exactly the same size as the others, as if it’s saying that reality is 80% material, 20% spiritual, or even if it isn’t we should at least pretend it is.

Satanists put the pentagram upside down just to emphasize this point, that the material world is more important that the spiritual, but it doesn’t really matter. You just need to be able to count, and to know that 4 is a bigger number than one.

Pretty rock’n’roll, right? Just pretending to have a soul even if you don’t really think you do, just so you can feel like you’re really high on drugs when you actually arn’t? Flirting with pagan and satanic imagery just for the sake of it and making up reasons that it makes sense? Pretty damn rock’n’roll i’d say.

Just think about it. When you are going through some kind of crazy “mental health problem” or “spiritual crisis” or “whatever”, it is usually a fuck of a lot worse if you have not been eating properly, or sleeping, or if you are too cold, or too hot, or being whipped by a slave-driver, or being beaten around the head by a cop, or being locked up in a prison. All of those things are material problems, not spiritual.

So obviously, if you have all those material problems solved then you might still be left with a vexing philosophical/spiritual/mental health problem. But you can sit in a nice chair eating nice food and think it over in your free time without anyone interrupting your thoughts with their bullshit about “work hard! do what i say! make me rich! make me fucking happy!”. And maybe you might actually figure something out.

The problem with people who put “spiritual” or “insane” concerns ABOVE material concerns is that they are bloody annoying. They say things like “trust the universe” or “put your faith in the lord” or “inshallah” or “hare krishna hare krishna krishna hare hare hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare” and smile at you with their dead, stupid eyes while refusing to help you out with your actual real problems. And that’s just no good.

But people who have their spiritual bullshit under control and only bang on about it, say, one fifth of the time, are usually actually BETTER at figuring out material problems in the real world than people who are 100% materialistic.

And that is why pentagrams are cool. And that is also why so many awesome rock musicians wear pentagram necklaces, or teeshirts, or tatoos, or put it on their album covers, posters or whatever else.

Because they know the truth. That rock’n’roll is mostly a material thing: a series of vibrations in the air bashing into your eardrums. But that REAL rock’n’roll has got something that just can’t be explained in those terms, and which can only be explained in terms of some hippy spiritual bullshit or other.

And what’s true of rock’n’roll is also true for political movements. Marxists and people like that might be able to tell you about the “objective economic conditions” that caused some riot or massive wave of strikes or insurrection or revolution, but they will not be able to tell you in their maddening jargon about the VIBE. The spiritual significance of it all to the people involved, or whatever. For that you need a whole load of other maddening jargon.

So the next time you are objectively analyzing the fucking economic and material circumstances of some shit, take a look at the pentagram and listen to some weird hippy nonsense. It may just do the trick.

All power to the people, hail Satan, and rock on!