Thou shalt preserve them to suspend from thy neck, whichever thou wilt, on the day and hour wherein thou wast born, after which thou shalt take heed to name every day ten times, the Name which is hung from thy neck, turning towards the East, and thou mayest be assured that no enchantment or any other danger shall have power to harm thee.
There is a specific differentiation between pentacle and pentagram within Wicca and other neopagan traditions. Namely, apentaclerefers to apentagramcircumscribed by a circle. This form of pentacle is formed upon a disk which may be used either upon an altar or as a sacred space of its own. The pentacle is representative of the Earth in occult usage.
But if, on the contrary, they do not yet make their appearance, holding the consecrated knife in the right hand, and the pentacles being uncovered by the removal of their consecrated covering, strike and beat the air with the knife as if wishing to commence a combat, comfort and exhort thy companions, and then in a loud and stern voice repeat the following conjuration: …
. St. Paul, Minnesota: Llewellyn. p.47.ISBN0-87542-663-8. Volume I, section 94.
The Pentacle of the Art as given in a 19th-century publication ofThe Sixth Book of Moses, incorporating characters of theAlphabet of the Magi.
Abraham ben Simeon, of Worms (1975) . Introduction by Mathers.
. Trans.S. L. MacGregor Mathers. New York: Dover.ISBN0486232115.
The First Pentacle of the Moon from theKey of Solomon. It serves to call forth and invoke the spirits of the moon, and further serveth to open doors, in whatever way they may be fastened. It is to be drawn in silver or grey.
In many old grimoires dealing with magical evocation, the pentacle is described as being hung about the neck, providing protection and authority to the operator.Johannes Trithemiushas the magician donning the pentacle just before casting the protective circle:
A Master of the Temple (Liber CLXV)
. St. Paul, Minnesota: Llewellyn. p.380.ISBN0-87542-663-8. Volume III, section 159.
Anonymous (1655) [c. ncerning Pentacles and Sigils.
The traditional suit of coins was revisioned as pentacles in the 1909Rider-Waite tarot deck, designed byGolden DawninitiatesA. E. WaiteandPamela Colman Smith.
This page was last edited on 23 January 2018, at 01:17
The pentacle is of central importance in the evocation of spirits. A fairly typical evocation involves a series of conjurations of increasing potency, each involving the display of the pentacle:
Farrar, JanetFarrar, Stewart(1996) . The Witches Way.
. New York: Facts on File. pp.122124.ISBN0-8160-2268-2.
The Art of Drawing Spirits Into Crystals
Articles with unsourced statements from February 2007
.York Beach, Maine: S. Weiser. p.95.ISBN0-87728-919-0.
Grnbaum, Branko; Shephard, G. C. (1987).
The Earth Pentacle in theGolden Dawnsystem of magic, one of the elemental weapons or tools of an Adept.
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TheOxford English Dictionaryin earlier editions (2nd edition 1989) went on to say that some would connect it with theMiddle Frenchwordpentacol(1328) orpendacol(1418), a jewel or ornament worn around the neck (frompend-hang,to,colorcouneck).This is the derivation theTheosophical Societyemploy in their glossary:
But we now come to speak of the holy and sacred Pentacles and Sigils. Now these pentacles, are as it were certain holy signes preserving us from evil chances and events, and helping and assisting us to binde, exterminate, and drive away evil spirits, and alluring the good spirits, and reconciling them unto us. And these pentacles do consist either of Characters of the good spirits of the superiour order, or of sacred pictures of holy letters or revelations, with apt and fit versicles, which are composed either of Geometrical figures and holy names of God, according to the course and maner of many of them; or they are compounded of all of them, or very many of them mixt.
Another common design employed in pentacles is amagic square, such as theSator-Arepo-Tenet square.
The pentacle of the Art, as given inPietro dAbanosHeptameron. It is to be drawn on kid-skin parchment on the day and in the hour of Mercury, the Moon increasing.
(2nd ed.). Oxford University Press. 1989.
. Paris: F. Vieweg. p.88.OCLC1034921.
AFourth Book of Occult Philosophy(c. 1565) spuriously attributed to Agrippa gives detailed instructions as to how pentacles should be formulated:
de Purucker, Gottfried, ed. (1999).Pa-Peq.
inThelema, followingAleister Crowley)is anamuletused in, generally made ofparchment, paper or metal (although it can be of other materials), on which thesymbolof aspiritor energy being evoked is drawn. It is often worn around the neck, or placed within the triangle of evocation. Protective symbols may also be included (sometimes on the reverse), a common one being the six-point form of theSeal of Solomon, called aMany varieties of pentacle can be found in thegrimoiresof; they are also used in someneopaganmagical traditions, such asWicca, alongside othermagical tools.
In thetarot, theMinor Arcanaare divided into four suits (much like conventionalplaying cards): swords, staves/wands, cups and coins. Following the innovation ofEliphas Levi, many English language writers onTarot divinationnow call the coins pentacles, and many decks depict them as discs marked with apentagram. In this context they represent the element earth ordivinitymanifesting in matter.
. Custer, Washington: Phoenix.ISBN0-919345-92-1.
The Encyclopedia of Witches and Witchcraft
Francis Barrett, in his influential workThe Magusof 1801 (Book 2, part 2), repeats these instructions almost verbatim.
(3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. September 2005.
Agrippa, Heinrich Cornelius(1651) .Of Occult Philosophy, Book 3, Part 5. Trans. John French
The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage
Symbol 29:14 Pentagram inscribed in a circle
Pentacles, despite the sound of the word, often had no connotation of five in the old magical texts, but were, rather, magical talismans inscribed with any symbol or character. When they incorporated star-shaped figures, these were more oftenhexagramsthanpentagrams.Pentacles showing a great variety of shapes and images appear in the old magicalgrimoires, such as theKey of Solomon; asHeinrich Cornelius Agrippasummarises it, their use was to fore-know all future things, & command whole nature, have power over devils, and Angels, and do miracles. Agrippa attributesMosesfeats of magic in part to his knowledge of various pentacles.
The wordspentacleandpentagram(a five-pointunicursal star) are essentially synonymous, according to the Online Oxford English Dictionary (2007 revision), which traces the etymology through both French and Italian back to Latin, but notes that in Middle French the word pentacle was used to refer to any talisman. In an extended use, many magical authors treat them as distinct. In manytarotdecks and in some forms of modernwitchcraft, pentacles often prominently incorporate a pentagram in their design.
Here be the symbols of secret things, the standards, the ensigns, and the banners, of God the conqueror; and the arms of the almighty One, to compel the aerial potencies. I command ye absolutely by their power and virtue that ye come near unto us, into our presence, from whatsoever part of the world ye may be in, and that ye delay not to obey us in all things wherein we shall command ye by the virtue of God the mighty One. Come ye promptly, and delay not to appear, and answer us with humility.
One version of theKey of Solomonmentions both a Great Pentacle which is drawn in a book, as well as a collection of other pentacles which are drawn in ink on separate pieces of parchment for use as amulets:
In theGolden Dawnmagical system, the Earth Pentacle is one of fourelementalweapons or tools of an Adept. These weapons are symbolical representations of the forces employed for the manifestation of the inner self, the elements required for the incarnation of the divine.
The Secret Lore of Magic: Books of the Sorcerers
If they appear at this time, show them the pentacles, and receive them with kindness, gentleness, and courtesy; reason and speak with them, question them, and ask from them all things which thou hast proposed to demand.
. W. H. Freeman.ISBN0716711931.
A pentacle is also employed as a magical tool withinWiccaand other modern forms ofwitchcraft, generally to summon certain energies or summon spirits.
The termpentacleis used inTilings and Patternsby Grumbaum and Shepard to indicate a five-pointed star composed of tenline segments, similar to apentagrambut containing no interior lines.
. Theosophical University Press.ISBN978-1-55700-141-2.
There is, therefore, nothing movable or immovable under the whole firmament of heaven which is not included in this pantacle, though it be but eight inches in diameter, and in thickness half an inch. Fire is not matter at all; water is a combination of elements; air almost entirely a mixture of elements; earth contains all both in admixture and in combination. So must it be with this Pantacle, the symbol of earth.
According toAleister Crowleys instructions for theAA, the pentacle is a disc of wax, gold, silver-gilt orElectrum Magicum, eight inches diameter and half an inch thick; the Neophyte should by his understanding and ingenium devise a symbol to represent the Universe, and engrave this on the disc.
The Pentacle of Solomon from the 17th centurygrimoireThe Lesser Key of Solomon. Its purpose is to constrain spirits during magical evocation.
Regardie, Israel(2003). Z.2: Magical Formulae.
Other pentacles for the evocation of spirits are also employed in the Golden Dawn system; these are engraved with the name and sigil of the spirit to be invoked, inside three concentric circles, having painted on their reverse a circle and cross like aceltic cross.
. New York: Citadel.OCLC1066407.
Dictionnaire de lancienne langue française et de tous ses dialectes du IXe au XVe sicle
Crowley, Aleister(1997).The Pantacle.
. Trans. Rabbi Abognazar from Hebrew to Latin.
The word is first recorded in English usage in 1561, from earlier French use, in turn from post-classical Latinpentaculum(frompenta-fivefold +-culumdiminutive suffix). The French word had a meaning of talisman, typically in the shape of a pentagram, but the word could also refer to talismans in the shape of a hexagram.
…it seems most likely that it comes through Italian and French from the root pend- to hang, and so is equivalent to apendantorcharmhung about the neck. From the fact that one form of pentacle was the pentagram or star-pentagon, the word itself has been connected with theGreekpente (five).
In theGolden Dawnsystem, the pentacles are not suspended from the neck, but wrapped in a cloth covering; instead of a pentacle, the magician wears fastened to their breast aLamen, which serves among other things as a magical shield.
The Second Pentacle of Jupiter, from theKey of Solomon(Clavicula Salomonis). This was found on the body ofAnselmBishop of Wrzburg, on the night of his death in 1749. He was rumored to be analchemist.
…If they then immediately appear, it is well; if not, let the master uncover the consecrated pentacles which he should have made to constrain and command the spirits, and which he should wear fastened round his neck, holding the medals (or pentacles) in his left hand, and the consecrated knife in his right; and encouraging his companions, he shall say with a loud voice:
Then taking your ring and pentacle, put the ring on the little finger of your right hand; hang the pentacle round thy neck; (Note, the pentacle may be either wrote on clean virgin parchment, or engraven on a square plate of silver and suspended from thy neck to the breast)….
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Once the spirit has appeared and been constrained, the pentacle is covered again, but is uncovered whenever demands are made of the spirit or when it is compelled to depart.