Pentacle (or Pantacle or Pentagram)

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Pentacle (or Pantacle or Pentagram)

A five-pointed star formed from five straight lines of equal length, a symbol frequently used in magical rituals. When a single point projects upward, with two points on the base projecting downward, it is used in modern neo-paganism and Wicca (witchcraft) groups as a symbolic invocation of positive influences. When turned upside-down, it is used by post-Christian Satanic groups as symbolic of the invocation of Satan and evil (in the Christian sense of that term). Satanists frequently impose the figure of a goat with two ears pointing upward and its beard pointing downward on the reverse pentagram.

The pentacle has a wide use in religions. It has been used within Christianity in such a way that the five points represent the wounds of the crucified Christ. A more common contemporary use refers back to the star which hovered in the sky when the baby Jesus was born. It is found on the flag of many Muslim countries. In ancient Greece, the pentacle was used by the Pythagoreans to symbolize perfection. In folklore, the sign has been traced on windows and doors in order to repel witches.

In ritual magic, the pentacle has played an important part in evoking or repelling spirits. It was usually associated with holy or unholy names of power and inscribed or engraved with great care and concentration. A six-pointed version or hexa-gram is often known as "The Seal of Solomon."

(See also magical diagrams )

Sources:

Valiente, Doreen. The ABC of Witchcraft Past and Present. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1973.

pentacle

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pen·ta·cle / ˈpentəkəl/ • n. a talisman or magical object, typically disk-shaped and inscribed with a pentagram or other figure, and used as a symbol of the element of earth. ∎ another term for pentagram. ∎  (pentacles) one of the suits in some tarot packs, corresponding to coins in others.

pentacle

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pentacle a talisman or magical object, typically disc-shaped and inscribed with a pentagram or other figure, and used as a symbol of the element of earth. Pentacles are also one of the suits in some tarot packs, corresponding to coins in others.

Recorded from the late 16th century, the word comes from medieval Latin pentaculum, apparently based on Greek penta- ‘five’.

pentacle

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pentacle XVI. f. Gr. penta- + -culum; see PENTA-, -CLE.