The symbol is simply an amulet that is famed for use as a talisman handy during magical. The symbol is normally drawn on parchments, paper, or even metals. This article discusses the pentacle as a spiritual symbol. This should not be confused with the pentagram, though.
The pronunciation and spelling of the word should not be confused with the pentagram (which speaks of the five-point ‘unicursal’ star). In ancient magical texts and other renderings, the pentacle had no ‘air-of-five’ around it. Arguably, the word has been said to have been derived from the obsolete Franco word “pentacol/ pendacol”. This was basically something that was put around the neck for beauty purposes, just like a pendant is.
In this context, therefore, a pentacle is simply a magical talisman that bears any symbols with deep spiritual significance. A laudable example would be the ‘Key of Solomon’ which was used in diverse ways as shall be discussed elsewhere in this article.
Common for use in Neo pagan religions (for example the Wicca), the symbol is heavily used in witchcraft, magic and associated magical actions. It can be used in evocations alone or in combination and support of other symbols. As a magical tool, the pentacle is used inissuing commands to spirits. This is in relation to running errands for the user of the tool and or harnessing the enormous energies present in realms beyond the physical.
In the neo pagan Wicca religion, the pentacle is used together with four other tools famed for their revered efficacy exacting desired witchcraft results in within acceptable time limits. These are the Chalice, athame, and the wand. The use combined use of the four tools is reminiscent of the four elements of the Earth and the inextricable way they are tied with each other. When properly acquiesced, the spirits used in this form of witchcraft are at the command of witches.
The place and role of the pentacle is such that it is centrally placed on the altar and is essential for consecration of other paraphernalia used in witchcraft. As is the Wicca norm, the pentacle’s use does not stop at the altar. One can wear it as part of a necklace or independently.
The use of the pentacle in ancient grimoires cannot be sufficiently emphasized. The symbol was used in various witchcraft quests. Chiefly, though, the pentacle was used in evocation of spirits. Evocation sessions would typically be characterized by a string of conjurations each conducted a notch higher than the previous. All the while, the pentacle would be displayed as a hallowed gesture for the intervention of the awe-filled spirit world. After the increasingly portent conjurations, the desired spirit would appear. Immediately afterwards, the spirit would be constrained and thereafter the pentacle covered until such a time that the spirit would have been deemed to have appropriate directions and requests. Once that is done, the pentacle would be uncovered, and the Spirit released to run the errand.
The Hermetic magical system was basically concerned with Golden Dawn ideology. The pentacle used in this magical arrangement was in fact called the ‘Earth Pentacle’ and was considered an integral composition of the weaponry of a deity called the Adept. The kind of spirit needed would sometimes require that specific pentacles be used with the actual name as well as the sigil of the spirit to be summoned is inscribed. The inscription would typically be placed in the three concentric circles. In addition, the reverse sides of the pentacle would be painted with a specific type of circle and a cross.
The use of the pentacle in the Tarot context was much more deceptive— in casting a false game-like appearance when the real effects of the practice were pure witchcraft. In this case, the minor Arcanum was sub divided in to four sets: the swords, the staves, cups and coins. The coins are what are regarded as the pentacles. Their use in the Tarot divination is consistent with the belief that the pentacles represent the divine manifesting in matter.
The pentacle should not be confused with the pentagram. The pentacle’s use was particularly in evocation of spirits.The bottom line, however, is the use of the tool in various stages divination and witchcraft.