What is a Pentacle?
As you can see from the Wikipeadia quote below and the pictures to the right, pentacles come in many forms. Why, you might ask, have we gone with the five pointed star or Pentagram for BANISHIT!.
Well, there is more on that elsewhere on the site. Here we will address some general info about pentacles. They are tools for focusing the will. In the past they were worn around the neck to protect one from outside forces, or beings, whilst performing rituals, or in day to day life. It derives its name from the same roots as the word "pendant". A crucifix is a perfect example. It is the Christian Pentacle.
Of course the symbolism of a pentacle is important. The pentacle is, in many ways, a microcosm of the practitioner's world view. The saying goes "As above, so below".
To take the Crucifix as an example: the vertical bar represents the spirit on its axis between heaven and hell. The horizontal axis represents the physical plane. And so the Crucifix is a symbol physical incarnation, the long dark night of the soul, the descent of the sun at the winter solstice. And of course it reminds us of Jesus, impaled at the nexus of flesh and spirit.
"As below, So above". A symbol like the Crucifix fosters a certain world-view. Its linear and dualistic nature can lead to an obsession with absolutes; a linear, terminal view of time and a reductionistic tendency to fundamentalism and literalism.
These are the very traits which have led to today's plethora of intolerance, ill will, and the institutional curses against which BANISHIT! is designed to protect.
The five pointed star is also seen as representing the spirit incarnate, but rather than a fixed two dimensional state with a beginning and an end it is depicted as a cycle of endless evolution.
St. Augustine of Hippo (AD 343-430) first wrote of a linear history going from A to B and condemned the traditional Pagan theory of cycles, or circuitus temporum as: "...those argumentations whereby the infidel seeks to undermine our simple faith, dragging us from the straight road and compelling us to walk with him on the wheel..."
It is because of this that the Pentagram has been vilified and the true meaning of the "Bringer of Light" has been obscured. Unfortunately Augustine's concept of time has evolved into a self fulfilling Apocalyptic Prophecy.
It is for that reason that we turn to a Pentagrammatic Pentacle to repel this reductionistic world view.The BANISHIT! pentacle combines the Pentagram with an Alphabet of Desire inspired by the Great Chaos Mage, Peter Carroll. These glyphs encompass the range of human existance and their use is more fully explained in his book "Liber Null & Psychonaut: An Introduction to Chaos Magic".
Wiki says: The Oxford English Dictionary gives the history of the word "Pentacle" as obscure, but suggests an apparent derivation from the Greek prefix penta- (five) combined with the Latin suffix -culum (diminutive). An Italian word pentacolo appearing in 1483, is used to refer to 'any thing or table of five corners'. Mixed formations like this are not uncommon in medieval Latin.
The Oxford English Dictionary also offers an alternative possible derivation from the Middle French word pentacol (1328) or pendacol (1418), a jewel or ornament worn around the neck (from pend- hang, à to, col or cou neck). This is the derivation the Theosophical Society employ in their glossary:
...it seems most likely that it comes through Italian and French from the root pend- "to hang," and so is equivalent to a pendant or charm hung about the neck. From the fact that one form of pentacle was the pentagram or star-pentagon, the word itself has been connected with the Greek pente (five).
A current draft Third Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary gives only the derivation penta + culum, and defines it as a pentagram, especially enclosed in a circle; a talisman inscribed with such a shape; or any similar magic symbol; pentacle and the Middle French pentacol are considered separate and unrelated words.
Read more at WikiPedia