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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Term: Pentacle

DEFINITIONS

Pentacle: A five-pointed star, the points of which represent earth, air, fire, water, and spirit. Pentacles are frequently set within a circle, which can represent the wheel of life, the encircling of the divine, or the union of the material and spiritual realms. Despite Hollywood’s insistence otherwise, the pentacle is not a symbol of Satan or evil.
source: Paganism, by Joyce & River Higginbotham

Pentacle: (Archaic) A wide variety of images of mystical importance, usually intended to be worn around the neck. Here, the root is not the Greek pente, meaning five, but rather three Greek roots, pend (“to hang”), a (“to”), and col (“neck). This construction was first used in 14th century France as pentacol, which means “amulet worn around the neck.” Although this meaning is not in common usage today, it is still a descriptor used in some ceremonial magic texts being published today where it is a generic term for many symbols. This explains, for example, why the Pentacle used by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn—a flat, circular object that represents the Earth element—has a six-pointed star on it.


ARTICLES

Review of the Mayan Tarot
Summary: The Mayan Tarot is a doorway into another world, into a culture, into the past. Just like any lost civilization, this one gives teasing glimpses of what might have been and invites discovery. By losing oneself in the art, by letting ...
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The Initiatory Tarot of the Golden Dawn Review
Summary: The Initiatory Tarot of the Golden Dawn is an evocative and provocative deck exploring a new vision of tarot that is fresh and exciting while remaining consistent with the Golden Dawn tradition. This deck would be suitable for someone with ...
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Review of the Tarot of the Angels
Summary: Based on the Rider-Waite-Smith, this deck provides an interesting addition to the familiar images. Angels, representing guidance from the Divine or your own higher self, show up in the cards. Discover how you can better interact with or ...
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Review of the Celtic Tarot
Summary: Beautiful deck made in the Rider-Waite-Smith pattern, but with a unique Major Arcana and a focus on Celtic myth and legend. Perfect for Celtic Wiccans and all Pagans drawn to Celtic lore. Beside being good for doing divination (especially ...
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Review of the Royo Dark Tarot Deck
Summary The Royo Dark Tarot is a rare treasure. It blends magnificent art with dark fantasy and gothic themes as well as traditional Tarot card meanings to create a deck that is not just a cool dark deck, but one that you will want to study and ...
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Review of the Minchiate Tarot Deck
Summary Minchiate decks are an important part of the history of cartomancy. Similar to a Tarot but with the addition of a few more cards, a Minchiate deck can give a very nuanced reading. In addition, whether used for study or divination it brings ...
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Review of the Universal Transparent Tarot
Summary:  This unique deck allows you to create new “cards” that are also readings. The method of working with this deck also allows you to not only read your future but also to change your future.   In-Depth Review: One of ...
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Review of the Michelangelo Tarot Deck
Summary The Michelangelo Tarot makes spectacular use of Michelangelo's techniques and body of work to create a stunning deck faithful to the Rider-Waite-Smith model. It is a beautiful and readable deck for anyone who loves the works of this ...
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Review of the Visconti Tarots
Summary: An amazing and beautiful recreation of one of the oldest and most complete Tarot decks extant. Suitable for any reading for which you might use a Rider-Waite-Smith-based deck, it’s also ideal for working in costume, at renaissance fairs, ...
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Witchy Tarot Deck Review
Summary: The Witchy Tarot is like your best friend: smart, pretty, funny, surprising deep and always clever…and always very real and honest. It helps you embrace your power while accepting your shortcomings. This deck gives great Tarot readings but ...
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Review of the Tarot of Pagan Cats
Summary The Tarot of the Pagan Cats is a true RWS-style that cleverly interweaves magick and Tarot as experienced through the eyes of cats. Natural and easy to read, this deck will delight the beginner as well as the more experienced ...
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While Llewellyn's Classic Tarot has my name on the cover, I did not so much design this project as direct it. Llewellyn wanted a deck that was designed to be faithful to the traditional tarot images, symbols, and meanings recognizable to most modern tarot readers and students. Creating a faithful yet new expression of timeless tarot imagery is... read this article
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The Oracle of the Angels
Tarot: Group Dynamics Spread
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