Pentacles are not Talismans
Pentacles are not Talismans

Pentacles are not Talismans

This post is to answer a debate held on Aaron Leitch’s Facebook group. My central premise is that using Key of Solomon pentacles as talismans is incorrect and that pentacles have apparent, practical magical differences from Talismans.

Pentacles are mentioned in the Key of Solomon. Cast versions used to be sold cheaply in occult book shops, and I picked up a few when I was in New Zealand for $10 each. Cut versions typically using laser etching printers can be found on Etsy, with some costing $450 each. They are primarily marketed as Talismans, which are carried around by the user to bring wealth, protection, etc. This is not new. They have been marketed this way for a long time and might have been a feature of hoodoo or European folk magic. In many ways, it makes sense. With their geometric shapes, Hebrew letters, and sometimes images, Pentacles look like Talismans (see left).

However, the Key of Solomon, particularly in its early drafts, tends to play down the use of pentacles as talismans. For example, in The Clavicle of Solomon, revealed by Ptolomy the Grecian. [Sloane manuscript 3847 edited by Joseph H. Peterson], which is the earliest dated April 8, 1572 makes no mention of pentacles being used as talismans. It says they are consecrated by having three masses said over them to control spirits during a Key of Solomon ritual and provide physical protection during the ritual.

“In this Clauicle or Canderiarum consisteth all the Science of this Clauicle, for there, all the science beginneth and therfore in the operation of this booke the Clauicle [Clavicle] doth take his effect, and he that will be perfect in this craft, let him begin soe as it is declared of the pentacle and of the same pentacles be certayne exorcizmes and names ineffable and carecters and signes of all the science, therefore, in them the whole science of all this art lyeth hydd the pentacles or canderie be [24r] uncertayne with most glorious and holyest names they were written in the tables of Moyses and Salomon by deuine reuelation had them and gathered them together, and consecrated them to all necessity of mans body, and for there safegard.”

The Key describes the pentacles being made on Wednesday when the moon is on the ascendant of an air or earth sign (Air signs: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius; Earth signs: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn.) The way I read it, the sun should be in the air sign and the moon in one of the other signs.  The Pentacles should be made of paper and coloured (presumably in some planetary ink).  They should be started to be drawn in the correct planetary hour. The should be placed in a silk bag and consecrated over an incense burner of ligno mastico masculo & ligno aloe and then say three masses over it for three days.

“Say this 3 dayes continuall upon the foresayed pentacles and cause three masses to be sayed of ye Holy Ghost, and one of Our Lady, and afterward put the foresaid signes, in a silke cloth with goodly sauours, and put them up in a cleane place. And when it is neede, ye may worke as it is said of the artes magicall, of thy cloth were decked with gold it were of more efficacye, and when they be put in a cleane place, fumigate them and sprincle them with water and Isope [hyssop] and soe let them alone. They haue immumerable vertues as it is contained heareafter.”

To what purpose? The Clavicle of Solomon, revealed by Ptolomy the Grecian, says that a pentacle enables a person to conjure a spirit, and it will obey him. If the spirit appears before the magician, it will have no objection to what you want. Furthermore, the spirit will provide a long list of benefits. However, in this early version of the Key, there is no mention of them being worn after from the ritual or claims that they are talismans. This idea appears to have been inserted into some texts later.

So what is the problem?

Magically a talisman’s definition is specific. “It is a physical body for magical energy focused on a specific intention.” It has symbols and divine names connected to the spirit, but its function is to anchor the spell in earth for a longer-term effect.  They are living entities.

In 2001, I explained in my first book Making Talismans , that a Talisman is closer to the Cabbalistic concept of a Golem – an artificial entity ensouled by the force of a ritual to bring about an intention. However, a pentacle has a more general goal of making a connection to a spirit. It is a communication device to speed dial and control a spirit, much like a magical tool. Sure, you could carry it away from the ritual say if you needed that spirit’s protection, but the result is not Talismanic.

The method for making a talisman is elaborate and far above a simple consecration or purification (or even saying Mass over it several times). That is enough for a magical weapon but not enough for a talisman. Being a living creature, a Talisman must have four levels. It must have a divine spark, an spiritual direction and an astral body which is attached to the physical body. The body of a talisman is designed with the correct symbols and made at the right times to assist the alignment with the planetary forces. They then have a ritual in which the magical power (planetary, astrological, etc) are linked to the physical object.

Such rituals pre-date the Key of Solomon by several thousand years and can be seen in the Ancient Egyptian ritual of the Opening of the Mouth. It is possible to see the effect of such rituals by visiting these statues in a museum and feel the power coming off them thousands of years later.

The modern method of Making Talismans mostly has its roots in Agrippa, where these four levels are clearly mapped out, and yet. At the same time, Agrippa was aware of the Key of Solomon approach, his Talismanic lore does not create anything that looks like a pentacle.

Looking at more modern approaches, the Golden Dawn method of consecrating a talisman mimicked its own Neophyte initiation in which the “dead” candidate is bought to life. While you might not want to charge a talisman using this method (it is a little clunky), it clearly shows the process involved.

The physical talisman (which has been made at the correct time) is bought in, purified and consecrated (four times for each “level”), made to conform to its purpose, the spirit which ensouls it is summoned, and finally fused with the talisman.

This makes a good comparison between the pentacle creation. A pentacle will be purified (ie made acceptable to the divine) and consecrated (ie set aside by an intention) but the other components of ensouling are missing. The reciting of mass over the pentacle three times is an attempt to redeem the matter it is made, rather than an actual ensouling. In any event, it is not going to tune the matter to planetary force without an invocation. Nor is there any attempt to link the pentacle to a specific intention or divine force.  There is enough here to make a good ritual tool but not a talisman.

Another issue is that the talisman is not expected to control the spirits involved in its creation. They are just working through it to obtain the ritual’s intention.

Pentacles in the Key of Solomon are made of paper while a talisman might be constructed from an appropriate metal. True, in his translation, Sam Mathers does refer to them as “medals” which implies metal. However, this is because Mathers feels obliged to translate the word candarii which might have been talismans involved in Solomonic practice which dropped from the main tradition. They are not described and there were either four, nine, or 12 of them depending on your source. While candarii have been found, and some people are using them, they were never part of the main tradition which has lived mainly without them. At this point, none of the “talismans” on the market are candarii.

So why do they work?

The strongest arguments for using Key of Solomon pentacles for talismans are “that they work” and their use is a feature of folk magic, Hoodoo and Folk Magic. Yet evidence for the claim appears limited to chanting “it always works” and “other people do it too,” which are useless for an experimental magician.

Confirming magical results always have problems with people either attributing a likely event to the results of a talisman they created or a placebo effect. A person who tells a healing talisman’s creator that they feel better and yet loses a body part to the illness a few months later is not an example of a talisman that worked. Neither is a talisman that preserves the status quo is also unlikely ever to prove its validity. If you are worried that you will lose your job and you buy a talisman and keep it, how can you be sure that this was the result of magic and that you were never going to lose it in the first place? It sounds factious but if you made a talisman to make the sun come up every morning, would you consider that making a successful talisman that “always works.”

There needs to be a more careful analysis of magical results and a few more statistics and the proof does not have to come from the side making talismans traditionally. It must come from those who see pentacles as talismans because they are swimming against the current of established magical practice.

Another elephant in the room is the problem of superstition and fraud. Magic, with its close connections with traditions, sometimes includes things which “look good” or are just superstitions which meaning if it ever had a reason, has been long forgotten. For example, flogging a hoodoo bag with a Key of Solomon pentacle with other ingredients may look and feel good but magically is meaningless. Even if these were consecrated, the Key of Solomon has no rules for passing on such material to a customer.

Then there is the problem that we have to accept metal Key of Solomon pentacles for magical practice because suppliers make more money (and they are easier to make) by laser etching them, and they look more like talismans, even if the original tradition says draw them.

Practical differences

Using a pentacle to obtain a specific love

Draw the fifth pentacle of Venus in Green ink on a virgin sheet of paper. Purify and consecrate the paper and take it with you to mass three times (or do the full mass ritual over it yourself). Use the pentacle to invoke the spirit of Venus while holding the pentacle in your left hand. After the ritual is complete take the pentacle with you on your date and while holding it in your left hand ask the spirit to intervene so that the object of your affections might want you… you could add My heart is like wax it is melted in the midst of my bowels. (Psalm 22 vrs 14)

Using a Talisman to obtain a specific love

On a Friday in the hour of Venus make a talisman from copper (or green paper) perhaps in the shape of a seven-pointed star. Purify and consecrate it then invoke Elohim El Gibel, or YHVH Tsbaoth and ask it to use the talisman to make your date with the love of your life work. Then invoke Aniel, then Hagiel and finally the spirit Kedemel and ask them to work through the talisman to make your date with the love of your life work.  Charge the talisman by whatever means you know (if only there were a good book out there with some rituals to do that 🙂 ). Take the talisman on your date and forget it is in your pocket.

In short

Key of Solomon pentacles are different creatures from talismans and are designed to control spirits in a Key of Solomon ritual. Done correctly, they are drawn on paper on Wednesday, are part of the magician’s relationship with the Angel or spirit and cannot be outsourced.

If modern-day talisman makers want to flog their material, they should focus on creatively making new authentic talismans rather than jumping on a poorly researched myth.



  1. Lucy

    Hi, you gave two examples on how to use/make talisman. Is there any books/resources I can utilize that can Show a simplified version of making talismans for different situations?

  2. David

    Thank you for the blog. You said the talisman can be consecrated by invoking Elohim or YHWH.

    What’s the difference between invoke YHWH or Elohim. Are they different or the same, just different names?

  3. Andy Foster

    About Pentacles and Candarias of Solomon

    [Most quotes of English translations here are from J. H. Peterson’s]
    At the end of the 16th century (around 1580) Abraham Colorno makes his translation of the Key on commission of the Duke of Mantua. Colorno is believed to have originally written in Italian and then his text was translated into other languages. Including into French, from which Mathers translated it into English. It is the version of the Colorno Key that contains those pentacles that are known to most of us from the publication of Mathers.
    There are two oldest manuscripts of this text. BNE 12707 with colored pentacles, divided by color into 7 groups, which we now associate with the 7 planets. This MS is of the second half of the 17th century.

    And ASV Sant Uffizio b.111 (1650), in which the pentacles are black and white, but they contain indications that they also correspond to the planets. For example, the pentacles of the Sun are preceded by the following inscription:
    “Le Seguenti Pentacoli del Sole uanno fatti” – that means: “Next pentacles must be made under Sun”.

    There is also another version of Colorno’s text, which is identical to Colorno textually, in the method of action, symbols and tools. But structured differently. This is Zekorbeni text, which also bears the name of Abraham Colorno. And the oldest text of this sub-family is Aub24 (1674). In this version, the pentacles stand out in a separate book (Book III. About pentacles). And the second similar old text of the 17th century is Additional 10862 (Ibau Abraham is indicated there instead of Colorno).
    All this is important for further consideration, since I will refer specifically to these oldest versions of Colorno’s text.
    Actually, what does the Colorno text tell us about pentacles?
    The first place where we see the mention of pentacles is a description of the tools that are needed for conjurations:
    “Furthermore, the master ought to have with him in the circle, those pentacles or canderies which are necessary to his purpose… They should be described on virgin paper with a pen; and ink, blood, or colours, prepared according to the manner which we shall hereafter show in the chapters on these subjects. It will be sufficient to take only those pentacles which are actually required, they should be sewed to the front of the linen robe, on the chest, with the consecrated needle of the art, and with a thread which has been woven by a young girl.”
    This means that the first thing we see is pentacles or candarii are depicted on virgin paper (Carta Virginea = virgin sheet [of parchment]), they are sewn on top of the exorcist’s clothes and are needed to conjure any spirit.
    In the following, I omit the mention of the pentacles as they are used during the ceremony. But I draw your attention to the words from conjuration (Ch. IV):
    “…by the Ring and Seal of Solomon, which was revealed unto him by the Most High and Sovereign creator; and by the Nine Canderies or pentacles” (Aub24: “novem Cœlestes
    It is important to remember that exactly 9 Candarias or pentacles are mentioned. We will talk about this further.
    Further, in Chapter VIII it is actually said about the pentacles:
    “As we have already made mention of the pentacles, it is necessary that thou shouldest understand that the whole science and understanding of our Key dependeth upon the operation, knowledge, and use of pentacles”.
    As a remark I will immediately note that this text is almost completely the same in all versions of the Key – i.e. it is taken from the oldest texts.
    So it says here that the whole Key (success of conjuration?) is in the work of the pentacles. And this is because:
    “in the aforesaid pentacles he shall find those ineffable and most holy names which were written by the finger of God in the tablets of Moses; and which I, Solomon, have received through the ministry of an angel by divine revelation”.
    Compare to Sl 3847 (text of 16th century): “in them the whole science of all this art lyeth hydd the pentacles or canderie be] uncertayne with most glorious and holyest names they were written in the tables of Moyses and Salomon by deuine reuelation had them and gathered them together, and consecrated them to all necessity of mans body, and for there safegard. ”
    So, pentacles or Candarii are the secret key of the success of the entire Key, and this is because these pentacles contain the Names of the Creator (Shemamphorash) revealed to Moses.
    It is further said that the pentacles must be done on the day and hour of Mercury, when the Sun and the Moon are in the signs of the same element (air or earth):
    “The pentacles should then be made in the days and hours of Mercury, when the Moon is in an aerial2 or terrestrial sign; she should also be in her increase, and in equal number of days with the Sun”.
    1) pentacles are made on parchment, on the day and hour of Mercury,
    2) they are sewn on clothes (there is also a mention that they need to be held in the left hand and around the neck),
    3) Their power is in the names of God that were revealed to Moses and Solomon.
    But then we see that chapter XVIII (BNE 12707 – ch.16) says something different.
    1. They are made on the metal of the planet and in the day and hour of the planet (!):
    “These pentacles are usually made of the metal the most suitable to the nature of the planet; and then there is no occasion to observe the rule of particular colours. They should be engraved with the instrument of art in the days and hours proper to the planet”.
    2. They can be made on parchment, but not with blood or noble color (cinnabar, azure), but with the color of the planets:
    “They may also be made with exorcised virgin paper [with the quill pen and ink of the Art], writing thereon with the colours adopted for each planet…”
    Aub24: “Fiunt communiter Pentacula vel ex metallo Planetæ conformi, et tunc non est necesse servare regulam colorum, sed inciduntur cum Instrumento Artis, die, et hora Planetæ conformibus”. (Book III «About Pentacles»).
    In addition, it is said that these pentacles themselves have magical properties:
    “They are also of great virtue and efficacy against all perils of earth, of air, of water, and of fire, against poison which hath been drunk, against all kinds of infirmities and necessities, against binding, sortilege, and sorcery, against all terror and fear, and wheresoever thou shalt find thyself, if armed with them, thou shalt be in safety all the days of thy life”.
    This is said after the author described the effect of pentacles on spirits. And it does not say that for these properties we must give an indication to the spirit (then the spirit would act, not the pentacle), but it is said that it is the pentacles themselves that have miraculous properties (“They are also of great virtue and efficacy”).
    So, we clearly see that the Key mentions two types of pentacles:
    1. Those that are based on Shemamphorash, all conjurations and subjugations of spirits are performed by them:
    “Signe Spiritus invocateris in virtute et per virtutem istorum Pentaculorum”.
    There is an indication that there are 9 of them. They are usually made on parchment and used in conjurations.
    2. There are planetary pentacles, which are: made on the metal of the planet, at the day and hour of the planet. Some of them have descriptions of the properties of talismans (magical artefact full of special planetary power).
    If we are familiar with the second type of pentacles well, we know that in many respects they are formed from planetary symbols, geomantic signs, contain the names of spirits, often have a quote from scripture – i.e. by and large they are made according to the principles described by Agrippa … That first type of pentacles or Candarii remains unfamiliar to many readers.
    However, due to the fact that we now have older texts of the Key, we learned something about these Candarii. In particular, the most clear images of them are in BNF Italien MS 1524. This Italian manuscript was compiled in the first half of the 15th century. And this type of text refers to the “Old Text” group of the Key, many parts of which have passed into Colorno texts and other versions.

    Pentacoli or Candarie from BNF Ital. 1524
    It is noteworthy that all the instructions for the making and consecration of these 9 Candarii are completely identical in all texts (from 15th to 17th century): the day and hour of Mercury, complex incense, the Moon and the Sun in the signs of air or earth, noble colors, parchment, psalms, prayer.
    If we look at other manuscripts related to the “Oldest Text” group, then they are all similar in the description of Candarii, but in many there are no images of the pentacles themselves. At some point, these pentacles were lost. The author of the Colorno text decided to “restore” them by creating a set of planetary pentacles. But discrepancies remained in the text.
    Other versions of the Key took a different path. There were collected all possible images of ancient talismans (sometimes up to 72), among which 9 candarii are recognized. But, they did not know which of them are the same 9, and the authors decided to leave everything.

    Sequentur ibi Pentacula siue candariae inefabilia.
    BNF Lat. 15127, Toz Graeci family. 17th century.

    How are 9 candarii different from planetary pentacles?

    Firstly, some of them were constructed according to the Byzantine seals method.
    Secondly, they do not contain any name of spirits, do not contain any psalm verse or quotation from Holy Scripture.
    Another difference between 9 Candarii from other similar old pentacles-talismans (see image from BNF Lat. 15127 for example), around each of 9 one name of God is described.
    A logical question: could Candarii be used as talismans?
    This question is answered positively by at least one text available to us, i.e. the manuscript Gent BHSL.HS.1021 / B (16th century).
    And also, the quote that we gave about the “miraculous virtues and powers” of pentacles, we can find in the most ancient textual group, i.e. it also applies to the Candarii:
    “…they haue not only virtue in this[i.e. conjuring spirits], but also in divers necessities, they succoreth the bearer, they be good against parrells, of ye earth and ague, against all langowres, and necessities and against all enemies visible, and invisible, against drinkinge and venome, or poyson [poison], against maleficitatos, against feare and cuttinge against subtill thunders and lightninge & tempests, and in every place wheresoever ye be ye shall be sure and safe all the time of his life, both day and night, and in euery howre you shalbe safe, watchinge, sleepinge, drinkinge and eatinge, goeinge and standinge, and in doinge all your busines, in battell in fightinge, and ye shalbe invincible in euery thinge, and noe man shalbe of power at the time to withstand you. They give grace and victory of lovers and enemies visible and invisible, and by the vertue of them, the fyer is quenched and shall not passe your commandement, and the water standeth still, all creatures were made in the recommendation and feareth by there, feare, and all thinges heavenly, earthly, and infernall doth obey them and all perills of the world: be delivered by the healpe of God” (Sl.3824, 16th century)

    The second question is, why is this possible outside the context of summoning and conjuring spirits?
    This is where we should understand the difference between the ancient magic from which the Keys came out and Renaissance magic. And I want to outline the historical context.
    We have one amazing source of Solomonic magic. This is Summa Sacrae Magicae, 1346. From the this work, you can learn that:
    1. Magister Solomon is a real historical character who lived around the 12th century (or even earlier). Presumably he lived in Byzantium region. His student was Toz Graecus. In turn, Toz was the mentor of Honorius of Thebes, who wrote Liber Iuratus.
    2. Solomon left behind several books (about six if recall), which Ganell often quotes.
    3. The sacred magic of Solomon is based on the use of the sacred names, Shemamphorash. Whether it be in conjuring demons or airial spirits, or in invoking angels, or in drawing up talismans, rings, planetary philacteries. There are almost no incomprehensible symbols in this magic. Even the seals of the spirits are methodologically compiled sigils from letters, similar to what Austin Osman Spare did.

    Summa Sacre Magice, Kassel 4° Ms. astron. 3, L.2, f.28.

    There are no incomprehensible symbols on the garments or on the instruments – only names.
    As you can imagine, we did not see those books of Solomon themselves. But what is interesting is that we have at least separate treatises and parallels with other texts.
    Almadel Salomonis, Shemamphoras Salomonis (Liber Semaphoras), De quattuor annulis Salomonis (about 4 rings), De septem annulis (about 7 planetary rings), and of course De novem Candarii (about 9 candarias of Solomon). Recently I even made a tablet with parallel names from Hebrew Sepher Raziel ha-Malakh and SSM’s description of Universal Vestments.
    So, the text of the treatise About the Nine Сandarias speaks of medals made of an alloy of silver and lead. Ganell, in turn, notes that these medals are best made of pure silver, but they can be made of alloy or even lead, if finances do not allow. He also says that these Candarii are separate Shemamphorash, due to which they can work miracles – i.e. by the names of God. About the same Liber Semaphoras (see also Liber Razielis): using alone textual (vocal) shemamphorash of Adam or Moses you can speak with angels, subdue spirits, make miracles…
    Despite the fact that Ganell gives pictures of other Candarii (the reason is not known to us), he describes their talismanic properties – i.e. what each image gives if you wear it on yourself. And he describes how to use these medals in conjurations.

    Summa Sacre Magice, Kassel 4° Ms. astron. 3, L.2, f.47.
    Similarly, the Gent manuscript: next to each of the 9 candarii there is a description of it’s power: “carry with you in the battle and you will win”, or “carry with you will be afraid neither the enemy, nor the demon, nor the snake.”
    Gent BHSL.HS.1021. Clavicula Salomonis en andere magische tractaten en voorschriften, 16th century

    So we have determined that the first pentacles are 9 candarii. These Candarii are: To summon and command spirits, they are used both sewn onto magical vestments (compare Elucidarium by pseudo Petrus de Abano) and held in the hand. Each Candaria is Shemamforash in the form of seal. There is a tradition of using them as talismans. They can perform miracles by the power of the Shemamphorash Names. Their origin is treatise About nine candarias of Solomon, where they were described as metal medals.
    Other pentacles are planetary. Some of them are intended for summoning spirits, and some are simple talismans. They are built according to certain principles. Some contain the names of the spirits to be invoked.
    I am not considering other Key families here. Abognazar’s version is a separate branch of the tradition that borrows seals from other texts and authors. Rabbi Solomon group are a mix of texts and traditions, flavoured with borrowings from Heptameron, Agrippa and astrological recommendations. The Toz Graecus version is similar to the instructions of the Oldest Text.

    1. Yep… pretty isn’t it and looks like a talisman… which is probably why the publisher wanted it. Inside the talismans are done very differently. Besides, you could always use a pentacle to create a real talisman.

  4. Ely

    This is a very interesting article shedding light on a mind bugging topic(talking for me). Do you mind giving out or directing me to a source where I could learn more of the color of papers going with the different types of metal for the making of a talisman?
    Also the Ancient Egyptian ritual of the Opening of the Mouth where can it be found, is it in one of your books.

  5. Ronald J Ritzer

    its pretty obvious from the texts that the section concerning the several planetary pentacles that they serve as both and that their addition to various manuscripts and printed editions was developed by acretion.
    Some are designed up on similar lines, such as the one on the cover of your book, meanwhile others seem to borrow imagery from other texts such as the planetary kameas and their spirit sigils to name one example. Another obvious example is one that looks to mimic the seal from Liber Juratus.
    While many of them are mentioned for explicit use in terrifying and dominating the spirits during the main summoning rite, others are described as causing various affects outside of that, similar to how talismans have been utilized for at least the last several hundred years. Invisibility, uncovering the locations of treasures, healing bodily illness, protection from natural disasters, causing natural disasters, protection from adversaries and their weapons.
    For example;

    Figure 30.– The sixth pentacle of Mars.– It hath so great virtue that being armed therewith, if thou art attacked by any one, thou shalt neither be injured nor wounded when thou fightest with him, and his own weapons shall turn against him.”

    Another for Jupiter, the inscription being read daily as a devotion against poverty as a service to all mankind.

    So it seems rather obvious that their use is not limited to the summoning rite.
    Similarly it seems that the various copyists and composers of the KoS had no qualms about taking various seals and images from other sources to satisfy the long popular practice of serving apotropaic (and other magical needs) means.

    Meanwhile very few of them are similar to the more astrologically timed and created talismans we know from other sources outside of the strictly Solomonic texts, mostly settling for planetary timing and attribution.
    However in a very early chapter it mentions that all the pentacles (probably the 9 candarii originally intended).

    So even the KoS itself seems far ambiguous. Therefore, it would seem that both perspectives are correct, which is no surprise considering that dialectical truth is still truth.

    You’ll have to find something else to object to. Perhaps commercialism?

    1. The production process in the KoS, in the early edition and as late as mathers make it pretty clear that pentacles are not talismanic… None of them contains a spirit nor are they charged with a spirit specific to that planet, in a planetary ritual dedicated to that spirit at an astrologically appropriate time. They are charged generally only a Wednesday saying several masses which gives them general control of a spirit for a ritual. A talisman would have been charged by an invocation to the spirit on the day ruled by that spirit. You could take your mars KoS pentacle to a fight you are expecting to have and use it to quickly invoke the spirit to win your battle but that does not make the pentacle a container for that spirit. That would be a talisman or amulet. It just seems obvious to me because I have used pentacles and talismans as part of my magical practise for decades and have even written a couple of books on them. They are clearly different animals as you would know if you ever tried building and using them. So maybe it is less about the issue of commercialism and more one of training and experience. Looking at a magical document is not a matter of just propping up an intellectual theory by selectively looking at the words you think support your case. It is a matter of seeing what is going on within a magical context. Something you can’t provide to your students or followers if you don’t have it.

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