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Witchcraft is considered a modern interpretation of pre-Christian traditions, though some involved claim a direct line to ancient practices. It may be practiced by individuals or members of groups. There is great diversity among individuals and groups that practice a Witchcraft religion, but many are duotheistic, worshiping both a Mother Goddess and a Horned God.
A pentacle is a kind of amulet or talisman used in traditional magical evocations and in some magical traditions such as Witchcraft, alongside other magical tools. It is often confused with the pentagram symbol, which is also widely used within the words are often used.
A pentacle is employed as a magical tool within modern forms of witchcraft, generally to summon certain energies or command spirits. It is one of the four elemental tools of witchcraft, along with the chalice, the athame and the wand, and represents the element of Earth. It is normally the centrepiece of the altar on which objects are to be consecrated or charged, and such things as amulets, charms and other tools are placed on it, as may also be the salt and water for blessing. It may also be worn around the neck, or just placed within the triangle of evocation.
A pentacle is generally a disc made of parchment, paper, metal, although it can be of other materials such as stone, clay, wood, etc, on which the symbol of a spirit or energy being evoked is drawn. Other protective symbols may also be included, and the pentacle can be decorated and personalized by the individual, according to its required purpose.
Despite the sound of the word, pentacle often had no connotation of five in the old magical texts. A pentacle could therefore be any magical talisman inscribed with any symbol or character, and a great variety of shapes and images appear in the old magical grimoires. When they do incorporate star-shaped figures, than pentagrams five-pointed.
On the other hand usually inscribed inside a circle, is also used widely today as a symbol of faith by many Witchcraft. Many people who practice Witchcraft faiths wear jewellery incorporating the pentagram symbol, the points of which are held to represent earth, air, fire, water and spirit. The Witchcraft pentagram is drawn upright, single point on top.
According to the ancient grimoires, the pentacle is of central importance in the evocation of spirits. A fairly typical evocation involves a series of conjurations of increasing potency, each involving the display of the pentacle. Once the spirit has appeared and been constrained, the pentacle is covered again, but is uncovered whenever demands are made of the spirit or when it is compelled to depart.
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