I have been working with this pentacle for around sixteen years now. My relationship with it began when I was a neophyte in the Illuminates of Thanateros. In order to complete the training of an initiate, I had to choose one of the four elemental weapons to dedicate towards that initiation. I had become interested in the techniques of communing with spirits, an area in which my magic at the time seemed quite weak, and for this reason I choose the pentacle, or disk, as my weapon. At the time I received that initiation, in May 2001, I had the main side of the disk painted in black, gold and silver enamels. It consisted of a black unicursal octogram with a sigil of chaos in the centre on a gold and silver background.
However, my involvement with the IOT waned dramatically after becoming an initiate and sometime around 2004 or 5 I decided to leave the order. Whilst I really liked some of the people I knew from the order, I felt that it no longer had much to offer me, and it didn’t seem to want anything from me.
The second design wasn’t really mine. I painted it, but did so in a form that met the specifications of a small working group lead by another magician. I kept the black, silver and gold colour theme though, because I liked it. It incorporated a black sun design with 11 rays. I don’t remember exactly when I did this, but I suspect it was sometime around 2007.
As often happens in magical groups, I fell out with said magician, and thus no longer felt like having their design on my pentacle, so in 2009 I came up with the third design. This time it stuck. Third time lucky I guess!
This consists of a hexagram or shatkona, where the downwards black triangle contains a black vesica pisces, which itself contains a gold ringed black circle, all inside an eighteen rayed black sun on a silver blackground with gold sigils. This design has rich layers of symbolism. Four of the eighteen rays in the black sun form spokes pointing to the corners of a tetrahedron, the Platonic solid for fire. Three of these are larger, representing the alchemical tria prima of salt, sulphur and mercury. The number three appears three times, in that of the other six long rays, three wave clockwise and three wave anti-clockwise. The smaller rays return to the number four hinted at by the tetrahedron, in that it consists of four clockwise, four anti-clockwise and one straight ray. Here the symmetry represents duality, and the four elements, whereas the single straight point represents the transcendent Kia. In addition, the eight wavy small rays and single straight small ray represent octarine and the colours of magic.
Inside the hexagram is a rich symbol found in many cultures and traditions. In alchemy it represents the union of fire and water, the irreconcilables. In Hindu Tantra (in distinction to Buddhist Tantra), it represents the sexual union of Shiva (the white ascending triangle) with Shakti (the black descending triangle). The black circle with the gold ring represents a solar eclipse, the alignment of sun and moon.
However, whilst I had finally perfected the primary side of the disk, the underside had remained unfinished. There may have been an earlier attempt I’ve now forgotten about, but my latest design for this was based on a pattern I saw on a log from our local forest. This must have been around 2014/15. I was never really quite happy with this design and a couple of weeks ago I hit upon an idea more in tune with the primary side. I began with a gold base and pencilled in the line work I intended to fill with silver…
This design was an octo-LS. Basically eight linking sigils rotated about their point at 45 degree increments. This somewhat resembles a sigil of chaos without actually being one. Or maybe it is one, depending on your point of view. It certainly makes an interesting design…
This made for a good base. I deliberately made it quite rough, almost resembling graffiti. Yet my carefully constructed pencil and compass lines ensure that the design held a certain degree of symmetry. To complete the side though I picked a much finer brush to do the black…
This final layer consists of eight interlocking #OpIntruder CE5 sigils. The outer circles of each overlap with the two adjacent sigils. The domes interlock to form a central flower. The whole design looks like a warped unicursal octogram, an echo of the first design on the main side. It may have taken me a while, but I have finally got a complete design I can be happy with.