Here’s an excerpt from Jason Miller’s Magick Monday Newslatter.
Some enterprising person decided to make a set of Solomons Pentacles from the Key of Solomon. Now the book itself says that these are to be inscribed at certain astrological times. Some copies suggest metals that are specific to the planets, but most are drawn in blood on parchment. These coins however are all pewter and not made at any specific time.
It’s not the first time stuff like this has been done. You can buy these pentacles on pendants, bumper stickers, or anything else. Whenever I see things like this though it causes a fight between my inner magician and my inner sorcerer:
Magician: These are supposed to be on specific metals, inscribed at specific times, so these are worthless!
Sorcerer: Hang on there skippy! Just because they are listed that way in the book doesn’t mean they can’t be used and consecrated off book. People have been putting these on paper and using them in Mojo Bags since the de Laurence days.
Magician: Yes, but the book is very clear about the procedure and timing.
Sorcerer: Right, but when you follow the procedure and timing listed in the book do you get the result the book promised
Magician: What do you mean? Yeah of course, I get the Jupiterian boost to my business from the one I made and haven’t been killed snowboarding yet while carrying the one Alison made for me…
Sorcerer: Yeah…. but have you used the fifth pentacle of the sun to fly or teleport to Paris? Have you used the 4th Pentacle of Venus to force someone to obey your commands completely the moment you meet them? Become physically invisible lately?
Magician: Well, no of course not, but some of that is clearly exaggerated or figurative speech
Sorcerer: So the procedure needs to be followed to the letter, but the results promised are open to interpretation
Magician: So what are you saying? It’s all Chaos Magic and nothing matters
Sorcerer: Not at all. I am saying that magic is real, and just like with everything else real, the uses for something extend beyond its intended use and sometimes innovation is made by people willing to bend rules and streamline things. That doesn’t mean “nothing is true and everything is permitted“, but it also doesn’t mean you have to do everything the way it has always been done. I will be buying a set and consecrating them as needed. The set reminds me of the old pack of seals from the 6th and 7th Books of Moses that they used to sell in botanicas. I used to carry them and say short spells over them before slipping them in the cubicle walls of someone I wanted to enchant at work, or under the door of a neighbor I wanted to quiet down
Magician: Yeah, but magicians wrote these instructions down for a reason. It seems disrespectful to say that these are just the same.
Sorcerer: No one is saying they are the same. I like a grilled cheese with buttered bread on the outside, mustard on the inside and at least two types of cheese to get that gooeyness from american and the sharpness from cheddar. If I don’t have time for all that though, I can still make a grilled cheese with Mayo on the outside and one cheese in the middle. See what I am saying? Its not even worse, its just different. It doesn’t have the precise taste I like best, but the time and materials saved is a win
Magician: But these are just inert coins!
Sorcerer: Yeah. Its up to the purchaser to put them through a ceremony or a spell or use them however they want. Think about Post it notes. The sticky stuff on the back was discovered while trying to find a super glue, but it was too weak for what it was used for. So they found a different use for it: Post it notes. These will never be the same as the pentacles someone hand makes in ceremony. They have the design though and that is worth something. They can be adapted to different types of work and that is worth something
Magician: What about tradition though?
Sorcerer: Actually, the kind of thing that is happening here IS tradition. Its how practices have moved and developed all over the world. Sticking to instruction simply because they are in a book and never deviating from them is what is un-traditional. It’s not how we handle medicine, or music, or science, or art, or even religion! You do what you want, I’m buying a set.
Magician: Ok. Put me down for one too.
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