I thought I would share some interesting nuggets of information about pentacles as used in tarot and esoteric ritual.
Pentacles in the Tarot
Did you know that the pentacles of the tarot weren’t always pentacles? The four suits of the minor arcana of the tarot are popularly known as swords, cups, wands and pentacles. That the inclusion of pentacles can be problematic for Christian tarot enthusiasts should require no explaination. But in more ancient times, prior to innovations introduced by Eliphas Levi, the minor arcana were known as swords, cups, staves and coins. These symbols were said to represent the different classes in medieval society, of military, clergy, peasants and merchants. You’ll still see this in Marseilles decks. Not nearly so problematic for Christian tarot enthusiasts.
Pentacles in Esoteric Ritual
Did you know that the pentacles of esoteric ritual weren’t always pentacles? In more ancient times, the symbolically inscribed discs used in esoteric ritual alongside chalices and other ritual tools featured six figured stars more often than five figured stars (originating in the kaballah perhaps?) and were sometimes refered to as discs, not pentacles. Curiously enough, the plates and cups used to serve the bread and wine in Orthodox Christian rituals are still known as the diskos and challice. Again, not nearly so problematic for Christians once the connection is understood.