Today’s Throwback Thursday post talks about pentacles as they are taught in Anderson Faery. Originally published May 21, 2010 in the Pantheon blog.
Therefore on his shining shield was shaped now this knot,
royally with red gules upon red gold set,
this is the pure pentangle as people of learning have taught.
–Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (trans. J.R.R. Tolkien)
The points of Iron are these: Sex. Self, Passion, Pride, Power, starting at the top and going clockwise. Consider each of them in turn; if you like, stand up and feel each of them in your body, Sex at your head, Self at your right hand, and so on.
Sex the primal creative power (nobody reading this would be here without it), Self the boundary that holds as when you cast a circle, Passion which connects you to the world and inspires you to transcend that boundary, divine Pride which sustains you and allows you to know your worth, Power the culmination of all these, the ability to act.
This is your internal ecology, the engines that drive your psyche. Chances are, there’s at least one of the points you feel comfortable with, and one or more from which you shy away. The latter means that energy does not flow easily through those points, things get tangled up and power gets scattered. These are the ways in which you are getting in your own way. Unbind them.
The points of Pearl are these: Love, Knowledge, Wisdom, Law, Liberty. The Pearl unfolds from Iron, like a flower, and each point of the Pentacle of Pearl relates to the corresponding point of Iron. These have to do with how you relate to others, virtues held in balanced reciprocity. To value Liberty in one’s self, for example, one must also value it in and for others.
The connection between Sex and Love seems obvious when speaking of romantic relationships, and it’s axiomatic that in order to love others you must also love yourself. However, all of these concepts have resonance; remember that our view of eros goes beyond human sexuality, as a primal creative force. When you love, you tap into that primal force. Love is an act of creation.
The Pentacles are the second of three core concepts found in Feri; the first I mentioned was clannes (kala). Each has one or more meditations or practices associated with it, and often deities and liturgy as well. Feri can sometimes seem weirdly chaotic, with bits of Mesopotamia, Africa, and Wales mixed in according to various initiates’ enthusiasms and knowledge base; but in fact everything relates back to these core ideas one way or another, and they are what hold it all together. Feri is a lens through which the different historical and cultural streams feeding into it are seen, and it incorporates and transmutes them like a good roux makes gumbo.