I have been silent but not lazy, as I am heading into the last weeks of pregnancy and continue being creative, while embracing the transforming effects of this wondrous process.
I continue working with the birch’s wood, which will likely be my last artworks before giving birth. Here is my second “Berkano” disc:
I have also began work on the third and fourth birch wood disc, which will focus on the birch’s roll in the Ogham and other animistic attributions connected to the birch, featuring the heron as one of my favorite spirit animals.
There have been a lot of requests for new seed boxes – expect an update on these next week!
In December I finished fresh batches of “Rauhnächte” and “Winter Solstice” incense and started a new round of working with the birch’s arboreal spirit…
Incense ‘master’ Caroline Maxelon of Bussardflug and me began plotting a future collaboration. Along with a lot of powerful shamanic items for my ritual work, she also send me her new book “Räucherstoffe aus aller Welt” (published by Nymphenburger). I was thrilled to read about so many new incense ingredients, that are not part of standard encyclopedias and was especially thrilled to find incense materials described for the first time in it, which I had been discovering intuitively by myself over the past years. It feels, like my own weird and wild incense formulas are now receiving confirmation through Caroline. I thus highly recommend this book – both for its content as well as its photography.
Yesterday I received yet another surprise in my mail – the special edition of “Secret Ambrosian Fire” by German black metal originators MOSAIC (Eisenton Records). Some time ago I was asked to compose an alchemical inspired plant sigil for this record. This sigil now adorns the cover of the digi-pack edition. I begin to grasp the broad idea behind this opus magnum and it is deeply satisfying to witness the fruits of our mutual efforts!
Everything points in to a new direction in my life, but it is also getting more complex, along with all these new impulses. Today I went to different trees, burnt some of the winter incense and blessed the new birch wood pentacle among a circle of young birch trees and at the roots of two older birch trees, which are frequently visited by crows. For me, the circle of the old year is now closed and I head into another phase of creative work after the holidays.
What took months in the making is now finally completed. With relief and some excitement we introduce the first set of Official Teufelskunst Pentacles as well as a new edition of our precious Teufelskunst Wooden Seed Boxes. Please read on for details and descriptions of each…
The pentacle, or pentagram disc, represents the earth element upon the altar and acts as a focal point for manifesting the magician’s will and secondly it protects the magician and the work. In our previous post we have already discussed the meaning of the pentagram and hinted at various ways of using it in ritual. In our first collection we offer now three different types. The first version carries, plain and simple, a bold black pentagram enclosed within a circle and fits for any ritual work. The second version is more delicate and alchemical symbols of the four elements and spirit have been added to the disc, which makes this Black Alchemy pentacle also suited for higher ritual work. Both versions are pyrographed in massive Beech, a neutral wood traditionally used in letterpress printing. Several layers of blood-red varnish stain have been applied to the surface, whereby the bottom and side of the first discs is varnished black. At the back of each is pyrographed the Teufelskunst Sigilum Major (which you find on all our work).
Price: 50 Euro for 1 regular Pentacle / 66 Euro for 1 ‘Black Alchemy’ Pentacle
Besides these puristic versions done in Beech wood we crafted a series of dainty and intricately ornamented pentacles pyrographed in heavy Oak wood. These one of a kind Oaken pentacles possess a rougher surface and have a rustic look and feel to them. They are painted with a thin layer of Golden Oak varnish stain and like the beech pentacles are sealed with an additional layer of transparent varnish. Beneath follow descriptions and pictures of each.
Decorated with ornamental motifs of Oak leaves and acorns hiding two crescent moons. Crowned by thorn and trident, in reference to the path of thorns and the holy trinity, flanked by two devil’s representing the witches father and mother and the dualism in all nature. The symbols inside the pentagram are the same as those in the Pentagram of Solomon and are meant to protect the magician from danger as well as command the spirits. The very first in our series of Oak Pentacles it channels the overall beneficent aspects of its wood and the four elements.
Price: 99 Euro – available
EYE OF G’D
Combining elements from classic black magical ritual grimoires this Oak Pentacle represents wrathful aspects of the divine. Starting with the ‘All Seeing Eye’, which upon closer examination occurs no longer human but demonic, from which flashes of lightning emerge, tearing the skies apart and sending forth the Wrath of G’d towards the earth, where men and beast have transformed into the evil dead roaming the earthly plane. The night has turned into day and the day into night; the dogs are loose, the trees are alive and reaching out for the lonesome wayfarer, whilst the devils in the sky are triumphing. Possible uses: workings of wrath, casting the evil eye, evoking mischief during the time of the Wild Hunt or Rauhnächte.
This unique Pentacle has been inspired by the mysteries of the Deep Sea and men’s Fear of the Unknown. There is the mask of the Green Man lurking behind the five-pointed star, but the foliage emerging from his face is made of seaweed and his beard becomes the tentacles of a monstrous Octopus. To the left and right are his devil companions occuring in the shape of winged and horned seahorses. He is the ruler over the watery element. Behind and around him the sea gives birth to a mighty, all-encompassing whirlwind. His trident is supreme. Once evoked he will not know good or bad. Possible uses: protection, weather magic, dream work, calling the old gods, invisibility.
The Wooden Seed Boxes
Upon request we have crafted a few more of our original seed boxes, which are pyrographed with our Sigilum Major (also called the Greater Sowing Seal) and twin devils – the overseers of our work. The lid and inside are varnished in bloodred, the sides are varnished black and coated with a thin layer of transparent varnish. Each box is numbered at the bottom, this set being #9-14. The boxes contain seeds from over 50 different Witch Herbs. Sowing instructions for all herbs will be provided online in the form of a pdf.
Price: 99 Euro – All Reserved
All customers who have reserved and pre-ordered will be notified during the coming days. If you wish to purchase one of the remaining pentacles or reserve one of the next row of seed boxes write to firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the details concerning shipping etc.
On another note, we are currently teaming up again with Occvlta who will do a new jewelry collection with our specially preserved flowers, herbs and mushrooms. With this small teaser we wish all our customers and followers a blessed Season of Light!
Exact definitions can be hard to pinpoint within ‘magic’. Each tradition my have their own respective you’ll hear different views and more or less substantiated ideas concerning the terms pentagram and pentacle. A pentagram per se is a simple geometrical figure, namely a five pointed-star drawn with five strokes. A pentagram is also called a pent-alpha, because five alphas joined at their base resemble a pentagram. Ideally the angle of each edge measures 36°. Sumerians and Egyptians are known to have used the pentagram in scripture as well as a religious symbol. Interestingly some of the oldest discovered depictions of pentagrams traced by Sumerians were drawn in such manner that the lowest angle would point downwards (which by some is also called an inverse pentagram – however we do not use that term). It is unclear whether Sumerians would attribute anything negative to the ‘downwards pointing’ pentagram, as is done in modern times. There were also pentagrams pointing into other directions and they may altogether simply have been used to denote orientations.
A pentagram traced within a circle is sometimes referred to as a pentacle. However, throughout centuries the word pentacle has been used synonymously for any religious amulet attributed with the magical purpose of evoking a spirit, which has symbols inscribed upon it. These symbols can be pentagrams or other geometrical figures. A magical property and directionality arises if the maker or person using it charges the amulet with his personal intent. Such pentacle used in magic and ritual can be made from metal, wax, paper, wood or clay etc. and can for example be worn as an amulet or placed as a disc upon the altar. Instead of a pentagram it can for instance also have a hepta-, nona-, deca- or hendecagram, astrological figures and other things traced upon it. For the sake of simplicity we will list all inscribed altar discs and amulets under that moniker. More specifics are given in the item description.
Concerning their Directionality and Magical Function
According to our understanding neither the term pentacle nor the word pentagram imply any directionality or magical purpose per se. Neither do we regard a downwards pointing pentagram to be automatically associated with ‘negative’ attributes. A pentagram with the lowest angle pointing towards the ground, underlines first and foremost the earth aspect and connection to the plane of materialisation (of which the disc upon the altar is representative). The two ‘legs up’ can also represent the feminine, an open chalice or the prima materia into which the ‘seed of spirit’ or ‘divine spark’ is conceived, and the lowest point the source from which same spirit is evoked. It can further be associated with the underworld and the dead – for the positive and the negative, the benific and the baneful alike. In the same way a pentagram pointing upwards could be associated with positive and negative attributes. The reason why we trace it pointing downwards is merely and simply because it feels natural to us.
In general the pentacle represents physical manifestation, e.g. in rites of evocation the spirit, who’s signature is drawn upon the pentacle is made to appear by annointing, rubbing, fuming and knocking the amulet, in combination with chanting formulae etc. The reasons for and goals of such evocation can be manifold, e.g. the spirit may be evoked for giving answers, drawing money, granting boons or fame etc. The purposes are as manifold as man’s needs and as diverse are the spirits, saints, demons etc. that may be evoked. During the evocation the pentacle acts simultaneously as a protecting amulet.
The pentagram disc worn as an amulet or placed upon the altar is a basic tool, whereby the pentagram is often seen as an allegory of the harmonic interplay between the four elements of the natural world, with each point being assigned to one element and the fifth point representing the ‘Spirit’. The shape of the pentagram is viewed as a perfect geometrical figure and thus also represents wholeness, balance and health. In some Satanic traditions the pentagram can represent aspects adverserial and disruptive towards the harmony and balance between the elements of the created world (which is then perceived as a prison) and the pentagram disc is used for manifesting destructive goals. In these contexts the magician may also visualize a pentagram turning black, dissolving or breaking. Lastly in baneful magic curses directed against a certain person or group may also be wrought to manifest with the help of the pentagram disc.
Our Unique Pentacles
The additional symbols and illustrative elements are our personal preference. They are telling stories and transmit something of the events occuring during the time of their crafting. None of the pentacles are baneful or benific per se. They can be used for both. However if you are looking specifically for a pentacle pointing upwards or having any other orientation, a different motif or special symbols traced upon it we can discuss the details and price for making you a custom one.
(This article is a short discourse and adendum to the page. It was spawned by a recent discussion and I want to thank everyone who took the time to comment and share their views and knowledge.)