A panticle (Note 1) can be made by using a white plate and inscribing a pentagram on it. Jason Mankey suggests making a circle around the pentagram to contain the energy (Note 2). He explains that the circle defines the portal. Instead of making one, I bought a wooden disk with a tree entwined with a pentagram.
In the Roman Polytheist tradition, the Door is the liminal space between the inside and the outside. Two-faced Janus watches the Door, keeping the bad out and the good in. Or He lets the bad out and the good enter. In Roman rituals, Janus receives the first and last offerings. He opens the Door to the Gods and watches over the ritual. When the rite is over, He closes the Door.
In divination, I asked Janus if the panticle I had purchased would be acceptable to Him. Janus replied no. Then I asked what would be. I finally bought a small silver metal disk with a pentagram in a circle. Wheat shafts were inscribed around the circle.
To prepare for the consecration of the panticle, I decided to practice tracing a circle containing a pentagram. Tracing a pentagram in the air with a wand creates a portal between the worlds. I wanted to understand more of the movement of energy and the focus of the will in magic.
As a part of my continuing brain therapy, I practice writing in cursive a letter of the day. Vimala Rogers in “Your Handwriting Can Change Your Life” says that “each stroke of the pen reaffirms a thinking habit, and each thinking habit shapes our self-image, and self-image is the lens through which we see life, and this lens determines our behavior.” Rogers continues, “We write the way we do because we think the way we do. Our thought habits are reflected in the neurological patterns in the brain. When we alter the way we write we are simultaneously altering the way we think, and the neuronal pathways shift accordingly.”
Drawing the pentagram within the circle has enhanced my magical skills. As Rogers indicated, doing repeated tracing of the pentagram surrounded by the circle changed how I view energy. It helped me to understand the use of the will within magic. I felt the power of the panticle, which became more than an inert object. By repeatedly tracing the panticle, that I had purchased, I activated it.
Heron Michelle cautions, “opening the elemental gateways feels like turning a faucet of pure energy to flow into and fill the temple. When done effectively, there is a tangible shift to the energy of the circle once the elements are flowing and mixing. They need the circle to contain them.” She stresses to think of safety in doing this. Tracing the panticle on paper helped me to focus on safely concerning these energies.
I made offerings to Janus to bless and to use the panticle in my magic working. In divination, Janus indicated that it could act as a Door. I left the panticle on the altar for four days, since four is a magical number for Romans. At the end, I made final offerings to Janus to close the portal. In using the panticle for magical workings, I will make offerings to Janus at the beginning and at the end of each.
Note 1. Mankey and others refer to the “panticle” as “pantacle.”
Note 2. This is the common symbol used in pentacles (pantacles) – a pentagram in a circle.
Adkins Lesley and Roy Adkins, “Dictionary of Roman Religion.” New York: Oxford University Press. 1996.
Greer, John Michael, “The New Encyclopedia of the Occult.” Woodbury (MN): Llewellyn. 2003.
Mankey, Jason and Laura Tempest Zakroff, “The Witch’s Altar.” Woodbury (MN): Llewellyn. 2021.
Michelle, Heron, “Elemental Witchcraft.” Woodbury (MN): Llewellyn. 2021.
Rogers, Vimala, “Your Handwriting Can Change Your Life.” New York: Fireside. 2000.
Zell-Ravenheart, Oberon, “Grimoire for the Apprentice Wizard.” Franklin Lakes (NJ): New Page Books. 2004.
Wonder if it would be possible to open a doorway to connect to another deity?
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Yes. Various Polytheisms have rituals to do that. One is by opening gates (African Traditional). Romans have Janus open the door to other deities. From my understanding, the pantacle is another way to do this.
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This gives me a few ideas!
I’m curious to know what form of Divination you used when communicating with Janus. While I have forms of divination I’m fond of and experienced with for the other traditions I practice, I’ve been struggling to try and find one specifically for my Roman practice.
I use bird divination. I am an avid bird watcher and took to the method. I did research what Gods and birds connected, and how Romans did it. Also, if it was done today and by who. The rest has been by Personal Gnosis. For example, I decided upon the wren for Janus as the wren seems to nest in liminal spaces, and had folklore that attached the bird to liminal spaces.