LETTER TO THE EDITOR OF THE PATH
[The Path, New York, Vol. III, No. 3, June, 1888, pp. 98-99]
To the Editor of The Path:
In the May number of your valuable journal [Vol. III], on page 60, we read:
With much deference we venture to invite the attention of Lucifer to the grave etymological objections to its definition of pentacle as a six-pointed star.
The attention of our benevolent corrector is invited to Webster’s Complete Dictionary of the English Language, thoroughly revised and improved by Chauncey A. Goodrich, D.D., L.L., D., late Professor of Yale College, and Noah Porter, D.D., Professor of Moral Philosophy and Metaphysics in Yale College, assisted by Dr. C. A. F. Mahn of Berlin and others. New edition of 1880, etc., etc., London.
At the word “Pentacle,” we read as follows:
Pentacle—a figure composed of two equilateral triangles, intersecting so as to form a SIX-pointed star, used in ornamental art, and also with superstitious import by the astrologers, etc.
This (Fairholt’s) definition is preceded by saying that pentacle is a word from Greek PENTE, five—which every school boy knows. But pente or five has nothing to do with the word pentacle, which Éliphas Lévi, as all Frenchmen and Kabalists, spells pantacle (with an a and not with an e), and which is more correct than the English and less puzzling. For, with as much “deference” as shown by The Path to Lucifer, Lucifer ventures to point out to The Path that, according to old Kabalistic phraseology, a pantacle is “any magic figure intended to produce results.”
Therefore if anyone is to be taken to task for overlooking “the grave etymological objections to the definition of pentacle as a six-pointed star,” it is the great Professors who have just revised Webster’s Dictionary, and not Lucifer. Our corrector has evidently confused Pentagon with pentacle. “Errare humanum est.”
Meanwhile, as Lucifer was already laughed at for this supposed error by some readers of The Path, the latter will not, it is hoped, refuse to insert these few words at its earliest convenience, and thus justify its colleague from such an uncalled-for charge of blunder and ignorance. Let us correct each other’s mistakes and errors, by all means; but let us also be fair to each other.
THE EDITORS OF Lucifer.
LONDON, May 21, 1888