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Notice ID: 18918
Posted: January 9th., 2017
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New iOS App “Pentacaster” Now Available!
Proclaimed by: warrenao
Proclaimed from: Flagstaff, Arizona
New iOS App “Pentacaster” Brings an Old and Revered Symbol into the 21st Century
It began, as many things do, with a flash of inspiration. While thinking of classic vector-art arcade games such as Battle Zone and Tempest, magick practitioner and software developer Warren Adams-Ockrassa wondered if there was a pentacle- or sigil-drawing app available to help in performing workings and rituals.
“I found out there wasn’t, ” he says. “Which just totally floored me. It seemed so obvious, considering all the Tarot and Astrology apps out there, and virtual phone malas, and digital shrines to Krishna or Ganesh or a raft of Catholic Saints, that someone, somewhere, would have done this, but … nope.”
So he set about correcting this oversight. The result is the iOS app Pentacaster.
Pentacaster is a straightforward app, available in a free and a paid version, for iPhone and iPad. In it, an animated dot draws a pentacle, over and over again — and that’s all. A simple idea, but a useful tool for any practitioner’s digital suite; as its promotional copy states, Pentacaster is a pentacle in your pocket.
Both the free and paid versions default to a pentacle-drawing color that is keyed to the day of the week, based on Crowley’s correspondences from Liber 777. Both versions also allow the practitioner to set the speed at which the pentacle is drawn, and the length and brightness of its lines, from a simple moving dot to a solid drawing. In addition, the paid version allows the practitioner to draw invoking or banishing pentacles (by conventional elemental direction) and manually set the drawing color of the pentacle’s lines.
It’s the simplicity of it, Adams-Ockrassa says, that gives Pentacaster an enduring and broad appeal. “You’re free to use the app any way you choose, in any ritual or meditative context you like. You can be Wiccan, you can be a Satanist, you can be a chaos magickian, you can be performing a full LBRP, you can be listening to Slayer or fooling around on Halloween. Pentacaster doesn’t tell you what to think about the pentacle it’s drawing, or how to use it. It’s simply a digital servitor that does one thing, and one thing only: Draw a pentacle for you, in the way you want, until you tell it to stop. What you’re able to do with it is limited only by your own will and vision.”
Along those lines, Adams-Ockrassa didn’t neglect LHP practitioners: Tapping the pentacle will invert it on the screen; tapping again will return it to its upright default. “The beauty of a pentacle is that it’s universal, ” he says. “It’s a symbol of power and focus, but the symbol itself is neutral to any baggage anyone might put on it. That’s one of the reasons it’s been around for so long; it’s an adaptable and flexible sigil. So it made sense that Pentacaster should be able to draw an inverted pentacle as well as an upright one.”
Asked whether he encountered any roadblocks in the development and release of the app, Adams-Ockrassa responded in the negative. “I got a lot of really insightful and supportive feedback from a Facebook group of chaotes [chaos magickians] I’m active in while I was in the initial design stages. Since the premise is so straightforward, fine-tuning its behavior was easy. The more difficult part was developing the package in Xcode [Apple’s programming environment], preparing the screen shots, and settling on an icon design.”
He adds, “I did have some concerns when I submitted it to Apple for approval, since there simply isn’t anything else like it out there. I didn’t know if that was an oversight on the part of the magick-software community at large … or if there was some policy against releasing apps that might be seen as ‘evil’ by certain factions. If that was the case, I figured I might have a bit of a struggle on my hands. But I submitted it anyway, and just one week after I uploaded version 1 for review, I got the notification of approval, without any sort of hesitation or comment from Apple at all. Actually, the response came much sooner than I expected, based on Apple’s own estimates of four to six weeks for a typical app.”
Adams-Ockrassa isn’t resting on his laurels. There’s an Android version of Pentacaster in development, and he plans a desktop-computer release of the app as well, which will include features that the limitations of a handheld device don’t allow. In addition, he has another app in the works. Tentatively called Sigilcaster, it’s a chaos magick-style app that allows a practitioner to sigilize an intention, charge the sigil, and “fire” it when it’s properly charged.
He’s also working on a longer-term project, an introduction to Tarot that puts its primary focus on the Minor Arcana, correlating them to Hermetic paradigms including their Astrological and Qabalistic associations. “That one will actually be online for free, ” he says. “I’m not totally sure how I’ll tie it in, but I seem to have an affinity for Tarot reading, and that’s something I’d like to start offering as an online option, probably supported through donations via PayPal or something like it. The intro guide is really more of a labor of love.”
He also posts periodic updates and suggestions for magick practitioners on Flagstaff Magick, a Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/flagstaff.magick/.
Adams-Ockrassa’s other labors of love include raising his infant daughter; keeping a good union with his wife of four-plus years; and caring for their three cats and box turtle. “And maintaining my altar, ” he adds. “My allies, my goddess, and I regularly engaged in dialogue while Pentacaster was in development. Well, we talk about lots of things. One of the things we did, while we were actively discussing the app, was open up the temple space to Lord Ganesh, if he felt inclined to participate. It seems like he might have…”
To find out more about Pentacaster and to download it, visit its web page at http://www.nightwares.com/pentacaster/. The page includes a live preview so you can try before you buy.
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