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The Seal of Secrets of the World: Decoding the Arbatel De Magia Veterum


The Seal of Secrets of the World:
Decoding the Arbatel De Magia Veterum

 Soror ZSD23

 Make a circle, with A at the center, which is BCDE. At the East is BC. A square. At the North CD. At the West DE . At the South EB . Divide [each of] these quadrants into 7 parts so that there may be 28 parts total. Then divide [each of the 28 parts] into 4, so that there will be 112 parts of the circle, as so many are the true secrets to be revealed. This circle divided in this manner is the Seal of Secrets of the World. These secrets are solely drawn from the center, which is A; that is, [they are drawn] from the invisible God unto the entire creature. The Prince of the Eastern secrets is in the middle [of the Eastern quadrant] and has 6 Nobles, 3 on each side. Each of them, including the Prince, has 4 Nobles under him. In the same way, the Princes and Nobles have their quadrants of secrets, with their four secrets.

                                                                                                 –from Aphorism 27


If the Seal of Secrets is thought of as a schematic of the Archetypal Cosmos, the numbers codes in Aphorisms 16,17, and 27 define its anatomy as if the Olympic Spirits are the organs. They exist multidimensionally and interpenetratingly, and—as is propounded in Hermetic philosophy—the microcosm of the individual self is the hologram of the Macrocosm.

 In conjunction with dreamwork conducted with three other persons during the month of May 2010, I would receive insights about geometry and also about numbers, primarily those in Aphorisms 16 and 17, which reveal the scope of each Olympic Spirit.  I do not doubt that more erudite interpretations of the numbers can be put forth by others, but the following is how my reasoning worked after playing with a series of numbers and equations that appeared to me in half sleep on about May 24, 2010. I also realized that the “wisdoms” defined in Aphorism 9 referred to the hierarchy of the planetary archons:

 The repetition of the number 7, in which numbers are multiplied by 7, suggests the interpenetrating, expanding, and multidimensional relationships of the Olympic Spirits, as does the multiplying of number codes by either 100 or 1000. In Aphorism 16, there are said to be a total “196 provinces in the whole Universe.” (Note that the Turner translation incorrectly says “186”). 196 is 1+9+6=7, perhaps suggesting The All in the One.

 Phul (Luna)

“Seventhly the [wisdom of the] Pigmies [ie, elemental beings] pertains to the lowest place, including they who inhabit the elements and things related to them.” –from Aphorism 9 (note that Turner’s translation reads “”the Pigmies do not possess the lowest place,” but the word “not” doesn’t appear in the Latin text.]

 Phul is said to rule 7 Provinces. This translates into the equation 7x1, making its value 1. Its geometric form is the point and its placement is the center of the diagram. The dimensionless point (or “infinite sphere, which is “God”) according to the preSocratic philosopher Empedocles is “the center of which is everywhere, the circumference nowhere.” (The saying and variations of it are also attributed to Hermes Trismegistus, Voltaire, Pascal, Nicolas of Cusa, and very many  other people.)

 Content within the Arbatel suggests that, in addition to representing God, the center of the Seal—as Phul –represents the body, elemental beings, and the microcosm, which is the reflection of the macrocosm.

 No information is given about its “legions” in Aphorism 17, although the number 8 plays a significant role in deciphering the numbers related to legions and how this relates to the lines and planes in the Seal of Secrets. 

 Phul is said to “make men to live 300 years.” I believe that 300 years suggests the triangle (3), which here represents the elements. Three is multiplied by 100 to suggest its multidimensional quality.

I believe that the statement to “make men to live 300 years” is a blind for saying that mastery of Phul consciousness makes one a master of the elementals.

 Note that Phul is a Sanskrit name and word. It means flower. The moon is called Soma in Sanskrit. Soma is the Latin word for body.

 Ophiel (Mercury)

Sixthly [is the wisdom of] the ministers of punishments in Hell and also those who are obedient to God. –from the Aphorism 9

 Ophiel is said to rule 14 Provinces. This translates into the equation 7x2, making its value 2. Its geometric form is the line, indicative of time and space as it relates to structure and cohesion.  It is depicted in the diagram as the 8 orange rays emerging from the center.

 I believe that the number 8 signifies Ophiel. The number 8 is key to deciphering how each Olympic Spirit pervades an area of space, described in the text (Aphorism 17) as a “legion.” This will become clearer when we discuss Bethor and Aratron.

 In the section on Ophiel in Aphorism 17, it states: “His spirits are 100000 legions.” 8 x 12.5 =100 x 1000. 12.5 signifies an eighth of the Seal; that is, 14 of the 28 mansions of the moon that fill each quadrant and also 3 Nobles and half a Prince of a quadrant (The number code 3.5 will figure into equations about Bethor). The hint is in the statement: The Prince of the Eastern secrets is in the middle [of the Eastern quadrant] and has 6 Nobles, 3 on each side . . . . This suggests that the Seal is not only divided as noted in the explicit instructions in aphorism 27, but also at the cardinal points where the Princes presiding over the elements are placed.

 100000 legions also may mean that Ophiel extends from the center into and perhaps beyond the Multiverse. To equate Ophiel with the “wisdom of the ministers of punishments in Hell and also whose are obedient to God suggests the angelic realm—from the depths to the heights. (Indeed, there is a question about whether Ophiel—that is Mercury—is associated with Lucifer. [see Bridge V, Burns T. The Little Book of Black Venus – Part Two Olympic Spirits, the Cult of the Dark Goddess, and the Seal of Ameth. Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition. 2007;13(1). Available at: http://jwmt.org/v2n13/book.html.]

  As regards the name: Ophis means serpent in Greek and El means God in Hebrew, suggesting that the name means Serpent of God, a reference to the caduceus and Hermes. Was it normal to make chock-a-block names for otherworldly entities using parts of words from different cultures in the middles ages. Yes. [See Porreca D. Divine Names A Cross-Cultural Comparison. Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft. 2010;5(1):17-29.]

 In that the Olympic Spirits are said to rule destiny and that destiny can be mastered by coming into relationship with the Olympic Spirits, they are likened to the Eastern idea of chakras, which are planes of consciousness—or complexes within consciousness that must be deconstructed in the goal toward “liberation.” The Arbatel also seems to suggest that the Olympic Spirits are planes of consciousness, which are self-limiting complexes that need to be transcended, in keeping with Ophite and Medieval Alchemical thought. I will not digress on parallels between caduceus imagery and Kundalini in this document, except to say that both are the paths through which the microcosm is joined with the macrocosm.

 Hagith (Venus)

After a long interval there follows [the wisdom of] the rebellious spirits that are reserved for the Last Judgment. –from Aphorism 9

 Hagith is said to rule 21 Provinces. This translates into the equation 7x3, making its value 3 (2+1= 3 as well). Its geometric form is the 2 dimensional plane. It is depicted in the diagram as a green circle divided into quarters. It represents the elemental cosmic sphere. The quarters represent the 4 elements. The “rebellious spirits reserved for the Last Judgment” may be an allusion to human beings subject to the rigors secondary to the fall of Adam.

 Hagith is said to rule 4000 legions. This translates as 4 x 1000. Four here designates the 4 elemental quarters, which extend out into the multiverse (1000). This is suggested in the statement regarding Hagith in Aphorism 17: “. . . over every thousand he ordains Kings for their appointed season.”

 Haggith—is a Hebrew name, meaning festive. Haggith is the 4th wife of King David (her son is Adonijah, which means Beautiful, but the story of Adonijah is rather tragic: he tries to usurp the thrown, which David gave his son Solomon. Solomon forgives Adonijah but then has him killed when he has Haggith ask Solomon’s mother Bathsheba for his father’s concubine. I am wondering whether a veiled allusion to the rebellion and fall of Lucifer exists in this story and is the rationale for referring to Venus as Hagith.

 Och (Sol)

“Fourthly [ is the wisdom] in Nature and natural things.” From Aphorism 9

 Sol is said to rule 28 Provinces. This translates into the equation 7x4, making its value 4. Its geometric form is the tetrahedron. 2+8=10, which reduces to 1, again reiterating ideas about the Empedoclean dimensionless point. It is depicted in the diagram as a golden circumferential circle.

 Och is said to have 36536 legions, which translates as 365 and 36. 365 is perhaps an allusion to Abraxas, a Gnostic deity of late antiquity that was equated with the solar year. For me, 36 is an allusion to Ophiel (8 rays) + the mansions of the moon (28). This suggests that Och pervades and rules the Cosmos (the Ordered Universe), which is the role of Abraxas, whose sacred number is 365. (Plutarch, however, equates the number 36 with the Tetractys and also with the World because it represents Totality. He arrives at this rationale and number by adding  together the first four odd and even numbers: 1+3+5+7+2+4+6+8=36.)  

 Och is said to “to give 600 years.” I believe that 600 years suggests the hexagram (6), which here represents the celestial Cosmic sphere.  Thus, achieving Och consciousness makes one master of the celestial sphere.

 The name Och may come from the Greek Ochros, meaning pale yellow. Och also refers to the number 8 in Latin.

 Phalec (Mars)

[The third type of wisdom] is in corporeal creatures. –from Aphorism 9

 Phalec is said to rule 35 Provinces. This translates into the equation 7x5, making its value 5. Its geometric form is the pentahedron. It is depicted in my diagram as the red lines at the cardinal points –the polar opposites—and the red blush within the circle. Phalec divides space as if ruling over duality. It is about halves, not quarters. Minimal information is given about Phalec in Aphorism 17 except that it is referred to as the Prince of Peace and the Intelligence ruling martial affairs. This suggests that the Intelligence manages strife. Strife in Pythagorean Tetractys doctrine are 2 points, denoting duality and complementarities—polar opposites. Also the tension between opposing forces moves a person to act, causing things (forms, corporeal beings) to be. Why Prince of Peace? Because strife necessitates harmony (third row of the Tetractys). “Peace” is the resolution or still point between opposites.

Phalec may be derived from the name Peleg, a character in the Old Testament who is said to be the ancestor of Abraham. Peleg means split or divide.

 Bethor (Jupiter)

[The] next [wisdom before the chiefest] is that which is spiritual. –from Aphorism 9

 Bethor is said to rule 42 Provinces. This translates into the equation 7x6, making its value 6. Its geometric form is the hexahedron. It is depicted in the diagram as the blue lines and blue accents in the circle.

 Bethor is said to have 29000 legions. 8 x 3.5=29.  8 refers to Ophiel; 3.5 refers to 3 Nobles and half a Prince that preside over an elemental quardrant. This translates into the 8ths of space in ny diagram. Pervading the 8 regions of space suggests expansion and pervasiveness. The eighths can be visualized in the diagram as hour-glass (a type of hexagram shape) or leminscate shape, suggesting perpetuity.

 Bethor is said to have 42 Kings, 35 Princes, 28 Dukes, 21 Counselors, 14 Ministers, and 7 Messengers, which I believe means that Bethor rules all of space that is within Aratron. He is said to "prolong life to 700 years if God wills." This may be a blind suggesting that he who masters Bethor consciousness gains mastery over the planetary sphere.

 Beth means house in Hebrew. “Or” is a variation of Latin “Aurum,” which means gold.

 Aratron (Saturn)

That is the chiefest wisdom, which is from God. –from Aphorism 9

 Aratron is said to rule 49 Provinces. This translates into the equation 7x7, making its value 7. Its geometric form is the heptahedron. It is depicted in the diagram as the whole square, which is purple.

 Aratron is said to have 36000 legions. 8 + 28 =36 x 1000. Eight refers to the 8 quarters of space. Twenthy-eight refers to the mansions of the moon. As noted, 36 may also refer to the Cosmic Whole (Tetractys) and the World. Aratron, which is the boundary of cosmic time and space (Kronos) is about the extended quarters of space. The clues are in Aphorisms 9, 11, and 17: The relevant statement from Aphorism 9 is quoted above. Aphorism 11 states: “A number of 4 is Pythagorical, and the first quadrate. Therefore, here let us place the foundation of all wisdom [ie, Aratron], after the wisdom of God revealed in the holy scriptures [ie, Bethor], and to the considerations proposed in Nature [ie, Sol].” Aphorism 17 says that "the number of a legion is 490. This number reduces to 4 (4+9=13; 1+3=4). Aratron is said to have 49 Kings, 42 Princes, 5 Presidents, 28 Dukes, 12 Ministers, 14 Familiars, and 7 Messengers, suggesting that Aratron pervades all of space.

 In regard to the name: Ara means altar in Latin. Tron means the instrumental in Greek. This suggests that Aratron is the “Ground of Being” of Cosmic or Provisional Reality.

 The colored diagram here is my attempt to fit the geometry I was seeing into the Arbatel’s Seal of Secrets. It is also divided into the 12 planes of the zodiacal ecliptic with red dots where the mansions would more or less be, as if the cardinal point at the top of the diagram is 1 degree Aries.

Revised September 11, 2010 --Soror ZSD23




Tags: arbatel, olympic spirits, planetary intelligences, planetary magic, seal of secrets, soror zsd23
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