Monday, January 30, 2012

"Word" & "Number" Squares in Jewish Magic - Part 3

Having perused the various formats of the "Magic Squares" of the third and fourth order, I thought we might as well take a look at the remaining "planetary" squares and their variants.
Now, the "Magic Square" of the fifth order, commonly called the "Mars square," is depicted in Agrippa's "Occult Philosophy" in the following manner:
In this instance each row of the "Magic Square" adds 65, and its total value is 325. Whilst most enthusiasts of "Magic Squares" would consider Agrippa's version of the square in question to be the most authentic, there are again some variants, as shown below:
The upper square was published in the "Esh M’tzaref," and is also addressed by W. Ahrens in "Hebraeische Amulette mit Magischen Zahlenquadraten." The lower square appeared in the marginal notes of a 15th Century Italian Hebrew manuscript. Be that as it may, in every instance the numerical values of the respective rows, as well as that of the square as a whole, remains exactly the same as the one published by Agrippa.
In addressing "Magic Squares" appearing on a variety of Hebrew amulets held in various German and Austrian libraries and other collections, W. Ahrens highlighted the following very interesting fivefold square:
The values of this square are equal to the other listed "Magic Squares" of the fifth order, but what makes this square particularly interesting are the central nine squares, i.e. the ones numbered from 9 to 17. Tracing those numbers in exact order on the square in question, affords the exact pattern of the "Magic Square" of the third order, as shown below:
Be that as it may, we now come to the "Magic Square" of the sixth order, which is attributed to the "Sun." Cornelius Agrippa as well as W. Ahrens in his "Hebraeische Amulette mit Magischen Zahlenquadraten" agree on its format, which is as follows:
Since the sixfold "Magic Square" is not extensively employed in Practical Kabbalah, I have encountered only one variant which appeared in the marginal notes of the earlier mentioned 15th century Italian Hebrew manuscript, which is as follows:
In both instances, the numerical value of each row is 111, and the total value of the square is the ever so "ominous" 666 of "Apocalypse" infamy!
(More to follow)


Chris Watson said...

all the references that I've come across on the internet show the second 5x5 square as Agrippa's including a copy of his book. What reference do you have that shows the first 5x5 square as Agrippa's?

Jacobus G. Swart said...

You are perfectly right. I inadvertently switched two fivefold squares around. As you have probably noticed, I haven't shared anything for a while, because there is problem with uploading images into the blog, and hence I unfortunately cannot fix the error. I will keep trying though.