At least as far back as ancient Roman times, anagrams have delighted would-be prophets by unlocking mystical hidden meanings in words and phrases. The names of Tarot's Major Arcana make for some intriguing rearrangements, to be sure. For example, we learn of The Empress that "she tempers." The World appears to have "held wort" (plant medicine). The Hanged Man, not surprisingly, "hated hangmen." The Fool seems to ask to be allowed to walk on: "let hoof." The Chariot apparently operates according to a "Torah ethic." Pictured are all the anagrams we were able to decipher. You might have noticed that there are no anagrams for Strength or Judgment, as those two left us stumped. But grab some Scrabble tiles and try your own hand at anagramming the Tarot. See for yourself whether the Ace of Swords represents a "coward's foes," whether the Six of Pentacles "expels factions," and whether "few pagans do" the Page of Wands
The Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do spread is for issues of disharmony, feeling out-of-synch, needing a tune-up, or trying to orchestrate a complicated arrangement. Each note of the scale has a different meaning, according to the mnemonics of the famous song from The Sound of Music:
Do is "a female deer," and the card for this note describes the totem for the reading.
Re is a "drop of golden sun," referring to a guiding light.
Mi is "a name I call myself" and stands as the significator.
Fa is "a long, long way to run," referring to the undertaking at hand.
So is "a needle pulling thread" and points to elements that need to be brought together.
La is "a note to follow So" and therefore the result of the previous synthesis.
Ti is "a drink with jam and bread," referring to what will sustain this undertaking.
"And that brings us back to Do," which offers a sense of progression from the first to the last card.
This manual seems to titularly announce its target demographic, but don't let that fool you. It's like reading Lewis Carroll. No matter how much weariness there is in your bones, the sprite of your mind will fly with and to these words.
It's lavishly illustrated by the author with all sorts of abraxases and magic squares and mystical beasts whose mix-and-match bodies were the precursors of today's recombinant, genetic portmanteaux.
How much ... a delight it is ... to simply enjoy the uncommon truths of these eldritch spells coiled upon themselves and their secrets like wonderful chambered nautiluses.
The book elevates sound (and its magical properties) to the same level the Theosophists did, but in a much more playful way. It is a preposterous work, in the best sense of that word.
The great alchemist John Dee designed a protective magical talisman under the direction of the angel Uriel: crossed lines, a central circle, and the letters A, G, L, and A. These letters constitute an acronym (also known as a kabbalistic "notariqon") of the unspeakable primordial name that was lost through the ages. It's a well-kept secret that this talisman can serve as a revealing template for a four-card Tarot spread. We explore the how and why in our guest post for Thematic Tarot.
S. writes that she's working on token giveaways to commemorate the sunrise after an all-night fire ceremony, and she has found some beautiful palo santo sticks — fragrant wood which is burned a tiny bit at a time. She explains: "We would like to have a magic word that could be burned into the wood, so that as someone burned it away, bit by bit, the word would still have meaning, magic and power, even with one letter disappearing at a time, either from the beginning, or the end."
We're delighted to add our two cents, and may they be lucky pennies. We suggest one of two age-old palindromic wishing spells, neither of which has a precise meaning but rather are intended to sound weird so as to seal in mysterious powers and also so as to represent the thing one wishes for. Both spells are meant to diminish letter by letter on either/both sides, which would make them perfect for burning wood fragments. The words are: ABRAXARBA and ABLANATHANALBA. If written on a scroll, they'd look like this:
So the burning on either or both ends will create the diminishing effect. Perfection! More on ABLANATHANALBA can be found in our Magic Words: A Dictionary.