The Theban Alphabet, also called the Witches’ Alphabet, is a system of writing which is thought to have originated in the 16th century.  It is first mentioned in medieval alchemical manuscripts by Polygraphia (1518) and Agrippa (1531), attributing the alphabet to Honorius of Thebes.  Thus, the Theban Alphabet is also called the Runes of Honorius or the Honorian Alphabet.  However some say the absence of characters such as ‘J’, ‘U’ and ‘W’ denote a possible connection with pre-11th century Latin, as those letters were not used until much later.File:Theban.jpg

The Golden Dawn and Ordo Templi Orientalis used the alphabet extensively in the 19th century, which may have been the reason why Gerald Gardner adopted its usage in Wicca.

Whatever its origins, the Theban Alphabet appears to have been used as an alchemical cipher.  Because it abstracts the writer’s native language, it forces the writer to concentrate on the inscription and task at hand, making Theban useful for magic and ritual work.  The Theban Alphabet is used often for making talismans, and some Wiccans use Theban as a way to disguise the writings in their Book of Shadows.

Wiki – Theban Alphabet
Wicca For The Rest Of Us – Theban

© A Year And A Day (2013)



Runes are letters in an ancient Germanic alphabet used from about 150 to 1100 CE, prior to the common usage of the Latin alphabet.  The word ‘rune’ is thought to come from a Middle English word that means “secret writing”. 

Runes are also known as futhark/fuþark or futhorc/fuþorc based on the first six letters of the runic alphabet.  The three best-known runic alphabets are the Elder Futhark (Norse, Germanic tribes, c. 150–800), the Anglo-Saxon Futhorc (c. 400–1100), and the Younger Futhark (Scandinavian modification c. 800–1100).

The runes are broken into three groups of eight, called aett (aettir), meaning ‘family’.  The First Aett is also known as Freyja’s Aett, the Second as Heimdall’s Aett, the Third as Tyr’s Aett.

In Norse mythology, it is thought that Odin hung upside down from a tree for nine days, after which he learned the secret of the runes and became their master (translated from the poem Havamal in the Poetic Edda).

Since each letter has a specific meaning, runes are also used in divination and magick.  Cunningham says that “runes are symbols that, when drawn, painted, traced, carved or visualized, release specific energies”.  Runes are commonly drawn or carved on wood, clay, stone or other natural objects.

Modern day rune sets are made out of 24 letters, 25 if you include the blank or Wyrd rune, which symbolizes fate or the unknown.

Wikipedia – Runes
The Complete Idiots Guide to Wicca & Witchcraft (Zimmerman)

© A Year And A Day (2012)


Magic / Magick (Pagan Blog Project)

Ok, I might have missed the ‘M’ weeks for Pagan Blog Project, but I was still interested in doing this post.

As a newbie pagan, can I expect to wave around a magic wand, wiggle my nose, say ‘hocus pocus’, and my wish will come true?  The skeptic in me says no.  But that doesn’t mean I don’t believe in magic.

Interestingly enough, when I was researching magic/magick online and in books, even wiccan books, most sources mentioned Aleister Crowley’s definitions about magick.  (Spelling ‘magick’ with a ‘k’ to differentiate it from the ‘stage tricks’ type of magic).  Aleister Crowley was of course the infamous occultist who introduced Thelema to the world, and was member of several occult organizations including the Golden Dawn, the A.’.A.’., and Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O).

Aleister Crowley discusses magick in his book Magick in Theory and Practice, defining it as “the science and art of causing a change to occur in conformance with will”.  He adds “every intentional act is a magickal act” and “magick is the science of understanding oneself and one’s conditions. It is the art of applying that understanding in action”.

Almost every culture and religion has a variation of magick, be it called prayer, meditation, visualization, trance work, positive affirmation, the law of attraction, inspiration, visions, prophecy, miracles, or others.  Shamanism, voudon and witchcraft are also forms of magick.

In “Paganism“, the authors define the mechanics of magick as “putting yourself into a receptive state, forming your intention clearly, projecting this intention into the universe, and then letting it go to do its work”.  This is how a spell works.

And since the energy of the universe is immanent in all things, magick is everywhere!

Magick has many uses including energy work (personal empowerment, growth and healing), divination (receiving energy and information) or spiritual growth (communing with deity and feeling one with the universe).

So although magick is not currently defined in today’s scientific world (even though the field of quantum physics is approaching it), it doesn’t need to be fully understood in order for it to be effective.   Historically things like magnetism and the rise and fall of the sun were considered ‘magic’.

As long as you believe in your intent, the universe will work towards your desired outcome.


© A Year And A Day (2012)