Saturday, June 18, 2011

Reconstructing Solomon's Triangle

I have been discovering occult blogs the last few days. You have the usual spells/home remedy type stuff. These have become more of a curiosity with all the over the counter remedies you can get these days. You have your harmonic alien chakra crystals. You have Thelemic treacle. There's the same introductory Runic lore you can find in old '80s paperbacks. And then...

Yesterday I read a blog post about the Triangle of Solomon. I highly recommend reading the post HERE.

The goal is to understand the Triangle of Solomon as it appears in the Goetia. The theory is that the original Triangle was in Hebrew.

While reading the blog I was reminded of a time back in the late '90s (on further reflection I believe it was '94 or 95) when I and a friend of mine decided we would attempt to reconstruct the original Magical Triangle of Solomon. Our reasoning was much like that in the article linked to, but with one difference.

For those of you who have clicked the link to read the article and comments, let me risk some redundancy.

We start the reconstruction of Solomon's Triangle with the word Tetragrammaton. Tetragrammaton is the unspeakable four letter name of God. Many books and websites detail this fact. Far too many sources to list here.

Since all three words around the triangle of Art have a similar ending, they probably represent three names of God.

Primeumaton is probably God's Prime (first or primary) name. The first and most commonly used name of God (in the Hebrew Old Testament) is Elohim.

This is the line of reasoning I followed and which seems to be the line of reasoning for the others who have tried to decipher the Triangle.

The last word of the Triangle is Anaphaxeton. Gilbert, in his excellent article breaks down the word Anaphaxeton into its separate parts and suggests AHYH as the possible original Hebrew name of God.

As I was in public high school at the time, and knew only the smattering of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew I could pick up from grimoires, I came to a very different conclusion about Anaphaxeton.

My only copy of the Goetia had a little section called "An Explanation of Solomon's Triangle". The line describing Anaphaxeton reads:
Anephezeton.  Thou great God of all the Heavenly Host:

This implied to me that Anaphaxeton was related to the Heavenly Host. The one word that comes to mind is Tzabaoth.

The resulting Triangle of Solomon looks like this:

Back then I was using modern Hebrew characters, but thanks to Carroll "Poke" Runyon, I know to use older characters. When the words are substituted and read from the Tetragrammaton we have the words "YHVH Elohim Tzabaot". There is the ineffable Name and the Alpha and Omega (Aliph is the first letter of Elohim, and Tau is the last letter of Tzabaoth).

In The Key of Solomon the King (Clavicula Salomonis),  Book 1, Chapter 5 there is a conjuration in which spirits are commanded by the many Names of God. After the list of names, the spirits are conjured
"by the troops of Angels who cease not to cry day and night, QADOSCH, QADOSCH, QADOSCH, ADONAI ELOHIM TZABAOTH"

In Chapter 9 of Book 1 there is an oration which reads in part:
Thou Who art seated upon the Kerubim and the Seraphim, in the high places, whereunto human understanding cannot penetrate: Thou Who hast created all things by Thine agency, in Whose Presence are the Living Creatures, of which four are marvellously volatile, which have six wings, and who incessantly cry aloud:
"QADOSH, QADOSH, QADOSH, ADONAI ELOHIM TZABAOTH, Heaven and Earth are full of Thy glory";
Both of these passages refer to Isaiah 6:1-4
1In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the LORD (YHVH) sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.
 2Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.
 3And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD (YHVH) of hosts (Tzabaoth): the whole earth is full of his glory.
 4And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.

The Adonai of the Key of Solomon is YHVH. You will notice the passage in Isaiah lacks the word Elohim while the Key of Solomon includes it, twice. I do not think that is a mistake. It is my belief that the magic circle is a symbolic representation of this vision of Isaiah.

The YHVH is in the center, surrounded by the Seraphim (four hexagrams).  The 24 triangles (or wings) are the 24 hours of day and night (24 x 3 = 72).

Or that's the way I imagined it as a teenager. I still think it's a solid reconstruction. Let me know what you think.

Since writing this post I came across a thread at
THIS post clearly shows a triangle strikingly similar to my own. I have conversed with the creator of this other Triangle. He also formulated his Triangle of Art in the '90s.

I also just found THIS cool picture of the Triangle at a blog I need to subscribe to. Very crafty stuff there.

I can now think of a couple slight changes that would make the Triangle even better. I don't know if or when I'll get around to drawing them up, but here's a quick explanation:
YHVH should form the base or foundation of the Triangle, opposite the K of MI-K-AL
ALHIM is now on the left with the A in some way highlighted so it stands out
TzBAUTh is on the right hand side of the Triangle with Th highlighted

This is your first and last, the ox and a cross (use the older letters).

All three names should be easily read from within the Circle.

Here's the updated version:


  1. Brother,
    Thank you for pointing me toward this counter argument. Tzaboath (or Tzevoat, or whatever) does indeed reference the Heavenly Host, so assuming that that's a good translation on Mather's part then I can definitely see where that might be a valid interpretation the side note in the Lemegeton. Very good point, my friend. I may need to edit my original argument to include a reference to your interpretation. Thank you for that.

  2. Thanks for the linkback! Your work's definitely impressive, so I plan on using some of your ideas in my own practice. Something about imitation and flattery, yada yada.

    I do have a few questions, though: why use the archaic letterforms over the modern ones, besides for the style? Also, I've never found an explanation about why the godnames are in red and the circle a dark green. Would you have any ideas about this?

  3. When it comes to lettering... I chose to use lettering that would match the seal of Jerusalem (see it in the post on the Ring of Solomon: )

    The older writing doesn't just look different, it has no final forms. This simplifies gematria a bit.

    The colors... I was just using the colors suggested in the Mathers/Crowley GoS. The manuscripts I've seen are in black and white with no indication of color. The circle is filled with black ink.