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Sunday, 8 October 2017

The MacKenzie-Blavatsky Esoteric Alphabet from the Theosophical Glossary

In honor of David Reigle’s post on Boris de Zirkof’s Herculean reference work on the Theosophical Glossary, we humbly submit for your consideration, the esoteric alphabet from Kenneth MacKenzie’s Royal Masonic Cyclopaedia, with added material by Blavatsky.
Theosophical Glossary Sources
By David Reigle on May 31, 2017
The Theosophical Glossary by H. P. Blavatsky, published in 1892, draws its definitions from many sources. Comparatively little of it was written by Blavatsky herself. Boris de Zirkoff laboriously located the source references for a large number of its entries, and he hand-wrote these in his copy of this book.
A —The first letter in all the world-alphabets save a few, such for instance as the Mongolian, the Japanese, the Tibetan, the Ethiopian, etc. It is a letter of great mystic power and “magic virtue” with those who have adopted it, and with whom its numerical value is one. It is the Aleph of the Hebrews, symbolized by the Ox or Bull; the Alpha of the Greeks, the one and the first the Az of the Slavonians, signifying the pronoun “I” (referring to the “I am that I am”). Even in Astrology, Taurus (the Ox or Bull or the Aleph) is the first of the Zodiacal signs, its colour being white and yellow. The sacred Aleph acquires a still more marked sanctity with the Christian Kabalists when they learn that this letter typifies the Trinity in Unity, as it is composed of two Yods, one upright, the other reversed with a slanting bar or nexus, thus— a. Kenneth R. H. Mackenzie states that “the St. Andrew cross is occultly connected therewith”. The divine name, the first in the series corresponding with Aleph, is AêHêIêH or Ahih when vowelless, and this is a Sanskrit root.
B —The second letter in almost all the alphabets, also the second in the Hebrew. Its symbol is a house, the form of Beth, the letter itself indicating a dwelling, a shed or a shelter. “As a compound of a root, it is constantly used for the purpose of showing that it had to do with stone; when stones at Beth-el are set up, for instance. The Hebrew value as a numeral is two. Joined with its predecessor, it forms the word Ab, the root of ‘father’, Master, one in authority, and it has the Kabalistical distinction of being the first letter in the Sacred Volume of the Law. The divine name connected with this letter is "Bakhour." (R. M. [Cyclop.]
C.—The third letter of the English alphabet, which has no equivalent in Hebrew except Caph, which see under K.
D.  Both in the English and Hebrew alphabets the fourth letter, whose numerical value is four. The symbolical signification in the Kabbala of the Daleth is “door”. It is the Greek delta D, through which the world (whose symbol is the tetrad or number four,) issued, producing the divine seven. The name of the Tetrad was Harmony with the Pythagoreans, “because it is a diatessaron in sesquitertia”. With the Kabbalists, the divine name associated with Daleth was Daghoul.
E.—The fifth letter of the English alphabet. The he (soft) of the Hebrew alphabet becomes in the Ehevi system of reading that language an E. Its numerical value is five, and its symbolism is a window; the womb, in the Kabbala. In the order of the divine names it stands for the fifth, which is Hadoor or the “majestic” and the “splendid.”
F —The sixth letter of the English alphabet, for which there is no equivalent in Hebrew. It is the double F F of the Æolians which became the Digamma for some mysterious reasons. It corresponds to the Greek phi. As a Latin numeral it denotes 40, with a dash over the letter (F) 400,000.
G •—The seventh letter in the English alphabet. “In Greek, Chaldean, Syriac, Hebrew, Assyrian, Samaritan, Etrurian, Coptic, in the modern Romaic and Gothic, it occupies the third place in the alphabet, while in Cyrillic, Glagolitic, Croat, Russian, Servian and Wallachian, it stands fourth.” As the name of “god” begins with this letter (in Syriac, gad; Swedish, gud: German, gott; English, god; Persian, gada, etc., etc.), there is an occult reason for this which only the students of esoteric philosophy and of the Secret Doctrine, explained esoterically, will understand thoroughly; it refers to the three logoi—the last,the Elohim, and the emanation of the latter, the androgynous Adam Kadmon. All these peoples have derived the name of “god” from their respective traditions, the more or less clear echoes of the esoteric tradition. Spoken and “Silent Speech” (writing) are a “gift of the gods”, say all the national traditions, from the old Aryan Sanskrit-speaking people who claim that their alphabet, the Devanâgari (lit., the language of the devas or gods) was given to them from heaven, down to the Jews, who speak of an alphabet, the parent of the one which has survived, as having been a celestial and mystical symbolism given by the angels to the patriarchs. Hence, every letter had its manifold meaning. A symbol itself of a celestial being and objects, it was in its turn represented on earth by like corresponding objects whose form symbolised the shape of the letter. The present letter, called in Hebrew gimel and symbolised by a long camel’s neck, or rather a serpent erect, is associated with the third sacred divine name, Ghadol or Magnus (great). Its numeral is four, the Tetragrammaton and the sacred Tetraktys; hence its sacredness. With other people it stood for 400 and with a dash over it, for 400,000.
H ,—The eighth letter and aspirate of the English alphabet, and also the eighth in the Hebrew. As a Latin numeral it signifies 200, and with the addition of a dash 200,000; in the Hebrew alphabet Châth is equivalent to h, corresponds to eight, and is symbolised by a Fence and Venus according to Seyffarth, being in affinity and connected with , and therefore with the opening or womb. It is pre-eminently a Yonic letter.
I .—The ninth letter in the English, the tenth in the Hebrew alphabet. As a numeral it signifies in both languages one, and also ten in the Hebrew (see J), in which it corresponds to the Divine name Jah, the male side, or aspect, of the hermaphrodite being, or the male-female Adam, of which hovah Jah-hovah) is the female aspect. It is symbolized by a hand with bent fore-finger, to show its phallic signification.
J —The tenth letter in the English and Hebrew alphabet, in the latter of which it is equivalent
to y, and i, and is numerically number 10, the perfect number (See Jodh and Yodh), or one. (See also “I”.)
K.—The eleventh ]etter in both the English and the Hebrew alphabets. As a numeral it stands in the latter for 20, and in the former for 250, and with a stroke over it (K) for 250,000. The Kabalists and the Masons appropriate the word Kodesh or Kadosh as the name of the Jewish god under this letter.
L.—The twelfth letter of the English Alphabet, and also of the Hebrew, where Lamed signifies an Ox-goad, the sign of a form of the god Mars, the generative deity. The letter is an equivalent of number 30. The Hebrew divine name corresponding to L, is Limmud, or Doctus.
M—The thirteenth letter of the Hebrew and of the English alphabets, and the twenty-fourth of the Arabic. As a Roman numeral, this letter stands for 1,000, and with a dash on it (M) signifies one million. In the Hebrew alphabet Mem symbolized water, and as a numeral is equivalent to 40. The Sanskrit ma is equivalent to number 5, and is also connected with water through the sign of the Zodiac, called Makâra (q.v.). Moreover, in the Hebrew and Latin numerals the m,  stands “as the definite numeral for an indeterminate number”(Mackenzie’s Mason. Cyc.), and “the Hebrew sacred name of God app]ied to this letter is Meborach, Benedictus.” With the Esotericists the M is the symbol of the Higher Ego—Manas, Mind.
N —The 14th letter in both the English and the Hebrew alphabets. In the latter tongue the N is called Nun, and signifies a fish. It is the symbol of the female principle or the womb. Its numerical value is 50 in the Kabalistic system, but the Peripatetics made it equivalent to 900, and with a stroke over it (900) 9,000. With the Hebrews, however, the final Nun was 700.
0.—The fifteenth letter and fourth vowel in the English alphabet. It has no equivalent in Hebrew, whose alphabet with one exception is vowelless. As a numeral, it signified with the ancients 11; and with a dash on it 11,000. With other ancient people also, it was a very sacred letter. In the Dêvanâgari, or the characters of the gods, its significance is varied, but there is no space to give instances.
P.—The 16th letter in both the Greek and the English alphabets, and the 17th in the Hebrew, where it is called or pay, and is symbolized by the mouth, corresponding also, as in the Greek alphabet, to number 80. The Pythagoreans also made it equivalent to 100, and with a dash thus ( P) it stood for 400,000. The Kabbalists associated with it the sacred name of Phodeh (Redeemer), though no valid reason is given for it.
Q._The seventeenth letter of the English Alphabet. It is the obsolete Æolian Qoppa and the Hebrew Koph. As a numeral it is 100, and its symbol is the back of the head from the ears to the neck. With the Æolian Occultists it stood for the symbol of differentiation.
R .—The eighteenth letter of the alphabet; “the canine”, as its sound reminds one of a snarl. In the Hebrew alphabet it is the twentieth, and its numeral is 200. It is equivalent as Resh to the divine name Rahim (clemency); and its symbols are, a sphere, a head, or a circle.
S—The nineteenth letter; numerically, sixty. In Hebrew it is the fifteenth letter, Samech, held as holy because “the sacred name of god is Samech”. Its symbol is a prop, or a pillar, and a phallic egg. In occult geometry it is represented as a circle quadrated by a cross, . In the Kabbalah the “divisions of
Gan-Eden or paradise” are similarly divided.
T.—The twentieth letter of the alphabet. In the Latin Alphabet its value was 160, and, with a dash over it (T) signified 160,000. It is the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet, the Tau whose equivalents are T, TH, and numerical value 400. Its symbols are as a tau, a cross +, the foundation framework of construction; and as a teth (T), the ninth letter, a snake and the basket of the Eleusinian mysteries.
U .—The twenty-first letter of the Latin alphabet, which has no equivalent in Hebrew. As a number, however, it is considered very mystical both by the Pythagoreans and the Kabbalists, as it is the product of 3 x 7. The latter consider it the most sacred of the odd numbers, as 21 is the sum of the numerical value of the Divine Name aeie, or eiea, or again aheihe—thus (read backward, aheihe)
                                                          he i he a
In Alchemy it symbolizes the twenty-one days necessary for the transmutation of baser metals into silver.
V.—The twenty-second letter of the Latin alphabet. Numerically it stands for 5; hence the Roman V (with a dash) stands for 5,000. The Western Kabbalists have connected it with the divine Hebrew name IHVH. The Hebrew Vau, however, being number 6, it is only by being identical with the W, that it can ever become a proper symbol for the male-female, and spirit-matter. The equivalent for the Hebrew Vau is YO, and in numerals 6.
W_The 23rd letter. Has no equivalent in Hebrew. In Western Occultism some take it as the symbol for celestial water, whereas M stands for terrestrial water.
X.—This letter is one of the important symbols in the Occult philosophy. As a numeral X stands, in mathematics, for the unknown quantity; in occult numerals, for the perfect number 10; when placed horizontally, thus χ, it means 1,000; the same with a dash over it χ for 10,000; and by itself, in occult symbolism, it is Plato’s logos (man as a microcosm) decussated in space in the form of the letter X. The , or cross within the circle, has moreover a still clearer significance in Eastern occult philosophy: it IS MAN within his own spherical envelope.
Y.—The twenty-fifth letter of the English alphabet, and the tenth of the Hebrew—the Yod. It is the litera Pythagorœ the Pythagorean letter and symbol, signifying the two branches, or paths of virtue and vice respectively, the right leading to virtue, the left to vice. In Hebrew Kabbalistic mysticism it is the phallic male member, and also as number ten, the perfect number. Symbolically, it is represented by a hand with bent forefinger. Its numerical equivalent is ten.
Z.—The 26th letter of the English alphabet. It stands as a numeral for 2,000, and with a dash over it thus, Z, equals 2,000,000. It is the seventh letter in the Hebrew alphabet—zayin, its symbol being a kind of Egyptian sceptre, a weapon. The zayin is equivalent to number seven. The number twenty-six is held most sacred by the Kabbalists, being equal to the numerical value of the letters of the Tetragrammaton
                                                                                he vau he yod
5 + 6 + 5 + ‘0 =26.

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