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Magical Alphabets P [Paperback]

Pennick
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
An alphabet is a system of writing that expresses a language's sounds, both consonants and vowels, by means of single characters. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars You have to read this! Oct. 22 2000
Format:Paperback
I have found this book because I was looking for some information about the secret meaning of hebrew letters. This time I've already known something about runes and with the same material I started to study the ogham.
Nowadays we have no idea about the original meaning of our alphabets. In many cultures they explain the presence of G-d in their (our) lives. According to Pennick "letters in an alphabet are metaphors of reality". Read this book and you'll understand why.
You'll find here basic information about the hebrew, greek, runes and ogham. In the last chapters the author write about alchemical alphabets and magic squares. I'd like to see something about the egyptian alphabet but he didn't write anything about it.
My main interest in this book is the secret/divinatory aspect of these alphabets but you also will find a rich cultural approach in each section and it's very instructive.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars Sept. 13 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Great knowledge well done!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent academic and mystical resource Oct. 5 2005
By Julie A. Dawson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Words have power. It doesn't matter if you refer to it as positive thinking, as the modern self-help gurus do, or magic. There is no denying the power of well placed words to achieve a desired result. Nigel Pennick gets into both the historical and mystical power of the written word in his book Magical Alphabets. Pennick approaches the subject matter with equal parts scholarship and mysticism, creating an end result that is academically sound while also being highly useful for practitioners of the craft.

Pennick disects the power of language by focusing on the various mystical properties of ancient alphabets. He begins his commentary with the Hebrew alphabet, giving a brief introduction as to its origins, then diving into its importance in Qabalah. We are presented with clear and detailed explanations of each letter, and how the relate to each other. He also provides insightful information on Hebrew magic squares and grids.

Pennick then moves to the Greek alphabet, and effortlessly moves from explaining early Greek Gematria and the evolution into early Christian Greek Gematria. Again, the author provides wonderful detail for the magical purpose of each letter. And Pennick is able to back up his claims by citing an impressive array of academic, religious, and cultural sources.

The next part of the book explains the influence of the runic alphabet. He divides his explanation into the early runic alphabet (or, more accurately, The Elder Futhark) and the later true Gothic alphabet (which originated with the Goths on the Baltic island of Gotland). He explains the similarities and important differences between the two styles, then continues on with how the runes relate to trees. He then follows this is a chapter explaining the peculiar Celtic Oghams and the Bardic Alphabet, including the variations in Northern Europe. Much like the Runic alphabet, the letters corresponded to trees. These two chapters combined are of infinite use to pagans and wiccans who follow a predominately Celtic or Druidic path.

Finally, Pennick pulls all of the information together with an explanation of a host of obscure magical scripts and practices, everything from the secret alphabet of the Westphalia to magic grid ciphers tp Esoteric alphabets. The chapter is full of historical detail tracing the origins of these practices, as well as plenty of examples and illustrations to clarify points.

The book includes no less than nine appendices to organize the various alphabets explained in the book, as well as a short glossary of the most important terms. This book is a perfect starter for students interested in learning more about the subject. It would also serve experienced practitioners well as a handy reference guide.
24 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You have to read this! Oct. 22 2000
By Ivanovitch - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I have found this book because I was looking for some information about the secret meaning of hebrew letters. This time I've already known something about runes and with the same material I started to study the ogham.
Nowadays we have no idea about the original meaning of our alphabets. In many cultures they explain the presence of G-d in their (our) lives. According to Pennick "letters in an alphabet are metaphors of reality". Read this book and you'll understand why.
You'll find here basic information about the hebrew, greek, runes and ogham. In the last chapters the author write about alchemical alphabets and magic squares. I'd like to see something about the egyptian alphabet but he didn't write anything about it.
My main interest in this book is the secret/divinatory aspect of these alphabets but you also will find a rich cultural approach in each section and it's very instructive.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A nice overview. Feb. 19 2011
By Literary Omnivore - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The author has given a nice overview of many different ancient scripts here. The only criticism I have is that it is only that, an overview. If you want in-depth discussion or to actually learn any of these scripts then you'll need another book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful read Jan. 3 2013
By Clarence H. Stratton - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Interesting view of history and the alphabet of the ancient people even it you don't believe in magic. Wonder read.
5.0 out of 5 stars I have enjoyed very much reading this excellent book July 7 2014
By C.J. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have enjoyed very much reading this excellent book. The erudition that the author shows in each of their pages is evident and has helped me clarify many doubts that I had on these questions. I highly recommend this book to all those who want to know more about ancient languages and history in general.
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