(Pending editing. manuscript information)
He manifested his doubt upon their relation to other characters found on traditional segulot and his suspicion of a tradition more linked to the Sefer Mafteah Shlomo, due to the lack of circle-ended figures which is the subject of his current studies.
I would like to further strengthen his suspicion and attempt to forward a possible Arabic origin of the seals.
As far as I know there are no practical directions connected to the seals, but an educated guess would be that they were engraved on rings or metallic medals made according to the astrological disposition of the planet in question.
I have three reasons to believe they are of Arabic descent:
-most of the image magic works featuring the septenary of planets are not purely Jewish in nature, but almost entirely Arabic. As there are some evidences about a Jewish tradition of seals and sigils, found in Shoshon Yesod Olam, Sefer Even HaShosham and a number of Genizah fragments, I will not claim complete certainty here on account of my lack of information, but most of the seals in Jewish amulets are quite dissimilar from our set, while Arabic treatises abound in almost the same type of seals. Not a farfetched claim when we consider Vital s journeys to Egypt and long term studies in Safed and Damascus, where Arabic image magic would have flourished.
-the repertoire of the signs is about 28 or 29 recurring symbols (give or take one as a margin of error caused by faulty copying) which lends us to believe the characters are simply names written in a magical alphabet. I will compare the existing alphabets of Arabic origin used in talismans from my collection, including the ones found in the treatise of Ibn Wahshyyah, and communicate my findings.
-the characters themselves have common symbols with other Arabic series of characters, one of the most striking being with the alphabet or secret characters of the Tahatil names. I will append illustrative material as shortly as possible.
These are the seven character lines in question, cleaned up and enhanced for further study. Once again, many thanks to Rabbi Yosef Cohen for his most cordial help in identifying the attributions.
Seals of Saturn
Seals of Jupiter
Seals of Mars
Seals of the Sun
Seals of Venus
Seals of Mercury
Seals of the Moon
In my future studies and comparative charts, I will refer to this series of characters as Vital. Each series will be coded with a three letter sigla for the planet (Vital.Sol., Vital.Lun., Vital.Mrs., Vital.Mrc. and so forth), while the symbols themselves will be numbered as they appear from right to left. As an example, sign Vital.Mrc.1 appears in quite a number of Arabic charms
As seen in figure 2, it s not a mere cross with crooked circles, but two elongated syllables in Arabic (Hah), crossed one upon the other. In our series, the vertical line forms the syllable HAH and the horizontal line forms the syllable MU or perhaps HU.