Thursday, 13 September 2012

Seals of the archangels in Scot's Discovery of Witchcraft

In the printed Discovery of Witchcraft, Reginald  Scot shows in book XV , chapter VII, the characters of the angels of the seaven daies, with their names: of figures, seales and periapts.

They bear  indeed a striking resempblence to the figures in the Heptameron, as Joseph Peterson noticed and we shall try to ascertain the validity of this fact.

I have used for refference the following volumes:

Discoverie of Witchcraft, Reginald Scot, London, 1584, online edition by Joseph H. Peterson.

All printed editions consulted share striking similar designs, perhaps using the same plates, so I have not included further editions since no pertinent difference can be found. Neither do the designs in the 1886 reprint by Brinsley Nicholson (London).

 Seal of Michael

 Notes: Seal differs in style to those in Heptameron.  The beggining curve is predominantly horizontal and the adjoining line does not form a circle withing it.

Seal of Gabriel

 Notes: Seal differs from the ones in Heptameron in details, not style. The portion with two rectangles united by a line to the left was formed with circular patterns in Hept. and here they are oriented downward rather than upward or straight, like in Hept. Here we have two independent marks above the medial line in the shape of two sixes (6), whereas in the Hept. we have similar ones in the shapes of lower case B's (b). The rectangular piece has four horizontal compartments, while in the Hept. there are eight (in this version we lack a vertical line, or perhaps, Hept. adds a vertical line to this version). After the A shape and before the ending, which are the same in both sources, the figures of the Heptameron feature a superior jagged figure in the shape of an M, which this sign lacks.

Seal of Samael

Notes: Slight differences to Hept. It differs from Hept.1 and Hept.3 regarding the downward curve in the middle, but resembles Hept.2 and differs from them all having a full ornate cross at the far-right end, as opposed to the incomplete cross in all of the Hept. examples.

Seal of Raphael

Notes: The angle of the far-left character is more acute than in Hept., forming a mirrored Z, the second circle is only crossed by a horizontal line, as opposed to the Hept. where we have one horizontal and one verticle,  the medial line is ended with a circle, as in Hept.1 and Hept.2 and the K shape in indeed attached, as in Hept.1 and Hept.3, but dissimilar to Hept.2. Also, no vertical line exceeds the rectangle, as in Hept.1, 2 and 3.

 Seal of Sachiel

 Notes: Of the three figures presented for the Heptameron, the first characters shares the most common traits with Hept.1, adding two dots to the horizontal line contained in the enclosure. he second is consistent with the rest, but the third mark does not present the lower hook attached to the left end of the horizontal, being present in all three of the Hept. figures.

 Seal of Anael

 Notes: The seal is quite different in style from the Hept. figures. The teardrop shape in the first mark is affixed to the top line of the descending triangle, uncommon for all figures. The second mark almost demands symmetry: having a central curved line raised upwards, with elements on either side. What was somewhat horizontal and slanted downwards in the Hept. figures is here a straight figure of well-composed symmetry, while the right side shows a spiral. The somewhat secondary appendix from the Hept. becomes a powerful central figure in this mark.

 Seal of Cassiel (or Gaphriel)

Notes: The seal shares most features with the first two marks of the Hept. seals, but the most striking fact is the absence of the third. However, the first mark is a rectangle, as opposed to the horizontal trapezoid of the Hept. seals and the second mark has two different features: the lower left side lacks the curve present in the Hept. and the right side lacks the circle termination, replacing it with a simple hook. 




No comments:

Post a Comment