Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Gate of the Stars: A short magical treatise

Following my collaboration with Rabbi Yosef Cohen, I am now publishing his full transcript and translation of the short magical treatise in Vital s manuscript, entitled Shaar ha-Kochavim, or The Gate of the Stars.
The Hebrew transcription can be found here:

Shaar HaKochavim 
(Gate of the Stars)  
Day one: Sun. 
Day two: Moon. 
Day three: Mars. 
Day four: Mercury. 
Day five: Jupiter. 
Day six:  Venus. 
Day seven: Saturn.  

Shaar HaMalachim 
(Gate of the Angels) 

Day one: Ruqiayil  and his attendant, the servant of God, Al Madhab. 
Day two: Moon, and his angel Gabriel and his attendant Murrara Ibn El Khrith. 
Day three: Mars, and his angel Samael and his attendant Al  Ahmar Aba Mekhrais.
Day four: Mercury, and his angel Michael and his attendant Berqan. 
Day five: Jupiter and his angel Tzedeqel and his attendant Shamhoriz. 
Day six: Venus and his angel Anael and his attendant Zawbah. 
Day seven: Saturn and his angel Qapfziel and his attendant Maymun Aba Nukh.  

Another version (2)
Madhab or Madhab and Ruqiayil. 
Shamhoriz and Ashrpil [Ashrfil?]. 
Edom and Dardyyil. 
Burqan and Tzedqyel. 
Danhosh [Danhash?] and Michael. 
Laban and Gabriel or Hirel. 
Maymunn and Azriel.

Another version (3)

These are the names of the judges: 
The ruler over Saturn [is] Ruqiayil. 
On Jupiter: Bachara. 
On Mars: Dahyyail. 
On Sun: Calmitha. 
On Venus: Olil. 
On Moon: Fachar.  

And these are the names of the Masters of Light: 
Yelemdub [Yelemduv?] 
And the name [of the] Master of Darkness: 

And these are the Masters of the Days: 

Day one his superior angel Azriel. 
Day two Shrntiyel. 
Day three: Mahqieil. 
Day four: Dardyyil. 
Day five: Ashrpil [Ashrfil?]. 
Day six: Gavriel. 
Day seven: Metataron.  

And these are the names of the [zodiacal] seasons: 
In Aries, Taurus,  Gemini: Azrimon and say to him Shareb.   
In Cancer, Leo and Virgo: Ahrehun and say to him Rahun. 
In Libra, Scorpio and Sagittarius: Iyrar and say to him Arima [Adrima]. 
In Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces: Mahmin and say to him Bachirath. 

And this is the nature of seven stars and their seals:

 For Saturn:

For Jupiter:

For Mars:

For Sun:

For Venus:

For Mercury:

For Moon:

Another Version (4)

Know, that the Sun has 63 names and Jupiter has 73 names and Mars has 63 names and Sun and Mercury [both] have 63 names. And the Moon has 66 names. And they are the aforementioned 472 names in the 7 tables. 

And behold, there is an amulet that you need to perform thus: Write seven tables and on each table write the name of his judge and the name of the solar season and the seal and the “season” of the month, that is, the quarter [of the month]. Write below the name of the judge, and the name of the king [n. the jinn] that rules on that day and the the name of the king that rules on that star and the Master of the Light if it is day. And now I will write to you the seven kings that rule on the seven stars and every name of these seven of the kings there are under them many servants. And this is there order Shaythach Legechag Yadameshechegagiyniytha Yalturesh ‘allematitash Metitash. And there is an eighth name that rules over all seven and it is from the eight letters Maschagenitha משכגניתא 
[End of text]

Notes of the translator:

 -Ruqyail: In the margin not from Vital's handwriting it says "scribal mistake, its really Refael."
-Burqan: but the punctuation in Hebrew reads Berqan. 
-Fachar:  the “ch” here is not a ח, it is the tʃ sound which is foreign to Hebrew. E.g. chew, chip, chest, the same with Tziyachashechal. We opted for noting this sound with a CH, while CH will note the Chet sound, throughout the text.

Notes of the editor:

Changes have been made to the original transcription to make the text more fluent, it was edited to ease reading and certain notes that were in my opinion superfluous were omitted.  

I have kept Rabbi Cohen reading of the names and I shall present my own version of reading the names below. 

The text is a summary of about four treatises of Arabic origin, detailing astral planetary magic.

Below is a synthetic table using the original Hebrew and my transcriptions:

(document to be posted)


  1. Very interesting Mihai, thanks for posting this.

    With the "eighth name that rules over all seven" of the kings, I was expecting an acronynm of the individual names, just like LMQFNJL is for the Tahatil Names, but clearly that's not the case here. Also, since the list of king's names only contains six words, I presume that the long third word is actually an accidental fusion of two original names.

  2. Thank you for the input! Ye, I was expecting an acronym as well, but it may be obtain from the tables mentioned, I haven t properly dissected the matter.

    About the seventh name, yes, this was my very same assumption, it would make sense.
    IO ll post the grid shortly.

    On another matter , you would be the most fit person to ask:

    I m translating from Latin the Book on Images of Zael (Sahl ibn Bishr al Ismaili) and I encountered a very frequent expression that I presume might be also frequent in Arabic or other traditional texts, but I lack thorough knowledge of theM:

    instead of saying ”speak the names of the angels off so and so”, he uses a poetical inversion: ”keep not silent the names of the angels of so and so”. And this occurs about 35 times. Have you ever encountered it?

  3. I must admit that I haven't encountered that expression before. The root phrase "Keep not sielnt" occurs a number of times in the Old Testament (KJV), e.g. Psalm 35:22, Psalm 83:1, Isaiah 62:6, but that's the closest I can get.

  4. Hi. Very nice and instructive post. Greetz to the translator btw.. Thanx.