Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
View your shopping cart Shopping Cart | My Account | Help | Become a Fan on Facebook Become a Fan | Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us | Watch Us on YouTube Watch Us | Subscribe to our RSS Feeds Subscribe
Browse ProductsAuthorsArticlesBlogsEncyclopediaNewslettersAffiliate ProgramContact UsBooksellers
Advanced Search
ENCYCLOPEDIA
Glossary
What's New
Most Popular
List of Articles

Email Exclusives
Sign up to receive special offers and promotions from Llewellyn.

Get the Latest Issue of New Worlds

November/December 2014 Gift Guide Issue

New Worlds Catalog

Get the FREE app for your tablet and mobile device. Now available in the iTunes Store and the Google Play Store

Also available as a PDF File.

Click for more information about New Worlds or to receive issues via mail.


The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Subject: Ancient Language

Acetabulus

An alchemical term for a small vessel. It either means a vessel that simply holds vinegar (acetum) or a small cup that holds as much as an eggshell.




Acetum

Alchemical term for vinegar. May also mean sour wine.




Acetum Amineum

Alchemical term for white vinegar.




Acies

Alchemical term for steel.




Acsuo

Alchemical term for red coral. Although it may seem odd to differentiate this type of coral, red coral is a substance that is associated with the planet Mars in ancient Tantric or Indian Astrology. Since some Tantric systems also involved alchemy, it may show that Western alchemy is linked to the systems of India.




Acus

Alchemical term for a needle.




Acusta

Alchemical term for saltpeter.




Adarris

Alchemical term for the foam of seawater.




Adec

Alchemical term for sour milk.




Ader

Alchemical term for fresh skim milk.




Adibat

Alchemical term for mercury.




Ados

Alchemical term for water that has had a red-hot iron inserted into it.




Aho

A Native American word. In Lakota it means "hello" in Kiowa it means "thank you," and in Cherokee it is used at the end of a prayer similar to the use of "amen," often accompanied by "Mitakuye Oyasin." The use of this term has been adopted by some New Age groups and is said by a group following a statement by one person, indicating agreement. Some people follow this by using the Lakota expression Mitakuye Oyasin. This is used in many Lakota prayers and means, "We are all related." While some people eagerly use these Native American expressions, others consider them to be both artifical and a form of cultural appropriation.




Aisling
An Irish word that means “dream” or “vision.” It relates to the concept of a poetic vision that gained popularity in Ireland in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Although there are several variations in the way it is pronounced, the “s” is always pronounced “sh.” Thus, one pronunciation would be “ash-leen.”


Akh
One of the three parts of the soul according to ancient Egyptian belief. A person must have all three parts to live, and if one part died they all died. The Akh is the immortality of a person; the spirit. In Egyptian symbolism it was depicted as a bird or a flame of fire. In some transliterations of the Egyptian language, Akh is written as Akhu, Ikhu, or just Khu.


Akon

Although this means a "sharp-pointed stone," to alchemists this referred to aconite, a poisonous herb that grows on rocks.




Alahic

According to some authorities, this refers to an oven used by alchemists. Other authorities of alchemical terms say this simply means charcoal.




Albaras

Alchemical term for arsenic.




Alpha and Omega
First and last letters of the Greek alphabet; beginnings and endings.


Alzemafor

Alchemical term for cinnabar, the bright red ore from which mercury is derived.




Ankh
The Egyptian word for “life,” it is represented by a symbol of a cross where the top is a loop and the horizontal bar is shorter than the vertical bar. It was often seen being carried by the loop by Egyptian deities in ancient art. In Latin it is called the crux ansata, which means “cross with a handle.”


Aurum Philosophorum

Alchemical term meaning "Gold of the Philosophers," a code for lead.




Ba
One of the three parts of the soul according to ancient Egyptian belief. A person must have all three parts to live, and if one part died they all died. The Ba is the individuality or specific personality of a person; the soul. In Egyptian symbolism it was depicted as a bird with the head of a human.


Ba

That part of the soul attributed to Hod and Yesod.




Basilides
Basilides was a scholar of the 2nd century C.E. who knew the Hebrew and Christian scriptures as well as being knowledgeable in Egyptian and Greek thought. But he also received what was to become a secret tradition named after him, based on knowledge passed to him from an early interpreter of the Apostle Peter. Basilides wrote psalms, odes, and commentaries on the Gospels. He also wrote a gospel for his own sect, but very little of his writings have been preserved. His system seems to include aspects of Neoplatonism, Pauline Christianity, and Gnosticism. His sect, the Basilidians, included concepts that would today be called reincarnation, karma, and asceticism.


Basilidians
Followers of the teachings of Basilides.


Beithe Luis Nion
The old Irish name for the Tree Alphabet, similar to “A-B-C” being used today to refer to the English Alphabet.


Brimstone
And archaic term for the element sulfur.


Chandra
Sanskrit name of the Moon.


Cipher

A code that substitutes one set of symbols for another. Ciphers are often used to encrypt concepts a person wants to keep secret. Only a person with a key to the cipher can translate it. However, because this type of code is easily cracked, many modifications to a simple cipher have appeared.




Cuneiform
Derived from early pictographic writing, cuneiform consists of wedge-shaped marks that, when placed together, form words. Cuneiform was written by pressing the ends of prepared reeds into soft clay tablets and cylinders. It was in wide use in Sumer, Babylon, and Assyria.


Enochian Words

In the magickal workings of Dr. John Dee (1527-1608), astrologer to Queen Elizabeth I (and some also claim him to have been her spymaster), he made contact with certain angelic beings who used a language distinct from any other. Dee believed these beings to be the same angels that transported the Hebrew prophet, Enoch, to heaven, and hence the name for the language. Enochian words are sometimes called “barbarous” because their pronunciation is so evocative. 




Fews

General name for the letters used in ancient Ogham, the Celtic tree alphabet.




Flesc
(Pronounced “flayshk”) The Old Irish word used to describe the actual notches on stone, wood, etc., used when writing the Ogham alphabet.


Hebrew
The language of the Jews of the Middle East. Composed of twenty-two letters (with five letters having a dual form), Hebrew is the basis of both numerology and transpositional letter codes used in the Kabalah. Also a Jewish person.


Hieratic
Cursive writing of ancient Egypt, it developed at the same time as the familiar hieroglyphic writing. It was eventually replaced by the Demotic script (and even later by Greek), but was used by members of the priestly class into the third century c.e.


Hieratic
A form of Egyptian writing, in which the purely pictorial hieroglyphs are written (with ink) in streamlined forms to speed the act of recording information.


Ka
One of the three parts of the soul according to ancient Egyptian belief. A person must have all three parts to live, and if one part died they all died. The Ka is the astral double of a person, animal, or thing. It is physically and emotionally identical to the person and given to him or her at birth. In Egyptian symbolism it was depicted as a person with both arms raised or just two raised arms.


Ka

That part of the soul attributed to Netzach, Hod, and Yesod.




Kismet

A Turkish word that means "fate."




Lebor
(l’yower) - Old Irish word for book.


Linguistics
The study of language and how it’s use impacts all persons involved in a communication.


Lost Civilizations
As a result of archeology, there is ample evidence that there have been civilizations that began, became advanced, and then vanished, sometimes for no reason. As a result, people have wondered what those lost civilizations were like. Fueled by stories that seem to be part history and part myth, entire concepts of lost civilizations have been created.

In the Atlantic, partially based on the writings of Plato, it is believed there had once been an advanced civilization on an island or continent called Atlantis. In the South Pacific, there is a belief there was an advanced civilization known as Lemuria or Mu. There are also believed to be lost civilizations off the coast of Florida, and in various parts of the US and other places.

The search for such lost civilization is in part based on a desire to learn if they had a science different from, and more advanced in certain areas, than our current science. However, the dream of finding an ideal place with people who lived healthy, extremely long and peaceful lives seems to be at the heart of many a searcher. One such lost civilization is completely invented in the book Lost Horizon by James Hilton. The name of his lost civilization, Shangri-La, has become synonymous with such dreams.


P-Celtic
The Gaulish-Brittonic language from which Cornish, Breton, and Welsh descend.


Pardes
This term has multiple meanings. 1) Exoterically, this is a conventional locution for either the Garden of Eden or of the heavenly afterlife. 2) It is also a metonym [an attribute of something used to stand in for the thing itself] for the mystical experience 3) The consonants, PRDS] can be read as an acronym for four methods of Scriptural interpretation: Pashat (authoritative), Remez (allegorical or philosophic), Drash (homiletical or midrashic), and Sod (esoteric or mystical). It also carries the connotation of sacred study en toto.


Q-Celtic
The Goidelic or ancient Gaelic language from which Old Irish evolved and developed into Middle Irish, and then Modern Irish, Gaelic (Scots Gaelic) and Manx Gaelic. Irish calls "four" and "five" ceathair and cuig (ka-her and koo-eeg), Scots Gaelic calls them ceithair and coig (keh-her and koyk).


Sephiroht
See Sephiroth. This is a transliteration—the way a word sounds in one language spelled out in another—of a Hebrew term. In the most common transliteration, the “th” is pronounced with a hard “t” followed by a short breath, not like the “th” in the English word “the” (phonetically, the “th” in “the” is called a “fricative”). This is not clear in the archaic “Sephiroth” spelling, leading many people, untrained in Hebrew, to end the word with the fricative, so it sounds (incorrectly) like "seh-fear-oath." The spelling “Sephiroht” makes the correct pronunciation, “seh-fear-oat,” more obvious.


Transliteration
Spelling a word from one language in a second language, according to the way the word sounds in its original language. Often this phonetic spelling does not follow commonly accepted patterns. For example, the Hebrew letter Vahv can sound like an English v, o, or u, even though it is usually shown in English as a v. Thus, the transliteration, depending upon the usage, may show the Vahv as a v, o, or u.


Zarca

Alchemical term for tin.




Zazar

Alchemical term for sugar.




Zeco

Alchemical term for tragacanth gum.




Zemasarum

Alchemical term for cinnabar.




Zerachar

Alchemical term for mercury.




Zericum

Alchemical term for arsenic.




Zerus

Alchemical term for gold.




Zipar

Alchemical term for rhubarb.




Zuniter

Alchemical term for the mineral marcasite.





For many of us, travel is the spice of life. The comfort and security of home are important, but the unfamiliar stirs the soul. Travel in the physical world offers insight, freedom, and expansion. Travel within—the journey of the spirit—provides the same, especially when exploring past lives. Think about it. Whether you travel without or... read this article
Saved By the Goddess
Esoteric Freemasonry: The Hidden Side of the Pyramid
Guided In Spirit
Empathy as a Spiritual Power: What Type of Empath Are You?
How to Capture Evidence of a Ghost

Most recent posts:
6 Feet of Snow?? Predicting the Weather with Astrology
Winter hasn't even begun, and already Mother Nature has been pummeling most of the United States with unseasonable cold and early snow storms. As...

When Judgement Calls
The Judgement card is a dramatic one, calling us to new life. It is not, as its name implies, about judgement, not exactly. When we hear the call...

A Useful Yes/No Spread
Many readers do not care for yes/no questions because they feel they are not useful and are not empowering. However, I have found one that is very...




Llewellyn's 2015 Astrological Calendar Llewellyn's 2015 Astrological Calendar
82nd Edition of the World's Best Known, Most Trusted Astrology Calendar

By: Llewellyn
Price: $14.99 US,  $16.99 CAN
$11.99 US,  $13.59 CAN On Sale!
Llewellyn's 2015 Witches' Datebook Llewellyn's 2015 Witches' Datebook
By: Llewellyn
Price: $10.99 US,  $12.50 CAN
$8.79 US,  $10.00 CAN On Sale!
Llewellyn's 2015 Daily Planetary Guide Llewellyn's 2015 Daily Planetary Guide
Complete Astrology At-A-Glance

By: Llewellyn
Price: $12.99 US,  $14.95 CAN
$10.39 US,  $11.96 CAN On Sale!
Llewellyn's 2015 Witches' Calendar Llewellyn's 2015 Witches' Calendar
By: Llewellyn
Price: $13.99 US,  $15.95 CAN
$11.19 US,  $12.76 CAN On Sale!
Llewellyn's 2015 Moon Sign Book Llewellyn's 2015 Moon Sign Book
Conscious Living by the Cycles of the Moon

By: Llewellyn
Price: $11.99 US,  $13.95 CAN
$9.59 US,  $11.16 CAN On Sale!