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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Term: Shemhamphorash


Shemhamphorash: The 72-letter name of God attributed to the decans (10° divisions) of the zodiac.
source: The Thoth Companion, by Michael Osiris Snuffin

Shemhamphorash: The 72-letter name of God or Shemhamphorash is a bit of a misnomer. It actually only begins with 72 letters which are the first letters of the names of 72 angels.

It so happens that in the Bible, in Exodus chapter 14, the verses 19, 20 and 21 each have exactly 72 letters when seen in the original Hebrew. Occultists would write the first verse in normal fashion (right to left). Beneath that they would right the second verse in a reversed (left to right) manner, and in a third row beneath the first two they would write the 21st verse in the normal fashion. Thus, reading from top to bottom, there are 72 three-letter words. To each, alternatively would be added either –el (a suffix being one of the names of God, this one attributed to Hesed on the Tree of Life) or –yah (the God name attributed to Chochma on the Tree of Life).

The result is 72 names of angels ending in either -yah or –el. For example, the first two names thus formed are Vehuyah and Yehliel. Together, the 72 names form the entire 72-letter name of God, the Shemhamphorash.Donald Michael Kraig


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