The Shem Ha-Mephoresh
The Divided Holy Name or The Seventy-Two Leaves of the Tree of Life

by Fra. Petros Xristos Magister (8=3)

 

 

The esoteric tradition of the Shem Ha-Mephoresh originates from a Kabalistic reading of three specific verses of the Bible, namely Exodus chapter 14, verses 19 through 21. In the original Hebrew these three brief verses consist of precisely 216 letters. The verses are as follows, in rough English approximation:

 



Exodus 14:19

MESSENGER OF ELOHIM WENT FORTH IN FRONT OF CAMP OF ISRAEL AND TOOK POSITION BEHIND THEM AND ALSO PILLAR OF CLOUD MOVED IN FRONT OF THEM AND WENT TO THE REAR

Exodus 14:20

AND IT CAME IN BETWEEN CAMP OF EGYPTIAN ARMY AND CAMP OF ISRAEL AND WAS A DARK CLOUD TO THE EGYPTIANS BUT A LIGHT OF GUIDANCE AND PROTECTION TO THOSE OF ISRAEL KEEPING EGYPTIAN ARMY AWAY FROM ISRAELITES ALL NIGHT

Exodus 14:21

THEN MOSEH STRETCHED OUT HIS HAND OVER THE SEA OF REEDS AND YHVH DREW BACK THE WATER WITH STRONG EAST WIND ALL NIGHT MAKING SEA INTO DRY LAND WATERS DIVIDED

 

Again, the above is only an approximate translation into English of this famous scene in which Moses parted the Sea of Reeds to enable the Israelites to escape their Egyptian pursuers. The original Hebrew words are quite precise, and make up a total of 216 Hebrew letters. Some ancient Kabalist, we know not who, was inspired to write these three verses out as three long individual rows of letters, forming 72 columns of three letters each.

These 72 "divided names" are thought of, among Kabalists, as esoteric expansions of the Sacred Fourfold Name. Each possesses unique characteristics such an elemental attributions, zodiacal attribution, and so forth. Only the fundamentals are presented here; Initiates must consult one or more of several books on the subject for deeper study. Additional significances may reveal themselves to one who meditates long on the subject. The names may also be used for sigilization of magical instruments and vibrated as mantric forces.

 

THE SEVENTY-TWO NAMES

 
1 VHV 2 YLY 3 SYT
4 OLM 5 MHSh 6 LLH
7 AKA 8 KHTh 9 HZY
10 ALD 11 LAV 12 HHO
13 YZL 14 MBH 15 HRY
16 HQM 17 LAV 18 KLY
19 LVV 20 PHL 21 NLK
22 YYY 23 MLH 24 ChHV
25 NThH 26 HAA 27 YRTh
28 SAH 29 RYY 30 AVM
31 LKB 32 VShR 33 YChV
34 LHCh 35 KVQ 36 MND
37 ANY 38 ChOM 39 RHO
40 YYZ 41 HHH 42 MYK
43 VVL 44 YLH 45 SAL
46 ORY 47 OShL 48 MYH
49 VHV 50 DNY 51 HChSh
52 OMM 53 NNA 54 NYTh
55 MBH 56 PVY 57 NMM
58 YYL 59 HRCh 60 MTzR
61 VMB 62 YHH 63 ONV
64 MChY 65 DMB 66 MNQ
67 AYO 68 ChBV 69 RAH
70 YBM 71 HYY 72 MVM

 
Each Name has qualities traditionally associated with it (element, zodiac sign, planet); additional characteristics of each Name may be deduced by analysis of its constituent Hebrew letters and the numerical value thereof. For instance, #72, MVM, consists of two Mems (symbol of water and femininity and fruitfulness) surrounding a Vau (symbol of the Son, air and sound); thus the Name represents the Divine Son (Word = Breath) within the womb of the primordial waters of the Mother. The numerical value of the Name would be 40 + 6 + 600 = 646. If one has studied one's Gematria one will know how to look up this numerical value and find other Hebrew words with the same value, signifying some occult connection.

Additional significances may be granted by inspiration during scrying or astral travel.

Tradition has assigned Messengers to each of the Names, whose names are generated by adding the suffix -al (Aleph Lamed) or -ih (Yod He) to the end of each name. The -al suffix signifies a Messenger of the Pillar of Severity, while the -ih signifies a Messenger of the Pillar of Mercy. Thus, for the 72nd Divine Name above (MVM or "Mum" as it might be transliterated in English) the Messenger of Severity would be MVMAL (Mumal) while the Messenger of Mercy would be MVMIH (Mumih.) In English transliteration, the -ih ending may also be written as -iah, as long as one remembers that it is really only two Hebrew letters, not three.

A complete expansion of the Shem Ha-Mephoresh would consist of 72 Divine Names, 72 Angels of Severity and 72 Angels of Mercy, creating a total of 216 combinations, or twice the ancient sanskrit holy number 108. Note also that a pentagram consists of five 72-degree angles.

Names which consist of three of the letters of the Fourfold Name (YHVH) may be considered especially potent or particularly deeply related to that Name. These names would be Numbers 1, 22, 49, 62, and 71 above. The actual name YHVH appears only once in the selection of Biblical verses used (Verse 21), and it goes to make up parts of Names #22, 23, 24, and 25, which Names may be considered equally significant.

The Hebrew letters may be pronounced by adding vowel sounds in between each letter. As in the case of YHVH, there is no single correct pronounciation for all purposes, only different pronunciations depending on the purpose that the name is invoked for. Thus, Name #22, an especially potent triple Yod (YYY), borrowing one of its Yods from the actual Tetragrammaton -- may be pronounced "YaYaYa," "YaYeYi," "YeYaYo," or some other variation thereof based upon the magician's desired kabalistic correspondences. For example, “YAYAYA” = 33 (10+1+10+1+10+1), a powerful permutation. The use of the Aleph, the whirling thunderbolt of flaming fire and primal impetus (aleph = alpha) adds substantially to the power of the three Yods.

One should pronounce each Name in the fashion of the Enochian angels, that is, by separately vibrating each letter, e.g. "Yod - Yod - Yod," "Mem - Vau - Mem," and so forth.

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