Lesson 1
History, No Longer Ineffable

Read pages 1-5 of Donald Tyson’s book The Power of the Word: The Secret Code of Creation (formerly titled Tetragrammaton), read the following essay, and then answer the questions that follow.

HISTORY, NO LONGER INEFFABLE

The Tetrgrammaton is by far the most powerful name in all of world history.As we will see, it is not only the name of God/dess, but the name of the Godhead’s very essence. While there are names for different aspects of the Godhead (consisting of God and Goddess), this is the name that sums up all of those aspects, making it the most powerful name in the world, even today.

The Tetragrammaton (Greek tetra meaning four, gramma meaning letter) is comprised of the four Hebrew letters IHVH (more commonly YHVH, YHWH, or JHWH). The Name was forbidden to be spoken by the people, and was only permitted to be spoken by the priests during the benediction of the people and on the Day of Atonement. Josephus, perhaps the greatest Jewish historian, says that he cannot divulge the pronunciation of the name because it would be a violation of his religion. Philo, another Jewish historian, says that it is lawful only for priests to speak it.

The Jews referred to the name as Shem ha-Mephoresh meaning, “the distinctive excellent name.” Before this, though, the common people used the name as a sort of a greeting like “God be with you,” or Shalom. It wasn’t until a few hundred years B.C. that the priests limited the Name to themselves. Prior to the destruction of the Temple in A.D. 70, the priests stopped speaking it in public altogether, whispering it below the peoples’ ability to hear.

With such fanatical secrecy, it’s no wonder the pronunciation of the name was inevitably lost. (Or was it?)

The name was first revealed to Moses when he went up to Horeb, the mountain of God, and saw the burning bush. It’s been speculated that the name belonged exclusively to the god of the holy mountain who was worshipped by the tribes that dwelt there (the Midians). Prior to Moses, it’s thought that the Patriarchs didn’t know the Ineffable name, but called God/dess only El Shaddai, or Shaddai, meaning Lord of the High Places or Lord of the Mountains. Now El Shaddai is translated simply as, “God Almighty.”

The pronunciation “Jehovah” is an error that began in the fourteenth century.In Hebrew bibles, where the Ineffable Name occurs, the people are supposed to always read it as “Adonai,” which means simply “Lord.” So the eyes are seeing YHVH while the mind is thinking and the mouth is speaking, “Adonai.”The two words were thus overlapped, one on top of the other. Take a minute and write the two words one on top of the other. Centuries and centuries of Jewish Scribes doing this overlapping of two names led to the words being combined. Adonai has lots of vowels in it, and YHVH has lots of consonants(no vowels at all). The vowels of Adonai were taken and inserted in between the consonants of YHVH thus confused to be the vowels of YHVH. This strangeg new word, YaHoVaH resulted in “Jehovah” as the incorrect, but most commonly used, pronunciation of the Ineffable Name. Yahweh is another variant pronunciation that came out of this because the V was thought by some scholars to be a W sound. So you get YaHoWaH.

It is the common practice of magik practitioners to sound out the names of the four letters fully, to express its compound esoteric meaning and also to acknowledge that the true Name is unspeakable. Sounding out the letters,as you know, is Yahd (or Yod) Heh Vahv Heh. Doing this repeatedly, especially quietly in your mind to the rhythm of your in-breaths and out-breaths, will eventually reveal to you the true pronunciation of the Ineffable ancient name.

Questions

Copy and paste the following questions into a new post to your Ning MemberFiles AOM 1st Degree study hall, insert your answers and post them with the subject line: Tetragram Lesson 1 from ________ (your magikal or priestly name)

1. T/F – The Tetragrammaton is the most powerful name in world history.

2. What does the Greek word Tetragrammaton mean?

3. T/F – The Tetragrammaton is properly pronounced Jehovah.

4. How did ancient Jews refer to the Ineffable Name in Hebrew—what specialtitle did they call the name, and what does it mean in English?

5. T/F – The pre-historic Patriarchs, such as Abraham probably referred toGod/dess as Shaddai.

6. What does Shaddai mean?

7. T/F – The Ineffable name was first revealed to Abraham.

8. Where and to whom was the Ineffable Name first revealed?

9. T/F – Magik practitioners sound out the letters of the Ineffable Name.

10. What word did the Jewish people use in place of the Tetragrammaton when reading the Hebrew Bible? What does that word mean?

11. Look for other names for the God/dess of the Old Testament and list them here.

12. ¬†Essay Question: The chief priests of Israel concealed the Holy Name. What instance in Church history reminds you of this? (Hint: It’s in the reading assignment).

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