Permutations of the Name

Permutations of the Name

The early 16th Century magician and astrologer Agrippa (Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa von Nettesheim) notes in his De Occulta Philosophia Libri Tres (Three Books of Occult Philosophy) a methodpermutations of YHVH of permuting the letters of יהוה to show forth the Powers of the Twelve [Astrological] Signs. It uses twelve of the 24 possible arrangements of those four letters to produce the magical and divine names shown in this illustration.

Beginning with יהוה in Aries, at the head of the year, these permutations follow a set pattern through the signs:

  1. י, Yod, appears first in the first three signs, followed by ה, Heh, in the next three, then ו, Vau, in the next three, and finally second ה in the final three.
  2. Backing up to begin at Pisces, we repeat the pattern beginning with ה in second place in three signs, followed by ו, then second ה, then י.
  3. Backing up again, we begin in Aquarius with ו in third place in three signs, followed by second ה, then י, then ה.
  4. The fourth step writes יהוה three times backward around the Zodiac, beginning in Pisces and ending in Aries.

The astrological signs are each represented by one of the simple letters. These are assigned to the signs in order of the signs and of the Hebrew alphabet, thus establishing the permutation assigned to each letter.

Western occultism further ascribes the four classical elements each to a letter of the Name: י‎ = fire; ה‎ = water; ו‎ = air; and second ה‎ = earth. Thus, these permutations assign an ordering of the elements to each Zodiacal sign:


Ascribing the letters to the signs in this way spells the Name many times. As already noted, it appears once in Aries, the first sign of the new astrological year, and three times backward around the Zodiac. It also appears as the first letter in the four cardinal signs: י‎ = Aries, ה‎ = Cancer, ו‎ = Libra, ה‎ = Capricorn; and in the fixed signs: Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius, Taurus; and in the mutable signs: Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces, Gemini. The seasons also show the Name: י is spring, ה is summer, ו is fall, and ה is winter.

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An Interactive QabalahThe Mother lettersSeven of Swords A Brief Introduction to QabalahNepheshSix of Swords Kether, the CrownNeshamahFive of Swords Chokmah, WisdomThe Veil of ParokethFour of Swords Binah, UnderstandingPermutations of the NameThree of Swords Daath, KnowledgeThe Three PillarsTwo of Swords QliphothThe ProfaneAce of Disks Chesed, MercyReflectionKnight of Disks Geburah, StrengthRuachQueen of Disks Tiphareth, BeautySefer Yetzirah, the Book of FormationPrince of Disks Netzach, VictorySeverityPrincess of Disks Hod, SplendorThe simple lettersTen of Disks Yesod, FoundationWhat is a Soul?Nine of Disks Malkuth, KingdomThe SoulsEight of Disks AlefThe Supernal TriadSeven of Disks BetThe FoolSix of Disks GimelThe MagusFive of Disks DalethThe PriestessFour of Disks HehThe EmpressThree of Disks VauThe EmperorTwo of Disks ZainThe HierophantAdjustment ChethThe LoversAeon TethThe ChariotArt YodAdjustmentThe Chariot KaphThe HermitDeath LamedFortuneDevil MemLustThe Emperor NunThe Hanged ManThe Empress SamekhDeathThe Fool AyinArtFortune PehThe DevilThe Hanged Man TzaddiThe TowerThe Hermit QophThe StarThe Hierophant ReshThe MoonThe Lovers ShinThe SunLust TauThe AeonThe Magus The Qabalistic WorldsThe UniverseThe Moon Atziluth, ArchetypesAce of WandsThe Priestess Briah, the CreativeKnight of WandsThe Star Yetzirah, the FormativeQueen of WandsThe Sun Assiah, the ActivePrince of WandsThe Tower The court cardsPrincess of WandsThe Universe The AcesTen of WandsHebrew alphabet transliterations The KnightsNine of WandsThe Triads The QueensEight of WandsThe Qabalistic Veils The PrincesSeven of WandsThe Name of Names, YHVH The PrincessesSix of WandsAlef The TensFive of WandsAyin The NinesFour of WandsBet The EightsThree of WandsCheth The SevensTwo of WandsDaleth The SixesAce of CupsThe double letters The FivesKnight of CupsGimel The FoursQueen of CupsHeh The ThreesPrince of CupsKaph The TwosPrincess of CupsLamed The 32 Paths of WisdomTen of CupsMem The AbyssNine of CupsThe mother letters Adam Kadmon, the Body of GodEight of CupsNun AlchemySeven of CupsPeh The Alef-Bet in Space and TimeSix of CupsQoph The Ari TreeFive of CupsResh The Astral TriadFour of CupsSamekh BalanceThree of CupsShin The double lettersTwo of CupsThe simple letters The Ethical TriadAce of SwordsTau the Flash of LightKnight of SwordsTeth The Gra TreeQueen of SwordsThe Tree of Life The 72 Hidden Names of GodPrince of SwordsTzaddi The Tree of LifePrincess of SwordsVau The Hebrew alef-bet letter classesTen of SwordsYod MercyNine of SwordsZain The Presence of the Most HighEight of Swords