The Sator Magic Square

Origin and Nature of Sator Square

The Sator Square, ancestor of crosswords, is a famous word square in Latin. It is a word square containing a Latin palindrome featuring the words SATOR AREPO TENET OPERA ROTAS written in a square so that they may be read top-to-bottom, bottom-to-top, left-to-right, and right-to-left. Note that a word square is a special case of acrostic. It consists of a set of words, all having the same number of letters as the total number of words (the "order" of the square); when the words are written out in a square grid horizontally, the same set of words can be read vertically. So, the Sator square is a kind of crossword puzzle, rather than a mathematical magic square. The earliest known appearance of the Sator Square was found in the ruins of Herculaneum (an ancient Roman town) which was buried in the ash of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD. Therefore, its origins may well predate the Christian era.


Square in the old district Oppède
in France's Luberon

Square in excavations at Corinium
(modern Cirencester in England)

The Sator Square also forms a sentence, though its meaning is obscure. Possible translations of the phrase are 'The sower Arepo holds the wheels with effort' or 'The sower Arepo leads with his hand (work) the plough (wheels).' and 'The Great Sower holds in his hand all works; all works the Great Sower holds in his hand.' (Ceram 1958, p. 30). The word arepo is enigmatic, appearing nowhere else in Latin literature. Most of those who have studied the Sator Square agree that it is a proper name, either an adaptation of a non-Latin word or most likely a name invented specifically for this sentence.

As pointed by F. Grosser, it is possible to write a horizontal and a vertical 'Pater Noster' (the Our Father Prayer) with the letters of the sator square, forming a Greek cross. Its composition is amazing complexity: we see that the word tenet forms a cross with four branches that are closed with the letter T (whose form itself refers to the cross) surrounded by the letters A (Greek alpha) and O (Greek omega) that evoke Jesus Christ designated as the Alpha and the Omega, ie the origin and purpose of all things. In addition, one can, with the 25 letters of the square, form a cross writing Pater Noster completed by two A and two O, holders of the above symbolic (see illustration). In Rome, we find these two designs carved on the walls and on the graves of the early Christian shrines.

The result is striking. The perfect symmetry of all the letters around the central N skips first to eyes. There is also the "fish", symbolized by the central letter N, this N, or 'noun' meaning fish in Aramaic; the fish in Greek is said ΙΧΘΥΣ (ikhthus or Ichthys), acrostic of the declaration of faith: I : ΙΗΣΟΥΣ (Iēsous), X : ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ (Khristos), Θ : ΘΕΟΥ (Théou) Υ : ΥΙΟΣ (Uios), Σ : ΣΩΤΗΡ (Sōtēr). We can summarize this by "Jesus Christ the Savior and the son of God".


Anagram formed by
letters of Sator Square

The Sator-Rotas Square (or Templar Magic Square), with the embedded anagram of Pater Noster, is an ancient charm of great power and mystery. The earliest example was discovered scratched on a wall in the buried city of Pompeii and dated back to the first century AD. Although used by early Christian Mystics as a magical charm the square has surfaced in cultures and religions all over the world. Because of the hidden anagram, Pater Noster, the square was originally thought to be of Christian design, but there is now strong evidence that it predates Christianity by a considerable margin and refers to the ancient God, Mithras.

In Rome during the Middle Ages this square was inscribed on a variety of common, everyday objects such as utensils and drinking vessels. It was also found above doorways. It was believed that the square had magical properties, and that making it visible would ward off evil spirits. The words on this square roughly translate to "The Creator (or Savior) holds the working of the spheres in his hands." C. W. Ceram read the square boustrophedon (in alternating directions), with tenet repeated. This produces Sator opera tenet; tenet opera sator, translated: 'The Great Sower holds in his hand all works; all works the Great Sower holds in his hand.' (Ceram 1958, p. 30)

SATOR
AREPO
TENET
OPERA
ROTAS
ROTAS
OPERA
TENET
AREPO
SATOR
SATOR: Main Sator square ROTAS: Reversed Sator square

The Sator-Rotas Square has been discovered in many countries and from many periods of history. The example here was found in 1925 on the bathroom wall of Paquius Proculus. It appeared to have been scratched there in 79 a.d. The Square was carried by the Roman Legions and was used throughout the Roman Empire.

It was also found in Egypt dating from the fourth or fifth century where it was written on papyri or parchment and carried as an amulet. Later, in the ninth century it was used in cave paintings in Cappadocia.

Numerology of Sator Square

Using numerology (mystical or esoteric relationship between numbers), one can assign the value 1 to the letter A, 2 to the letter B, and so on, up to 26 for the letter Z. Then, adding the values assigned to the letters in the rows and columns of the Sator square yields the following:

S A T O R   ⇒   S + A + T + O + R = 19 + 1 + 20 + 15 + 18 = 73   ⇒   7 + 3 = 10   ⇒   1
A R E P O   ⇒   A + R + E + P + O = 1 + 18 + 5 + 16 + 15 = 55   ⇒   5 + 5 = 10   ⇒   1
T E N E T   ⇒   T + E + N + E + T = 20 + 5 + 14 + 5 + 20 = 64   ⇒   6 + 4 = 10   ⇒   1
O P E R A   ⇒   O + P + E + R + A = 15 + 16 + 5 + 18 + 1 = 55   ⇒   5 + 5 = 10   ⇒   1
R O T A S   ⇒   R + O + T + A + S = 18 + 15 + 20 + 1 + 19 = 73   ⇒   7 + 3 = 10   ⇒   1

Each of these values digit sum to 10 and therefore also to 1, which some numerologists maintain gives the square "extraordinary powers".

A variant form of Sator Square

A variant form of Sator Square is specified in The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abra-Melin the Mage as a charm to obtain the love of a maiden.

SALOM
AREPO
LEMEL
OPERA
MOLAS

REFERENCES


black infrared 6s black infrared 6s black infrared 6s beats by dre outlet coach outlet online legend blue 11s legend blue 11s legend blue 11s lebron 12 Nike kd vii louis vuitton outlet Legend Blue 11s legend blue 11s jordan 11 legend blue jordan 11 legend blue jordan 11 legend blue sac louis vuitton coach outlet online jordan retro 11 legend blue 11s jordan 11 legend blue beats by dre outlet beats by dre cheap jordan 6 black infrared jordan 11 legend blue legend blue 11s beats by dre cheap legend blue 11s jordan retro 11 jordan 11 Legend Blue michael kors black friday black infrared 6s legend blue 11s uggs black friday black infrared 6s jordan 6 black infrared michael kors outlet north face black friday black infrared 6s black infrared 6s black infrared 6s legend blue 11s legend blue 11s legend blue 11s jordan 11 legend blue jordan 11 legend blue 11s jordan 6 black infrared coach outlet online legend blue 11s jordan 11 legend blue lebron 12 black infrared 6s black infrared 6s black infrared 6s michael kors outlet legend blue 11s jordan 11 louis vuitton outlet black infrared 6s cheap jordan shoes michael kors uk black infrared 6s kate spade outlet louis vuitton outlet jordan 14 black toe jordan 6 black infrared Legend Blue 11s jordan 11 legend blue jordan 11 legend blue michael kors black friday louis vuitton outlet legend blue 11s north face black friday jordan 11 legend blue north face black friday legend blue 11s coach factory outlet louis vuitton outlet beats by dre cheap lebron 12 michael kors outlet black infrared 6s louis vuitton outlet michael kors outlet louis vuitton outlet jordan 11 jordan 6 black infrared ferrari 14s louis vuitton outlet michael kors outlet beats by dre outlet legend blue 11s black infrared 6s coach outlet online beats by dre cheap Legend Blue 11s louis vuitton outlet jordan 11 legend blue lebron 11 jordan retro 11 Nike kd vii Easy Money jordan 11 legend blue black infrared 6s jordan 11 legend blue black infrared 6s jordan 6 black infrared legend blue 11s jordan 6 black infrared coach factory outlet uggs black friday uggs black friday louis vuitton outlet north face black friday michael kors black friday uggs black friday jordan 11 legend blue beats by dre black friday jordan 6 black infrared legend blue 11s louis vuitton outlet jordan 11 Legend Blue jordan 11 legend blue black infrared 6s Lebron 11 beats by dre cheap jordan 11 legend blue Nike kd vii jordan 11 Legend Blue 11s jordan 14 black toe coach outlet online michael kors outlet jordan 11 legend blue louis vuitton outlet jordan 6 black infrared jordan 6 black infrared michael kors outlet online beats by dre cheap cheap oakley sunglasses louis vuitton outlet legend blue 11s louis vuitton outlet legend blue 11s jordan 11 legend blue jordan 11 legend blue jordan 11 legend blue louis vuitton outlet black toe 14s beats by dre outlet lebron 12 jordan 6 black infrared louis vuitton outlet legend blue 11s jordan 6 black infrared jordan 6 black infrared michael kors outlet michael kors black friday jordan 11 legend blue legend blue 11s cheap oakley sunglasses louis vuitton outlet coach factory outlet legend blue 11s louis vuitton outlet jordan 11 legend blue jordan 14 black toe jordan 11 legend blue legend blue 11s jordan retro 11 legend blue 11s louis vuitton outlet jordan 6 black infrared coach outlet online legend blue 11s jordan 11 legend blue louis vuitton outlet beats by dre cheap jordan 11 legend blue beats by dre cheap legend blue 11s legend blue 11s michael kors uk beats by dre cheap beats by dre outlet legend blue 11s black infrared 6s jordan 11 legend blue jordan 11 legend blue jordan 11 legend blue louis vuitton outlet jordan 11 legend blue michael kors outlet online uggs black friday black infrared 6s louis vuitton outlet louis vuitton outlet louis vuitton outlet louis vuitton outlet north face black friday legend blue 11s louis vuitton outlet legend blue 11s cheap jordans jordan 6 black infrared jordan 14 black toe jordan 6 black infrared louis vuitton outlet legend blue 11s jordan 14 black toe louis vuitton outlet louis vuitton outlet coach outlet online lebron 12 legend blue 11s jordan 13 barons coach outlet online black infrared 6s lebron 12 michael kors uk michael kors outlet legend blue 11s jordan 6 black infrared jordan retro 11 jordan 11 legend blue coach outlet online legend blue 11s lebron 12 kate spade outlet cheap jordan shoes north face black friday black infrared 6s sac louis vuitton beats by dre black friday louis vuitton outlet coach factory outlet coach factory outlet coach black friday uggs black friday beats by dre black friday jordan 11 beats by dre outlet jordan 6 black infrared black infrared 6s kate spade outlet jordan 6 black infrared louis vuitton outlet jordan 11 legend blue coach outlet online jordan 11 Legend Blue lebron 12 jordan 6 black infrared louis vuitton outlet lebron 12 black infrared 6s jordan 11 legend blue jordan 11 legend blue cheap oakley sunglasses legend blue 11s beats by dre cheap jordan retro 11 legend blue 11s black toe 14s coach outlet online jordan retro 6 michael kors outlet online cheap jordans michael kors outlet cheap oakley sunglasses louis vuitton outlet black infrared 6s beats by dre black friday coach factory outlet lebron 12 sac louis vuitton louis vuitton outlet beats by dre black friday coach outlet online louis vuitton outlet louis vuitton outlet jordan 6 black infrared legend blue 11s jordan 11 legend blue jordan 6 black infrared jordan 6 black infrared jordan 11 legend blue jordan 14 black toe louis vuitton outlet black infrared 6s jordan 11 jordan 6 black infrared legend blue 11s michael kors outlet legend blue 11s jordan 6 black infrared jordan retro 11 jordan 11 legend blue Legend Blue 11s michael kors outlet michael kors outlet online black infrared 6s louis vuitton outlet lebron 11 lebron 11 louis vuitton outlet coach factory outlet legend blue 11s jordan 11 legend blue jordan 13 barons legend blue 11s beats by dre black friday legend blue 11s beats by dre black friday michael kors black friday legend blue 11s coach black friday jordan 6 black infrared louis vuitton outlet legend blue 11s jordan 6 black infrared jordan 11 legend blue black infrared 6s black infrared 6s ferrari 14s louis vuitton outlet Legend Blue 11s jordan 11 legend blue black infrared 6s Lebron 11 coach outlet online Legend Blue 11s nike kd vii easy money jordan retro 11 jordan 6 black infrared jordan 14 black toe coach outlet online jordan 11 legend blue legend blue 11s louis vuitton outlet jordan 11 legend blue jordan 6 black infrared louis vuitton outlet lebron 11 legend blue 11s louis vuitton outlet black infrared 6s louis vuitton outlet legend blue 11s jordan 11 legend blue jordan 11 north face black friday louis vuitton outlet jordan retro 11 legend blue 11s legend blue 11s uggs black friday louis vuitton outlet michael kors outlet jordan 6 black infrared jordan 6 black infrared jordan retro 11 cheap oakley sunglasses legend blue 11s legend blue 11s Legend Blue 11s Nike kd vii Easy Money black infrared 6s beats by dre cheap lebron 12 jordan 11 legend blue louis vuitton outlet legend blue 11s jordan 6 black infrared coach factory outlet lebron 12 legend blue 11s louis vuitton outlet louis vuitton outlet cheap jordans jordan 14 black toe legend blue 11s legend blue 11s barons 13s michael kors outlet jordan 11 legend blue black infrared 6s beats by dre outlet legend blue 11s jordan 11 legend blue cheap jordans jordan 11 legend blue uggs black friday coach black friday north face black friday jordan 11 legend blue north face black friday legend blue 11s lebron 12 jordan 11 legend blue legend blue 11s jordan 11 legend blue coach outlet online jordan 11 legend blue michael kors outlet black infrared 6s black infrared 6s cheap jordans black infrared 6s legend blue 11s sac louis vuitton jordan 6 black infrared kate spade outlet louis vuitton outlet jordan 6 black infrared lebron 12 jordan 6 black infrared black infrared 6s jordan retro 6 lebron 12 jordan 6 black infrared coach factory outlet michael kors outlet legend blue 11s jordan 6 black infrared black infrared 6s jordan 6 black infrared jordan 11 legend blue louis vuitton outlet legend blue 11s legend blue 11s black infrared 6s black infrared 6s louis vuitton outlet jordan 11 legend blue black infrared 6s coach outlet online jordan 6 black infrared lebron 12 jordan 6 black infrared beats by dre black friday jordan retro 6 lebron 11 jordan 6 black infrared jordan 11 legend blue legend blue 11s legend blue 11s louis vuitton outlet louis vuitton outlet black infrared 6s legend blue 11s jordan 11 legend blue black infrared 6s sac louis vuitton kate spade outlet ferrari 14s jordan 6 black infrared jordan 6 black infrared jordan 11 legend blue jordan 11 legend blue Legend Blue 11s louis vuitton outlet beats by dre outlet legend blue 11s coach outlet online legend blue 11s beats by dre cheap jordan 6 black infrared black infrared 6s jordan 6 black infrared lebron 12 black infrared 6s north face black friday beats by dre black friday jordan 11 legend blue michael kors black friday louis vuitton outlet jordan 11 legend blue louis vuitton outlet jordan 6 black infrared uggs black friday louis vuitton outlet louis vuitton outlet michael kors outlet black infrared 6s cheap jordan shoes black infrared 6s legend blue 11s black infrared 6s black infrared 6s louis vuitton outlet louis vuitton outlet michael kors uk black toe 14s jordan 11 legend blue jordan retro 6 jordan 6 black infrared beats by dre cheap black infrared 6s barons 13s jordan 11 legend blue jordan 11 legend blue louis vuitton outlet jordan retro 11 legend blue 11s jordan 6 black infrared michael kors outlet Legend Blue 11s jordan 6 black infrared michael kors outlet jordan 6 black infrared michael kors outlet louis vuitton outlet uggs black friday louis vuitton outlet north face black friday michael kors black friday jordan 6 black infrared michael kors black friday louis vuitton outlet coach outlet online beats by dre cheap louis vuitton outlet lebron 12 jordan retro 11 black infrared 6s black infrared 6s coach outlet online black infrared 6s coach outlet online jordan 11 Legend Blue louis vuitton outlet legend blue 11s coach factory outlet louis vuitton outlet legend blue 11s jordan 11 legend blue legend blue 11s beats by dre cheap jordan retro 6 lebron 12 legend blue 11s cheap jordan shoes louis vuitton outlet jordan 11 kate spade outlet legend blue 11s black infrared 6s michael kors outlet louis vuitton outlet jordan 6 black infrared sac louis vuitton legend blue 11s uggs black friday beats by dre black friday coach black friday uggs black friday legend blue 11s black infrared 6s black infrared 6s black infrared 6s legend blue 11s louis vuitton outlet jordan 11 legend blue jordan retro 11 coach factory outlet black infrared 6s louis vuitton outlet Lebron 11 jordan 11 legend blue beats by dre outlet lebron 11 black infrared 6s michael kors outlet lebron 12 jordan retro 11 legend blue 11s jordan 14 black toe black infrared 6s jordan 11 legend blue legend blue 11s louis vuitton outlet legend blue 11s jordan 6 black infrared lebron 12 lebron 11 michael kors outlet beats by dre outlet jordan retro 11 beats by dre outlet jordan 11 legend blue north face black friday lebron 12 louis vuitton outlet uggs black friday coach black friday coach black friday jordan 11 legend blue legend blue 11s jordan 6 black infrared jordan 11 legend blue