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To: alt.satanism,alt.magick.tyagi,talk.religion.misc,alt.pagan
From: (nocTifer)
Subject: (Z) Shemhamphorash
Date: 2 Apr 1998 22:45:05 -0500

49980402 aa2 Hail Satan!

I notice that the term or some variation of "Shemhamphorasch"
is used within at least CoSatanist rituals, and so I wanted
to provide one perspective on the origins and usage of this
term from someone whose text I find intriguing.  enjoy.

blessed beast! 

From: Clifford Hartleigh Low 

Shemhamphorash is a distortion of the phrase Shem ha'Meforash, which 
translates as the Name of 72. 

It is common practice to use Hebrew references to divine names, as 
exoteric stand-ins for divine names themselves. The most common examples 
are that the appearances of YY and YHVH in prayer are always pronounced 
"Adonai" (Lord.) Outside of prayer, it is considered inappropriate to 
utter even that word, so "Ha Shem" is used instead. Ha Shem means The 
Name. A consequence of this, is that all Orthodox (and many Conservative) 
Jews will mention only to The Name in conversation, deeming anything 
closer to a powerful holy name might be blasphemous-- and have 
undesirably mystical consequences. The fact that Ha Shem is an 
abstraction of an abstraction of an abstraction and so on, gives it 
enough distance from the real thing that it becomes safe to handle. The 
closer a word is to the actual True Name of something, the more 
(frequently dangerous) power the utterer or inscriber can derive from it.

The actual item the phrase refers to is a single word composed of 72 
syllables, of three Hebrew consonants each. Like most Hebrew names for 
God, it is composed from a kind of acronym based on passages of the Old 

It has frequently been called the "ineffable name", though it is a 
partial misnomer. It was (perhaps mythically) considered a supreme ritual 
within Kabbalism for a mystic to pronounce the ineffable name perfectly 
and with a single breath. Supposedly, the complicated rhythmic breathing 
and energy exercises practiced within Kabbalah lend the ability to utter 
what would otherwise require angelic lungs and vocal chords. 

The Kabbalist (or demon) who can utter the ineffable name, has the power 
to infuse uncomplicated lifeforce in inanimate objects (golems), the 
powers of invisibility and flight, the power to flawlessly command and 
constrain (other) demons, and the power to transform non-living matter in 
a temporary or permanent fashion. (Demons in Jewish folklore frequently 
behave more like mischevious geniis or dark faeries than Christian 
demons. Only very noble or powerful demons have the discipline and purity 
to utter the ineffable name.)

Its most common usage is on protective amulets, which is probably how it 
has been preserved altogether.

The theological value of the 72-letter name is unique and complicated. 
The concept of "True Names" is the root of all Kabbalistic thought, and 
this particular word is considered to have immense significance. It is 
believed that Jehovah himself uttered the word to call the cosmos into 
existence, for example. It is speculated that this word is the True Name 
of God, though most serious Kabbalists dismiss this idea. More likely, it 
is the True Name of the Torah, which _itself_ is the True Name of God. 
Even the angels cannot pronounce the Torah as one word in a single 
exhalation. Or so it is believed.

The word Shemhamphorash has no pre-Kabbalistic meaning. It's usage in 
Satanism is somewhat peculiar.

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