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The Dragon And The Province Of Magic And Divination

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Chapter Summary

The range of symbolic meanings associated with the figure of the dragon extends to include an important role in those branches of knowledge that encompass the more esoteric or magical sciences, in particular sympathetic and talismanic astrological magic and the preparation of verbal and material talismans. The word serpent or snake appears in the Qurʾān only in allusion to the staff or rod that Mūsā carried as sceptre of his authority and miraculously transformed into a serpent. The magic power of Mūsā's serpent-rod was attributed primarily to the words inscribed upon it, which consisted of names that were linked to the mystical divine name that was endowed with special power and in Arabic magic literature is generally referred to as ism Allāh al-aʿẓam ("the greatest name of God").

Keywords: divination; dragon; Mūsā; magic; serpent-rod; talismans



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