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Das Sator-Quadrat

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image of Archive for the Psychology of Religion

The Sator square is a widespread palindrome: It may be read like a grid from left to right and vice versa, from top to bottom and vice versa. For nearly 2,000 years, it has been serving above all for magic purposes, among other things for healing sick persons, furthermore as a magic fire extinguisher. The sequence of letters was a riddle and invited contradictory attempts to solve it. The author pleads for not taking it only as a challenge for the riddle-solving mind, but also for reading it in the bustrophedon way, i.e. bidirectionally, as the ox turns when ploughing. Doing so, a swaying rhythm would result. The cruciform middle as a cosmological cross, however, would symbolise absolute stability, and thus the complex unity would lead to "mountains moving" faith. In research with the random generator working with Strontium 90, the Schmidt-machine, resulted that such a mental state is indeed favourable for psychokinetic effects (von Lucadou). So far, magic can be accompanied by science today. But the mystic consciousness expressed by the central TENET remains out of the positivistic science's reach and demands a different kind of religious psychology for its articulation.

10.1163/157361200X00140
/content/journals/10.1163/157361200x00140
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2000-01-01
2016-12-04

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