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Alphabets and the Mystery Traditions

The Origins of Letters in the Earth, the Underworld, and the Heavens

Published by Inner Traditions
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

About The Book

Reveals the esoteric mysteries encoded in the order of the alphabet

• Explores the secrets hidden in our alphabet and how each letter represented a specific stage on the alchemical path toward enlightenment

• Divides our alphabet’s sequence of letters into three distinct parts: the first representing Earth and the natural year, the second the Underworld and the hero’s journey, and the third the Heavens and astronomical cycles

• Reveals how the ancient secrets encoded in the numerical order of the alphabet can be found in Mystery Traditions and divination systems throughout the world

Our alphabet hides a Mystery older than its magic of turning sound into shapes. Secrets lie in the choice of objects chosen to represent early alphabet letters and their order, a pattern inherited by numerous traditions, an alchemical spell to return the sun from the dark and guide the soul toward enlightenment.

Revealing the spell hidden in our alphabet, Judith Dillon explores the importance of the placement of each letter in early alphabets and how each letter represented a specific step on the alchemical path of self-transformation. She investigates the alphabet’s spread around the world, beginning in Egypt and then spreading through Hebrew, Greek, and other ancient systems of writing and divination. These include Germanic Runes, Celtic Oghams, Tarot cards, the I Ching, and the wisdom of Mother Goose. Comparing the mythic attributes of many traditions, the author reveals the commonality of a numerical placement of symbols and how the hidden message was adapted by multiple peoples using objects and shapes from their own traditions.

Examining the esoteric wisdom encoded in the alphabet, Dillon divides the numerical sequence of letters into three distinct parts. The first family of letters represents the Earth and describes the cycle of the natural year. The second family represents the Underworld and symbolizes the hero’s journey through judgments and death into the light of day. The third represents the Heavens and its astronomical cycles. Together, our alphabet symbols are a spell of alchemical stages on a path toward the light. Hidden in plain sight, our alphabet represents a transmission of ancient wisdom, the great alchemical Mystery of transforming dark earth into shining gold, of releasing the soul from the bonds of matter into the gold of enlightenment.

About The Author

Judith Dillon has a degree in Near Eastern languages and anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley. Familiar with many traditions, she has studied the relationships between early alphabets and Mystery Traditions for more than 40 years.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Inner Traditions (February 6, 2024)
  • Length: 320 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781644116661

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Raves and Reviews

“Timely and well written. Judith Dillon casts her eye over the great mystery of communication in a magical way that sends you on a quest through the very meaning of the alphabet. We give little thought to the letters we use every day, but they are tools for magic, for mystery, and for our communion with each other. Next time you use your keyboard, look down at the individual letters and ask yourself ‘Where did they come from?’ This book will give you the answer. Informative, lucid, and captivating.”

– David Elkington, author of The Ancient Language of Sacred Sound

“Nothing excites me more than the origins and magic of the early alphabets. The alchemy and mystery of language, of vibration, or image from above, below, and around the world contains the story of consciousness. Here is a compendium of magic and mystery. Judith Dillon has made a masterful assemblage of languages, including the heka (or magic) of each language and the power of word vibration. Heavens! What a book!”

– Rev. Normandi Ellis, author of Hieroglyphic Words of Power

“A stunning cross-cultural portrait of the sacred order of letters. So many signs and symbols surround Judith Dillon’s astounding account of an inner pathway dictated by letters of the alphabet. A beautifully illustrated new addition to the literature!”

– David Appelbaum, professor in the Department of Philosophy at SUNY New Paltz

Alphabets and the Mystery Traditions is a fresh and exciting anthropological investigation of the origins of the alphabet. Judith Dillon has unveiled a compelling story of renewal and resurrection in the ancient Mysteries. I particularly enjoyed her descriptions of the role of the Goddess in the spell of the alphabet.”

– Bethsheba Ashe, cryptographer and author of Behold! The Art and Practice of Gematria

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