16-17th century skull engraved with the Sator Square Latin palindrome.
‘The Great Sower holds in his hand all works; all works the Great Sower holds in his hand.’
The Sator Square 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. The earliest known appearance of the square was found in the ruins of Pompeii which was buried in the ash of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD. If the Sator Square is read boustrophedon, with a reverse in direction, then the words become SATOR OPERA TENET.
The Sator Square is a four-times palindrome, and some people have attributed magical properties to it, considering it one of the broadest magical formulas in the occident.
Naming is an act of word magic, one parents tend to take seriously, the effects can be so disastrous. The moment that fixed AziMuth into a proper noun occurred long ago. Nine years later it reemerges to serve me well, like a golden apple opening the path to the world it had mapped, but was then unattainable.
An azimuth is a navigational reading. By sweeping an arc from the zenith through a celestial object to the horizon, and then measuring the angle that intersection from due north, a navigator could get a read on the direction to be followed. Apparently the word is also used when determining where to aim a cannon. The Arabic root of the word, simply “the way.” I then choose to capitalize the internal M, stealing a trick from so many last names in my Irish heritage, I placed emphasis on the Greek root “muth”, or myth. That sealed it, giving a frame of reference to the work I needed to undertake.
I’ve learned through my failings that when attempting to lay one’s supplications at a creative altar, ones intentions need to be rooted in the deepest layer of the soul. Celtic Queen Maeve would challenge her poets and druids and kings, “what are the three deepest desires of your heart, and speak them in your next breath.” Greek myth’s tell of hero’s missing the mark, stuttering at the moment of their golden opportunities and being exiled for another nine years of wandering. The story of the grail castle resonates here as well.
It’s a blessing to arrive full cycle, tempered by the year’s of the separation, matured by unexpected detours and difficulties, now knowing what to do. When that slim margin of opportunity opened, as slight as the space of one’s next breath, I knew with no uncertain terms to utter my answer: “AziMuth.”
And there was life, life abundantly…
(via Catskill Cottage Seed)