The Theban alphabet and other cipher systems in a witch's book of shadows with a red pentagram and a sigil
Beginner Guides

What Is The Theban Alphabet?

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The Theban alphabet is a magical language that was original used to hide magical research and practice from members of the church. Books could be translated into Theban easily so that grimoires could be passed down to future witches and occultists.

As a substitution cipher, the Theban alphabet is used by Wiccans, witches, and occultists to create sigils, write magical spells, hide their knowledge, and increase the power and intention of their magic. 

Esoteric and occult symbols

When And Where Was The Theban Alphabet Invented?

Also known as The Witch’s Alphabet or the Honorian Script, the Theban alphabet may have been invented by a few different people.

This magical script was revealed to Petries de Apono, who was close with Pope Honorius IV. The script may be named after that pope, who is one of the possible inventors. Another option is Honorius III. However, neither man has any existing writing on this script or evidence of them using it.

The Theban alphabet used to write "This is what the Theban alphabet looks like"

It could have also come from the fourteenth century manuscript called The Sworn Book of Honorius. What is the Sworn Book Of Honorius?

The Sworn Book of Honorius is a very old and influential medieval grimoire, and it survives to this day! That means that those who look to the ancients for information on faith and magic often turn to this grimoire.

Esoteric and occult symbols

What Are Notable Features Of The Theban Alphabet?

The Theban alphabet is written left to write horizontally. The letters of this magical alphabet correspond to the letters of the Latin alphabet, except for the letters J and U / V.

The characters of the alphabet use loops and lines. Many of the letters resemble the letters M or U.

The Theban alphabet has fewer characters than the similar Avestan alphabet, and includes a symbol for the ending of a sentence.

Esoteric and occult symbols

Is The Theban Alphabet A Substitution Cipher?

Yes! With the exception of the letters J and U / V, this alphabet is a one to one substitution cipher. That means that each character of the Theban alphabet corresponds to one of the letters in the Latin alphabet.

The Theban alphabet used to write writing spells

That makes this alphabet very easy to use in your magic writings and other workings. It’s simple to switch one letter for another to obscure what you’re writing.

Especially when the Theban alphabet was created, the Christian church was doing its best to stamp out any ancient practices, paganism, or witchcraft. Writing in a script that couldn’t be translated allowed magicians and witches to record their work without fear of being killed by the church.

Esoteric and occult symbols

Why Is The Theban Alphabet Known As The Witch’s Alphabet?

The Theban alphabet is popular among witches to give their writings a mystical quality and to hide the meaning of what they are writing.

Wiccans and other witches have adopted many substitution ciphers to hide and obscure the contents of their books of shadows.

Esoteric and occult symbols

How Can I Use The Theban Alphabet In Magic Writings And Spells?

Magical alphabets and ciphers can be used in a lot of ways! I have used them to make sigils, to pass messages to other witches and in talisman creation. 

The Theban alphabet used to spell Eclectic Witchcraft

Here are some more ideas for using magical alphabets in your witch practice:

  • Inscribe talismans and amulets
  • Draw into baked goods
  • Use as a cipher for making sigils
  • Write in your book of shadows
  • Carve into candles
  • Carve into your altar
  • Use in spiritual art
  • Draw on your body with oils or paints
  • Carve into soaps
Esoteric and occult symbols

Key Takeaways

  • The Theban alphabet is a good way to create secret symbols and codes in your magical works.
  • This alphabet uses mostly looping shapes instead of straight lines.
  • You can easily change the order of the letters to disguise what you’re saying, shifting your cipher.
  • These letters were invented during a time period where Christianity was trying to eradicate all forms of Paganism from Europe.
  • Using this alphabet will help you keep things hidden while working spells and rituals.
  • You can use a Theban alphabet font to translate your writing quickly.

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