HELLBLAZER 181 - The Game of Cat and Mouse
Cover Annotations By : Adrian Brown
Apart from the already mentioned return of Clarice, the following includes no spoilers.
Tim Bradstreet gives us a fine close-up of the spell that Clarice uses to protect John.
Too good an opportunity to miss for this annotator!
(By the way, did anyone else think of Planetary when they saw this cover ?)
Ah, Latin - the language of the Dennis Wheatley magician and Catholic priests.
When reading these translations, remember that Latin sentences have a rather peculiar syntax.
Where a number appears in brackets, the sentence appears to continue in another part of John's back.
Having completed almost all of the following translation, I found some online notes about The Magus. "(This) is one of the primary sources for the study of ceremonial magic, and for a long time was one of the rarest and most sought after of the 19th century grimoires. Barretts' magnum opus embodies deep knowledge of Alchemy, Astrology, and the Kabbalah, and has been cited by the Golden Dawn and other occult and esoteric movements as source material. Written in 1801 in the middle of the 'Age of Reason', sandwiched between Newton and Darwin, this was possibly the last epoch that a work like this could be composed."
For the connection, see the end of the Words section.
Okay back to the tattoo.
ADE's ACME DELATINATOR VERSION
From the nape:
ego hoc mando tibi
I entrust this (body) to you
You know, I was going to turn all of that into english ...
And actually translated a load which you can find on the DC Hellblazer forum.
But Clarice's sigil is basically asking someone (something) to come to John's aid and protect his earthly body.
Which is all very interesting, but then you find
VERUS JESUITARVM LIBELLUS
"Hagios +, ischiros +, paraclitus +, alpha et omega +, initium et finis +, Deus + et homo +, Zebaoth +, Adonai +, Agla +, Tetragrammaton +, Abua +, Deus +, Eljon +, Jana, Jehova, Deus Sachnaton +, Arumna +, Messias +, Cherab +, Misol +, Ambriel +, Achteol +, Jachenas +, et per vim Dei Patris + et per vim Dei Filii + et per vim Spiritus Sancti +, et per quae verba Salomon et Manasses spiritus exorcizavit et per quæ tu Spiritus, quomodocunque exorcizari potes, ut tu hoc momento, uti Isaac Abramo obediens fuit, ita etiam mihi obedire debeas et compareas coram me in pulcra, affabili et humana forma et afferas mihi (ex abysso maris) N. milliones optimi auri expensibilis ubique monetae Hispanicae sine ullo tumulto, damno corporis et animæ, absque omni prorsus nocumento, sine strepitu, fulgure, tempestate, sine terrore et tremore et pone istam summam in circulum. Ego hoc mando tibi, Spiritus, per virtutem Dei Patris + Dei Filii +, Dei Spiritus S. + et per vim, per quod omnia creata et facta sunt. Fiat + + + !"
[Hagios +, Ischiros +, Paraclitus +, Alpha and Omega +, the Beginning and the End +, God + and man +, Zebaoth +, Adonai +, Agla +, Tetragrammaton +, Abua +, Deus +, Eljon +, Jana, Jehova, Deus Sachnaton +, Arumna +, Messias +, Cherab +, Misol +, Ambriel +, Achteol +, Jachenas +, and by the might of God the Father +, and by the might of God the Son +, and by the might of the Holy Spirit +, and by the words with which Solomon and Manasses exorcised the spirits, and by the words which have power over you, that you obey immediately, even as you obeyed Isaac and Abraham. Appear before me in a beautiful, affable, and human form, and bring to me (from the depths of the seas) N. million of the best Spanish gold without any disturbance, or else I will damn you body [sic] and soul, abstaining wholly from all harm, without noise, lightning, or tempest, without terror and trembling, and place yourself before me outside this circle. I command this of you, O Spirit, by the virtue of God the Father +, God the Son +, and God the Holy Spirit + and by the might by which everything was created and made. So be it + + +!]
Which leads me to believe that Mike and Tim have been casting spells to earn themselves lots of money.
"bring to me (from the depths of the seas) N. million of the best Spanish gold"
It's a conjuration to summon Uriel, which would be enough to deter would-be assassins and protect John's body.
(Thanks to Mike for putting me out of my misery on this one)
Okay, time for some audience participation ! Help us fill in the gaps.
A very useful resource for these matters is www.symbols.com
Most of the designs seem based in Caballistic magic, wards against demons or invocations of angels ? One of them looks like a Led Zepelling album logo.
There are five major patterns of symbols.
On the nape of the neck there are two Moons with a symbol I cannot find.
The left facing Moon is a New Moon, the right facing one means the waning Moon - a similar symbol was also used to represent the archangel Gabriel in Caballistic mysticism.
The circle at the centre of John's back has 13 symbols around it (possibly a zodiac ?)
Taking the symbols clockwise from the top:
4 Looks similar to the Zodiac symbol for Aquarius or water
5 Means nothing.
7 Looks like a Theban "A"
8 Similar to Jupiter. In Cabbalistic mysticism this is the sign of the Angel Sachiel.
9 This has been seen in Nordic carvings and in Africa where it means "highest" or "best". It is similar to the symbol for the archangel Michael.
13 This looks a bit like another symbol for Mars - and also for the angel Samael.
The inner circle has eight symbols set in quadrants.
6 Possibly the symbol for Sagittarius, but the lines touching make it look like an alchemical symbol for Realgar, which is a compound of sulphur and arsenic.
7 This symbol can mean "in conjunction with" in astronomy and astrology.
8 Similar to the Zodiac symbol for Leo.
The circle on the lower left has a triangle with the symbol for Jupiter (or Sachiel) at the top left, Saturn (or Cassiel) on the right and Mercury (Hermes) at the base. Just outside of the triangle is Mars. The rest is unclear.
The circle on the left shoulder appears to have a foreign script around it.
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