Review: Ephesia Grammata

Diana_Versailles_LouvreReview: Ephesia Grammata: Ancient History and Modern Practice is a little book by P Sufenas Virius Lupis which is printed by The Red Lotus Library.

It is a little book (115 small pages) which covers the use of one of the more ancient magical spells which has survived to ancient times. For those who have never heard of it, the Ephesia Grammata spell is Ancient Greek “Aski, Kataski, Lix, Tetrax, Damnameneus, Aision.” The meaning of the words  had been forgotten by Ancient times.  Many commentators are a little too keen on leaning on Clement of Alexandria’s interpretation as being fact. Clement believed that the Ephesia Grammata meant shadow, shadowy, earth, seasons, sun and word. He thought they were the basis of an ancient belief pattern. But to do this Clement ignored the fact that Damnameneus was a Dactyl, or a God of the Storms.

In fact this was my first concern when reading this book, however Lupis does refer to a large number of ancient texts and comes to a conclusion which was more or less along Clement’s lines but with some interesting reasoning.

Ephesia’s Shadows

Following Lupis you end up catching a glimpse of something really important within the Ephesia Grammata which has been lost to neo-paganism. There is an edge to the spell which stimulates thoughts and beliefs in Hekate and Diana that reside in the back of the mind.

He suggests practical uses for the Ephesia Grammata, even a basic form of oracle using them and how different gods respond to the letters. If you are looking at pagan sub-lunar magic this is certainly a book which you need.

That said I wish there had been more of it. The author has clearly been working on the Grammata for some time (and has carried out workshops at Pagan Con). I felt he had much more to say about the philosophy and practical aspects of the Ephesia Grammata but didn’t. The book has shedloads of footnotes which can help you build up a good body of reference work on the system.