Magic Square
An arithmetical curiosity formerly believed to have occult
significance. A square is divided into smaller squares, each containing
a number so arranged that the sum of each row, vertical,
horizontal, or diagonal, is the same.
In a variant form, letters are used instead of numbers, the
most popular arrangement being the rows
SATOR
AREPO
TENET
OPERA
ROTAS
A variant form
SALOM
AREPO
LEMEL
OPERA
MOLAS
The variant form is specified in The Book of the Sacred Magic
of Abra-Melin the Mage as a charm to obtain the love of a maiden.
Other magic squares were composed of numbers or letters
in irregular arrangements that were believed to have magical
power. Such squares were inscribed on parchment or other materials
and worn as talismans.
Other talismans were made in circular format, in wax or in
metal, and used to invoke spirits. These were sometimes
termed ‘‘seals.’’ The term magic circle more properly indicates
the protective circle traced upon the ground by the magician
when invoking spirits.
Talismans in the form of magic squares have long been used
by Hindus and Moslems for magical purposes and in religious
rituals.