The online portfolio of interactive artist Dan Cassar

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Adrienne Rozzi - Sator Square.

The Sator Square is an ancient Roman 2D palindrome square made up of five Latin words. The oldest discovery of the square comes from the ruins of Pompeii in Herculaneum, a city buried in ash during the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. The square’s translation is continuously debated but implies themes of a farmer plowing his field and the continuous maintenance of working the land. Consisting of five interconnected words, the Sator Square is often used as a protective talisman, believing evil spirits will get caught in the repetitive cycle of the square and lose their ability to harm those under the square’s protection. For this reason, the Sator Square has been found in Medieval churches, Renaissance grimoires, and it pops up quite a bit in folk magic practices.

John George Hohman utilizes the square in his famous grimoire, The Long Lost Friend, as a spell to “extinguish fire without water.” Furthermore, the Sator Square has been used to remove jinxes and fevers, as well as aid in safe travels when worn on your person. It is often placed above doorways and inscribed on objects for protection in the home and to ward against evil occurrences. The most fascinating aspect of the Sator Square, however, is found in it’s numerological breakdown. Each word in the talisman, whether in a row or column, can be reduced to the number 1. Many numerologists maintain that this repetition and coherence gives the Sator Square even more extraordinary powers.

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