rorriM cigaM


So Zatanna is a magician (both a stage magician and a can-do-supernatural-magic magician) in DC comics.  She casts her spells by speaking her intention backwards.  A fellow named Christopher Knowles wrote a whole book (Our Gods Wear Spandex. Its so-so. I might do it as a Book You’ve Never Heard Of some time), on the thesis that the pulps were heavily influenced by 19th century occultism, and comics were influenced by the pulps, so there remains some occult influence in comics.  Somehow he missed the chance to talk about Zatanna’s backwards speech.

Crowley (whom I can’t help but think you’re getting the wrong impression on my curiosity about, and I’ve been trying to avoid bringing up, but what the hell, it’s his birthday) wrote:

“Let the … Adept first train himself to think backwards by external means, as set forth here following.

(“a”) Let him learn to write backwards, with either hand.
(“b”) Let him learn to walk backwards.
(“c”) Let him constantly watch, if convenient, cinematograph films, and listen to phonograph records, reversed, and let him so accustom himself to these that they appear natural, and appreciable as a whole.
(“d”) Let him practise speaking backwards; thus for “I am He” let him say, “Eh ma I”.
(“e”) Let him learn to read backwards. In this it is difficult to avoid cheating one’s self, as an expert reader sees a sentence at a glance. Let his disciple read aloud to him backwards, slowly at first, then more quickly.
(“f”) Of his own ingenium, let him devise other methods.” [emphasis mine]

So, I suppose the question is, is it that Zatanna is very skilled in item d, or that the secret masters at DC want us to practice item e?

As a side note, point c was used to try to claim that noted Crowley fanatic Jimmy Page intentionally put backwards messages in “Stairway to Heaven.”  Zep Manager Peter Grant told the press “Our turntables spin only one way.”

Published in: on October 12, 2011 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

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