ReCo2gnition – TENET – a time travel concept

The Sator Square

I first came across the word TENET as a child, when my Uncle James talked to me about the history and the mysticism of the word being used as a palindrome within the magical Sator Square.

I became fascinated with the mystery of what does it mean? And how it is configured? Within an array of words which all read the same forward and backward within a square formation, like some sort of magical puzzle that made me want to solve the mystery of it’s meaning.

It is this real life experience that inspired me to create TENET as the reversal of time concept within a real life ancient artefact that is the SATOR SQUARE. Given the fact that TENET can be read in reverse in the form of a spiritual cross formation, which adds to it’s mystical qualities.

My uncle used to repeatedly say to me, “SATOR, AREPO, TENET, OPERA, ROTAS…..He who sows the seeds, has the key to the wheel of life.”  Making me realise the words were referring to – Creator / Saviour with it’s religious origin.

I was fascinated by how all of the words spelt together to form a square, whilst being able to be read the same forward and backward.  Specifically the middle word TENET which not only read the same forward and backward but the same up and down, which represented not only the spiritual symbol of the cross, but also symbolised time in the form of a clock face.  Being able to be read the same at positions 12, 3, 6 and 9 on a clock face.   This gave me the idea of time travel being linked to spiritualism and the church hiding the secret for generations.  As religion is mystical, it occurred to me that this magical square represents religion as being mystical, given the fact it is mystical itself in being a puzzle.

My uncle was a talented intellect, who was one of few people in the UK who had read the Egyptian ‘Book of the Dead’ and could read hieroglyphics.  I believe it was his in depth knowledge of Egyptiantology that made him think that the SATOR SQUARE had an Egyptian influence, although the language of the square is written in Latin.  Which indicates it coming from the Western part of the Empire at the time of it’s creation. I believe he thought that the occurrence of acrostics and crosswords within Egyptian literature made an Egyptian influence on the origin of the SATOR SQUARE even more likely.   We know that the first sign of the square being found was in Pompeii AD79.

“When St. Paul landed at Puteoli, AD 60 he found Christians there to welcome him and found Egyptian cults had early been established.  Pompeii too had its part on the River Sarno and traffic with Egypt was lively.  It is known of course, that Pompeii also had a flourishing cult of Isis.  It was influenced by Alexandria a city which fostered not only Egyptian cults, but also at an early date, Christianity.”  J.  Gwyn Griffiths.  The Classical Review, Vol. 21 No. 1 (Mar 1971) pp. 68  Journal article – ‘Arepo’ in the Magic ‘Sator’ Square.

By the end of the middle ages, the prophylactic magic of the square was firmly established in superstition of Italy, Serbia, Germany, Iceland and North America.

Finally, I liked the connection of the word SATOR being read backwards as ROTAS within the SATOR SQUARE, being associated with the Rotors of a wind turbine.  Which is significant to the Wind Energy theme of my story.

The SATOR SQUARE is unsolved and a mystery, which is why it perfectly represents time travel symbolically as a mystery.

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