Theban Script or "Witchs' Runes"

Full size excerpt of The Magus with the legend for the alphabet as it originally appeared.Theban Script is an alphabet used by many Pagans, Witches and Wiccans as a substitution cipher to prevent prying eyes from reading private entries in Books of Shadows (BoS) or spell books. It also lends an air of mystery to writing and is known as the Witches Runes, Witchs' Runes or the Witches' Alphabet.

In this article you will find a brief history of the script. There is also an easy to print bookmark at the bottom of this page. You can cut it out and use the bookmark as a quick reference when writing your own coded spells in your book of shadows, or for translating and deciphering Theban Script in other areas such as on the library window in the lifetime television series, "Witches of East End".  Finally as an extra bonus, you can download the true type font for use on your computer in documents and graphics if you are logged in as a Member of

The Theban alphabet does not exactly translate to the English alphabet because the letters W, J and U are not used in Middle Latin. You can create your own characters to replace these letters, or you may substitute the character for I in place of J, and the character for V in place of W and U. These substitutions are widely accepted and practiced by many modern magical folk.

The Theban Alphabet first appeared in the book entitled, The Magus. The English occult and Kabbalah scholar, Francis Barrett, published The Magus in 1801. In the book, the alphabet is attributed to Honorius II (Pope from 1216 to 1227).  Click on the image above to enlarge the original book excerpt.

Many medieval grimoires were said to have been written by Honorius II. The legend accompanying the illustration of this alphabet in The Magus reads:

"The Mysterious Characters of Letters deliver'd by Honorius call'd the Theban Alphabet." Honorius II had the reputation of being a magician and was said to have sponsored a crusade to Egypt.

Users of this magickal alphabet often include a stylized character at the end of a writing. This character is translated as the Greek Alpha and Omega.

Punctuation is not normally used with Theban Script, however a tilda (~) can be attractive at the end of sentences when using the script ~

You can download the Theban Script true type font for your computer if you are a Member of PaganPath and are logged in. If you are logged in, you will see a little "gear" or "clockwork" icon at the top of every page.  Click on the icon to go to the "My Path" area with lots of extras like fonts, almanacs and books to download. If you are already logged in, you can click here to go directly to the downloads. Save the Theban font to your Windows Font folder and restart your computer. You should then be able to use the Theban Script for all your word processing and graphics programs.

Free Stuff:

Free bookmark for you to use as a quick translation guide.

Click here to print out a Theban reference bookmark.


About the Author
Author: FridayWebsite: http://PaganPath.comEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Author & Academy Instructor
Friday is devoted to writing books and articles on a variety of Pagan subjects, and is the instructor of the online PaganPath Academy. She has studied and practiced the Craft since 1987, and worked as a professional tarot reader and vice president of a national psychic network for several decades. Currently, she is now a practicing herbalist and ordained minister. As a Master Gardener with a deep interest in permaculture, she is developing the PaganPath Sanctuary with her partner. This long term community project is an edible landscape demonstration, orchard and educational facility for future generations.

Log in to Comment and Discuss Article

Go to the full Comments and Discussion Area for this Pagan Path Article (4).
Posted: 30 Aug 12 5:06 am America/Chicago by Bane Dragon #131
Bane Dragon's Avatar
If I can get a good picture of it, I have a wonderful tattoo of a prayer, all written in Theban script. My best friend/tattoo artist cussed me the whole time he was in there doing it. LoL
Posted: 30 Aug 12 8:44 am America/Chicago by Otatara #132
Otatara's Avatar
ROFL - I bet he cursed you to the pits of Hell! What does the prayer say?
Posted: 30 Aug 12 10:26 am America/Chicago by Friday #134
Friday's Avatar
I'd really like to see that.
Posted: 31 Aug 12 1:46 pm America/Chicago by Rabblerouzer #135
Rabblerouzer's Avatar
Yea, I'd love to see a pic. The witches runes are new to me. It would be great to see how they look as skin art.

PaganPath Academy & Witchcraft Classes Open Enrollment Now

PaganPath Academy Enrollment:

Our Academy remains the most outstanding available, and also the least costly!  Join any or all of the courses in the Academy for $49 a year, and start your classes right now.  Special: You get 25% off today!  Become a Premium Member & Enroll now for only $36.75, just click here.

Join as a Free Full Member (no Academy access) here to access the forum, downloads and more great stuff.

Save when you pay dues for more years:
What areas of study interest you most?
Any Notes or Comments to Add?

Shop Features

Shipping & Sales

  • Shipping Prices:
    • Free for all orders over $80!
    • Orders in the United States $5.00, now only $3.80
    • Canada & Mexico $15.50
    • All other countries $17.50
  • Free Gifts & Samples Included in Your Order!