Stars and Saints

Noah Gardiner

Important elements of al-Buni’s teachings in Lata’if al-isharat, particularly his unusual doctrine of forty-eight letters, amounts to an esotericist unveiling of the hidden realities underlying “profane” astrology, one that identifies the world-shaping efflux of forces from the celestial spheres with the continuous flow of the letters of God’s creative speech. He furthermore implies a central role for Sufi adepts (muhaqqiqun) and saints (awliya) in mediating these astral-lettristic radiations… of the saints as key executors of God’s word and will on earth.

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Originally published in the journal Magic, Ritual & Witchcraft. Republished here with thanks to Prof. Gardiner and to the publishers.

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