I was watching the movie “The Ninth Gate” with some friends again. I haven’t seen it in a long time. As the movie showed the ritual with Liana Telfer reading stuff in Latin I was asked something like “Does it actually mean anything or…”
Well, there is this beautiful German word “Jain”. It means something like “Yes-and-no”. Those are actual Latin words but sentences don’t “connect” to each other as one would expect. I suppose many people who saw the movie would be interested to know what it means so here we go.
Only the words pronounced by Liana Telfer will be discussed, because the “murmur” factor of the congregation (about 50 voices) renders their words very hard to understand. So, here is what can be made out of the movie:
Octo portae antecedunt Serpentum qui verbum custodit.
Behind the eight gates (doors) is the serpent which guards the word.
Serpens bestia est qua nunquam dormit, bestia cuius occuli videntur in speculo scientiae.
Serpent is a beast which never sleeps, beast whose eyes are seen in the mirror of knowledge.
Ne timemus nec laqueum, nec gladium,nec venenum.
We do not fear the hangman’s noose, nor sword, nor venom.
Intacti eamus inter lepra et pestilentia contaminatos.
We remain intact among those infected with leprosy and plague.
Verbum quad ultima occultat arcana est Novem, Teth, Ennea, Oded.
Gloria sit Adonai, Eloim…
The word which hides the ultimate secret is Nine, Teth, Brass, Oded.
Glory be to Adonai, Eloim…
And there the ritual is interrupted.
As we can see the sequence of words Novem, Teth, Ennea, Oded with no obvious meaning sounds like something from the Kabbalistic texts, actually the “Teth” may be a reference to the Hebrew letter teth.
Also worth noting is that one could debate whether the words of the script were intended to be “Ne timemus” (We do not fear) or “Ne timeamus” (We should not fear). Anyone who knows Latin will easily agree that this pronunciation of Latin in the ritual is way off. Once you hear that pronunciation of “scientiae”, you realize that “all bets are off” as to subtle differences between words. In each case now you have enough information to form your own opinion and enjoy the movie even more next time you watch it.