Arem, Shem, Beth, Sedal, Sacrivalian, Ahad.

For those of you who haven’t seen the above words, let me tell you where they come from.

“Sylvia Browne (born Sylvia Celeste Shoemaker 1936-10-19) is a bestselling American author on the subject of spirituality and is a celebrity psychic and medium,” if Wikipedia is to be believed. She’s a regular on the Montel Williams show, she founded the Novus Spiritus church, and has a very large following.

At three times during the Novus Spiritus service, the following is recited:

Arem, Shem, Beth, Sedal, Sacrivalian, Ahad.

Although it has been claimed that it is in Aramaic, it really puzzled me, because in her book “Prayers” (published in 2002) and on the Novus Spiritus website, it is translated as:

“Blessed be this Queen on high who is sacred to all who come to Her. Amen.”

I was a bit dumbstruck. To me, this is a bunch of jibberish; nothing nearly so structured as how it is being interpreted. Let me break things down:


It could be ארם [‘arem] which is not really an Aramaic word in and of itself.
This form could also be the Hebrew name for Aram, the son of Shem.

It could also be ארים [‘areym] from the root רום [rom] which could mean “raised” in the causative (as in something caused to be raised, physically or in tone). But this would be better expressed as מרים [mirîm].

It could be ערם [`eram] which:
In Syriac (ܥܪܡ) could mean “rough spot,” or “scandal” (!) (but this is usually found in the form ܥܪܡܐ [`arma’] in Syriac.


It could be שם [shem] which means “name,” (which is the most common) but by idiom can mean “title,” “reputation,” (e.g. “good name” or “bad name”) or “authority” (i.e. “in the name of X”).

It could be שם [sham] from the root שום [shom] which means in some dialects “evaluate!” or “identify!” (as an imperative).


This I believe can be only one thing, which is the word בית [beyth] which means “house” (and associated idioms, like “family,” “structure,” “place.” etc.) or the second letter of the Aramaic alphabet (ב).
In some rarer cases it can mean “between” but that is in Syriac.


The only word that jumps into mind for this one is ܣܕܠܐ [sadla’] whose absolute form is ܣܕܠ [sedal]. This, however, is a minority form of a Syriac word for “sandal,” a dialect far too young for Browne’s claims. Furthermore, the much more common form is ܣܢܕܠܐ [sandla’].


There is no way that this word is Aramaic.

After many hours of searching through my collections and databases, the closest possible thing I could find is סיקיר בליון [seyqeyr balyon] which means “a sausage-maker’s amulet,” but these two words (since they come from different dialects) have never been historically attested together in this fashion… ever.

That just sounds… Ick.


This could either be the word אחד [‘echad] which is Hebrew for “one.”
Or… well I don’t know. That’s really all that comes to mind immediately.
It could be a verbal form

One very important and striking word that I was expecting to see, given the translation, was “Amen” as “amen” in Aramaic is … well אמין [amen]. Other than that, I would have expected מלכה [malkah], מלכת [malkath] or מלכתא [malkthâ’] which means “queen,” the adjective קדיש [qadîsh] which means “sacred” or “holy,” and at least the adjective בריך [brîkh] which means “blessed” as all three of these words are, to my knowledge, found every dialect on record.

In short: This jumble of syllables is certainly not Aramaic.

Now, another thing to note about Sylvia Browne is that she (and her estranged husband) were several times in the past convicted for fraud. Not to be too biting, but I believe that this leopard has merely whited out its spots. Aramaic is an obscure enough language for people to make wild and generally unchallenged claims about it. Hopefully this issue is now a bit less clouded.


6 thoughts on “Arem, Shem, Beth, Sedal, Sacrivalian, Ahad.

  1. Aramaic is obscure but intimately related to Hebrew and Arabic. Even a total noob in those languages knows the roots MLK, QDSh and BRK. Muslims and Jews only hear them, what, every time they pray. Assuming they’re not idiots they would guess that they might be similar in Aramaic. (Based on what you’ve written… they’d be right.)

    Sylvia needs to go back to deciphering the Phaistos Disc.

  2. Steve,
    I think you might have been searching in all the wrong places. To begin with Sanskrit is the bases for both Aramaic, Akkadian,Persian, Armenian, and many more.

    Ancient Sumerian now falls between Sanskrit, and Tamil, with more Babylonian Aramaic influences in later stages.

    Remember that words were intentionally reordered to create what they call Babel. This way new meanings were derived from the old ones.

    Aram, is actually Rama of vedic tradition..Aram was a later development that rose out of Rama, as Aramaic spread. They both embody the same character, and both have symbolic commonalities.
    However, reference to those of Aryan origin.
    Aram of the pillars for instance exists both in India and Oman..and both suffered floods and were both buried under the sand.

    Sham, shem (hebrew) , sem are all references to the Sun diety. Shem was once a female diety, but became a male sun diety with the Ancient hebrews.

    The world Sham means candle, which refers to the fire, and heat of the sun. In ancient times it was placed and lit as a prayer to the Sun God/Goddess. The sun God/Goddess was worshipped because it guided sea faring tribes, and it was the location of the sun that told ones location on the sea.

    For years I wondered why the persian word for milk, was Sheer, since Lion is also called Sheer in Farsi.
    I finally found out that the main Goddess of those in the Levant and Turkey, and later Greece was called Ashirah..she was also the consort of Yahwa the Jewish god that was worshiped on the mountains, or volcanoes.
    Ashirah had two lions by her side, she was the main Goddess of War and Healing. She was a warrior and healer. Females who served in the temple of Ashirah, and remained faithful to her, as with all goddesses were required to breast feed Princes of the kingdom. Their milk meant that the kings sons and daughters were to be as strong as Ashirah, and that she would be their protector. So Shir…milk, goddess, war, strength,female, white..all came to make sense.

  3. Anonymous,

    Sanskrit, actually, has little to no relation to Aramaic at all.

    It is Indo-European, where Aramaic is Semitic.

    “Aram” (either Aram of the Bible or Aramaea) has no relation to “Rama” (as in Rama-chandra). They are two unrelated words for two unrelated concepts.

    “Sun” is “shemesh,” not “shem” in Aramaic. The two have no etymological relation, and come from two different roots. That extra shin (sh) is important. 🙂

    Finally, “sheer” in Aramaic can mean anything from “song” to “caravan driver” to “residue” so I’m not quite sure that fits with your idea concerning similar sounding words. Trying to smash all of this together might suit the followers of “Edenics” well, but it really does not have any connection to the history of the languages in question.


  4. I was just curious if you’d be so kind as to give a quick translation of what “Blessed be this Queen on high that is sacred to us all who come to Her” would be. I actually like the verse I’m just not at all interested in repeating that gibberish.

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