The Magic of Words

Author: Quill ofQuillsOccultSupply / Labels: ,

Language, both written and spoken, is used in magic in many ways.  Charms, chants, affirmations, and magical phrases or words all have their place.  Often we gauge the merit of a spell by whether or not the spoken verse is well-written.  The words of a spell must ring true in order for us to feel their potential.  They must fascinate us so that we may use them to create fascinations on others.

The purity of the language itself presents another aspect to the magic in words.  It's standard in esoteric thought that root languages contain more power than their offspring.  It is for this reason that Hebrew and my beloved Latin figure so prominently in classical spells.  The closer you come to the original source of a language, the more pure it becomes.  That is because we originally gained our ability to speak and form unique speech patterns from the Gods and the mysterious earth.  Hebrew, for example, was said to have derived its letter forms from the shape of constellations, making it literally a language of the heavens.

With all this language flowing through our magic, it is important that we not only find and appreciate it when it's right, but also use it in the right way.  To pour effort into exact timing and components for a spell but then carelessly rattle off its spoken charm is to disregard an important element of the magic, one that might mean the difference between its success and failure.

To give your words their full dose of potential in magic, try to focus on these three points:

Using your power voice
Giving focus, intent, and energy
Speaking aloud

Your Power Voice

Marking a line between everyday statements and magical commands is a practical habit.  The adoption of a power voice makes this simple work; by speaking with an inflection of authority and importance, you take on that air of control so necessary in working your will.  No matter what the aim of your spell, you can gather a great deal of energy by speaking with a power voice.  Not only do you wish your goal to manifest, you command it.

If you haven't already recognized your power voice, try this exercise: imagine that you need to give an order to someone who doesn't know your language.  Make your statement felt
more than understood.  Practice saying a few things in this manner, such as "Stop that right now" or "That is not for you."  Feel how your voice resonates inside; let your tone drop a little lower than normal and feel it rumble in your chest.  Once you can do this with calm but stern statements, try more mild ones, like "This is my will" and "I have the (name something you seek) that I desire."

Your power voice should be the same no matter what volume: low, driven, calm, and confident.  There is no need to shout, though we will talk in a moment about why you should definitely make some noise.

Focus, Intent, and Energy

What a crime it is if we forget to focus as we speak!  Spoken language in magic is not just for reiterating our goal--it is for manifesting it.  Begin by focusing on the words, their weight, their importance.  See in your mind the pictures they paint, the emotions they bring up in you.  Speak slowly and let this all unfold without allowing distractions.  This is an excellent reason to memorize spells.

Now that you have really felt the words, let the rhythm take over.  Listen only to the inflection, the rise and fall of your voice, the stops, the breaks.  There is a lyric quality to language; let the music and the poetry of it come through.  This becomes easier with chanting because the many repetitions create a song and a trance state arises where the meaning of the words themselves seem to disappear.  Far from being a bad thing, this actually helps to raise the power.  Whatever your method, by now you should recognize the energy being raised.  Let it flow smoothly.

Speaking Aloud

This is a detail that is often disregarded.  We're generally told that charms spoken only in
our minds are just as effective as those said out loud.  It is quite a comfort for those of us surrounded by non-practitioners to know that we needn't make any outward sign of our spells in order for them to still work.

However, silent spells are lacking a traditional power source found in our voice: the breath.  Agrippa, in his timeless work "The Three Books of Occult Philosophy," extolled the traditional use of audible speech in spells, saying that it was the power of words carried upon the breath that made the magic: "And, therefore, magicians enchanting things, are wont to blow and breathe upon them the words of the verse, or to breathe in the virtue with the spirit, that so the whole virtue of the soul be directed to the thing enchanted, being disposed for the receiving of said virtue." To Agrippa, it was of great importance that due be care given to the chosen words and that they be spoken with affection and imagination, but greater still was the living breath which animated the words to create their effects.

Of course, we are not always in a situation where it would be acceptable to shout our magical incantations for all to hear.  Instead, focus on giving breath to your words.  You may whisper or mutter at any volume and still see your goals manifest.  As long as there is breath to carry your voice, you are incanting aloud.

Take time to cultivate your power voice.  Choose carefully charms, chants, and magic words that are the most emotionally affecting, the most imaginative.  Bring your words out of your silent mind where they are, as Agrippa said, "a conception of the mind and motion of the soul" and into the world where they can affect everyone and everything upon which they are laid.

Images from: (Australian singer, Wendy Rule)


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About Me

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My name is Quill and I've been practicing witchcraft for the past 17 years. 10 of those years I've been reading tarot and teaching.  I own a shop on Etsy called Quill's Occult Supply (check it out at full of handmade ritual and decorative items, spell components, and wild picked herbs.

I love to work with my hands.  Magic is a tool to shape our lives, and I'm using magic to shape tools to shape magic.  Cosmic! 

I use a lot of my favorite things in my shop: herbs, candles, wood, fabric, paint, clay.  And I get to carve, burn, grind, mold, think, dream ... I'm in the perfect business!

I've written 3 manuscripts for publication (2 non-fiction and 1 fiction) and am an avid NaNo-er!  I and my husband run a local coven called Orbis Prosapia, and our children are growing up surrounded by magic, mythology, fairy tales, Earth worship, art, open discussion, music, and humor. 

In addition to working on Ex Penna about my experiences as a professional witch, I also write for Scenes from the Circle about being a coven leader. 

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