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Monday, September 8, 2008

Words of Power: Your Personal Incantation

A lone figure, clad in red, narrows her concentration to a single purpose and stretching forth her hands towards her target utters the phrase Winds of Destiny, Change! Immediately the world around her conforms to her will. A Wizard to a legendary King lays his hand over a knight’s wound and chants Anáil nathrach orth bhais betha, do cheol déanta and the knight is healed. A Sikh centers himself chanting Om Shanti, Peace and he is then able to climb an electrified fence by allowing the current to pass harmlessly through his body.

Sounds amazing right? What if I told you that figure clad in red was Wanda Maximoff, the Scarlet Witch, a mutant with the power to alter probabilities? That the wizard I described was Merlin as portrayed in the 1981 motion picture Excalibur? That the Taoist able to climb the electrified fence was Darwin Jones, an expert in the field of biofeedback as portrayed in an episode of the 1970’s television series Bionic Woman, starring Lindsey Wagner.

You may be wondering why I’m talking about fictional characters in a discussion on real life magick and witchcraft. The answer is simple. In the early days of the comics, a character could perform amazing feats because they could-- that was their power, or it was magic and for many readers that was as good an explanation as any. As comic readers grew up they began wanting better explanations for these amazing feats. How is it that Superman can fly? How does Spiderman stick to walls? How does Doctor Strange accomplish his magical efforts?

In response, comic writers began looking to real world science and mysticism in an effort to explain how fictional characters accomplished the impossible. Today, the power and abilities of many comic characters (especially magick users) have a basis in real life theories and practices of metaphysics. Doctor Strange draws power from occult objects imbued with power (talismans), ambient energy (the earth, sun, & moon), inter-dimensional beings (Gods), words of power (incantations) and himself (personal power) among other things. Kabbalists believe that God spoke the world into creation. In like fashion Zatanna, long considered to be the most powerful magic-user in the DC universe, performs magic by simply stating what she wants---only backwards. For example, to make someone forget something she would say tegrof. The Mandarin draws energy from his ten rings of power, which are similar to the Navaratna, or nine gems, sacred in Vedic Astrology.

The point I’m trying to make here is that though the portrayal of magic in comics and other works of fiction are the product of creative writing they have a basis in reality. Although you won’t turn lead into gold, teleport yourself across the world, or fly high above the clouds you can adapt these techniques to real life magick. One of these techniques is the adopting of a magickal phrase, or personal incantation, that you can use for the performance of real magick.

How to Write Your Personal Incantation

So, you want your own personal incantation? How about a la peanut butter sandwiches! Nope, well I guess that makes Mumford the Magician happy-- his power words will remain his own. Why not Azarath Metrion Zinthos! Nope, well since it’s likely that you don’t know what that means, it’s probably a good idea. By the power of Greyskull! No good either, huh?

The point here is that it really doesn’t matter what you say, so long as it has meaning for you. It can be a line from a favorite song or poem such as My words fly up, my thoughts remain below, (Hamlet, Shakespeare) a famous quote or saying such as I think therefore I am, or you can take a page out of Captain Marvel’s book and say the name of a favored Deity. Whatever words you choose, make them your own.

Now I bet you’re wondering what I use as my personal incantation. Ok, I’ll share. You probably encounter my power words every day without even knowing. My power words are E Pluribus Unum. These three simple words represent the unofficial mantra of the United States for many, many years before an act of Congress in 1956 made our official motto In God we Trust.

E pluribus Unum is Latin for "Out of Many, One." Originally suggesting that out of many colonies or states emerge a single nation, it has come to suggest that out of many peoples, races, and ancestries has emerged a single people and nation – illustrating the concept of the melting pot.

For me, what this means is that there are an infinite number of possibilities in the universe and out of the many, many possibilities I wish to manifest the one result in tuned with my desires and goals as represented by my thoughts and deeds when chanting my power words.

How to Program Your Power Words

Once you’ve chosen your power words, you will have to program them in order to use them. Your personal incantation is a trigger that puts magickal forces in motion. Each time you say your personal incantation it “triggers” psychological changes which tells yourself that you are ready to perform magick.

Programming your power words isn’t a difficult task, but it will take time. How much time it will take for you to see results is entirely dependent upon you. Psychology teaches us that it takes roughly 21 days to develop habits, or patterns of behavior. Perform this meditation every day for 21 days.

  • To begin, sit comfortably and enter a meditative state in which both your mind and body are completely relaxed.
  • Imagine that you are on the top floor of a 10 story building standing before an elevator. Step into the elevator and face the door.
  • Imagine that you are pressing the 1 button that will take the elevator down to the first floor.
  • Look at the digital counter above the elevator door. As the elevator descends; imagine the numbers slowly going from 10 to 1.
  • Say to yourself, I am descending the various levels of myself. Down… down… down to my lower self… the dwelling place of my untapped potential…the deeper well of unlimited power.
  • When the elevator reaches the first floor, the doors open to reveal a long, narrow hallway. Exit the elevator and walk down the hallway at the end of which is a door. On that door is your name in big bold letters, under which is also written Super Witch or some other description that evokes a feeling of power and authority within you.
  • Open the door and go inside the room. Here you are met by a version of yourself that is completely empowered.
  • Standing directly across from your other self look into your own eyes and know that this person exists within you.
  • When you are ready, literally step into your other self so that your bodies join and become one. Say “I AM (your magickal name). I HAVE the power! I can use this power anytime I desire simply by focusing on my desire and saying (your magickal incantation) and my will shall be done!”
  • When you are done, open your eyes and go about your way.

Flexing Your Magickal Muscles

As you begin to become proficient with the meditation described above, you can start to test your new abilities by effecting small things and building up. For example, use your new personal incantation to change traffic lights, banish nuisances, heal minor wounds, etc…

As you grow more confident you can begin to work on bigger things. In the mean time, if you have occasion to cast a spell or perform a ritual, immediately after speaking the spoken part of your spell (the part that describes your goal) repeat your personal incantation. Incorporating your power words into your regular mode of magick helps build a bridge between the two methods and can lead to greater success. As you become more skilled you will be able to perform successful magick without the use of a full on spell or ritual.

Remember, the most important tool you have as a witch is yourself. It is not my intention to change the way in which you practice your faith, but rather to show you a path in which you are not dependent on things outside yourself in order to exert power and control over your life. Even if you become a master at this art that is not to say that you will not wish to cast a spell or perform a working ritual in the manner to which you are accustomed.

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