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Author Topic: The Power of Language  (Read 3546 times)

Violet Skies

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The Power of Language
« on: March 29, 2013, 12:01:57 pm »
So, I`m a language nerd (linguistics major for a reason :p ) and I`m wondering, in ritual/spellwork/anything magical, how much power do you all think is in the actual words you speak?  I know that in most books intention is the big thing, as is raising energy.  People tend to not really emphasize language much, but I personally feel like language is extremely powerful.  It is incredibly influential in how we think about the world.  Also, the way that languages form, change, and morph, is rather "magical" in and of itself.

Anyway, what is your personal belief on the power of the words you speak?

Rhyshadow

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Re: The Power of Language
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2013, 12:14:35 pm »
Quote from: Violet Skies;103608
So, I`m a language nerd (linguistics major for a reason :p ) and I`m wondering, in ritual/spellwork/anything magical, how much power do you all think is in the actual words you speak?  I know that in most books intention is the big thing, as is raising energy.  People tend to not really emphasize language much, but I personally feel like language is extremely powerful.  It is incredibly influential in how we think about the world.  Also, the way that languages form, change, and morph, is rather "magical" in and of itself.

Anyway, what is your personal belief on the power of the words you speak?

 
Don't have to speak them, your thoughts are a language all it's own. While I'm learning Gaeilge (Irish) so that I can approach those I work with in their own tongue, not knowing it to this point hasn't held me back.

I think the heart and mind of the person is MUCH more important than any words.

veggiewolf

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Re: The Power of Language
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2013, 12:16:10 pm »
Quote from: Violet Skies;103608
So, I`m a language nerd (linguistics major for a reason :p ) and I`m wondering, in ritual/spellwork/anything magical, how much power do you all think is in the actual words you speak?  I know that in most books intention is the big thing, as is raising energy.  People tend to not really emphasize language much, but I personally feel like language is extremely powerful.  It is incredibly influential in how we think about the world.  Also, the way that languages form, change, and morph, is rather "magical" in and of itself.

Anyway, what is your personal belief on the power of the words you speak?

 
This is something I've been writing about and harping on for a bit, now.  Here's my opinion - words mean things, and in those meanings resides power. Since this is the case, it behooves everyone to be cognizant of the language they use and recognize that lack of clarity can not only have unintended consequences but lead others to question what is said/written.

In order to shape language to one's own end, I also believe that the extrinsic power placed on language must overcome the intrinsic power within it.  Attempts to do this without concentrated effort usually result in epic fail...and that failure can be seen all over the place.
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Re: The Power of Language
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2013, 12:31:55 pm »
Quote from: Violet Skies;103608
So, I`m a language nerd (linguistics major for a reason :p ) and I`m wondering, in ritual/spellwork/anything magical, how much power do you all think is in the actual words you speak?  I know that in most books intention is the big thing, as is raising energy.  People tend to not really emphasize language much, but I personally feel like language is extremely powerful.  It is incredibly influential in how we think about the world.  Also, the way that languages form, change, and morph, is rather "magical" in and of itself.

Anyway, what is your personal belief on the power of the words you speak?

 
As far as spellwork and magic goes with words, the main basis of my "magic work" is in words itself. Everything from "making/weaving" magic and sharing stories is all based on my ability to use words properly. I invest magic in to words and the words in turn are invested in my magic. My personal belief is that words are the keys to make my magic work and in turn we need the proper words to work our magic and interact properly with people. If I didn't believe in the power of words, I wouldn't be on this board, because I wouldn't see the point of using words. A bit of rambling on my own part, but hopefully this makes some sense.

Emma Eldritch

Re: The Power of Language
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2013, 01:24:44 pm »
Quote from: Violet Skies;103608
So, I`m a language nerd (linguistics major for a reason :p ) and I`m wondering, in ritual/spellwork/anything magical, how much power do you all think is in the actual words you speak?  I know that in most books intention is the big thing, as is raising energy.  People tend to not really emphasize language much, but I personally feel like language is extremely powerful.  It is incredibly influential in how we think about the world.  Also, the way that languages form, change, and morph, is rather "magical" in and of itself.

Anyway, what is your personal belief on the power of the words you speak?

 
I think language matters. I look at it like this: intent is the driving force, like an engine. Language can refine and direct, so it's a steering wheel.

On one level, words can impact our mindset. I think that's why some people love spells that rhyme - it 'feels' special or witchy. You could make the same argument for the use of Hebrew or Latin or Greek in certain rituals.

On another level, I do think words have inherent power because they do mean things. Language is incredibly powerful. I know that there have been plenty of people who have spent time and effort trying to decipher things like the barbarous words of evocation, trying to trace the roots back to the original meanings, and to document when changes have been made and why. It seems that in ceremonial magic there's more attention paid to meanings of words... which makes sense since, you know. It's more anal.

Words or phrases in another language can also fail in English. A mundane example would be l'esprit de l'escalier - in English, we don't have an equivalent term, and the literal translation is like, "...wait, what?" So again, there's power in being able to name a feeling. People (and the universe!) know what you're saying. It is not fuzzy or ill-defined.

So, yeah. Steering wheel. You don't need one if you're barrelling over things, but if you're trying to park the car it helps.

Altair

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Re: The Power of Language
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2013, 03:48:17 pm »
Quote from: Violet Skies;103608

Anyway, what is your personal belief on the power of the words you speak?


PREFACE: I don't do spells.

That said, the human brain is wired for abstract thinking, which means that symbols in general are enormously powerful for us--and words are a complex symbol system. So yes, I think words carry quite a lot of power over our thinking...and if one believes in spells and such, our thinking is the most important force behind the spell, yes?

Considering how I approach words--naming things in particular--I'd have to say that words definitely carry a lot of power for me personally, in any case.
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
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Olie

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Re: The Power of Language
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2013, 04:37:56 pm »
Quote from: Violet Skies;103608
So, I`m a language nerd (linguistics major for a reason :p ) and I`m wondering, in ritual/spellwork/anything magical, how much power do you all think is in the actual words you speak?  I know that in most books intention is the big thing, as is raising energy.  People tend to not really emphasize language much, but I personally feel like language is extremely powerful.  It is incredibly influential in how we think about the world.  Also, the way that languages form, change, and morph, is rather "magical" in and of itself.

Anyway, what is your personal belief on the power of the words you speak?

 
hmmm i use words lots in spells and stuff but i dont really think the words THEMSELVES got that much power in them unless yuu put it there. usually i use chants to build up power or just narrow down what i want my magic to do. or i use certain words to let my magic out after im done buildin it up like poppin a balloon

eldri

Re: The Power of Language
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2013, 12:37:36 am »
Quote from: Violet Skies;103608
So, I`m a language nerd (linguistics major for a reason :p ) and I`m wondering, in ritual/spellwork/anything magical, how much power do you all think is in the actual words you speak?  I know that in most books intention is the big thing, as is raising energy.  People tend to not really emphasize language much, but I personally feel like language is extremely powerful.  It is incredibly influential in how we think about the world.  Also, the way that languages form, change, and morph, is rather "magical" in and of itself.

Anyway, what is your personal belief on the power of the words you speak?

 
***Language is one of the Most Important tools we have. Not the only tool, but a truly powerful one.

 There is a reason we say something has been in Chanted--the words, the rhythms, the repetitions, the tones in which they are said--all these things can build and add, blend with the other elements, to make the magic Real and Present in our minds...

(IMO) The correct word can make or break a spell.( by distracting the participants, or being *unclear* so that the result is Not the one wished, for example)
 Folklore is full of the consequences of the wrong word choice.

 Bad poetry is worse than no poetry, for Me, but good poetry can make the moment sing--cast me into trance.

Good hunting!
eldri

Violet Skies

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Re: The Power of Language
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2013, 03:07:26 am »
Quote from: Mama Fortuna;103626

So, yeah. Steering wheel. You don't need one if you're barrelling over things, but if you're trying to park the car it helps.


Haha, oh my goodness, I love this.  I might steal it sometime, hope you don`t mind. :p

Emma Eldritch

Re: The Power of Language
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2013, 10:00:28 pm »
Quote from: Violet Skies;103980
Haha, oh my goodness, I love this.  I might steal it sometime, hope you don`t mind. :p

 
Anything useful that falls out of my brain, you are welcome to use. XD

Rainbo

Re: The Power of Language
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2013, 01:06:58 pm »
Quote from: Violet Skies;103608
So, I`m a language nerd (linguistics major for a reason :p ) and I`m wondering, in ritual/spellwork/anything magical, how much power do you all think is in the actual words you speak?  I know that in most books intention is the big thing, as is raising energy.  People tend to not really emphasize language much, but I personally feel like language is extremely powerful.  It is incredibly influential in how we think about the world.  Also, the way that languages form, change, and morph, is rather "magical" in and of itself.

Anyway, what is your personal belief on the power of the words you speak?

 
Hell yes, another language nerd! High five! (I can't tell you how many people just look at me funny when I wax nerdy about language.)

Personally, I feel that language can have a very powerful effect on one's magic, if nothing else as a potent form of focus. I firmly believe that language has a direct effect upon the psyche; certain verbal sounds illicit certain reactions that seem almost innate (or at the very least, maybe culturally innate).

So for my own practice, I often try to cut to the root of the matter linguistically and focus it to its most raw, powerful state. Since, as an English speaker, my linguistic roots go back to the Latin tree of language (with smatterings of Germanic and so on), and since I am sufficiently educated in these roots to use them somewhat, I often will tie these things in. What results is sometimes Latin, and sometimes even a sort of hybrid language that cuts out all middle-men; whatever works for the situation. I tailor it specifically to what is going on. Some situations call for a more detailed approach, some for a piercingly direct approach, and so on.

That being said, the most effective of my efforts seem to be accompanied by silence or by raw verbal sounds, rather than language exactly - invoking something deeper than the logical, verbose parts of the brain, and tapping into a far more primal side. My fiancé and I (both of us Pagans, often working side-by-side for rituals/divination/etc.) jokingly refer to it as the "lizard brain" (primal side) and the "monkey brain" (logical side), and feel that the lizard brain is your best bet.

Violet Skies

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Re: The Power of Language
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2013, 08:13:56 am »
Quote from: Rainbo;104133
Hell yes, another language nerd! High five! (I can't tell you how many people just look at me funny when I wax nerdy about language.)
...
That being said, the most effective of my efforts seem to be accompanied by silence or by raw verbal sounds, rather than language exactly - invoking something deeper than the logical, verbose parts of the brain, and tapping into a far more primal side. My fiancé and I (both of us Pagans, often working side-by-side for rituals/divination/etc.) jokingly refer to it as the "lizard brain" (primal side) and the "monkey brain" (logical side), and feel that the lizard brain is your best bet.

 
Haha, YES!  I knew there had to be more like me out there. :p  Your take on primal and logical brain is very interesting, btw.  I wish a knew enough Latin to incorporate it effectively into my spellwork (I`m too busy with Japanese and Old English right now ...), but that might be something for me to think about for the future. :)

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Re: The Power of Language
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2013, 10:17:27 am »
Quote from: Violet Skies;103608
So, I`m a language nerd (linguistics major for a reason :p ) and I`m wondering, in ritual/spellwork/anything magical, how much power do you all think is in the actual words you speak?  I know that in most books intention is the big thing, as is raising energy.  People tend to not really emphasize language much, but I personally feel like language is extremely powerful.  It is incredibly influential in how we think about the world.  Also, the way that languages form, change, and morph, is rather "magical" in and of itself.

Anyway, what is your personal belief on the power of the words you speak?

I ultimately believe intent is really where it comes, especially getting insight from trying rituals without speaking at all, but I do believe language is very powerful as well. I think almost in an egregore type effect certain words used in ritual pick up power in time, and depending on how fluent one is can add a psychological emphasis or "oomph" to things in an exotic manner that one has to concentrate more on.

Especially being a Gaelic Polytheist speaking a modern survival of the language has its perks as it has always been linked to poetry which was held in high esteem amongst the high regarded poets&satirists that could magically weave words&phrases in a culture that was known for keeping an oral tradition.

Aside from ritual I think language just captures a world-view and is a window into that culture's mind anyway. To break how you interpret things in your native language and realise how another relates to the world is almost magical in itself.

Micheál

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Re: The Power of Language
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2013, 10:21:17 am »
Quote from: Violet Skies;104278
I`m too busy with Japanese and Old English

Sukoshi Nihongo o hanashimasu lol. Hajimemashita!

Emma Eldritch

Re: The Power of Language
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2013, 10:08:58 pm »
Quote from: Micheál;104299
Sukoshi Nihongo o hanashimasu lol. Hajimemashita!

 
Watashi mo! Demo subete wasureteiru. Seriously, I can remember grammatical rules but my vocab has gone straight to hell. Lack of practice. Ten years ago I was pretty good, although still technically illiterate due to my lack of kanji knowledge. XD

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