THE INFLUENCE OF MAGICAL LANGUAGE: Hat, Rabbit and Abracadabra

Rabbit and the Hat

 

All conversations are based on the understanding of words. In modem societies, speech is used to interact with others and exchange thoughts and beliefs. Language is the product of an individual’s beliefs, perceptions, thoughts and emotional processes. Language is symbolic. In order to be meaningful it calls on memory, sense, and imagination. Sometimes referred to as the “mirror of the mind,” language reflects what is currently manifested within the individual’s heart. There is a Taoist saying that states, “from the abundance of the heart – the mouth speaks.” It is the internal process of the heart and mind that shapes our behavior and determines the language that we choose to use. This is not only evident with individuals, but with groups of people as well.
In sorcery, we are taught that words and syntax (phrases) not only reveal, but they also have the power to influence. Language shapes internal processing, which in tum shapes behavior and emotions. Taoist magic is rooted in the power of words and incantations.Both written and spoken words are quite essential to the Art.  For example, incantations are used to either summon various Celestial Immortals, Kings of Hell and Marshal Generals to come, or can be used to command ghosts and evil demons to leave; words of power can also be used to either purify and cleanse an altar area, or to seal off and restrict a sacred area.This is universal when it comes to the Art east or west, the Vox Magi can be used for a number different reasons and not all of them in the ritual chamber. This makes them no less magical, and at times the view of the “real” and the stage magician can blur and shift. This causes some Art Practitioners that I know of fantastic distress and they will go to great lengths to disassociate themselves from the Common Conjuror or Prestidigitator. I’m not that magical Dude, we owe a great deal to the Mountebank and Stage Illusionist for the skill in how we use words in magic, and I agree wholeheartedly with the Temple of Set on the designation of Lesser and Greater Black Magic:

Lesser Black Magic (LBM) is the influencing of beings, processes, or objects in the objective universe by the application of obscure physical or behavioral laws.LBM is an impelling (encouraging, convincing, increasing of probability) measure, not a compelling (forcing, making inevitable) one. The object if to make something happen without expending the time and energy to make it happen through direct cause-and-effect.

Greater Black Magic (GBM) is the causing of change to occur in the subjective universe in accordance with the will. This change is the subjective universe may cause a similar and proportionate change in the objective universe.

If I can force some fool causing trouble to walk out of my shop with a few words spoken in Enochian and a bit of hypnotism, without having to put hands on him, then I’ve succeeded in the Art, and didn’t have to bug Belzebuth with something I could take care of myself with skill and guile. A prime example of the this is a Magical Word that has fell out of favor these days (but the Hat and I are bringing sexy back), “Sim Sala Bim”. this phrase was first used in magic by Dante the Magician, a.k.a Harry August Jansen one of the most well known magicians of the early 20th century, whose death is commonly considered the end of the “Golden Age” of magic. He utilized the phrase as a means of acknowledging applause, as well as for the title of his touring magic shows. Apparently, in typical audience whoring fashion, he claimed that the words meant “a thousand thanks”, and that the more people applauded, the more ‘Sim Sala Bim’ thanked them. Although this nonsensical combination actually originates as filler in German nursery rhymes, including one specific folk melody called “High on a branch a cow”, this phrase grew to be representative of the integration (and manipulation) of the mysterious Eastern culture, specifically Indian, in an effort to employ a sense of mysticism in illusionist’s acts. This device of Eastern supernatural typecasting in Western culture, and in fact these exact words, were used as early as the medieval period, in the play Robyn Hode: A Mummer’s Play, wherein the Turkish magician Saracen states: “I have here a potion, brought from the east. It is called the golden elixir, and with one drop I will revive Robyn Hode with these magic words: ‘Sim Salabim.’ Rise up young man and see how your body can walk and sing.” This othering attachment has continuously followed sim sala bim, just as it has for a better known pair of words, Abracadabra and Hocus Pocus. How could I not bring up words of Magic without the old Abracadabra, supposedly first recorded in approximately 2nd century C.E., the actual genesis of the word seems to have much earlier beginnings in Semitic language. It is strikingly similar to the Aramaic avra kehdabra (“I will create as I speak”), to Hebrew words ab (“father”), ben (“son”), and ruach acadosch (“holy spirit”), and the Chaldean abbada ke dabra (“perish like the word”). These theories lead to the aforementioned appearance in the 2nd century, when Quintus Serenus Simonicus recorded it in his colloquial medicinal poem as a cure for warding off illness, which was thought to be caused by malignant spirits living in the body. I know, dear reader, not to worry, I won’t leave out Uncle Al and his change of abracadabra to abraHadabra (due to geometry and qabbalistic number manipulation any Rabbi would be proud of) calling it the “magical formula” of a new age, ruled over by Ra-Hoor-Kuit, a form of the Egyptian death god, Horus.  Thelema has used the word ever since as a symbol of the “establishment of the pillar or phallus of the Macrocosm…in the void of the Microcosm.” Modern Thelemites are still searching for the ability to truly harness the power of abrahadabra, but you will have to ask someone more well versed on this subject like Lon Milo Duquette for the progress in this area.

One of the more commonplace Magical terms,Hocus Pocus, at times seems to be with us from the moment we spring from the womb. This ancient combination, like abracadabra, has a fairly ambiguous back story, with multiple theories as to exactly where and when this term originated. Some think that it is merely a fake Latin incantation, hax pax Deus adimax, used, like the Indian mystique, to create a certain authoritative otherworldliness to the particularly magicians tricks. Another, far more interestingly controversial conjecture is that hocus pocus is a parody on the Roman Catholic rites of communion, specifically the incantation occurring at the moment of the transubstantiation of the Eucharist , hoc est enum corpus meum (so the magician, as priest, brings out the rabbit, as Jesus’s body, from the hat, as wafer). Yet another theory is that these words derive from the Norse magician/demon, Ochus Bochus, and that the incantation is calling out his spirit to help with the magic. Although the word has come to mean trickery with an extreme connotation of bogus, hocus pocus is one of the oldest terms used specifically by conjurers and illusionists of all sorts as a magical incantation. So just remember ladies and gentlemen, we can’t just take for granted that the words we use are simple mundane sounds, they are all magical and can be used as such by those with the skill and vision to see the trick of it.

I Leave you with the words of Captain Marvel:”When Billy Batson speaks the name of an ancient wizard, he is magically transformed from boy to man—the world’s mightiest mortal!”Shazam!

Art; Rabbit and the Hat-Copyright Vincent Piazza 2015

THE INFLUENCE OF MAGICAL LANGUAGE: Hat, Rabbit and Abracadabra was originally published on The Hidden Left Hand

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