What’s your magical language?

Posted on January 30, 2012
Filed Under linguistics, Magic, Taylor Ellwood | 2 Comments

What’s your magical language? What terms do you use to describe and define your magical workings? This post is prompted by Mike Sententia’s writings about etheric software. What I’ve recognized is that he’s drawn on software programming terminology to help describe his approach to magic. I’ve seen him draw on some other discourses as well, most notably from the medical community. For that matter I also draw on different terminology that’s not traditionally occult oriented to help explain my approaches to magic. Whether its linguistics or culture studies or something else, the different discourses I’ve had access to influence my explanations about magic to other people, as well as how I construct magical workings.

What disciplines do you draw on? What terminology do you use to explain and define magic, both for yourself, and others? It’s a good idea to look at those questions and do some work with them. The language we use can simultaneously open us to possibilities we hadn’t considered, even as it also limits us by nature of how it frames our model and application of magic.

One of the reasons I’ve diversified my reading and exposure to a variety of disciplines is to keep myself open to new ideas and challenge the models I rely on. While a model can provide a useful explanation, it also creates tunnel vision that funnels our acceptance of a given situation into specific lines of inquiry that rule out anything that doesn’t fit the model. The terminology we use needs to be carefully examined for not only what it allows us to explains, but also how it can limit our explanations.

Language is powerful, and often times we don’t realize how powerful it can truly be. The reason a person can nitpick a definition speaks to the power of language, because a definition defines a person’s perception of reality about what its defining. Testing your terminology makes you aware of how it can help you and allows you to critically examine where its failing you.

Book Review: The Wealth Magick Workbook (Affiliate Link) by Dave Lee

This is probably the best book on wealth magic I’ve found, mainly because the author does such a good job of differentiating between what wealth is and what money is. His approach, consequently shows the shortcomings of enchanting for money without really understanding how that money will apply to your overall sense of wealth. He provides some excellent exercises, which I highly recommend doing. I only wish the wealth section of the book preceded the money magic section, but overall its an excellent book for anyone who wants to do wealth magic.

5 out of 5

Comments

2 comments
Mike Sententia
Mike Sententia

Good post. When I was coming up with the name "ethereal software" for the forces a mage channels, I thought about these things a lot. Even did manifesting on it. Something like "Intelligent force" sounds good, but it guides you away from thinking about how to program it and how it works -- the thing is intelligent, so don't worry about why it's responding intelligently. Which, according to the manifesting, would lead me to not ask some things I need to ask, and learn less about magick in the future.

"Mental muscles" I initially called "mental areas" (too clinical) then "magick muscles" (sounds silly to non-mages). I think the best a mage can hope for is a to suggest a good metaphor, so you hear the term and instantly know what to do with it: You command and program ethereal software, and you strengthen mental muscles. If your words make a person want to use the object correctly, you've found the right term.

Magicexperiment
Magicexperiment moderator

@Mike Sententia I like how you explain where your terminology came from. It's good terminology and well thought in terms of execution.