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Magick and Language—Watch Your Mouth!

This post was written by Donald Michael Kraig
on February 6, 2012 | Comments (4)

In my previous blog post, I wrote about the concept of “Walking your Talk.” The concept I presented there was that you might best present your spiritual beliefs to others by following those beliefs yourself. That is, virtually all spiritual systems have a set of ethics, and you best represent those ethics by living them.

From a magickal perspective, it’s also important to “Talk your Walk,” too. This comes from two concepts:

Magick isn’t something you do. Magick is something you are.
Magick takes place 24/7.

What this means is that magick is always happening whether you realize it or not. In fact, I’d say that one of the major differences between a magician and a non-magician is that the magician realizes this.

The example I like to give is this:

Let’s say a person named Zeke spends ten minutes every morning doing a ritual for better finances. But then he spends hours every day worrying about his bills, wishing for a better job, complaining about how bad the financial situation is, etc. After weeks of doing his morning magick, Zeke is in a worse financial situation than ever. His conclusion: magick doesn’t work.

In actuality, Zeke’s magick worked perfectly! He spent hours every day creating continued poverty. True, he spent a few minutes working against this magick, but it was massively overpowered by the duration and focus of his poverty magick.

I would contend that the lack of understanding of these principles is the major reason many people’s magick fails. Even those who have studied and practiced techniques of magick for years may, on occasion, not have luck with magick because they’re constantly doing magick—perhaps unknowingly—that works against their consciously-desired magickal goal. Learning to stop working magick against yourself isn’t difficult, but like magick itself is a skill that needs developing.

Watch Your Mouth

Many magicians study for long period of time to learn the correct way to pronounce individual words or phrases. The implication is that words are important. Indeed, I would contend that they are important.

What they ignore, however, is the use of words outside of ritual or magickal work. This approach, whether you like it or not, assumes magick only occurs as a result of a particular spell, rite, or ritual working (ignoring the concept that magick occurs 24/7). It also assumes that you only do magick during ritual rather than understanding that magick is something you are, not merely something you do.

Many magicians realize that words have hidden meanings, and the understanding of these hidden meanings is important. These magicians will spend hours of research trying to find the roots, sources, and original meanings of words to discover hidden meanings. While that can be incredibly valuable, I’m describing something else. What I mean here is that the ordinary meaning of words often has an impact we ignore!

I first became aware of this concept when I read the book Meta-Talk: The Guide to Hidden Meanings in Conversations by Gerard I. Nierenberg and Henry H. Calero. An example of understanding the concept of meta talk is simple:

I’m not a gossip, but did you hear what John said about Mary?

According to Meta-Talk, the word “but” negates everything that comes before it. People who use these types of expressions do so because although they actually are one way (i.e., a gossip), they don’t want others to think they’re that way and, psychologically, they can’t accept they are, in actuality, that way.

I often see one particular blogger who posts that he has worked tirelessly to stop different occult groups from attacking each other…and then he immediately goes on to attack others! I read his posts because they are so unintentionally humorous. It’s sort of like promoting chastity by urging licentiousness!

The truth is that saying you aren’t some way, then proving you are that way, is not excused by the use of the word “but.” You may, on some level, think that the word “but” excuses your words and behavior, but your inner mind and spiritual entities aren’t fooled. If you say, “I really want X” as part of a magickal ritual, but then talk or act as if you don’t really want it, you’re telling yourself—and spiritual entities—that on a deep level you don’t want X. You’re working magick against your stated goal. Both your personal magickal energies and the workings of spirits tend to go along with what you really want, not what you say you want. This is true even if you say you want something in ritual because magick occurs 24/7.

You’re not talking your walk.

The solution is to “watch your mouth.” Listen to what you’re saying: Is that what you mean? Is there an underlying meaning to your words that your inner mind knows and that you’re ignoring?

“I want peace between all magickal groups. Oh, and by the way, John’s magickal group is scum.” That means you don’t want peace. Your magick is creating more disagreement.

“I’m not a racist, but…” attempts to disguise that on some level you are a racist.

“I call on all the spirits to bring me love.” Then later, “I’m so lonely. Will I ever find someone to love?” This means you doubt your magick will work and your magickal energy will work to ensure loneliness and lack of love.

Magick and language have naturally gone together since the beginning of time. It may even be that the use of words or sounds in magick was partially responsible for the development of language. Become aware of the meanings of your words and choose not to use words that negate your magick. You will be far more likely to achieve magickal success.



Reader Comments

Written By Diane Wallace
on February 6th, 2012 @ 5:14 pm

Wonderful post. I have found that I also inadvertently cancelled my magick by saying certain words over and over. I posted a link to this post in my article about it called Words Have Power – Be Careful What You Say.

Written By Roxanne
on February 6th, 2012 @ 7:38 pm

It’s a good reminder..but not a new concept. The power of positive thinking. I consider my magick an act of overlaying energy with intent. Since energy is constant and ever flowing you have to either continue to send out the right intent or just stop thinking and talking about it. I am not certain if I agree that the words themselves have power but the energy in the intention behind the words certainly does.

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