In Jewish tradition, God creates by using words: “And God said, “Let there be light”: and there was light.” (KJV, Genesis I:3)
In Christian tradition, God literally is a word: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the word was God.” (KJV, John I:1)
In magickal traditions, the correct pronunciation of words, and the way they are broadcast into the universe is a vital part of the process. Words of Power are meant to be “vibrated.” The choice of words is important in formulating magickal goals.
So in Judaism, Christianity, and magick, the notion of the use of words and the power of sound is central to the practices. From these three perspectives, words have impact and meaning. Saying words in certain ways can change the universe.
And according to decades of research with Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), the choice of words can change the way we think. For example, a young man comes to me and says, “I’m terrible. I need to make up my mind as to which spiritual path I want to follow, but I can’t make a decision.”
I respond, “Oh, you mean you’re thorough and precise, making sure you don’t waste your time taking wrong paths and having to backtrack, and instead waiting until your examination reveals exactly what you need to do to make the greatest spiritual advancement. It seems to me you’re making great choices going at just the right speed for you.” (In NLP this is called “reframing.”) By giving him a different approach—a different way of seeing things—he becomes happier with himself and better able to make a decision at the right time.
Words are powerful.
Words change people’s attitudes.
Words can drive people to actions ranging from the incredibly heroic to the personally and socially negative.
Recently, we have observed some terrible and lethal events in Tucson, Arizona. Most of us were shocked. Those of us who weren’t shocked were saddened. And personally, I would say that those who were neither shocked nor saddened have psychological problems and need counseling.
As I write this, there is no direct evidence why this event happened. From a magickal point of view, however, the constant vitriol and hate, along with the choice of words to express those feelings, has set up a current of magickal energy that encouraged the inevitable outcome. Yes, the person who allegedly committed the crime seems to have had psychological problems. But why now? Why there?
I’m sure political pundits of both sides will come up with their “answers,” and in a few days or weeks the vitriol and hate will return to their voices. My answer is that it was the inevitable magickal outcome resulting from people who didn’t even know they were doing magick.
In Modern Magick I describe how magick takes place all the time, 24/7. I describe how if you spend a few minutes doing a ritual for wealth but spend the rest of the day focusing on your poverty, you end up maintaining your unwanted poverty. You may think the magick (for wealth) didn’t work, but your unintentional magick (from focusing on poverty) worked very well.
I am cynical enough to believe that most of those who are pushing forward their agendas of fear and hate and anger do so for their own aggrandizement. I do not believe that the vast majority of them want the deaths of those they disagree with, they just want their foes to have no power.
But words have power. The words they use have power over the millions who hear them. The words of the people who mimic those they listen to have power. It’s magickal power.
And the result of what I believe was that unintentional magick manifested in Tucson, Arizona.
The solution, I believe, is the same as the cause:
- Remember that words have power.
- Watch what you say.
- Share your ideas without the hate, anger, fear, and bitterness.
- Think ecologically: is what I’m saying really good for me? For the people around me? For everyone?
- Understand that magick is taking place 24/7.
- TURN DOWN THE RHETORIC.
I am specifically not pointing fingers at any individual or individuals. This is because by not speaking up and telling people to turn down the rhetoric, and coming from a magickal point of view, there is responsibility enough to go around to everyone.
It is my hope that this horrible event will lead us to become more aware of the power of magick and words. We can counter the magick of hate and anger and fear with the magick of knowledge and understanding and love. According to NLP we can change. For the well-being and continuation of society, we must change.