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(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

A rhythmic repetition of words, chants can be an important ingredient of spells. They can have an almost hypnotic effect and allow the mind to focus on the object of the magic being worked, without the worker having to consciously think of the words. In this way power can more easily be raised. Often the words are sung to a simple tune or are accompanied by a rhythmic drumming, hand-clapping, or dancing.

Prayer is universal. Every religion throughout the world, in all places and at all times, uses prayer. In many religions the prayers are chanted. Eliphas Levi (1810-1875), the French magician, said, "In magic, to have said is to have done; to affirm and will what ought to be, is to create." In other words, words are necessary to bring about change, which is what magic is. It has also been said that magic consists of two parts: things said and things done. Chants are frequently the "things said" part.

Chants either rhyme or have a heavy, sonorous beat that contributes to a gradually rising state of excitement, adding to the power produced. In Witchcraft, when raising power to work magic, Witches will chant as they dance clockwise about the circle, altering their consciousness and building their emotions, gradually increasing the tempo until it feels as if the power will burst forth. At that time, the spell is released.

References in classic literature ?
Some men are said to wax valorous upon a full stomach, and such seemed to be the case with the Bannack braves, who, in proportion as they crammed themselves with buffalo meat, grew stout of heart, until, the supper at an end, they began to chant war songs, setting forth their mighty deeds, and the victories they had gained over the Blackfeet.
For a few days the Abbot read the services all alone, but at the end of a week he could no longer bear the lack of singing, so calling the little lad he bade him to help him and to chant the responses.
And again, they chant the race of men and strong giants, and gladden the heart of Zeus within Olympus, -- the Olympian Muses, daughters of Zeus the aegis-holder.
It was while bending over them, examining, that again he heard the eery chant.
Among all races when a certain stage of social development is reached at least one such minstrel is to be found as a regular retainer at the court of every barbarous chief or king, ready to entertain the warriors at their feasts, with chants of heroes and battles and of the exploits of their present lord.
And then chants, like a little savage, half stumbling and half dancing among the rags and laces of his dilapidated boots:-
They paddled on up the river, the dusky Indians now and then breaking out into a chant that seemed to give their muscles new energy.
As the immediate effect, however, gradually passed away, a low murmur of voices commenced a sort of chant in honor of the dead.
We ran through a long list of prohibitions, and then the chant swung round to a new formula.
On each side of the choir and behind the gratings opening into the convent was assembled the whole community of the Carmelites, who listened to the divine service, and mingled their chant with the chant of the priests, without seeing the profane, or being seen by them.
Whether she ran with her tall spars swinging, or breasted it with her tall spars lying over, there was always that wild song, deep like a chant, for a bass to the shrill pipe of the wind played on the sea- tops, with a punctuating crash, now and then, of a breaking wave.
Chanting for chanting, my dear Planchet; I have remarked that nations prefer singing a merry chant to the plain chant.