incantation


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incantation,

set formula, spoken or sung, for the purpose of working magicmagic,
in religion and superstition, the practice of manipulating and controlling the course of nature by preternatural means. Magic is based upon the belief that the universe is populated by unseen forces or spirits that permeate all things.
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. An incantation is normally an invocation to beneficent supernatural spirits for aid, protection, or inspiration. It may also serve as a charm or spell to ward off the effects of evil spirits. In black magic an incantation may be the means of summoning or materializing the powers of darkness.

Incantation

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

The recitation of a spell. In the working of magic, words are power. Written words can be powerful, but spoken words are even moreso. An incantation is actually far more than a simple recitation—it is a command. Prayer is a request, while an incantation is a command for something to happen, made with the absolute assurance that it will happen.

In Ceremonial Magic, the magician is trying to summon spirits or entities to do his bidding. They are reluctant to appear. The only way he can make them do so is to use various Names and Words of Power, which are delivered in the most authoritative manner. The words, as the words of any incantation, must be spoken with familiarity, firmly, and in a certain rhythmic manner. Rhyme and rhythm are most important in the working of magic, especially with incantations. If the actual incantation is not written as a rhyme, then it should be spoken with a regular, definite beat.

Incantations are often long and repetitive. This is so the magician performing the incantation can gradually build up his or her energy through the rising inflections and the sonorous, rhythmical, often rhetorical use of the words. Doing an incantation should charge the magician with energy—he or she should feel it building and building until the words are almost being shouted. There should be a rising state of intense excitement that explodes with the final declaration. Richard Cavendish says of the magician, "He has now `summoned up' a spirit from his inner self. At the climax the full force of his magical power gushes from him, he loses all consciousness of his normal self and becomes the mental picture which he only saw before."

It is important to be thoroughly familiar with the incantation. For this reason, it is not good magical practice to simply repeat, parrot-fashion, words that are written in a dead or unknown language. It is necessary to know the language in order to give the correct pronunciation and the necessary inflections. For example, the Ecumenical Council of 1963 voted to allow the Roman Catholic mass to be said in languages other than Latin, but stipulated that the Latin was to be retained for "the precise verbal formula which is essential to the sacrament." Incantations are done as part of working magic, although not all magic calls for them. Sometimes Witches use incantations in the magic they do.

Incantation

 

a verbal formula supposedly having magical power, according to the superstitious ideas of early antiquity, and used to achieve some aim, such as a good harvest or change in the weather. In its origin, the prayer is closely related to the incantation: through the incantation people tried to compel the appearance of what was desired, while in prayer they turned to a spirit or god with a request.

incantation

Any particularly arbitrary or obscure command that one must mutter at a system to attain a desired result. Not used of passwords or other explicit security features. Especially used of tricks that are so poorly documented that they must be learned from a wizard. "This compiler normally locates initialised data in the data segment, but if you mutter the right incantation they will be forced into text space."
References in classic literature ?
As to his religious notions-- why, as Voltaire said, incantations will destroy a flock of sheep if administered with a certain quantity of arsenic.
His sunken eyes glittered and his wrinkled lips moved over toothless gums as he mumbled weird incantations to the demons of his cult.
Presently he dipped a zebra's tail into the brew, and with further mutterings and incantations sprinkled a few drops of the liquid over the baby's face.
It is nothing new, these vital lies men tell themselves, muttering and mumbling them like charms and incantations against the powers of Night.
And mendicant prophets go to rich men's doors and persuade them that they have a power committed to them by the gods of making an atonement for a man's own or his ancestor's sins by sacrifices or charms, with rejoicings and feasts; and they promise to harm an enemy, whether just or unjust, at a small cost; with magic arts and incantations binding heaven, as they say, to execute their will.
The raising of ghosts or devils was a promise liberally accorded by my favourite authors, the fulfillment of which I most eagerly sought; and if my incantations were always unsuccessful, I attributed the failure rather to my own inexperience and mistake than to a want of skill or fidelity in my instructors.
The unaccountable release of the captives from their bonds was attributed, by the hags, to the incantations of the medicine; and the mistake was probably of as much service, as the miraculous and timely interposition of Asinus in their favour.
Second, they appeal to a superstitious register of the performative--the perlocutionary force here residing in the possibility that a luck wish might be tantamount to a protective incantation.
Virus dance that can be stopped only by an incantation from an African archbishop.
Wouldn't it be marvellous to solve problems with a snap of the fingers and a suitably-worded incantation - to be able to defy the laws of nature or know what someone else was thinking?
Sir, - The coming summer recess of Parliament surely brings with it audible sounds of relief that for a good eight weeks we shall be spared the priestly incantation that politicians must 'reconnect' to voters, and unless they do so indeed there may even be pangs of conscience about some quaint system of representation known as 'democracy', as they run all the way to the bank with their lolly.
She could not remember an incantation for eyes, but he told her not to worry, because he knew that if she would just spit seven times in his eye he would be cured.