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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.

The Witch Book: The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, Wicca, and Neo-paganism © 2002 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
It was while bending over them, examining, that again he heard the eery chant. He had seen the thing pursue the coyote, and he knew he had no chance on a straight run.
And through their scurrying leaped the man, squarely upon the body, where, in the white electric light, resting on his club, he chanted a triumph in an unknown tongue--a song so ancient that Professor Wertz would have given ten years of his life for it.
They laid hands upon Tarzan and bore him forth, and as they chanted they kept time with their crooked bodies, swaying to and fro to the rhythm of their song of blood and death.
The first time he had lifted the chant of "Like Argus of the Ancient Times," had been in 1849, when, twenty-two years' of age, violently attacked by the Californian fever, he had sold two hundred and forty Michigan acres, forty of it cleared, for the price of four yoke of oxen, and a wagon, and had started across the Plains.
And now, his huge gaunt form more erect than it had been for years, with a glinting of blue fires in his small and close-set eyes, he was lifting his ancient chant again.
Such the beach old John Tarwater stepped upon; and straight across the beach and up the trail toward Chilcoot he headed, cackling his ancient chant, a very Grandfather Argus himself, with no outfit worry in the world, for he did not possess any outfit.
With thousands of men, each back- tripping half a ton of outfit, retracing every mile of the trail twenty times, all came to know him and to hail him as "Father Christmas." And, as he worked, ever he raised his chant with his age-falsetto voice.
One priest dressed in white robes sat, to represent the angel, by one of the square-built tombs near the junction of nave and transept, and three others, personating the Marys, advanced slowly toward him while they chanted their portion of the same dialog.
Then, in a wild burst of their chant they sang with united voices the temper of the Mohican's mind.
Even David was not reluctant to lend his ears to the tones of voices so sweet; and long ere the chant was ended, his gaze announced that his soul was enthralled.
Summary: Rajkot (Gujarat) [India], Sep 2 (ANI): Rajkot's Pramukh Swami Auditorium on Sunday reverberated with chants of 'Navkar' mantra as around 7,000 people, primarily followers of Jainism, gathered at the venue to pray for world peace and harmony.
EQUALITY campaigners have condemned homophobic chants allegedly aimed at Chelsea fans during the match at Old Trafford on Sunday.