Hocus Pocus


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Hocus Pocus

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

A term used by cowans (non-Witches) to describe magical work, usually used in a disparaging manner. Also sometimes used by stage conjurers as a "magical" word akin to "abracadabra." An early mention of it being used in that way is found in Thomas Ady's A Candle in the Dark; or a Treatise Concerning the Nature of Witches and Witchcraft (London, 1656): "I will speak of one man. . . who called himself `The King's Majesty's most excellent Hocus Pocus,' and so he was called, because that at the playing of every trick, he used to say, `Hocus pocus, tomus talontus, vade celeriter jubeo,' a dark composure of words to blind the eyes of the beholders, to make his trick pass the more currently without discovery."

The actual origin of the phrase is uncertain. It has been suggested that it comes from "Ochus Bochus," a demon of the North, in Ceremonial Magic. However, it may also be a corruption of the Latin phrase "hoc est corpus," said by a Roman Catholic priest at the act of transubstantiation.


Hocus Pocus (movie)

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Dull and pedantic 1993 movie starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy, directed by Kenny Ortega. In Salem, Massachusetts, a lonely male teenager named Max (Omri Katz) conjures up three long-dead witches, Winifred (Midler), Sarah (Parker), and Mary (Najimy). The three had prepared for their immortality back in 1693, but they were executed before finalizing it. When returned to life, they are only able to remain alive by sucking the life out of young children. Although supposedly a comedy, there are few laughs in the film, and no sympathetic characters. It does not help the cause of modern Wicca.

H O L E D, O R H O L E Y S T O N E see HAG STONE

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