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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.


(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.



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.


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 periodicals archive ?
Devices such as assonance, alliteration, onomatopoeia, and rhythm are sometimes used to achieve musical or incantatory effects.
His latest book, an innovative and incantatory memoir about the family that he formed with his partner of forty years, the poet and publisher Nikos Stangos, couldn't be any less ambiguous in its portrayal of the couple's life together, and in its bracingly poignant meditations on Stangos' death from brain cancer in 2004.
Of the book's 13 narrators, some voices are necessarily more compelling than others, but at its best Peace's prose is more incantatory than ever, dense with repetition, obsessed and paranoid.
video wizards Leo Warner and Mark Grimmer--had concocted an incantatory blend of past and present, with old photos, drawings and programs morphing into vivid flesh-and-blood recreations of nights gone by: the opening Faust of 1883, for example, zooming in from a celebrated parterre-box-perspective drawing of a society grande dame watching the final trio to a proscenium frame of the trio itself, as replicated by Roberto Alagna, John Relyea and the gloriously pealing Sondra Radvanovsky, all decked out in costume designer Catherine Zuber's loving hommages to the history of her art.
At several points Lehrich posits that the solution to this methodological problem "would require a spell" and it is only at the end of the book that one realizes that that is precisely what he has done--The Occult Mind appears as nothing less than a twenty-first-century grimoire, a book of incantatory power for anyone interested in the tradition of Western esotericism and its recent academic legitimation.
The poem moves tensely between psychologically fraught passages of prose recollection and more descriptive and incantatory stanzas that seem interested primarily in transformation and connection (not so much in recording memory as in finding a place for it in the world).
Understanding McGahern requires a recognition of this incantatory power.
Evidently influenced by the field hollers and chants of the Mississippi delta and the haunting lyricism of New Orleans' own Mahalia Jackson, McComb's opening number Sit Down Servant, found her ensconced at the 9ft Steinway grand piano where she produced evocative chords which buoyed a sonorous, incantatory vocal authority.
Those voices can be cracked with pain or rich with joy, crackling with emotion or just ancient recording technology, incantatory or dramatic or monotone, each one unique and compelling.
Editor Philip Zaleski begins his yearly anthology of the country's best spiritual writing with this evocative query: "Is any dream more enticing than that of the magic book, the hidden parchment, the cryptic message charged with seraphic fire, discovered through chance or providence, in a forgotten library corridor or a cobwebbed attic, a treasure compacted of word and spirit that will, when one succumbs to its incantatory power, transform life for good or ill?
The incantatory repetition lulls the reader, the better to ambush with the unexpected Irish-ism at the end.
He also used the same incantatory phrase in another less likely place--one of his early scripts for a film released in 1933 as Today We Live.