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Glossary of Wiccan, Neo-Pagan and Occult Terminology

LAW OF WORDS OF POWER

"There exist certain words that are able to alter the internal and external realities of those uttering them, and their power may rest in the very sounds of the words as much as in their meanings."

Combined with the Law of Names is the Law of Words of Power.   This law is greatly used today, some think its usage is over exaggerated.   Words or terms like teacher, professor, doctor, technician, priest, the Pope hold some people in awe.

For example, many, especially Catholics, are just as overwhelmed by the Pope as ancient people were of the village witch doctor or Sorcerer.   They believe him to be holy and possess a higher power which illustrates the Pope or witch doctor only possess the power which people give them.   If their authority was not recognized by the people their power would be worthless.

In the above example the Pope who is widely recognized is given respect.   But, the reverse can also be true, strange and mysterious words can effect people differently.   The word "abracadabra" can have a great effect on some people, especially those uneducated or who believe in Magick, particularly when it is spoken by someone they respect.   The word "abracadabra" has no meaning by itself; however, its significance comes from its mysteriousness to the listeners and the authority of the one saying it.   It the listeners have little or no regard for either the word or the speaker then "abracadabra" loses all effect on the audience.

The power of the sound of words is demonstrated in Chanting which was used by ancient peoples as it is by Neo-Pagans.   Chanting is the repetition of words and sounds which usually are meaningful to the ones Chanting them.   It is employed in religious, ceremonial and magical rites.   Chanting, often combined with dancing, drumming, rattling and hand-clapping is generally performed to alter the consciousness and raise power.

see also: LAWS OF MAGIC; NAMES OF POWER


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PLEASE NOTE:
One of the major problems with 'defining' Paganism and/or its beliefs and practices is that it is an 'organic' movement, in that it is undergoing constant change and re-evaluation from within, and as such any 'one-size-fits-all' approach to understanding Paganism will be found wanting.

Due to the very 'organic' nature of Paganism, and the many differing Paths and Traditions within it, in many cases no one definition may be universally accepted by all Pagans.   Therefore, where such cases of possible conflicting and/or contradictory meanings of certain terms occur I have endevoured to give not only the generally accepted meaning, but also any major 'variations' in belief and/or practice.

Christians who believe this difference in meaning of certain key terms, beliefs and practices to be unique to Paganism need to remember that such conflicts also arise within the Body of Christ - the Church.   Take for instance the differing practices amongst Christians concerning Baptism and the different attitudes towards women in the clergy.

- Jean-Luc



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