The Magician's Hidden Library Magic Words: A Dictionary

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9 printed word has carried tremendous power. Magic words in printed form can serve as fascinating props in magic routines, adding a touch of mystique by conjuring the artistry of spiritual visionaries from around the world. Some magic words have traditionally been written in graceful calligraphy on talismans. Others have been ornately embossed on amulets. Still others have been depicted in geometric formation, in "magic squares" and "magic triangles." In every case, these written forms have done more than merely communicate the magic word in question. They have served as circuits, channeling the forces of nature toward specific ends. Consider the following five circuit-like drawings (see Figure 2). One is a Taoist talisman for the protection of women. One is a "sigil" or magical glyph from The Lesser Key of Solomon (the famous 17th century treatise on rituals and prayers for summoning spirits). One is a Buddhist mantra of compassion. One is a Vodou veve representing the trickster spirit Papa Legba. And one depicts the wiring of a modern lighting control device. Can you tell them apart? Their similarity is due to the fact that each is its own kind of schematic to control energy. Spoken magic words channel energy, of course, but their written forms actually diagram the process. If you were to write out a magic word on a piece Figure 2. Printed magic words are circuit boards for channel ing energy. Top left, a modern wiring diagram for an electrical light bears similarities to ancient magic schematics. Top middle, a Taoist talisman for the protection of women. Top right, a sigil from The Lesser Key of Solomon. Bottom left, the Buddhist mantra of compassion, om mani padme hum. Bottom right, a Vodou veve for the spirit of the crossroads, Papa Legba.
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