Originally, when ritual was still part of everyday life and everybody talked to gods and goddesses all the time, we spoke to them in everyday words. As time went on and priests assumed more power, however, exalted language and fulsome invocations arose, and pretty soon only the High Priest could speak to God Most High. We common folks were allowed to pray, of course, but the important prayers were uttered by the priests.
During the European Renaissance and all the way up to the 19th-century occult revival, it was thought that the gods spoke Hebrew and Latin. Ceremonial magicians wrote rituals in these languages or made up other highly esoteric languages like crypto-Egyptian, quasi-Sanskrit, and Enochian (the “angelic language” of the Elizabethan Dr. Dee). If you read books on high occultism, you’ll see scripts in these languages. Trying to pronounce the words can be like trying to unscrew the inscrutable.
Fortunately, we discovered that it can be dangerous to invoke an invisible power in a language we can neither understand nor enunciate properly nor improvise in. As anyone who has ever studied a foreign language knows, boners come easily and can be very embarrassing. Worse, some powers may become angry if we mispronounce their names … or we may not get who we intended to call. Like the modern Roman Catholic Church, occultists, ceremonial magicians, and witches have generally adopted the vernacular. Continue reading “How to Talk to a Deity* By Barbara Ardinger, Ph.D.”