Don't miss our interview over at The Tarot Channel, all about Magic Words: A Dictionary.
We were surprised to discover the following magic spell in a modern book of science magic tricks:
"Dust of bones and witch's attire, I command you to draw some fire."
The spell is recommended for setting a sugar cube alight with "genuine witch's dust ... made from the scraping from the bottom of her kettle after she made her brew ... The witches use it to draw fire—lightning—from the sky to start their fires." (Nathan Shalit, Science Magic Tricks, 1998).
This spell harks back to an era when science and the occult overlapped. As Henry Adams noted in his autobiography, "Science has proved that forces, sensible and occult, physical and metaphysical, simple and complex, surround, traverse, vibrate, rotate, repel, attract, without stop; that man's senses are conscious of few, and only in a partial degree; but that, from the beginning of organic existence his consciousness has been induced, expanded, trained in the lines of sensitiveness; and that the rise of his faculties from a lower power to a higher, or from a narrower to a wider field, may be due to the function of assimilating and storing outside force or forces. There is nothing unscientific in the idea that, beyond the lines of force felt by the senses, the universe may be—as it has always been—either a supersensuous chaos or a divine unity, which irresistibly attracts, and is either life or death to penetrate. Thus far, religion, philosophy, and science seem to go hand in hand."