Thursday, October 29, 2009

Magic Words Change as We Use Them

"Just as language will change as its speakers use it over decades and centuries, so the language that creates the world—the language that is the world—its Meaning, its Logos—can change as we use it, all of us human persons and others, and when it does the world in which we have our beings is remade."
—John Crowley, Daemonomania

Monday, October 26, 2009

In the Mouth of the White Squirrel

"But he found no word beneath the tongue of the reindeer, no magical word in the mouth of the white squirrel, not even so much as the beginning of a word."
The Writings of Lafcadio Hearn, 1922

Friday, October 23, 2009

Epigraphs as Magic Words

"On the next page the title again, and beneath it in small italics one of those little quotations ... many old books had, like a magician's distracting patter before his trick, more mysterious usually than the book that followed." —John Crowley, Love and Sleep

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Thanks to Jim H. Moreno for naming our Magic Words: A Dictionary as a favorite resource for spell casting in fantasy role playing games.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


“What was the word—the magic word? Brumagem—that was it—Brumagem. An enchanting word! . . . A word to be repeated over to himself softly and secretly at night at the same time as Damn and Corsets.” —Agatha Christie, Giant’s Bread (1930)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Handwritten magician's book, Batak Culture, Indonesia, 1800s. (Source)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Novelist's Magic Words

"Like a conjurer, a novelist should be able to take the rabbit out of the hat without letting his audience in on the way in which he did it."
John Steinbeck: The Contemporary Reviews

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Hippogriff's Magic Word

"If only you knew the magic word that the Hippogriff obeys," said the parrot, "you could say it, and then you'd understand all animal talk. Only, of course, I mustn't tell it you. It's one of the eleven mysteries."
—Edith Nesbit, Magic City

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Love and Magic

"Love is magic, Giordano Bruno said; magic is love. The magician and the lover are both venatores animarum, hunters of souls; by emblems and by arts, the magician draws down into his heart the powers of heaven, that is the star-persons through whom the whole of nature and the spirits of men and women are ordered, and have their meaning. He ranges these powers within him and asks: teach me to bind, with bonds like love's, the things of this world and the hearts of others. And they do, they can. And thus we become like gods."
—John Crowley, Daemonomania

(Photo by Love Not Fear)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Mum's the Word in Wales

"We are not told what is the magical word in Wales."
—E. Sidney Hartland, "The Indian Origin of Popular Tales," The Academy, Jan. 30, 1892