Sunday, February 28, 2010



He gave us story-oceans and abracadabras.

—Salman Rushdie, The Moor’s Last Sigh (1997)

It’s that spine-tingling thing that gives you goose bumps.[i] It’s the instant of a wish coming true. It’s opening your eyes and seeing that the workaday world has transformed into something holy.[ii] It’s that moment of clarity when everything suddenly “clicks,” and you see that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. These clicks and ticks can trigger a resounding chime, signaling the fullness of time. And yet it is that very same chime of the clock that can disintegrate a dream (“At the stroke of midnight, you know, abracadabra.”[iii]) Energy builds and builds to a breaking point: “Abracadabra. Something flipped in my head.”[iv] Then it diminishes. This is the cosmic process of creation and destruction, of waxing and waning, reflected by abracadabra.

“The link between language and ritual reaches far back into the origin of human culture when certain words were felt to have awesome magical powers. That same feeling of awe is still manifest in children’s eyes when they listen to a magician’s abracadabra.”[v] Arguably the best-known and best-loved magic word in history, abracadabra is pure dazzle, and it has never lost its spark over the centuries. “When a magician says the word ‘abracadabra,’ wonderful things happen. A rabbit hops out of a hat, the ace floats to the top of the deck, and the comely young assistant vanishes in a puff of smoke.”[vi] Though some magicians now consider it a cliché due to its sheer ubiquity, abracadabra remains the word associated with conjuring[vii], and such is its power that it is virtually impossible to speak the syllables without some vestige of reverence or at least respect. “‘Magic words,’ be they as commonly known as Abracadabra, or as deeply secret as the Unknowable Name of God, have always carried great power.”[viii] As novelist Terry Kay points out, “Illusions [are] made of words, like a magician’s singsong of abracadabra secrets.”[ix]

We’ll likely never know who first coined or uttered the word abracadabra, but it was passed along to us by way of the ancient Jewish mystics and was no doubt antiquated even in their time. Sustained over generations by its undeniable profundity, today the word pops up virtually any time someone wants to describe a magical moment in life. It’s so versatile that it appears as every part of speech, from noun to adjective to verb, and it is instantly poetic: “[D]ewdrops perched on tall blades of grass became small prisms in the abracadabra light of sunrise,” writes poet Diane Ackerman.[x] Indeed, abracadabra captures that wavelength of light that scintillates and makes rainbows. It’s also the mystery of shadows, as poet Barbara Smith describes:

[W]ait while darkness
pronounces its abracadabra,
and the moon rises
from the tips of trees.”

It’s a building block, a blueprint: “I was getting back to simple abracadabra,” writes novelist Henry Miller, “the straw that makes bricks, the crude sketch, the temple which must take on flesh and blood and make itself manifest to all the world.”[xii]

It is said that when abracadabra was originally chanted, it was reduced letter by letter until only the final “A” remained.[xiii] Likewise, it was written on paper as in the figure below. Such a notation signified a totality gradually shrinking away to nothing.[xiv] Similar to sawing a lady in half, “Dismemberment of language produces enigma; but at the same time a performative act is being brought about. Language is simultaneously ruined and employed.”[xv]

For all its syllables, abracadabra is one of those “one-piece words” that “seem complete in themselves.”[xvi] Not easily divided into smaller linguistic pieces (morphemes), abracadabra has a dynamism to it, something that carries the speaker smoothly through the syllables. It’s like a handful of other long yet unified words that roll off the tongue: didgeridoo, mulligatawny, millennium, rhododendron.[xvii] It’s as if there’s a sonic “glue” holding the syllables together, and that gives the word strength.


The virtues of Abracadabra are well known; though the meaning of the word has puzzled some of the best critics of the last age.

—Tobias Smollett, The Adventures of an Atom (1748)

A (the letter)

“By the father of physic, thought I, this study of medicine is not the pleasant task I anticipated—rather arduous in the long run for the stomach, I should judge, to swallow and digest all the medicines, from Abracadabra to Zinzibar.” —Henry Clay Lewis, The Swamp Doctor’s Adventures (1858)


“‘Abra cadabra,’ that famous saying that everyone learned, is actually a very good ancient magical formula. It just takes the alphabet, supplies some extra vowel sounds, and you turn it into a very spooky sounding word, at least from a Greek perspective.” —L. Michael White, “Magic, Miracles, and the Gospel” (1998)

Antiquated knowledge or wisdom

“On the blackboard the futile abracadabra which the future citizens of the republic would have to spend their lives forgetting.” —Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer (1961)

Assyrian deity

“Today we know that Abracadabra was the supreme deity of the Assyrians.” —H.E. Dudeney, The Canterbury Puzzles (1907)

Changing or transforming; the cause of change

“[S]ort out the jigsaw pieces of problems, then abracadabra them into brilliant solutions.” —Linda Goodman, Linda Goodman’s Star Signs (1988)

“His voice was quiet, like a hypnotist’s: ‘Everything in my life changes now.’ Abracadabra. Madeline silently repeated his incantation, also wishing that everything in his life would change for him.” —Valerie Ann Leff, Better Homes and Husbands (2004)


“There was magic in sketching. She heard Joel at the door, turned around, and said, Abracadabra, I create as I sketch.” —Pearl Abraham, The Seventh Beggar (2005)

Cryptic language

“[T]he facts tumbling out of the coding machines in Navy abracadabra.” —Herman Wouk, War and Remembrance (2002)

“He saw—waking or dream, he still couldn’t say—a ghost mumbling all sorts of Biblical abracadabra in a dead tongue, Chaldean perhaps or Hittite.” —Amos Oz, A Perfect Peace (1993)

Devil’s name

“‘There, you see? The devil’s name, Abracadabra!’ He frowned for a few seconds. ‘The writer claims Abracadabra can be raised to this world by invoking his name above the Grail.’” —Bernard Cornwell, Vagabond (2003)


“Right now, unnoticed by the pilot of the big plane, Allard’s hand was building a complicated pyramid of letters that looked like a mystic abracadabra. Zigzagging lines between those letters, he gave potential meanings to dots and dashes in the body of Zanigew’s message.” —Maxwell Grant, Shadow Over Alcatraz (1938)

Diminishing, causing to disappear

—Laura Lippman, By A Spider’s Thread (2004)

“[R]oughly translated from a Chaldean word [abracadabra] means ‘to diminish.’” —Patricia Telesco, How to be a Wicked Witch (2001)

Divine utterance

“[A] puff of smoke and a holy abracadabra.” —Lisa Samson, The Church Ladies (2001)

Exotic, otherworldly

“[H]e longed to clear a way for himself into unknown territories, the abracadabra realms we feel inside which nobody dares to touch.” —David Grossman, See Under: LOVE (2002)

“Unaware of their cage unless they try to leave it, the objects seem to float in the abracadabra realm of flying carpets.” —Diane Ackerman, A Natural History of the Senses (1990)


“The effect [of James Joyce’s literary methods] at times is astounding, but the price paid is the entire dissolution of the very foundation of literary diction, the entire decomposition of literary method itself; for the lay reader the text has been turned into abracadabra.” —Sergei Eisenstein, Film Forum: Essays in Film Theory (1969)

“If the encryption only yields abracadabra, something along the transmission path has gone wrong . . . The difference between messages that make sense and abracadabra might be subjective.” —M.H.M. Schellekens, Electronic Signatures Volume 5 (2004)

“Hippie-dippy airy-fairy baloney”

—Michael Crichton, Travels (1988)

“Host of the winged ones” (i.e., angels)

This is an interpretation of the word Abrakad, from a prayer attributed to Rabbi Nehunya ban harKanah (Philip Schaff, The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, Vol. I).

“I bless the dead”

A Dictionary of Angels (1997)


“[N]o abracadabra insights, just plain old hard work.” —Joseph J. Luciani, Self-Coaching: How to Heal Anxiety and Depression (2001)


“We’ll have you some heat in here before you can say abracadabra, and you can put your money on it.” —Mark Edward Hall, Holocaust Opera (2004)

“Reality is like a magic act, and magic by definition contradicts what we expected. But life’s magic acts don’t always have us applauding. Before you can say ‘abracadabra’ many of us discover we’re the dumb bunnies pulled from a top hat and blinking blindly into the lights only to again disappear as wondrously as we first appeared. We are no sooner here than we disappear.” —Noah benShea, “Life is a Contradiction in Terms: (2003)

Key to unlock or open

“Tibetans have been reported to lift stones through the use of certain combinations of sound frequencies. Perhaps the Arab word ‘Abracadabra’ pronounced correctly really did cause something to open.” —Paul Von Ward, Gods, Genes, and Consciousness (2004)

“Abracadabra, a door opened and there was Claudia.” —Kathy Kaehler, Kathy Kaehler’s Celebrity Workouts (2004)

“He thought ‘CIA’ was a kind of abracadabra that would magically open all the important doors in Washington.” —Robert Baer, See No Evil (2003)

“The safe hummed once, then clicked. ‘Abracadabra,’ Roarke stated, and opened it.” —J.D. Robb, Purity in Death (2002)

“No amount of intellectual authority, arrogant confidence, name dropping, or ego and ambition pounding on the door demanding to be admitted will allow us passage. Beyond a certain point, faith is the magic lamp and humility the abracadabra.” —Gregg Michael Levoy, Callings: Finding and Following an Authentic Life (1998)

Keyword or buzzword

“The abracadabras of a champion job search.” —Jay A. Block, 2500 Keywords to Get You Hired (2002)


“He was certain that if he sailed a hundred years on the Caine he would understand such abracadabra no better than he did at that moment.” —Herman Wouk, The Caine Mutiny (1951)

“[T]he abracadabra of the philosophers.” —Christa Wolf and Jan Van Heurch, Cassandra: A Novel and Four Essays (1988)


“Change is magical, like . . . Abracadabra.” —Angeles Arrien, The Tarot Handbook: Practical Applications of Ancient Visual Symbols (1997)

“There were abracadabra spells for protection on journeys.” —Paul M. Johnson, A History of the Jews (1988)

“[T]here’s no abracadabra magic involved in change.” —Joseph P. Luciani, The Power of Self-Coaching (2004)

“Lacking an abracadabra wand, you’re stuck with people.” —Rose Rosetree, The Power of Face Reading (2001)

“[I]t worked like abracadabra.” —Lynn Hightower, The Debt Collector (2001)

“One word from me and, abracadabra!, reality was transformed.” —Eva Luna, quoted in Conversations with Isabel Allende by Isabel Allende (1999)


“That mausoleum right there [is] the permanent home of the Great Abra Cadabra—one of the greatest magicians that ever lived.” —Deborah Gregory, The Cheetah Girls: Growl Power (2000)

Magic word

“I can’t touch it without an abracadabra either from her or from Grandpappy.” —Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough for Love (1973)

“[T]he right abracadabra to select the winning lottery number . . .” —Stephen Jay Gould, I Have Landed: The End of a Beginning in Natural History (2003)

“[T]he appropriate abracadabra may be . . .” —Andrew Tobias, Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds (1995)

“[H]oping to acquire an abracadabra or open sesame . . .” —Helen Valentine, Better Than Beauty: A Guide to Charm (2002)

“The magician says ‘Abracadabra,’ and the genie comes out of the bottle.” —Charles Hartshome, Omnipotence and Other Theological Mistakes (1984)


“[B]reathe in—abra, breathe out—cadabra, abra, cadabra. If you can do this successfully in a quiet place, with near total relaxation, you will achieve a particularly satisfying state of mind. Some would call it a religious experience.” —Bill Greene, Think Like a Tycoon (1980)


“The word good, when applied to [God], becomes meaningless: like abracadabra.” —C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed (1961)

Moment in time

“The cooking of the dish is nearly as quick as abracadabra.” —Pierre Franey, The New York Times 60-Minute Gourmet (2000)

“She’d have me in a cell before I could say abracadabra.” —Jim Butcher, Fool Moon (2001)

“Before one could say abracadabra, they had moved to a corner of the lawn . . .” —James Duffy, Dog Bites Man: City Shocked (2001)


“[W]ith an abracadabra tone in his voice . . .” —Stuart Ewen, PR! (1998)


—Richard Cavendish, The Black Arts (1968)

“Mumbo jumbo and abracadabra, all of it.” —Lesley Blanch, The Wilder Shores of Love: The Exotic True-Life Stories of Isabel Burton, Aimee Dubucq de Rivery, Jane Digby, and Isabelle Eberhardt (2002)

“I was growing stupid listening to nothing but statistical abracadabra.” —Henry Miller, Plexus (1963)

“By the time Lucien, hunted down and on the run, had brought himself to read this abracadabra, he had received notice that a judgment had been obtained against him.” —Honoré de Balzac, Lost Illusions, translated by Kathleen Raine (1951)


“Music is planetary fire, an irreducible which is all sufficient; it is the slate-writing of the gods, the abracadabra which the learned and the ignorant alike muff because the axel has been unhooked.” —Henry Miller, Tropic of Capricorn (1961)

Mystic importance

Judge Benjamin Kaplan wrote of the “oddity of accepting . . . an enlargement of copyright while yet intoning the abracadabra of idea and expression” (quoted in Free Culture: How Big Media Uses Technology and the Law to Lock Down Culture and Control Creativity by Lawrence Lessig [2004]).


“The costuming, pageantry, and general abracadabra had attracted him to the Masonic ritual in the first place, just as the theatricalism of the conjurer’s art had lured him to the money-digging of his youth.” —Fawn M. Brodie, No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith (1995)

Nonsensical babble

“The Egyptologists make nothing out of it but abracadabra.” —Patrick Geryl, The Orion Prophecy: Will the World Be Destroyed in 2012 (2002)

“[U]nintelligible ‘abracadabras.’” —John R. Donahue, The Gospel of Mark (2002)

Out of the blue

—Tom Spanbauer, In the City of Shy Hunters (2001)


“‘Abracadabra, great Siva,’ prayed Gottfried.” —Erich Maria Remarque, Three Comrades (1998)

Ritualistic utterance

“Ritualistic utterances . . . whether made up of words that had symbolic significance at other times, of words in foreign or obsolete tongues, or of meaningless syllables, may be regarded as consisting in large part of presymbolic uses of language: that is, accustomed sets of noises which convey no information, but to which feelings . . . are attached. Such utterances rarely make sense to anyone not a member of the group. The abracadabra of a lodge meeting is absurd to anyone not a member of the lodge. When language becomes ritual, its effect becomes, to a considerable extent, independent of whatever signification the words once possessed.” —S.I. Hayakawa, Language in Thought and Action: Fifth Edition (1991)

“[A]ll they really wanted was to do the abracadabra and get the hell out.” —Yvonne Navarro, Shattered Twilight (2004)


“[H]e practiced the abracadabra of calling dogs.” —Beryl Markham, West with the Night (1982)

Spiritual connection

“If you make abracadabra with spirits you can get money from them.” —Wole Soyinka, The Road (1965)


—Susan Albers, Eating Mindfully (2003)

“The United States retains, unusually for an advanced industrial society, about the same per capita level of religious superstition as Bangladesh. What one of Jimmy Carter’s aides once referred to as the ‘abracadabra vote’ is ample.” —Francis Wheen, Idiot Proof: Deluded Celebrities, Irrational Power Brokers, Media Morons, and the Erosion of Common Sense (2004)


“The next morning a sorcerer’s talisman in the form of a small, oddly shaped shell filled with evil smelling ashes and bound with dried sinews was found tied to his door. Well aware that the eyes of the entire village were watching his every action, he took the token and with a great show of contempt tied it to the tail of a large hog. All that day the swine snouted and grubbed for food in the usual noisy way of such an animal, quite unaware of the abracadabra at its rump but in the evening it died.” —John Farrow, Damien the Leper (1954)


“You belong in any position or career that allows you to sort out the jigsaw pieces of problems, then abracadabra them into brilliant solutions—and permits you to play marbles with jelly beans on your lunch break.” —Linda Goodman, Linda Goodman’s Star Signs (1987)

Unity, totality

“All is one! Life is a unity! Abracadabra!” —Bruce Duffy, The World As I Found It (1987)


“It sounds like we need some kind of ancient word of wisdom?” “Abracadabra?” Teabing ventured, his eyes twinkling.

—Dan Brown, The DaVinci Code (2003)

Because abracadabra has been adopted in so many languages without translation, there is speculation that it predates the Biblical story of the confusion of languages at the Tower of Babel.[xviii] In spite of exhaustive inquiry, “the origin of Abracadabra is unknown, and most of the attempts made to translate or explain it are not impressive.”[xix] Some scholars have suggested that the word originated with the Chaldeans of the old Babylonian period.[xx] The so-called “Abracadabra texts” of Babylonia contain mysterious incantations, some derived from other languages such as Old Elamite and subsequently incomprehensible.[xxi]

Frequently cited as a possible source is the name Abraxis, the supreme being in Gnosticism, “the source of divine emanations from which all things were created.”[xxii] Stones inscribed with abracadabra are called “abraxis stones.”[xxiii] One scholar of Greek Qabalah, Kieren Barry, suggests that abracadabra is derived from the word Akrankanarba from Greek magical papyri dating from the second century BCE to the fifth century CE.[xxiv] Other scholars claim the word is a corruption of the name Abu Abdullah abu Jafar Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi, a ninth century Arabian mathematician who pioneered algebraic formulae.[xxv]

In 1822, Samson Arnold Mackey suggested that abracadabra is actually a sentence formulated by ancient astronomers to describe the constellation of the bull, meaning literally “the Bull, the only Bull”: “The ancient sentence split into its component parts stands thus: Ab’r-achad-ab’ra, i.e., Ab’r, the Bull; achad, the only—Achad is one of the names of the Sun, given him in consequence of his Shining alone,—and he is the only Star to be seen when he is seen—the remaining ab’ra, makes the whole to be, The Bull, the only Bull.”[xxvi]

More popularly, abracadabra is associated with a Hebrew-Aramaic expression, variously transliterated: ibra k’dibra (“I create through my speech”[xxvii]), abhadda kedkabhra (“disappear like this word”[xxviii]), Abra kadavra (“I will create with words”[xxix]), ha brachah dabarah (“speak the blessing”[xxx]), abreq ad habra (“hurl your thunderbolt even unto death”[xxxi]), abraq ad habra (“I will create as I speak”[xxxii]), Avra c’dabrah (“it came to pass as it was spoken”[xxxiii]), and Ab, Ben, Ruch a cadasch (the words for father, son, and holy spirit[xxxiv]). Scholar William Isaacs explains it this way: Abra comes from the Aramaic verb bra meaning to create. Ca translates to ‘as.’ Dabra is the first person of the verb daber, ‘to speak.’ In other words, abracadabra literally means ‘I create as I speak.’ Magic!”[xxxv]

Ultimately, the meaning of abracadabra doesn’t matter: “The true magic ‘word’ or spell is untranslatable, because its power resides only partially in that outward sense which is apprehended by the reason, but chiefly in the rhythm, which is addressed to the subliminal mind.”[xxxvi]

Facts: Scholar Joshua Trachtenberg notes that certain words take on occult virtues through the tradition that has developed around them “or because of their fancied descent from potent charms of ancient times or foreign peoples.” He notes that magic is the most conservative of disciplines: “like the law it clings to archaic forms long after they have lost currency.” (Many prominent figures in professional magic are certainly wary of what they consider old clichés, like the icons of the tuxedo, top hat, white rabbit, and words like ‘abracadabra,’ urging their fellow performers to adopt styles more current with the times.) But Trachtenberg points out that magic’s conservatism “is not inspired by intellectual inertia. The very nature of magic demands a strict adherence to the original form of the magical name or word, for its potency lies hidden within its syllables, within its very consonants and vowels—the slightest alteration may empty the word of all its magic content.” Naturally, words undergo changes over time, transmitted as they are through inaudible whispers or all-too-fallible scribes, and eventually they become so corrupted as to be “altogether exotic and meaningless,” offering few if any clues to their original sense and tongue, and essentially “unintelligible to the heirs of the tradition.” Ironically, a mystery offers its own a kind of potency, and magic words came to be considered efficacious to the degree that they were strange and incomprehensible: “Rashi, in the eleventh century, proved his familiarity with this phenomenon when he wrote: ‘The sorcerer whispers his charms, and doesn’t understand what they are or what they mean, but . . . the desired effect is produced only by such incantations.’” Trachtenberg notes that the Cherokee medicine men, aborigines in India, and Tibetan and Chinese Buddhists all hold in high regard archaic, unintelligible expressions “that have conveyed no meaning for centuries,” considering them “more potent than their own. The ‘abracadabra’ of the modern stage magician reflects a phenomenon familiar to us all.”[xxxvii]

A very early written record of abracadabra dates back to 208 CE, as “part of a folkloric cure for a fever.”[xxxviii] The record is actually an incomplete poem on medicine by the Roman doctor Serenus Quintus Sammonicus, “containing curious lore, ancient remedies, and magical formulae—such as the Abracadabra charm—and was much used in the Middle Ages.”[xxxix]

Abracadabra was commonly used as a conjuring word by the Middle Ages.[xl]

As a talisman against disease, abracadabra was inscribed on parchment and worn around the neck.[xli] In the late 1600s, John Aubrey transcribed instructions for creating such a charm in Miscellanies Upon Various Subjects:

Abracadabra, strange mysterious word,
In order writ, can wond’rous cures afford.
This be the rule:-a strip of parchment take,
Cut like a pyramid revers’d in make.
Abracadabra, first at length you name,
Line under line, repeating still the same:
Cut at its end, each line, one letter less,
Must then its predecessor line express;
’Till less’ning by degrees the charm descends
With conic form, and in a letter ends.
Round the sick neck the finish’d wonder tie,
And pale disease must from the patient fly.

In Journal of the Plague Year (1722), Daniel Defoe reported that many people attributed the Black Death to possession by an evil spirit and believed the Abracadabra charm could ward it off.

In popular culture, the word abracadabra is most often associated with awakening the genie in a magic lamp (to grant a wish) and pulling a rabbit out of a hat.

Dogura-Magura is a Japanese equivalent to abracadabra.

“Abner Kadabra” is the title of an episode of the television series Bewitched (1965).

When a little girl asked professional magician David Greene, “Why does a magic word like abracadabra work?” his reply was “It works because you believe in it.”[xlii]

Abra Kadabra is a villainous stage magician who first appears in the comic book Flash #128 (1962): “Abra Kadabra hails from the 64th Century, an era in which science is sufficiently advanced to be indistinguishable from magic, and the art of stage magic is dead. Obsessed with a need for applause, and championing the cause of the individual in an era of mechanical precision, he traveled back in time to torment the second Flash.”[xliii]

“Debra Kadabra” is the title of a song by Frank Zappa (1975), concerning a “witch goddess” whose full name is “Debra Algebra Ebneezra Kadabra” or “Debra Fauntleroy Magnesium Kadabra.”

Abra Cadabra is a legendary old wise woman and oracle in the novel Jonah by Dana Redfield (2000).

In the Bugs Bunny cartoon “Transylvania 6-5000” (1963), Bugs the Magician uses abracadabra to turn the menacing vampire Count Bloodcount into a “bumbling bat.” “Always enchanted by wretched excess, Bugs experiments with ever-weirder abracadabras, resulting in ever-more-extravagant vampiric incarnations.”[xliv]

“Lady Abracadabra” is the name of a fairy “in no humor to be turned into a toad,” in The Hope of the Katzekopfs (1844) by William Churne of Straffordshire.[xlv]

“Abracadabra Day” is “the best holiday of all,” listed “in no almanac and printed in no calendar.” It is explained in Mr. Mysterious & Company (1962) by Sid Fleischman: “The secret was this: No matter how bad you were on Abracadabra Day or no matter what pranks you pulled, you would not be spanked or punished. . . . There was only one rule about Abracadabra Day. You must not tell anybody the day you had chosen to be bad. . . . It was like magic to do something naughty and not get punished.”

[i] “Amid a blinding cloud of smoke, a cadaverous voice cries aloud, ‘Abra-cadabra.’” —Variety review of the television program “The Magic Horseshoe” (1953). “‘Abracadabra.’ The sound had cold fingers squeezing Luke’s spine.” —Nora Roberts, Honest Illusions (1992).

[ii] “The custom of closing or covering the eyes while saying the blessing enacts the transformation of the world, since, when you reopen your eyes Abracadabra! the weekday, workaday world is special, holy, and Shabbat.” —Anita Diamant, How to Be a Jewish Parent: A Practical Handbook for Family Life (2000)

[iii] Alan Furst, Dark Voyage (2004), referencing the fairy tale of Cinderella

[iv] Carolyn S. Kortge, The Spirited Walker: Fitness Walking For Clarity, Balance, and Spiritual Connection (1998)

[v] Marcel Danesi, Of Cigarettes, High Heels, and Other Interesting Things (1999)

[vi] Martin Fry (1991)

[vii] “‘Please is a good magic word,’ I said, ‘but the magic word for magicians is ‘abracadabra.’” —Ace Starry, The Magic Life: A Novel Philosophy (2003)

[viii] Deborah Lipp, The Way of Four: Create Elemental Balance in Your Life (2004)

[ix]The Valley of Light (2003)

[x]Deep Play (2000)

[xi]Wild Sweet Notes: Fifty Years of West Virginia Poetry 1950-1999 (2000)

[xii]Sexus (1962)

[xiii] Gustav Davidson, Dictionary of Angels: Including the Fallen Angels (1994)

[xiv] Richard Cavendish, The Black Arts (1968)

[xv] E.S. Shaffer, Comparative Criticism, Volume 9 (1987)

[xvi] Richard Coates, Word Structure (1999)

[xvii] Richard Coates, Word Structure (1999)


[xix] Richard Cavendish, The Black Arts (1968)

[xx] Herman Slater, A Book of Pagan Rituals (1978)

[xxi] Wolfram Von Soden, The Ancient Orient (1994)

[xxii] Constance Victoria Briggs, The Encyclopedia of God: An A-Z Guide to Thoughts, Ideas, and Beliefs About God (2003)

[xxiii] Bob Brier, Ancient Egyptian Magic (1999)

[xxiv]The Greek Qabalah: Alphabetical Mysticism and Numerology in the Ancient World (1999)

[xxv] Daniel Hillis, Pattern on the Stone (1999)

[xxvi]‘Mythological’ Astronomy of the Ancients Demonstrated, quoted in The Secret Teachings of All Ages by Manly Palmer Hall (1928)

[xxvii] Estelle Frankel, Sacred Therapy: Jewish Spiritual Teachings on Emotional Healing and Inner Wholeness (2004)

[xxviii] David Colbert, The Magical Worlds of Harry Potter: A Treasury of Myths, Legends, and Fascinating Facts (2004)

[xxix] David Aaron, Endless Light: The Ancient Path of Kabbalah (1998)

[xxx] Gustav Davidson, Dictionary of Angels: Including the Fallen Angels (1994)

[xxxi] J.E. Cirlot, A Dictionary of Symbols (2002)

[xxxii] Susan G. Woolridge, Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life with Words (1997)

[xxxiii] Alan Lew, This is Real and You are Completely Unprepared (2003)

[xxxiv]Llewellyn Encyclopedia (2002)

[xxxv]Dialogue: The Art Of Thinking Together (1999)

[xxxvi] Evelyn Underhill, Mysticism (1911)

[xxxvii] Joshua Trachtenberg, Jewish Magic and Superstition (1939)

[xxxviii] Tom Ogden, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Magic Tricks (1998)

[xxxix] Donald Tyson’s annotation to the works of Henry Cornelius Agrippa, Three Books of Occult Philosophy (1993)

[xl] Tom Ogden, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Magic Tricks (1998)

[xli] Gustav Davidson, Dictionary of Angels: Including the Fallen Angels (1994)

[xlii] “Magician David Greene Launches Lower School Book Fair with Demonstration of the ‘Magic of Reading,’” Christ Church Episcopal School newsletter (2003)

[xliii] Kelson Vibber, “The Flash: Those Who Ride the Lightning” (2005)

[xliv] Steven Jay Schneider, Horror Film and Psychoanalysis (2004)

[xlv] Peter Hunt, Children’s Literature: An Anthology 1801-1902 (2001)

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