Tuesday, November 29, 2011

LeiKeiShei! Obeh Keh! Leh'keh Rekisha!

We were contacted this week regarding a mysterious phrase:
Every so often I'll hear a song in a dream. Every so often I'll hear an eldritch language in a dream. Recently it was both. Sometimes the meaning of the words is given to me in the dream. Sometimes I have no idea what the words meaning is but later find out they are words that exist in currently living, foreign languages.

As I recall, this time it was strange words coloring a kind of song-incantation. Also there were a lot more words this time, so I doubt I would be able to figure it out on my own at my current level of resources and learning at this point in life without the help of someone more expert in this area.

LeiKeiShei! Obeh Keh! Leh'keh Rekisha!

I tried to transliterate the words based on how they sounded to me as well as my seeming innate understanding of where phrases began and ended.

I currently I have no idea what language it could be, if it's a language that exists on Earth. It reminds me of Japanese but it doesn't sound like any Japanese I've ever heard.

Your website was one of the first things that popped up when I decided to seek out the meaning of these words through Google. As you've written a book about Magic Words, I figure there might be a chance you'd be willing to help me, Mr. Conley.

Any assistance provided is appreciated.

We've given the mysterious syllables some thought. In a Malay dialect they seem to suggest "A worthless, sorrowful torch commensurate to the insignificant protection [afforded by] Shiva." Though we're officially stumped for the time being, consider this about the nature of words heard in dreams: "Though it may sound like a contradiction, the inner voice originates from a source outside us. There are many names for this source: God, Mother, Earth, the noosphere, the collective unconscious, Universal Spirit, and so on" (Hal Zina Bennett, The Lens of Perception, 1995).

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Discerning Beauty Beneath the Surface

Can a magic word unlock nature's deeper meaning?

In all things a song lies sleeping,
That keeps dreaming to be heard.
And the world will rise up singing,
If you find the magic word.
—Joseph von Eichendorff, qtd. in Darwinism and the Divine: Evolutionary Thought and Natural Theology by Alister E. McGrath

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

When Words Fail, Music Speaks

Mitch Traphagen turns to music when words fail him. He notes that "Music is magic. Words, however, are becoming a problem, I think. Words are failing. In my opinion there are simply too many of them."

Once Upon a Time

A line taken out of context, from our dictionary of magic words:

“The audience has come to the theatre to believe, to respond to the magical words, ‘Once upon a time.’”

Monday, November 21, 2011

Do we need a good reason to look at these bunnies peeking out of a magician's top hat? They are from Alfred Hitchcock's The Lady Vanishes. (Screen grab courtesy of DVDBeaver.)

Friday, November 18, 2011

We'll Change the Word to Sparkle

"You didn't use the magic word."
"Ben, please."
“That isn't the magic word. It's twink—”
“Don't say that.”
“Okay. We'll change the word to sparkle. Do you like that better?”
—Karen Toller Whittenburg, The Fifty-Cent Groom (2011)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Read, Aim, Fire

A line taken out of context, from our dictionary of magic words:

“‘Ready, aim, fire’ is [a] mantra.” —Howard Kaminsky and Alexandra Penney, Magic Words at Work (2004)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

22 (and counting) Definitions of Magic

Here are twenty-two (and counting) thought-provoking definitions of magic, curated by The Conjurer:


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Whether It Went Well or Not ...

Whether it went well or not, say the magic word.
—Binami Eva-Uku, The Power of Mistake (2011)

Sunday, November 6, 2011


The ancient Egyptian word transcribed as xeper, pronounced khefer, means "to come into being." "To know this word is to know that the ultimate responsibility for the evolution of your psyche is in your hands. It is the Word of freedom, ecstasy, fearful responsibility, and the root of all magic" (Don Webb, quoted in Stealing Fire from Heaven: The Rise of Modern Western Magic by Nevill Drury, 2011).

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Once an Open Sesame

A line taken out of context, from our dictionary of magic words:

“[S]eal (and otter) skins, once an open sesame to the teas and silks of China . . .” —Roy Nickerson, Sea Otters (1998)