Languages and Magick: Alphabets, Orders, and the Naming of Angels

Language and magick; there is so much I could write and ramble about this combination that it will take several posts. Names, linguistic drift, spoken languages, dead languages, when languages have power and why; every time I sit down to write or think about this I come up with more ideas.

For now I’m going to focus on alphabets and names. I recently finished updating my Genius Name Calculator (more on it in an upcoming post) and I know what you’re thinking “Kalagni, you’re already a genius and you already have a name, what do you need this calculator for?” That’s not what you were thinking? Could have humoured me at least…

What I’m referring to is what gets called the Angel of the Nativity and is often connected to the idea of your Genius or Daemon. Renaissance magick has a method of calculating the name of this spirit from your birth chart. If you’re interested you can find it in Agrippa’s Three Books of Occult Philosophy, Book III Chapter 26, or wait for my post with the calculator. Traditionally this is done in Hebrew, so I made my calculator in Hebrew. After all, it’s a magickal language isn’t it? I shared the calculator in this early form on an elist and people were appreciative, but asked for other languages. While Hebrew is traditional it isn’t uncommon to see this done in Greek and two different methods of doing it in English are popular too. Now for the rest of this post to matter you’re required to assume this method works, that you can find out a valid and workable Angel name from this process, so at least keep that idea in mind for now, if you assume the method has no validity than this is just a moot ramble.

So now you have one method, which you can substitute four different languages for and you end up with four different names. Using the time of this writing as an example the name of our Angel is Kavatzalah in Hebrew, Gochochopa in Greek, Xaqedije in English, or Majihats in another way of doing it in English. Which is correct? Are they all correct? Xaqedije sounds Enochian almost.Will any language work? I had someone ask for this in Sanskrit, which while representing a totally different culture, philosophy, and magickal system, I can’t give a reason why Sanskrit isn’t just as valid as Greek, Hebrew, or English. Especially as Sanskrit is also seen as a very magickal language.

Now one theory is that all of these are correct, loosely it is like brother, frère, frater, bruder, four words/names but one meaning. If that’s the case I can stop wondering, go home, and sleep soundly, it just means Kavatzalah is the Hebrew from of Majihats, simple. While I don’t deny the possibility of this answer it does seem a bit too easy to me and I don’t like that. (I tend to make life difficult by rejecting the simple initially)

Do we make languages magickal? I’ll touch on this in a later post, but the two most common languages for this process are Hebrew and Greek, languages that the magickians who used this system didn’t speak natively and associated with the magickal traditions they studied. Is it their investment in the magickal tradition of the Jews and Greeks that make these the languages magickal to use rather than English, German, or French? So is it the case that Greek and Hebrew aren’t inherently magickal, but the amount of time, both personally and historically, spent investing the languages with magick give them power?

With both Hebrew and Greek the alphabets are used in order when doing the calculations, yet both English methods don’t use the alphabetical order. Is that because English is too mundane and everyday to us as it is and requires some mystery added to it to become workable? (While the 26 letters of English and the order we have now is actually from the last two-hundred years most of the alphabet existed in roughly the same order before then, so I doubt that’s a factor) Perhaps it is something about our religious upbringing or ancestors, the languages important to our religion (in the Christian age of Europe that would be Greek, Hebrew, and Latin) or what our ancestors (however you view that) spoke, that this connection gave them the magick.

I don’t know, sorry if folks reading thought I might have a conclusion. I alternate between all languages are valid and there is something that makes one language more valid than the rest, but I don’t know if that language is always more valid or if it is personal. Perhaps Tibetan would work best for me, but Greek better for a friend and Enochian for another? Maybe the language doesn’t matter, but it is the process and effort that gives strength and reality to the Angel of the Nativity? The effort and process matters more than the tools? I don’t know, but I’d love to get thoughts on this. Hopefully in time I’ll have a follow up, as I’m strongly suspecting some friends are going to get roped into an experiment with this. I see myself distributing a bunch of Angel Names (and fake names) in my future.


5 Responses to Languages and Magick: Alphabets, Orders, and the Naming of Angels

  1. Ars Mysteriorum says:

    In the case of what makes a language more ‘valid’ than another, one merely needs to look to the world for a sensible response.

    In France, French is a safe choice for communication; in Germany, German; in Spain, Spanish, etc.

    I suggest you cast out of your mind the notion of ‘investing magick’ into languages and replace it with the idea of ‘investing meaning’.

    Hebrew and Greek have been tailored over the centuries for communication with daemons and invested with symbolism and ideas that incorporate the philosophy and religion of ancient Greece and the oldest notions of the one God, the Logos, and the pyr technikon.

    You can use whatever language you like in your practice, just as much as you can use any language you like at any given moment while abroad in the world.

    It is simply logical to speak the language filled with sounds and symbols the one you are communicating to will understand.

    But, surely, higher beings can understand any language? My answer would be of course. However, the grimoires take great pains to underline the respectful behavior of one who is inviting an honored guest into his house with decor, perfumes, and colors to communicate your welcoming.

    To invite someone into your house and refuse to speak the languages they are most familiar with does not communicate a welcome atmosphere to anyone.

    Magic is an interaction of logic and physics wherein the mind takes part. It is not the realm of the mind to arbitrarily or weakly define the subtleties of physics with poor logic.

    • Kalagni says:

      To reveal my background, when I say investing magick into language it can and does include spiritual connection, ‘energy’, and information and meaning. I tend to meta-model, but I realize not everyone does, so sometimes partial idea is transmitted.

      While I see where you’re going, your last section touches on an issue of scope. You mention the languages they are most familiar with, and I find that…troublesome almost. Assuming the Angel of the Nativity is valid, everyone has them, and there may be other ways of reaching them, or learning their names. Why would your AotN be more familiar with Greek/Hebrew if you’re not, and considering how little of the world geographically and temporally have spoken the language. (Not leaving Earth for this one) So I get where you’re going, and I see how meaning and tradition builds up languages for this, but the idea of it being their most familiar, or favoured is one I don’t know if I can fully support.

      I can understand communication and languages of respect (which I’ll touch on in another extension of this) but language/alphabet in the process of discerning the name, I don’t know if it follows that same pattern. I feel like there are too many positions of logic and philosophy to take to come to a proper answer without experimenting; which I believe is one of the best tools in the magickians arsenals.

      • Ars Mysteriorum says:

        Interesting. Allow me to share my background as grounded in the ancient philosophers. In Stoic physics, the presence of the pyr technikon, or the Logos, in nature is implicit and need not be underlined. Furthermore, if one reads Empedocles notion of a cosmos where the interconvertibility of the elements (and thus the world we experience) is the result of the interplay between Love and Strife, one can begin to see a grand and multi-faceted duality that is present in the grimoires. The fervent orations, the intricate decor, the carefully composed perfumes are all Striving for an act of Love. Thus, there is no hard and fast ‘how to’ in successfully inviting one’s daemon (hence why it has not become a scientific truth through repeated experimentation bearing the same results). It is a matter of Striving.

        The point here is that you have the means to Strive at your fingertips: a deeper understanding of the history and tradition of the rituals you are enacting.

        I wonder if you’ve read Marsilio Ficino’s *Three Books on Life*. Ficino bases his unique Hermetic Christianity with much the same theological magic as the Greek Neoplatonists he revered.

        If you have not read the *Three Books*, I suggest you visit Book III, Chapter XXIII. You will find that the very operation you are performing is quite Greek. Let us eschew the simplified analogy of addressing the angel in the language it ‘best knows’. Instead, the language is the one that enfolds the most correspondences to the divine elements of nature as illustrated through tradition, and thus human experience in regards to its interactions with higher beings.

        Ficino was also quite taken with the Orphic Hymns and his musical magic bore great astrological meaning, as illustrated here:

        In understanding is where experimentation comes in. What further meaning can be injected through the application of Hebrew and the many facets of the Kabbalah? What perfumes and colors best suit your *almuten figuris*? What paints best serve to transmit the color? And what about a Liber Spirituum as outlined in the Fourth Book of Occult Philosophy?

        Perhaps most interesting of all, what viable scientific research can be applied to deepen the understanding of the procedures you are enacting? Aether theories? Radionics? ELF radiation? Conductivity? Dream telepathy?

        In interacting with Nature and the divinity inherent within it, the goal is to Strive to form a clear communication that combines all of the senses to their fullest degree. It is long and hard work, but if it wasn’t, why wouldn’t there be more clear accounts of success in attempting to invite the full manifestation of a physical entity into one’s living space?

        • Kalagni says:

          You’re one of several people in the last while to recommend Ficino to me; apparently some of my recent revelations are very much in line with his cosmology. I just wish all the recommendations came before I spent my book budget for the month.

          The notion of Striving, as you put it, I agree with, but again I feel we’re starting with slightly different base assumptions on what that can and does mean and include. Though perhaps it’s more that the method of Striving is, as you mentioned, not hard and fast, so it can take different forms with others.

          As for the enfolding of information and correspondences with language, I agree, but that is the problem. In a Western sense Greek and Hebrew do an excellent job of it, but does one do it better or make it more appropriate for the calculation of the name? In a non-occidental sense the same problem exists, most Western magickians don’t realize it, or see it as clearly but both Sanskrit and Tibetan have a wealth of associations and correspondences at least as rich as Hebrew and Greek.

          The rest of your ideas on including information from the Qabalah in the process of engaging the Angel of the Nativity, and the two realms of experimenting I find interesting and agree with, but they touch on stuff that is slated in a related post, and slightly off-topic here. My mental-grappling in this post is not about the complete process of establishing communication with the Angel of the Nativity, but is specifically about the importance and validity of languages in the process of calculating their names.

  2. […] years ago, but got lost in the shuffle. To refamiliarize yourself with my ramblings you can find Part One here and find Part Two […]

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