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? 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.