Dictionary of Ancient Magic Words and Spells: From Abraxas to Zoar (Hardcover)
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A comprehensive handbook of more than 1,000 magical words, phrases, symbols, and secret alphabets
• Explains the origins, derivatives, and practical usage of each word, phrase, and spell as well as how they can be combined for custom spells
• Based on the magical traditions of Europe, Greece, and Egypt and recently discovered one-of-a-kind grimoires from Scandinavia, France, and Germany
• Includes an in-depth exploration of secret magical alphabets, including those based on Hebrew letters, Kabbalistic symbols, astrological signs, and runes
From Abracadabra to the now famous spells of the Harry Potter series, magic words are no longer confined to the practices of pagans, alchemists, witches, and occultists. They have become part of the popular imagination of the Western world. Passed down from ancient Babylon, Egypt, and Greece, these words and the rituals surrounding them have survived through the millennia because they work. And as scholar Claude Lecouteux reveals, often the more impenetrable they seem, the more effective they are.
Analyzing more than 7,000 spells from the magical traditions of Europe as well as the magical papyri of the Greeks and recently discovered one-of-a-kind grimoires from Scandinavia, France, and Germany, Lecouteux has compiled a comprehensive dictionary of ancient magic words, phrases, and spells along with an in-depth exploration--the first in English--of secret magical alphabets, including those based on Hebrew letters, Kabbalistic symbols, astrological signs, and runes. Drawing upon thousands of medieval accounts and famous manuscripts such as the Heptameron of Peter Abano, the author examines the origins of each word or spell, offering detailed instructions on their successful use, whether for protection, love, wealth, or healing. He charts their evolution and derivations through the centuries, showing, for example, how spells that were once intended to put out fires evolved to protect people from witchcraft. He reveals the inherent versatility of magic words and how each sorcerer or witch had a set of stock phrases they would combine to build a custom spell for the magical need at hand.
Presenting a wealth of material on magical words, signs, and charms, both common and obscure, Lecouteux also explores the magical words and spells of ancient Scandinavia, the Hispano-Arabic magic of Spain before the Reconquista, the traditions passed down from ancient Egypt, and those that have stayed in use until the present day.
About the Author
Claude Lecouteux is a former professor of medieval literature and civilization at the Sorbonne. He is the author of numerous books on medieval and pagan afterlife beliefs and magic, including The Book of Grimoires, Dictionary of Ancient Magic Words and Spells, and The Tradition of Household Spirits. He lives in Paris.
"Lecouteux has analyzed more than 7000 spells from numerous magical traditions. We find spells for protection, love, wealth and healing, with a charted evolution showing how a spell can morph down through the centuries. Presenting a wealth of material on magical words, signs and charms, Lecouteux also explores the magical words and spells of ancient Scandinavia, the Hispano-Arabic magic of Spain, the ancient Egyptian traditions and customs that have stayed in use until the present day."
— The Witches’ Almanac, March 2016
“The anything-but-dry presentation by Lecouteux makes this book a must-add for someone curating careful resources for magic work. This belongs on a shelf between that favorite, oft-used herbal and that collection of favorite spells. The history, illustrations, and above all the words themselves beg for a reintroduction into living use--although, word of warning, few of them are actually rated as valid in Scrabble.”
— Facing North, Diana Rajchel, March 2016
"...the Dictionary of Ancient Magic Words and Spells is a useful and trustworthy reference work, rooted in academic scholarship that will prove of interest to both researcher and magical practitioner alike."
— Ross MacFarlane, Folklore Journal, UK