I speak English (allegedly!), and have studied French, Spanish, Latin and Irish. Does it matter what language I use to cast spells as long as I am certain of the meaning of the words?
As long as you know what you’re saying, I don’t see why you couldn’t cast spells in another language.
In my experience any language works. Just some do not translate well so as long as you allow for that it’s fine
I agree with @Kasandra, as long as you know what you’re saying, go for it!
Language is a tool like any other human technology. Its purpose is to help us communicate between each other. Divinity or your Higher Self do not neccesarily speak or communicate in a specific tongue.
However, depending on the context, it can be argued that some words carry special powers, just like symbols of power. If you are working within a specific sacred system (such as using Hebrew words, Latin, Sanskrit, etc.) then you may want to use the right words as to avoid the loss of that inherent power in the translation.
Thank you, all, for responding! Know what you’re saying, make sure your intent translates, and be aware that certain words carry special power.
Undomeher, Goddess knows every language.
Without question! But to get the answer you want you have to ask the right question, to put it simply. Or maybe ask the right way is the better way to put it.
Very well said.
What a great question! And you are very talented for knowing so many languages, @Undomeher
As a fellow (somewhat lol) polyglot, I say absolutely feel free to cast in multiple languages! I agree with what Francisco said- that while language is powerful, at the end of the day it is just another witchy tool, a carrier for the magick that comes from within you.
I think of casting in different languages like using different wands or changing crystals- and that different spells or intentions may work better in different languages. As most folks who speak more than one language know, some words exist in one language but not in others. Heck, there are even emotions in Japanese that don’t exist in English! (For anyone curious, I’m talking about Wabi, Sabi, and Yuugen)
This is just a personal opinion, but I believe that if someone can properly contact a deity using the language that they are culturally tied to (for example, speaking Irish when contacting Celtic deities or Latin/Greek when contacting the old Roman/Greek pantheon) that this would be a sign of respect and devotion and may even help you to connect with them at a new level.
(Note that I am not saying that you have to or even should contact deities in any language other than your own- contacting deities goes much deeper than language and can be done with or without words)
This is a really interesting topic to think about- thank you, Undomeher, for bringing it up, and to everyone for sharing their thoughts!
Well, I’m late to this party because you’ve got yourself some wonderful answers!
Talented? Well, that’s kind! I study languages, but I’m only fluent in English, lol! So I completely understand what it means to be a Somewhat Polyglot! Thanks for your input!
I can only claim the same about myself- and some days I think even English is a struggle lol! But after putting in the class, book, and speaking time for a handful of different languages I know firsthand the effort and dedication that goes into language study, so I applaud you- from one polygot-in-training to another!
Wishing you continued blessed studies, @Undomeher! And if you come across any great language-learning resources or collections of spellwork in other languages, please feel free to share them here!
I studied French in high school and still have the books. I have several Irish courses including a book with cd’s, a free online pdf course, and some others.
But by far, the most useful language resource that I have come across has been Duolingo. It’s a free app and you can do as much or as little as you wish. I do about 10-20 minutes per day, usually during my morning cup of coffee. It has enabled me to learn quickly. If I have a complaint is that the course content is limited and does not expand in a timely manner. I finished the Latin course over a year ago, and now just practice it without learning any new material. So now I have started to turn to other sources, which are more effort and less fun. I have books written in Latin that I’d love to read!
If anyone has an interest in learning a language I recommend trying this app. Why pay for something only to find it’s not for you? Thanks for reading my TED talk, lol!
Thanks for the recommendation, @Undomeher! I can attest- Duolingo is fantastic and best of all, totally free! I’ve tried a few other apps but none have come close to Duolingo.
I hit a bit of a wall with it with Polish, as some of the abstract concepts weren’t really explained through the app, but it’s been a fantastic way to get extra practice in and build vocabulary outside of my language classes.
For all the reasons mentioned, I can also heartily recommend Duolingo for anyone hoping to pick up an extra language- whether their goal is spellcasting or just for chatting!
Have been working through Ray T. Malbrough’s book Charms Spells & Formulas (Llewellyn Publications, 2007) and found an awesome incense on page 112 titled Le Diable S’en Va Incense which is for removing negative thoughtforms from buildings. Can anyone translate the title of this incense please?
I believe it is French, meaning “The Devil goes away” or something similar. My French is very rusty!
@Undomeher thanks for the heads up on the title of this incense, hoped it would be something sensible like that. I will call name my own version of this incense as an exorcism one. Thanks again.
All I’ve got is Google Translate (never studied French myself!) and it says:
Not very helpful I know, apologies But it looks like Ron has come to the rescue with a much better interpretation for you
Sounds like a very interesting blend! May I ask what the recipe calls for, @summerlight?
That’s right. When you say s’en va, it’s going away. Je m’en vais. i’m leaving or I’m getting out of here. Le diable s’en va. = LOL the devil is getting the hell out.
Many magical terms have French origins (and French has both Germanic and Latin origins). Athame is a contemporary term that has its genesis in a French word that came from a Latin word meaning small knife. Tarot is also French and comes from the Italian word, tarocchi. Pentacle’s etymolgy is French, as well. Incense is old French from Latin. Enchant and charm are from the French. Spell and hex are Germanic, though! Wand is Norse. Crystal is Greek. Pendulum is Latin. Witch is Old English.