Chants are synonymous with witches and casting spells, and it’s no surprise why. Most witches love a good chant! This week’s challenge is a fun one because I also love a good chant. I have several that I love listening to and chanting along with, though I don’t often create my own.
One of the first chants I can remember learning was We All Come From The Goddess , mostly attributed to Z. Budapest. It has now been adapted into song more times than I can count, but the original still puts me in a witchy mood (even though I’m not Wiccan anymore).
We all come from the Goddess
And to Her we shall return
Like a drop of rain
Flowing to the ocean
There are alternate versus now that make up for the lack of God in her original chant. She is a Dianic Wiccan with a heavy focus on Goddess worship, often leaving out God in general. Some of the more masculine chants are listed here.
Hoof and Horn; Hoof and Horn
All that dies shall be reborn
Corn and Grain, Corn and Grain
All that falls shall rise again
We all come from the Sun God
And to Him we shall return
Like a ray of light
Reaching to eternity.
I have no idea when I found this particular chant, and I probably remember it wrong because it’s been so long, but this chant is one I found that helps to find a lost object.
Bounding binding, binding bound,
What is lost must be found.
Again, I have no clue where this chant came from. I have tried finding the original source but have had no luck. It might have come from a Scott Cunningham book, but I’m not sure.
This chant is another one that I’ve had in my mind for a long time. Unlike the other one, though, this one is easily found on Google and comes from the website Everything Under the Moon. This little chant is used when you’re cold to bring you warmth.
I am warm,
Warm as fire,
All the warmth,
Is my desire.
I have a few others that I listen to that are in song form that I’ll link here. I really like these when I’m driving in the car. They’re easy to chant along with and easy to remember. Plus if you use them before spellwork they can really put you in that witchy mood!
The Witches’ Reel by Kelliana
Stonehenge by Kelliana
Kelliana’s entire Walk with the Goddess album
Actually, you know what? Most of my favorite chants put to song are by Kelliana so I’ll just leave the one link here for you.
You know it wouldn’t be a post of mine without some sort of information on why things happen. There are not a lot of scientific studies done on why chanting can be beneficial, but there are two links down at the very bottom that may have some explanation. Rather than get too scientific, I want to tell you why I think chanting is beneficial within polytheism and witchcraft.
Most times what we imagine within witchcraft involves witches gathered around and chanting ancient spells (usually in Latin…) to get what they want. This image is not far off from what we actually do, but I think there is a very simple explanation for why we use chants and rhyming couplets for our spells.
Put simply, they are easy to remember! For example, if I were to say to you, “Ring around the rosie…”, chances are you could recite the rest of the nursery rhyme to me no matter how old you are. Rhymes are catchy and our brain easily holds on to them. They are also fairly easy to come up with! If you are trying to cast a spell and you don’t want to have a large piece of paper with you to remember your spell, the easiest way to commit it to memory is to repeat a rhyming chant.
There is also a section of the Rede of the Wiccae that says spells should be spoken in rhyme.
To bind the spell well every time, let the spell be said in rhyme.
Saying our spells in rhyming verses can also lead to more effective spellwork if we believe that the couplets and duality of rhymes affect our magic. Otherwise, I think rhyming spells are simply easy to commit to memory.
Another reason for chanting is for religious purposes. Chanting has been done in many different religions across the world for many different purposes.
Among a variety of religious activities, praying and chanting are quite common forms of practice in major religions including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism, etc. In Southeast Asia, chanting Amitābha Buddha is among the most common religious practices, and it dates back to Indian Buddhism1. Buddhist practitioners of the Pure Land School have integrated the chanting of the name of Amitābha throughout their daily activities. According to the religious beliefs of Pure Land practitioners, the consistent chanting of Amitābha is a mind-training technique that can “hamper conceptual proliferation, quiet the discursive mind and the elimination of one’s wanton grasping after the fleeting impressions of the senses”. Source - Frontiers in Psychology
Within my polytheistic practice, chanting is a way to change my state of consciousness and bring me closer to the Divine or my Higher Self. It is almost a form of trance or meditation. Chanting the words repeatedly gives me something to focus on and allows me to bring that focus on exactly what I want to connect with. Chanting can be used to give thanks, to pray, and to ask for protection. My religious chants aren’t ones that I tend to use repeatedly and I don’t have any to share here, but any prayer you use over and over can be a chant. As an example, the Hail Mary prayer in Catholocism.
Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, And blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us sinners, Now and at the hour of our death. Amen. Source - Rosary Center
When prayed in The Rosary, this becomes a chant and a method of being mindful and bringing attention to the specific situation you’re in and why you’re praying The Rosary.
Overall, I guess for me chanting is very personal. I can usually come up with a quick chant to repeat as needed. I will always remember, though, the first chants I ever learned and how they made me feel.
Continuing the discussion from Weekly Witchy CHALLENGE - Enchanting Chants