Recent discussions elsewhere in the forums have led me here, with thoughts of spellcasting in my mind. Though we have more pressing matters to focus on most of the time, it is good to know that we have a place dedicated to other topics.
In particular, I’m theorizing about the fundamentals of spellcasting, and hoping to make progress on small incantations, enchantments, hexes, and the like.
Here are my thoughts on spells. Think of them also as an open invitation! Different perspectives, different understandings: these are the keys to unlocking the truth.
What constitutes a spell? It seems safe to assume that the relevant elements are the source of power. Even so, there needs to be a driving force behind the magiq. The incantation is what comes to mind immediately. The words that form the spell would reasonably be what makes it work, right? Additionally, the grounding spell used objects, as we’ve found, but that appears to be particular to that spell.
I theorize that, beyond simply the word and the energies, spells are cast by the intent of the caster. The force of will, the driving desire, is what I believe truly makes the spell work. It has been seen that some have cast spells before knowing of magiq to begin with. The Guide itself mentions “The Endless Night of Learning” as something that one may have unwittingly cast. How, then, could it be done if not for the burning passion for knowledge, that craving for another hour, another minute, to pore over a good book, to squeeze every last bit of value from each second?
Perhaps, then, creation of spells is easier than previously imagined. Perhaps this makes it harder, needing that true desire to accomplish a goal. And, perhaps most likely of all, I’m completely wrong.
I was gonna go make this topic, you beat me to it!!
Add your thoughts, though! This is a group effort, and I know the wonderful people here are up to the task.
Something interesting that occurs to me while listening to the Cagliostro trying to cast his spell. It mimics your point that it’s intent that matters and not the words.
I think we can all safely assume the original Ancient Egyptian spell was not written in English, but the Cagliostro translated it, and seems to be making it work. That means it’s not the actual words, or the sounds that trigger the magic, but the intention behind the sounds. Could you translate a spell into any language and make it work? What if a language lacks a word with the exact meaning you need? Could you cast a spell using say, American Sign Language and nothing verbal at all?
That brings up an even more interesting idea to me. The meaning behind words vary by culture, upbringing and understanding. What if say the word ‘force’ to me means ‘apply gentle pressure until it snaps into place’ while to you it means ‘Hit it with a hammer as hard as you can until it fits or is destroyed.’? Would us casting the same spell that uses the word ‘force’ have the same affects? And if I wanted to mimic the effect you got, would I need to change the wording for my personal outlook?
I believe asl would be a possible spellcasting as I’m sure Magi in history have been deaf and unable to use words verbally.
I see where you’re getting at @Robert however the Cagliostro perfected his translation, in fact we can see that in the several attempts that we have on audio. The closer he gets to the actual direct translation, the most effect it appears to have. However I also think that there’s something else to be aware when talking about spells. Which is whether you are more or less inclined to spellcasting from either a inherited trait or personal prowess.
Cags is also trying to summon some unsavory beings, so the scale is quite large for that spell. There could be a big difference between casting large spells with more finesse, precise wording, and even rituals required (the grounding spell shared in this aspect), but smaller spells could be like muscle memory almost. A flick of the will, as it were.
Do you think that spells have a sort of “monkeys paw” effect? That is you don’t say the right things or perhaps your will is not quite enough, that you get something either unexpected or half baked? To me it would make sense that magiq could give you some unfortunate consequences if you don’t do those complex or otherwise complicated spells right. Perhaps it is only true of certain spells?
My grandpa has a small collection of grimoires written in the last hundred years. One is a reproduction my grandpa made of a spellbook from the 15th century. A couple of the spells in the collection are duplicates, almost exact copies of each other, but the wording might vary slightly here, or there may be an ingredient added or missing there.
I think Robert brings up an interesting point that variance in understanding, context of words, or connotation might influence the spellcasting, but I think that the words and ingredients are meant to provide… I dunno, focus? A filter? We’ve all heard about what happens to those who never learn to channel their magiq or control it.
When I was in Marrakech, Morocco this summer, at Madrassa al’Sahra (NOT a place you want to go by yourself, ever, by the way. It’s not an actual school, it’s a damned black market in the old city), I did manage to wrangle up Said Burkani, a reaaaally old gent who I’m 99% sure would have been a Flinterforge.
He told me that, as a child, magiq-gifted children weren’t allowed - weren’t allowed - to SPEAK magic incantations. This was during a heavy period of discrimination, where anyone suspected of “witchcraft” was beheaded or worse. They weren’t allowed to so much as whisper the words of a spell, for fear of their lives.
Somehow, two generations of magiqusers survived that. And if you’ve heard of Said Burkani, he’s no slouch where magimystics are concerned. I’m actually fairly certain that that’s how he has lived so long. But that’s a whole other topic.
It’s totally here, I’m such a dummy. But your post is lovely and I’d seriously b e interested to hear more of these grimoires and of your travels!
I appreciate that! I actually have the whole interview with Burkani transcribed, if you’re interested. Moroccan Arabic (they claim it’s the closest dialect to Modern Standard - ha! Haha!) is a pain, but I was able to translate to English.
Most definitely! He sounds like quite the character.
I thought this may be useful, or at least enjoyable. My grandpa’s handwriting is terrible, but I’m trying to take it all down digitally. I don’t know when I’ll have to move again, and historically, it’s the things I am most worried about losing that go missing. Michel Sterne was a very interesting man, there’s a lot of material here to get through.
Grimoire of Michel Sterne - Concealment.docx (12.6 KB)
Magiq is willpower manifested in a tangible effect. The more wills focused on the same goal, the more powerful the effect. This is how the ancient pantheons came to be, by humans literally worshiping them into existence. The summoning of demons and other creatures is willing them into your presence, through divides that separate our realm from theirs.
I vote our next group activity definitely be the summoning of a demon army
Why does no one ever want to summon the demon gardening club?
We could do that but they might not be much use if we need to invade a small country
But if our goal is just to weed and maybe trim a small country?
Even collectively, I doubt anyone here has the strength to summon anything beyond a low level Spite, let alone a whole army. Not to mention the protections needed to safely do so.
Well, our problem now is that magiq for the rest of us who aren’t adepts requires about a half dozen people in cooperation to make a spell work. And even when we do, we all get sick afterwards.
If we tried something as large scale as that, we’d probably put ourselves into a coma, or worse.