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Using Latin incantations

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Forums -> Other Spells Discussion -> Using Latin incantations

Using Latin incantations
By:
Post # 1

I was wondering if anyone studies and/or is well-acquainted with Latin. If so, do any of you use Latin incantations in your spells? I have recently become very enamored with using Latin incantations, so much that I spent many hours studying Latin online just to be able to understand how to write it for my spells. It would be great to be able to discuss this with someone of a like mind!

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Re: Using Latin incantations
By:
Post # 2
Well I haven't learned any really; I keep meaning too, but my Latin is usually from google translate :P. I just type what I want and make sure it translates back the same
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Re: Using Latin incantations
By:
Post # 3

I studied Latin for about 6 years but I only really use it in magic when I can't come up with something in English or German :P I find it's much easier for me to understand Latin than it is to produce a Latin sentence because funnily enough, the school system assumes you'll be reading more Latin than you will be writing :P. I often have to double check declensions, conjuctions and grammar in general. I know enough to know that Google translate and about 95% of the "Latin" spells on here really should not be counted as Latin :P (Also, I know all the vocabulary to describe the sacking of a city or a battlefield. Ask me to decribe anything that doesn't involve swords and pillaging and I need to pull out my dictionary).

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Re: Using Latin incantations
By:
Post # 4

I have to agree with Quietstar, the Latin from the spells on here and on Google translate should never be classified as Latin. I mostly make use of Latin in my studies as I study law, but I actually really love using them in the craft. I mainly use verbs and words like "invoco" meaning 'I invoke', the Latin names for my deities and for the elements. I great in Latin and I bid them farewell in Latin. Here and there I will substitute an English word, with one of Latin, but its not as easy as everyone thinks. Latin takes time, you have to go double check the endings, you have to be sure which verbs take a prolative infinitive and which take the dative case. It truly is easier to say something like "The farmer praised the queen" than it is to say something like "This is my will, so mote it". So I don't do my entire spell/ritual in Latin, but I use some Latin :)

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Re: Using Latin incantations
By: / Novice
Post # 5

Random thought: I've seen Latin used a lot in Roman reconstructed religion when serving the Gods.

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Re: Using Latin incantations
By:
Post # 6
From personal experience - and from other people's personal experiences - Google Translate is not at all good for formulating CORRECT Latin sentences. I would only really ever use to find a specific word or verb that I needed to use, but mostly I would utilize the Latin Wiki site. Yes, Latin is very difficult in terms of all of the cases, declensions, sentence structure (which I find is THE MOST DIFFICULT part about Latin, because it's so all over the place!), among other things in Latin that are just downright hard to work with.
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Re: Using Latin incantations
By: / Knowledgeable
Post # 7
I suggest Wheelock's Latin workbooks and textbooks. It's what I used in high school and I absolutely loved it! It made such an impression with me that just a few years ago I purchased the books again so that I could sharpen my memory on it and have it for my kids if they become interested in the language.

I do not regularly use latin incantation besides a few very old ones, but I find it useful for amulets and talismans. The language is amazing but it is very complicated.
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Re: Using Latin incantations
By:
Post # 8
I don't understand Latin but I've encountered many incantations in Latin. I was wondering why is that so? I'm also planning to study a little Latin so that I can cast spells in Latin language.
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Re: Using Latin incantations
By: / Novice
Post # 9
The reason Latin seems to be so connected with magic is a hold-over from the Medieval Europe. With the invasion of Christianity, many older traditions were mixed with the newer, and so some traditional practices were blended with that of Catholicism (the emaciated remains of the Roman Empire, seeking any influence it could to be active and in control, only less overtly so).

What people saw in church services was somewhat similar to what they saw in their older traditions: praying to god(s), petitioning saints (spirits of the dead) and angels, commanding demons, treating and praying over the sick ad injured, and the like. Since many aspects -- especially from a mystic standpoint -- were so similar, it was almost natural that things would eventually combine.

With the invasion of post-Roman culture came mandate for more 'proper' language. For example, French was the official language in England for a long time, leaving the older tongues to be considered profane, rude, improper (and why basically all dirty words in English are rooted in the old English rather than in the Latin or French). Even moreso, the church mandated all its rites be conducted in Latin -- which was different again from the language of the courts.

The different language became associated with spiritual workings, and thanks to the blending of cultures, with magic in general especially in western Europe, specifically in England. This association has lasted over 500 years. To date, many magic fictions will include magic words and spells which sound very Latin. The Harry Potter stories are a reflection of this.

Additionally, there were Jewish people in western Europe, and as history tells us, they carried along their long traditions of mysticism as well. Of course, they used Hebrew for both religious and mystical practices. This lent itself to the origin of some other more common 'magic word' types of phrases which have somehow clung to popular lore.

The Jewish people -- especially being vilified by the Church, blamed for the ones who killed Jesus and denying his messianic nature -- were reviled by the people, and deliberately taken advantage of. At the same time, they were feared for their mysticism, and therefore mocked. Hebrew was very different from both the older Germanic-based languages and from Latin, so often people would speak gibberish to mock Hebrew. Some of these terms have also remained in the culture as concepts associated with magic.

Some of these terms became attached to culture via fictions, some as tall tales. But they have remained nonetheless.

In a nutshell that is why Latin, and tangentially Hebrew and some gibberish popular terms have become to connected with modern concepts of fictional magic.
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