I have never read much into the idea of magic, at least beyond skimming the Harry Potter novels, or at one point trying to conjure away my final exam in middle school. Nevertheless, as someone with a wide variety of interests, I was happy to get a chance to explore the concept of words, and their capacity to control the mind in a magical sense. This experience came in the form of reading the book Spellcaster by Sidney Prince, a text which presented the English language in a way I had never considered.
Central to the book’s premise is the notion that certain words and phrases in the English language are designed to have power over or cast a spell on the unthinking user. Early in the tome Prince presents the following section related to a standard phrase of greeting:
When a person says“Good Morning”, they mistakenly cast a spell of mourning on that person. The unspoken reality is that the person casting this spell is saying “Good Morning” with the insinuation that they themselves are feeling good to mourn.[…] The spelling of “Good Morning” tells you exactly what is actually happening. You are spelling your own mourning while reconditioning yourself to think that it is good, proper, or worst of all, normal.
This may seem like over-analysis to some, but it gets more interesting. He proceeds to break down the use of the term “wake” in the context of rising from bed. Prince suggests this is a reference towards the funerary term wake, again attaching negative connotations to a relatively mundane act of life. Similarly, he posits that the word “job” is taken from Hebrew origins referring to persecution, thus people will verbally celebrate their oppression as a duty in order to make a living.
Towards the end of the text, Sidney outlines how sentences can be constructed to “break the spell” placed upon people by their unknowing use of language. These methods permit the user to conquer their previous mental and spiritual subordination, but require a clear grasp of linguistic origins for specific words. In point, he incorporates a section detailing the meaning of terms in different languages.
As something entirely new to me conceptually, I found the book really fascinating. Would recommend checking it out, or viewing his YouTube channel here.