It sounds like we need some kind of ancient word of wisdom? Abracadabra?
Dan Brown, The DaVinci Code (2003)
Today’s story is about Winnie and her cat Wilbur. They were full of winter, work, household chores, all the boring stuff that kept them prisoners. So Winnie decided to do something about it.
—I’m tired of everything! Winnie said. Wilbur came in through the cat flap. His feet were wet, and his whiskers were frozen. Wilburt was tired of everything too. Suddenly, Winnie had an idea. She stopped what she was doing, took her big book of spell and read it carefully.
… If intoned in the proper spirit, any word can be a magic word. In The Re-enchantment of Everyday Life ((1997), Thomas Moore notes that “ we may evoke the magic in words by their placement, rhyme, assonance, intonation, emphasis, and as James Hillman suggests, the historical context… Voilà! Was what Winnie needed: a magic word. Then she put on her woolly, her fluffy hat, her snows boots, her gloves, and her scarf. She piked up her wand and she went outside. Wilburd already had a fur coat on, so he went outside too. He thought something exciting might happen, and he wanted to watch.
Green Dragon BookStore.
There were so many choices of spells. So Winnie closed her eyes, turned her wand and grabbed the first thing she pointed out. CBeebies Bedtime Stories. It was not quite what she imagined, but decided to take it anyway, after all was choosing her wand.
So Winnie returned home, prepared a hot milk, poured into your soft bed and pressed play.
— Hello, my name is Richard. You know what magic words are? Magical words are a prism of the universe; they reflect, decompose, and recombine all its wonders. The sounds imitate colours, the colours merge into harmony. The rhyme, rich or strange, swift or lingering, is inspired by a poetic insight, that supreme beauty of art and triumph of genius which discovers in nature all secrets close to the human heart. Today we’ll learn about the magic word Abracadabra!
In spite of exhaustive inquiry, “the origin of Abracadabra is unknown, and most of the attempts made to translate or explain it are not impressive. Some scholars have suggested that the word originated with the Chaldeans of the old Babylonian period. The so-called Abracadabra texts of Babylonian contains mysterious incantations, some derived from other languages such as Old Elamite and subsequently incomprehensible.
Frequently cited as a possible source is the name Abraxis, the supreme being in Gnosticism, “the source of divine emanations from which all things were created.” Stones inscribed with abracadabra are called “abraxis stones “. One scholar of Greek Qabalah, Kieren Barry suggests that abracadabra is derived from the word Akrankanarba from Greek magical papyri dating from the second century BCE to the fifth century CE.
Already, David Yellin suggests a new explanation. He says: I think this formula was originally used by the Arabs, and probably by Arab Jews. It is a composition of three Arabic words, Abra cad abra which means: He (the patient) may be recovered, certainly, he may be recovered. The formula may be left as pure Arabic, and translated in this way: He (God) cure (the patient), certainly He may cure. The omission of the name of God in such expressions is quite usual in Arabic.
More popularly abracadabra is associated with a Hebrew-Aramaic expression, variously transliterated: ibra k’dibra (“I create through my speech), Abra kadavra (“I will create with words”). Scholar William Isaacs explains it way; “Abra comes from the Aramaic verb bra meaning to create. Ca translates to ‘as’ how. Dabra is the first person of the verb daber, ‘to speak’. “In other words, abracadabra, literally means ‘I create as I speak’ . Magic!
— So close your eyes, get up, count to ten,waved your wand five times and shouted Abracadabra! He said.
Then something magical happened! About Winnie’s house, the sun shone, the sky was very blue. All the snow had disappeared! No more winter home in Winnie. It was the summer sun. The magic word — merely pronounced by that magic with his baritone voice, created a turmoil, agitation, a rapid movement of ideas and emotions in Winnie, bringing another scene afloat.
Winnie was no longer the same! She regained her creativity and began to write, draw, made videos, told stories, created a blog, ventured into the world and met many friends. Until your work and all tasks that previously bothered to become more creative and less boring. Wilbur was happy too!
Magic words, to use colorful phraseology of Anaïs Nin, are like fugitives from a subtle world of fairy tales and dreams, “beyond the law of gravity and chaos. They comprise a mysterious language “which is shadowy and full of reverberations” and deep in meaning. They catch the essence of “what we pursue in the night drea, and which eludes us, the incident which evaporates as we awake.” They establish a sacred space where miracles can occur. And of course, they trigger transformations. Magic words immediately lead to action and transform reality. So what are you waiting for? Do not waste time. Stand up, turn your wand and shout, Abracadabra!
1. Valerie Thomas (Author), Korky Paul (Illustrator). 2006. Winnie in Winter, OUP Oxford; Reissue.
2. Craig Conley. 2008. Magic Words- A Dictionary. Red Wheel/ Weiser, LLC, San Francisco, CA.