One of the more obscure pieces of trivia about Arcana is that the magical incantations used in the story, unlike those in fantasy novels such as the Harry Potter series, are written in an actual magical language that I use extensively in my own workings.
This is the Angelic language revealed to John Dee and Edward Kelley in the sixteenth century, commonly called Enochian by modern magicians. The story of how this language was received is quite remarkable in that it was revealed over the course of only a few days and has a grammar, syntax, and consistency that seem very difficult if not impossible to make up on the fly. Since the magical power of the Guild is said to be based on the lost grimoire of John Dee in the story, it seemed appropriate to use the Angelic language when composing the incantations. Furthermore I’m convinced that the methods I employed in doing so should constitute a valid magical method, though I have yet to do a full series of ritual experiments to test its effectiveness.
“Barbarous tongues” have a long history in ceremonial magick and serve a purpose similar to the sigilization methods used in chaos magick. When casting a spell you need to keep the object of the spell in mind, but at the same time you can’t be thinking about it too hard or the spell will fail. Translating your intent into an unfamiliar language helps you to hold the intent in your mind lightly. You know what the phrase you are using means because you translated it prior to casting the spell, but as the words themselves are unfamiliar you can concentrate on setting the spell in motion rather than the distracting associations that tend to be triggered when using a phrase in your native tongue. An unfamiliar language also helps to put in you in the right frame of mind for working magick, particularly if you use that language in most of your magical operations. In this capacity a magical language works in a similar manner to having a specific piece of clothing that you wear or a specific tool that you wield when performing ritual work.
Of course, the incantation by itself is not enough. Hollywood takes its cues from fantasy novels in which the words themselves hold magical power. In real life, though, the words are only forms and must be given life by the magician. At the very least, effective use of this method depends up the opening of an operant field on a daily basis through the regular practice of the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram followed by the Lesser Invoking Ritual of the Hexagram or some similar method. This technique merges the psychological (microcosm) and physical (macrocosm) worlds and thus facilitates the translation of thoughts into influences that act upon the physical world. New Age teachings like “The Secret” are based on this idea, but they make the mistake of separating directed thought from the magical methods that allow it to work and at the same time treat the method as omnipotent. It is a correct magical statement to say that thoughts can influence the world, but it is profoundly incorrect to therefore conclude that your thoughts completely determine every aspect of the events that you experience.
In Arcana, one of the first things I needed to work out was how I was going to represent the two basic functions of magick, invoking and banishing. The Angelic vocabulary is drawn from the Angelic Keys, nineteen relatively short conjurations written in the language. As a result, there are often cases when the words simply don’t exist to precisely express a particular idea. I settled upon YOLCAM (bring forth) for invoking or evoking forces and ADRPAN (cast down) for banishing. As a result most of the incantations beging with one of those two words. In the simplest case, the incantation winds up being only two words – YOLCAM or ADRPAN followed by a noun representing what is to be brought forth or cast down. For example, in the Prelude, the death spell used by the Demon Balzador is of this type. TELOCH is the Angelic word for death, so the spell YOLCAM TELOCH translates as (bring forth) (death). However, a number of the incantations in the story have more complex intents and are therefore longer.
The following list shows all of the incantations used in the story by chapter, their translations, and their uses. Capital letters show the text in the Angelic alphabet, while lower case letters show sounds that are inserted when the words are pronounced. As I use the traditional Dee pronunciation rather than the more cumbersome Golden Dawn method, there are relatively few of these since most of the text is pronounced as written.
TELOCVOVIM – (death) + (dragon): A title of Coronzon, “that mighty devil.”
CORONZON, ZACARe CA OD ZAMRAN, ODO CICLE QAA, ZORGE LAP ZIRDO NOCO VOVIN, HOATH
DRILP – Coronzon, (move) (therefore) (and) (show yourself), (open) (the mysteries) (of your creation) (be friendly unto me) (for) (I am) (the servant) (of the dragon), (the true worshipper) (of vexation): Conjuration for Coronzon.
YOLCAM TELOCH – (Bring forth) (death): Death spell.
YOLCAM DRILP – (Bring forth) (vexation): General curse.
I. The Magician
The dagger enchantment ritual in this chapter is closest thing to a full practical magical ceremony shown in the book, and the instructions are such that I’m convinced they could be used to enchant a magical tool quite effectively.
YOLCAM LONSHI PIR – (Bring forth) (the power) (of light): General purification.
YOLCAM IALPRG IAIDA – (Bring forth) (the burning flames) (of the highest): General consecration.
BYNEPOR OD BUTMONO – Bynepor (and) Butmono, the King and Prince attributed to Thursday, ruled by Jupiter, in John Dee’s Heptarchia Mystica.
BNAPSEN OD BRALGES – Bnapsen (and) Bralges, the King and Prince attributed to Saturday, ruled by Saturn, in the Heptarchia Mystica.
YOLCAM LONSHI TOX – (Bring forth) (the power) (of them): TOX is a general possessive and alludes to the King and Prince. It can also mean (of him) or (of her) depending on the context.
ZACARe CA OD ZAMRAN, ODO CICLE QAA, ZORGE, LAP ZIRDO NOCO MAD, HOATH IAIDA – (Move) (therefore) (and) (show yourselves), (open) (the mysteries) (of your creation), (be friendly unto me), (for) (I am) (the servant) (of the same your God), (the true worshipper) (of the highest): General conjuration refering to the aforementioned Kings and Princes. Similar language is used throughout the Angelic Keys and for the conjuration of particular entities in the novel.
XII. The Hanged Man
The battle between the Guildmaster and Balzador features several incantations used together to summon forces hostile to demonic entities. If I were putting together an exorcism ritual I might very well use these phrases or something similar.
ADRPAN LONSHI – (Cast down) (power): General banishing.
ADRPAN LONSHI VOVINA – (Cast down) (the power) (of the dragon): Banishing specific to demonic magick. “Dragon” in Angelic is a gloss for Coronzon.
YOLCAM OLPIRT IAIDA – (Bring forth) (the light) (of the highest): Conjuration of the divine light, used by the Guildmaster against Balzador’s demonic nature.
MAD, ZACARe OD ADRPAN BALZADOR, HOATH DRILP – (God), (move) (and) (cast down) Balzador, (the true worshipper) (of vexation). MAD is the highest name for God in the Enochian system.
YOLCAM EHNuB ROR – (Bring forth) (the spirit) (of the Sun): Used in conjunction with the Rose Cross Ritual, which is attributed to the sphere of the Sun (Tiphareth) in the Qabalah. In the Golden Dawn tradition the Rose Cross ritual can be used for magical invisibility as it is here.
The Guildmaster Installation Ceremony in this chapter summons the four Kings of the directions, referred to as the elemental kings in the Golden Dawn system. They are more properly directional, however – it is clear from Dee’s conjurations that their elemental attributions are secondary.
BATAIVAH, BOGPA RAAS, YOLCAM LONSHI DOOAIP ORO IBAN AOZodPI – Bataivah, (you who dwell) (in the east), (bring forth) (your power) (in the name of) Oro Ibah Aozodpi: Conjuration of Bataivah, the King of the East. Oro, Ibah, and Aozodpi are the three names of God associated with the eastern quadrant of Dee and Kelley’s 1587 Tabula Recensa.
RAAGIOSaL, BOGPA BABAGE, YOLCAM LONSHI DOOAIP MeHPeH ARSaL GAIOL – Raagiosal, (you who dwell) (in the south), (bring forth) (your power) (in the name of) Mehpeh Arsal Gaiol: Conjuration of Raagiosal, the Kind of the South. Mepeh, Arsal, and Gaiol are the three names of God associated with the southern quadrant of the Tabula Recensa.
EDaLPeRNAA, BOGPA SOBOLN, YOLCAM LONSHI DOOAIP OIP TEAA PeDOCE – Edalpernaa, (you who dwell) (in the west), (bring forth) (your power) (in the name of) Oip Teaa Pedoce: Conjuration of Edalpernaa, the Kind of the West. Oip, Teaa, and Pedoce are the three names of God associated with the western quadrant of the Tabula Recensa.
ICZodHIHAL, BOGPA LUCAL, YOLCAM LONSHI DOOAIP MOR DIAL HeCTGA – Iczodhihal, (you who dwell) (in the north), (bring forth) (your power) (in the name of) Mor Dial Hectga: Conjuration of Iczodhihal, the King of the North. Mor, Dial, and Hectga are the three names of God attributed to the northern quadrant of the Tabula Recensa.
DOOAIP MAD, ZACARe CA OD ZAMRAN! ODO CICLE QAA! ZORGE, LAP ZIRDO HOATH IAIDA – (In the name of) (God), (move) (therefore) (and) (show yourself)! (Open) (the mysteries) (of your creation)! (Be friendly unto me), (for) (I am) (the true worshipper) (of the highest): Final conjuration of the four Kings.
XIV. Art, or Temperance
Michael’s ritual to call upon the former Archon Araziel evokes the Angels of Transportation to summon a spirit from the astral plane. It’s an innovative use of those particular Angels that struck me as interesting while I was writing the chapter, but so far I have yet to try it out.
ARAZIAL, ZACARe CA OD ZAMRAN! ODO CICLE QAA! ZORGE, LAP ZIRDO NOCO MAD, HOATH IAIDA – Araziel, (move) (therefore) (and show yourself)! (Open) (the mysteries) (of your creation)! (Be friendly unto me), (for) (I am) (the servant) (of the same your God), (the true worshipper) (of the highest): Conjuration for Araziel.
XV. The Devil
Following Balzador’s binding spell the use of incantations in the novel drops off. This is because with magick bound the Guild magicians can’t use spells whereas Balzador can cast them at will without words or gestures.
YOLCAM GMICALZ VOVINA LANSH – (Bring forth) (the power and presence) (of the Dragon) (in power exalted): This is the conclusion of the spell to bind the world’s magick into Balzador’s demonic consciousness. GMICALZ is a more spiritual term for power than LONSH and LONSHI, which are used as the term for power elsewhere in the book. LANSH is “power exalted.” The use of both these terms signifies the nature of the binding spell itself, which harnesses all the world’s magick.
XVIII. The Moon
ADRPAN COMSELaH MADRIAX – (Cast down) (the circle) of (the heavens): In this chapter Balzador repeats the last line of his spell from the Prelude to reconnect with the magical vortex that he used to summon Coronzon.
Hopefully this provides a good overview of some of the real magick that is woven into the story of Arcana and also gives some suggestions to those of you who are practitioners regarding the use of the Angelic language in rituals. I’ve used the Enochian magical system for many years and find it to be quite powerful and effective for producing practical, real world results.