Over on Postmodern Magic, there is a three part series about things that the blog author does not believe in--Atlantis and Secret Chiefs are the first two parts (as I write this, the third part is still forthcoming). Of course, this got me thinking about the things that I do not believe in, and I decided to also blog about three things that I do not believe in...because that is how the blogosphere rolls. Given that they chose to pick on Atlantis and the Secret Chiefs, I will pick something else to start off with.
(For the record, both Atlantis and the Unknown Secret Chiefs are high up on my list of disbelief...as they are commonly thought of in esoteric circles--go read the Postmodern Magic posts; they touch upon many of the problems that I have with the two subjects.)
One of the things that I disbelieve in is the idea that there is a primordial language out there which when you speak it, magic automatically happens.
Armanic, Hebrew, Ancient Egypt, bastardized Latin, have all at one time been thought to be a language that if you speak it, wonderful horrible things happen--walls bleed, worlds get created, Republicans burst into flames. The Enochian language of Doctor Dee is also a candidate, as well as certain esoteric forms of mathematics, for this "too dangerous to be revealed to the great unwashed" language.
Much of our time in esoteric circles and studies is involved in studying these mystery languages. If you are in the Outer Order of Golden Dawn, you spend time studying the Hebrew alphabet, which you are oathbound not to reveal to others (seriously, the Hebrew alphabet is actually oathbound in some GD circles to this very day). You also get to hear some Greek, some badly spoken Ancient Egyptian, and Enochian, as well as some Latin. In Inner Order, the RR et AC, you deal a lot with Enochian and Hebrew...not enough to order soup, but enough that one can make the occasional odd pun that no one understands.
The esoteric theory behind the Great Primordial Langauge of Magic, Light and Creation, is that it is the language of the gods, angels and ascended masters. At the beginning of the universe, some deity created the universe by uttering some magic words. Later, the same deity (often, but not always) created the art of writing. Over time, this pure language of creation got corrupted into the languages that we humans speak on a daily basis.
The important part is the idea that IF you could RESTORE the language to its precreation/creation/divine state, you can perform MIRACLES.
Think Harry Potter meets the Tetragrammaton.
Because of its awesome power, the primordial language must be guarded from those who are not yet ready to use it--aka everyone who has not paid you enourgh lodge and Order dues yet. Seriously, you would not want a Democrat to gain access to it, they might go around healing the poor for free.
And in esoteric circles, a lot of training goes into making sure that you are spiritually ready to learn the primordial language...because time spent paying lodge and Order dues are the purest form of tithing and spiritual development. Without the training, you could seriously hurt yourself using the primordial language.
Yet here is the thing to remember about the claim--secrecy reveals what it conceals, and conceals what it reveals--it is not the language that does the work; it is the training that you undergone to qualify to use the language that does the heavy lifting.
Of course, the fact that I do not believe that it is the secret esoterically guarded primordial language that is important is SHOCKING. And probably a form of Golden Dawn heresy. You can buy your pitchforks and flaming torches from several GD vendors if you want to form an angry horde and burn me at the stake (hey, I am Wiccan--I am allowed to make witchhunt jokes).
Here is the real secret to know if you see me use a primordial language of power in your presence to perform some bit of magic--what you are percieving is a mere one-seventh of what I am doing. It is not the language by itself that gives its power--it is the hidden six-sevenths that is happening elsewhere; six-sevenths that is only possible with a lot of occult training.
So the next time, you see me ignore someone's claims that they know magical words that automatically causes certain events to happen when uttered, and that one must be highly trained, developed and vetted to learn, just remember I do not believe that it is the language doing the work--rather it is the training and development that they are insisting that you do first...provided that they are actually training you and not just milking you for Order dues, which probably the thing that esoteric language most often gets used for.