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Abracadabra

There is no doubt that many people have heard of the magic word Abracadabra. Many people have even heard that Abracadabra was once more than a magician’s parlor trick, hocus pocus word. If any one has done even a small amount of research to learn about the magic word; one may learn that the word has different etymological origins, ranging from hebrew to Armenia. No one is really sure though how it came to be. Abracadabra was actually written as a talisman of magical power. The talisman would be depicted as so

ABRACADABRA
ABRACADABR
ABRACADAB
ABRACADA
ABRACAD
ABRACA
ABRAC
ABRA
ABR
AB
A

It was believed that by writing the word in decreasing to increasing letters it would aid in the efficaciousness of the talisman. The talisman was said to be worn around the neck and it would help cure disease. This was originally stated by Serenus Samonicus a roman medical physician.

This same principal of talismanic magic was often applied with other words. Example the cure for the plague could be

PLAGUE
PLAGU
PLAG
PLA
PL
P

At the origin of this word it very well could of cured people of minor illnesses. If for no other reason than by use of its subconscious placebo effect. The process of the decreasing word would act as a signal to the subconscious; meaning that as the word decreases in size so too does the severity of the illness.

Museum curator and Egyptologist E.A. Wallis Budge had this to say about Abracadabra,

“… the formula is based upon something which is much older, and that in any case the idea of it is derived from an older source. Many attempts have been made to find a meaning for the formula, but the explanation put forward by Bischoff, Dr E, in his “Kabbalah” is the most likely to be correct. He derives the formula from the Chaldee words Abbada Ke Dabra, which seem to be addressed to something like the fever and to mean something like “perish like the word”. “

Now if we delve into some Occult base texts; further use of the incantation Abracadabra can be found in the Key of Solomon; in the conjuration of the sword.

“I conjure thee, O Sword, by these Names, ABRAHACH, ABRACH, ABRACADABRA, YODHE VAU HE, that thou serve me for a strength and defence in all Magical Operations, against all mine Enemies, visible and invisible.”

Here the word is used to give empowerment to the magician before final use of the tetragrammaton IHVH. It is perhaps the instances of these two things that may have inspired Aleister Crowley to adopt and change Abracdabra to his own word Abrahadabra.

Abrahadabra he said though was attained using kabbalistic meditations and exercises. Crowley said that Abrahadabra is the “establishment of the pillar or phallus of the Macrocosm…in the void of the Microcosm.” Crowley’s word made its debut appearance in the Book of Law in which he wrote on a trip to Egypt in 1904. The real reason for the change though is that the word supposedly represents the Chaldean for the goddess Set.

Even though Abracadabra in modern society now represents a gibberish word; it is quite apparent that there is more to the word than adding mood to a magician’s trick.

Reference:
* “The Key of Somolomon
* “-The Magus_” By Francis Barrett
* “The Book of Law” By Aleister Crowley
* “Making Talismans: Living entities of power
* “Three Books of Occult Philosophy

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