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Law of Words
For example, many, especially Catholics, are just as overwhelmed by the Pope as ancient people were of the village witch doctor or sorcerer. They believe him to be holy and possess a higher power which illustrates the Pope or witch doctor only possess the power which people give them. If their authority was not recognized by the people their power would be worthless.
In the above example the Pope who is widely recognized is given respect. But, the reverse can also be true, strange and mysterious words can effect people differently. The word "abracadabra" can have a great effect on some people, especially those uneducated or who believe in magic, particularly when it is spoken by someone they respect. The word "abracadabra" has no meaning by itself; however, its significance comes from its mysteriousness to the listeners and the authority of the one saying it. It the listeners have little or no regard for either the word or the speaker then "abracadabra" loses all effect on the audience.
The power of the sound of words is demonstrated in chanting which was used by ancient peoples as it is by Neo-pagans. Chanting is the repetition of words and sounds which usually are meaningful to the ones chanting them. It is employed in religious, ceremonial and magical rites. Chanting, often combined with dancing, drumming, rattling and hand-clapping is generally performed to alter the consciousness and raise power.
(See The Laws of Magic.) A.G.H.