The Witchcraft of Grammar

Although you may be a skeptic concerning the occult, the history of grammar offers a clue to the very real power of magical symbols and words. The word ‘grammar’ has its roots in the Latin words ‘grammatica’ and ‘gramma’ which mean a written mark or letter. When the word arrived in English in the14th century, a new word emerged alongside it: ‘grammary’, meaning occult learning and necromancy. This led to the word ‘glamour’ which originally meant ‘enchantment’ or ‘spell’. Devils and wizards were said to ‘cast the glamour’. In medieval Europe, the word ‘grammar’ was often used to talk about the study of the occult. This history acknowledges the very real power that words and marks have to alter the world. What is the nature of this magical power?


In medieval Europe, the power of words and symbols was much more evident than it is today. This was not just the power to express authority and demand allegiance. People who could read and write were an elite group who had a unique ability to make sense of the world and to make reality appear, literally, in new and unique ways. Because our world is now saturated with symbols, words, and language, it is difficult to imagine the power that words had to make things appear. But in an undereducated world without a formalized language, the introduction of new words, and the new concepts they conveyed, had the power to change how one perceived the world. Like a Gestalt-image suddenly becoming visible, a new word or concept crystallizes the world in a new way and creates a new reality.


Although a new word can crystallize a new reality quite suddenly, words can also have a slower, sometimes insidious ‘effect of truth’ in the sense that people will so consistently act on an idea conveyed by a word that it becomes true over time. For example, a child is born with a sign or mark upon its body and is rumored by a superstitious community to be possessed by a demon. The child is shunned, disrespected, unloved and thereby becomes demonized over time. Because of the expectations created by the mark, she comes to be possessed. The mark or ‘gramma’ creates its own reality. Today we still see this power at work when child is labeled, now with a word rather than a mark, is subtly ostracized, and is then gradually criminalized or psychiatrized. The label creates its own reality.


This is the magical power of symbols and words. Words simplify and reify a complex, ambiguous reality. The left-brain latches on to words and word-patterns as conceptual short cuts and the right-brain then navigates the world via these labels and short cuts. Words create a reality through a habitual pattern of labeling and conceptualizing.


We have been able to recognize and mitigate this power, simply by becoming aware of the potentially insidious power of words and labels. However, we have not yet noticed the insidious spell that grammar – the structure of language -- has cast over our lives. Grammar has created a reality for us, not by labeling, but by schematizing reality in terms of the subject-verb-object structure through which we communicate. We perceive and navigate reality through this self-isolating, subject-object grammar. The holism of existence has crystallized, Gestalt-like, into disconnected subjects and objects acting upon one another. Reality is now experienced as discrete subjects and objects that are only contingently and causally related to one another.


This grammar of isolated subjects has cast a very specific ‘glamour’ over reality. Our sense of self was once very different than it is today. Language originally reinforced a holistic sense of community, binding us together. We understood our place in the world first and foremost in terms of our community, our home, our family, and our Gods. That was, literally, who we were. Only secondarily, and only as part of a greater whole, did we think of ourselves as individuals. Now, thanks to the ‘glamour’ of grammar, we have become independent, isolated subjects navigating a world of disconnected things. The grammar of separation and analysis has created a world of isolation. We have lost sight of the Divine interconnectedness of reality. It is the spell of grammar that we must break if we are to see reality as it -- as one.

About the Author:

My name is Gus Stiver. I research and write on the topics of Mary Magdalene, the Divine Feminine, and the mystery of Rennes-le-Chateau. Everything I know about metaphysics and spirituality I learned from my dealings with the Priory of Sion.

Contact: gus_stiver@hotmail.com

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Comment by Kathy Custren on March 20, 2017 at 2:31pm

Hi, Gus - when you place items here in the community and they are selected (as yours is) they are forwarded to the publishers, who slate them for the e-zine and/or full website. Yours is on track for one of the April editions, so 'stay tuned,' as they say. 

You can message me directly if you have any other questions. Happy Spring ~ Blessings! 

Comment by Gus Stiver on March 20, 2017 at 2:15pm
Hi Kathy, where and when might this mini-article be published? Thanks,
Gus
Comment by Kathy Custren on March 6, 2017 at 11:19pm

Okay then - email it is. Thanks for letting me know.

Comment by Gus Stiver on March 6, 2017 at 9:43pm
That's OK Kathy. It's not my main email account. I don't have website or FB page at this time. Gus.
Comment by Kathy Custren on March 6, 2017 at 9:08pm

Actually, Gus - we would not want to give out your email contact (and you may want to remove it from here on this post also, unless you don't mind people writing to you). Is there a website or Facebook page where people may get in touch? ~ Blessings! 

Comment by Kathy Custren on March 6, 2017 at 8:23am

Excellent - thank you, Gus. Enjoy the rest of your day ~ Blessings! 

Comment by Gus Stiver on March 6, 2017 at 8:17am

I'm having a difficult time editing the article. I managed to include bio and contact. Here is the abstract:

Abstract:

In this article, I briefly describe the very real power that words and language have to shape reality. I argue that our grammar has cast a spell on us so that we no longer perceive the interconnectedness of existence.

Thanks,

Gus

Comment by Kathy Custren on March 5, 2017 at 5:19pm

Hi, Gus - I refreshed my screen, but I think part of your changes did not make it when you updated. Could you please check near the bottom? The bio cuts off. Thanks!

Comment by Gus Stiver on March 5, 2017 at 3:26pm

OK, thanks Kathy. I have edited the article so that bio, abstract, and contact info are at the bottom of the article. Is that what you had in mind?

Gus

Comment by Kathy Custren on March 5, 2017 at 2:03pm

Hi, Gus - thank you for your interesting article. I would like to forward it to the publishers, as it does fall within our guidelines; however, your 60-word bio paragraph "About the Author" must be included with each submission, along with a link where readers might get in touch with you or find out more.

We are also asking that writers include an 80-word abstract summarizing the work. Kindly include that also. Once this has been updated to have your bio and abstract, let me know so it can be reviewed once more. Thank you very much ~ Blessings! 

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