History of 'Abracadabra' in Witchcraft
Whilst Abracadabra is one of the most famous magickal words, its origins have been lost in the mists of time.
Many have tried to trace its roots but there is no evidence as to its exact origin. Some say it comes from the Aramaic language meaning ‘I create like the word’, whilst others believe it comes from the Hebrew ‘I create as I speak’. However, both can be seen to have the same meaning.
The Hebrew translation also fits into Kabbalistic notions that words have the power to create.
It was often written in triangular form and worn as an amulet in the 2nd century by malaria sufferers, presumably to ward off the disease.
Its first appearance in writing was in a book by Serenus Sammonicus, a physician at the Roman courts, also in the 2nd century.
Abracadabra has also been used as a magickal formula for summoning demons by Gnostics.
During the Middle Ages the word was recited to ward off evil spirits and witchcraft, each incantation of the word losing a letter at the end, until just the ‘a’ was pronounced.
In his journal of 1722, Daniel Defoe wrote of the word being used in amulets that were worn around the neck to ward off the plague or written on doorways during the plague.
During the 19th century, the word decline in us and is now largely used in entertainment.
Whether you use Abracadabra in your magickal practice is entirely an individual choice. Some believe that the magickal properties of a word can be used in chants and spells even if their meaning is not fully known, whilst others will not use a word whose origins cannot be guaranteed.