Chapter 25 The Magical Elements of Mysticism: Ritual Strategies for Encountering Divinity

In: Guide to the Study of Ancient Magic
Naomi Janowitz
Search for other papers by Naomi Janowitz in
Current site
Google Scholar

Purchase instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):



Investigating the overlap between “magic” and mysticism, this essay explores the ways that language can facilitate mystical experiences of ascent and divine transformation. In Greek tradition (Derveni Papyrus) words could have an immediate connection with divine beings. In early Jewish tradition (Qumran Sabbath hymns) liturgical descriptions assumed a transformative efficacy on the ritual environment. In multiple ancient traditions the pronunciation of divine names or voces magicae both invoked the divine being and transformed the speaker. And beyond pronunciation, some early mystical traditions (“Mithras Liturgy”) involved breaths, clicking and other oral sounds as part of a process of ascent.

  • Collapse
  • Expand


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 376 85 2
Full Text Views 45 6 1
PDF Views & Downloads 67 16 2