Root Words of “Dark” Magic

What is a Necromancer?

Essentially, this title and form of practice revolves around a relationship, exchange, control, or manipulation of the dead. When we break down the word, we are given two root words of proto-Indo-European origin, the first being nek- (to perish, disappear) and the second word méntis (thought, thinking, mind), giving us something like Nekméntis. From these two words, we form an archetype who can think or meditate upon the perished with clarity, someone who can access memory and knowledge from those who have “disappeared.” The Nekméntis is one who can ruminate on death to gain its’ answers and insights, one who can access layers and visions of the past.

What is a Witch?

Witches have been around for as long as humans have experienced the spirit world. The word has carried itself through time on the backs of different cultures and connotations. In Old English, we have the words wiċċe and wiċċa, meaning female and male seers, magicians, or sorcerers. In proto-Germanic, we have wikkô, meaning spellcaster, wizard, warlock, etc. These stem from an earlier proto-Indo-European pair of words wey (to contain, consecrate, separate, overcome) and weyk (to separate, choose). Here we can see the witch archetype as one who can separate things (in the way an alchemist, chemist, or scientist does), choose “ingredients” wisely based on necessity, and consecrate specific items using an array of techniques and formulas. The witch chooses and manipulates its’ own fate and the fates of those around it through prophecy, trance, and divination. It can instill great meaning and power into objects, materials, and places that it wants to sanctify. The witch also overcomes human “conditions” using sorcery, sacrifice, and methods of hallowing. In this sense, a prophetic, gnostic, and divine awareness must be embodied within those who we refer to as witches, as they must have true skill in making choices that alter the very fabric of the web of fate.

What is a Warlock?

Much of what encompasses a warlock is also embodied in the witch, it’s merely a preference of words in the modern age, as the “witch” has become associated mostly with women. However, our root words here differ and bring us an alternative view of a warlock as opposed to a mere mirror image or male incarnation of a witch. At the root we have two words of proto-Indo-European origin, the first weh₁- (true) and second lewgʰ- (to lie, tell a lie). At first this seems a bit strange, but, as most titles like this, we see a union or embracing of opposites, the creation of an oxymoron. It is safe to say that a warlock is not only a magician, but one who can manipulate the truth as he sees fit; a master of words who can manipulate minds for better or for worse.

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