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.

Philosophy of Yoga

The term yoga is an ancient one deriving from Sanskrit, originally from a proto-Indo-Iranian word yáwgas (team, yoke) and even more archaic proto-Indo-European word yewg (to join, yoke, tie together). When the common westerner hears the word yoga, he/she is likely stricken by visions of skinny, stretching, robed monks, silently posturing in abstract positions. What many do not realize, however, is that yoga applies to many different techniques, practices, and traditions. Additionally, many people practice yoga without being conscious of it, as it is more associated with purpose and action than it is with pure movement. The technical definition of the word means “a spiritual practice or teaching that aims to master the body, mind, or spirit.” In this context, anyone with extreme mastery within these fields of life is a practitioner of yoga, as long as this practice is intended and directed towards the positive development of mind, body, or spirit.

One could say that some sort of belief in the divine must be associated with this practice, as material mastery and purely mechanical operations do not seem to qualify as yoga without a higher purpose which one practices yoga in honor of. Mastery without purpose is near worthless, and likewise, purpose without a form of mastery is fantasy.

The channels or techniques of yoga are endless in spectrum, as one can do many things, such as the classic forms of stretching and meditation we commonly associate with yoga and yogis. Martial arts, physical exercise, hiking, art, music, crafting, writing, and most forms of creative or conscious repetitive action are all forms of yoga. If the action is meant to help the operative transcend or control body and consciousness, then it is fair to say that it would fall under the loose definition of the word yoga. In a way, every act in life could be considered yoga, if applied to them sacred and divine context.  

Yoga, through a resurrection and travel through linguistic history, appears to have a common theme in joining together, bringing into union, or “yoking.” Through this union, which could very well be seen mirrored in the alchemical schools of the west, creates, manipulates, and masters man’s position in the cosmos. The yogi, through yoga, connects, joins, and unifies intention and purpose into an action. He translates physical movement into a metaphysical act of devotion. If we look at the linguistic “criteria” for yoga, thus far, we can safely say that if our chosen practice aids in our self-mastery, our path of ascension or dharma, then we successfully practice yoga. If you achieve mastery over your technique, this is what it means to be a yogi.