Pagan Magic asked:
We've all heard the phrase 'The pen is mightier than the sword' - have you found this to be true yourself, and how important is it to use the correct words in magical rites?
Aleister Crowley frequently relied on the etymology or origins of words to interpret their real meaning (Source: Goetia pxx Editors Foreword) - nowadays a lot of words have different meanings to their original ones - how does this affect magical workings.
As a poet, of course I think words matter enormously, in both sound and meaning. The sound vibration (the music of the words) is important, so is the message the words are intended to convey and we'd best use the most accurate words we can find. (Which can be quite tricky in languages like English, with many nuances and shades of meaning, many ways of saying the same thing a little differently!) Hopefully sound and meaning work well together.
In energy work, intention is indeed paramount and it's true that a wordless burst of emotion will communicate powerfully to the Universe and bring about the desired outcome. Energy is always the first thing that communicates. In an emergency, a forceful yell of "Help!" directed to the Deity or to one's personal guardians, either aloud or mentally, is as powerful a spell of protection as anything more elaborate. However, we do use words for communication, and even the yell of "Help!" does that. It makes sense that the words should accurately reflect the intention.
If you're doing a working in your own language and have clarity and certainty about your intent, I think there is room to improvise your own words, whilst attempting to make them as clear as possible. If you're working with traditional words from another language, best try to get the pronunciation and if need be the spelling correct, or you'd risk sending the wrong mnessage.
On the other hand, a small mistake probably won't spoil the working. E.g. I guess everyone glossed over my typo above and read "message". (No, I didn't do it on purpoise, but it IS a good example!)
So is "purpoise".