To understand or not to understand?

Hey all! In the last week I was researching a lot of stuff and I came to find 2 differing perspectives on chants/incantations in ritual work. I’ve seen these two when I started out too, but didn’t really think much of them - I tried to approach things and experiment most of the time.

  1. Don’t look up the meaning/translation for the chants you’re using. I’ve seen this mostly in chaos magick, where they say that this will bypass the psychic filter and it will be easier to “inseminate the subconscious with your will”.

  2. Understand both the ritual and the meaning of your chants fully, because “then it will work”.

I might have misunderstood these 2 perspectives, maybe not… but what do you guys think? Is it something that you have to find out for yourself, or is there some kind of consensus on them?


I’ll just add this to my questions: I know that you don’t have to fully understand everything about a ritual, it will still work - just look at how G.D. makes initiates practice LBRP for a year without telling them what it does or how it should feel.

IME, half the power in chanting is forced breathwork which puts you into a trancelike state.

Experiment and find what works for you. The former is my preference unless you are looking to deconstruct the latter and reform it into something that works for you.


Honestly both methods work for me, although I noticed that hymns and prayer-type rites work better when I know the meaning behind them. Some enns can’t be translated though, but they are used in a different context.

Knowing certain things can allow you to tap into energies hidden within the patterns that you normally couldn’t tap into, however its not a prerequisite in most cases unless you’re doing something that requires a very specific “string” of interpretations to work.

Thats one of the ways people try to encode their magic so it isn’t usable to the uninitiated.


@thatrandomguy Yes, I agree and that’s a really good way to put it!

Chaos Magic(k)
You design a sigil and a chant to go with it.
You memorise what the sigil means and what the chant is for.
You put seal and chant away.
When you pull your sigils out to work on these, if you remember what the sigil/chant is for, then pick another one. Your subconscious will remember the purpose of both.

If chanting to alter the morphic field, call in entities, etc., then it’s best to have some idea what the chant means.