Pronunciation and Spelling FAQ

Q: Could your angel names be wrong? I’ve seen them spelt differently in my angel book and on the internet.

A: Everything is exactly as we have intended it to be. Angel names when rendered in English are always transliterations, and as such are open to wide interpretation. We have found that some transliterations are slightly more effective than others, even if they are not objectively correct or traditional. If you are familiar with Hebrew and wish to use your own pronunciation, that will work too.

Q: Why are the transliterations sometimes different from the Hebrew spellings? For example, Lavel reads as Laviah in Hebrew. Why not just say Laviah?

A: The answer is the same as above. If you read Hebrew and want to use it exactly as written, you can, but we have refined our system to use pronunciations that we believe work best for these angels. This is based on research, experimentation and direct contact with the angels.

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Q: What if I want to use the traditional Hebrew pronunciation, but can’t read Hebrew?

A: I can only say that there’s no need to use the traditional sounds, but if you want, the traditional pronunciations are found all over the net, in various forms. You’ll notice, however, that many pages suggest three or more different pronunciations for a single name, and many will be identical to ours. The rituals are Pronunciation Proof (see below).

Q: Some of the Hebrew letters appear to be wrong. Did you make a mistake?

A: In some cases you may just be using different source materials to us. In other cases, you may be looking at acronyms or other encodings which occur throughout occultism. In other cases, we use a technique known as smudging.

Smudging appears in a lot of our work. It is one of the fundamental secrets that empowers our magick. If you look at Gordon Winterfield’s book, for example, the same word appears in a sigil twice – and one spelling is correct, the other isn’t. There are many other examples across the books. The theory behind smudging is mostly secret, but one aspect that we’ve mentioned before is that if we deliberately reproduce a typo from an effective text (that was widely used at one time), or from a significant ancient talisman, that ‘error’ has power. In part it’s an egregoric effect, as though a new sub-archetype has been created through repeated use of something that is not quite technically correct. If you don’t like this approach, you are of course free to create your own sigil, but we believe these small ripples that have already been embedded in the standard order of magick can help to give you access to magickal power.

Q: There appears to be a missing Hebrew word. Is that a mistake?

A: In some cases there are vocalizations or words that do not appear visually in the sigil. This is all as it’s meant to be. (At other time, words that appear in Hebrew just once are read out more than once.)

Q: I googled the names of angels and spirits in your books but can’t find them, and they’re not in my angelic dictionaries. Why not?

A: The spirit names are derived from primary source materials. Such books are not readily available online, but must be accessed from private collections or in locations such as The British Library. Some of the angel names are well-known and appear in popular dictionaries and even on Wikipedia. Others, although they appear (sometimes with different transliteration) in some rare printed English texts, are relatively obscure outside of Hebrew literature. With sufficient research you may see the names we use occurring in occult literature.

Q: I’ve tried translating the words myself, using software, but it’s nonsense. Why?

A: See above. The names are rare and will not be recognised by software.

Q: Some of the symbols look like gibberish.

A: Angelic scripts are used throughout the books. Many of these can be located with sufficient research.

Q: Can you provide a translation for the Hebrew and Latin in all your books?

A: Although we could do this, it doesn’t help. (By using an unfamiliar language, you may even be more likely to get results, because it cuts out your judgment and interpretation of the words.) If knowing a translation affected results, we would write everything in English, but it does not. In many cases, the shapes of the Hebrew letters are considered magickal, so you do not need any knowledge of Hebrew. You only need to look at the letter shapes for them to work. Also, many words can’t be translated directly as they are angelic names, acronyms and other encodings. All Hebrew words are sounded out phonetically, so you only need to make the sounds and see the letter shapes to get results. (See the next question for more detail.)

Q: I’d really like to know exactly what’s written in all the talismans and sigils. Why won’t you translate it for us?

A: To do so would take several very large volumes and this theoretical background would not improve practical results. Some people feel uneasy using sigils when they don’t know what it is they are looking at. To elaborate a little, we can say that in Words of Power, you are saying a series of divine names and angelic names. These, when combined in this particular order, using the process described, bring about the required result. To give the history, origin and meaning of every name and word would potentially be interesting, but would also make the book very long and barely practical. As such, the information is omitted, for brevity and practicality.

A few people have asked about the exact content of the Master Talisman in Magickal Riches. This one is even more difficult to explain, because in some places the words are patterned encodings or acronyms. One small word may be an acronym for many other divine names, for example. To fully explain this would make for a long, dry text without any practical enhancement. There are thousands of names, encoded words and letter patterns across the books of The Gallery of Magick, and explaining them all would take well over a year, in a book that would appeal to a small handful of readers. As such, we have focused on the practical requirements for the magick to work.

There are already thousands of books on magickal theory in print, should you want to know more, and it is partly because these volumes are so impractical that we have streamlined the magick in our books, so that the material you need is at hand.

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Q: Will you produce audio to help with pronunciation?

A: No. Ninety-nine percent  of your focus should be on the other aspects of the ritual, such as the emotions, but most people put it the other way around. Producing audio puts more focus on pronunciation than there ever should be, so we have decided to produce no more audio. In our brief experiments we have also found that audio causes immediate panic in readers – when they hear something unexpected they assume they are doing the magick wrong. You can guarantee that when I say tomato, you say it a different way, unless you’re from a particular village in England. But a tomato is still a tomato. And the same is true of magickal pronunciation. Everybody says the words differently, which means audio has proven to be nothing more than an unnecessary layer of confusion and alarm.  If you can read English words out loud, then the words you read out loud from the book will work perfectly. Also, the books are Pronunciation Proof as the sigils and talismans encode the most important words visually, and all other words are open to such wide interpretation of pronunciation that you can’t actually get it wrong.

Q: What do you mean when you say the books are Pronunciation Proof?

There is great power in sounds, but because most rituals employ a visual scan of the letters, the exact pronunciation is not required. There is no judge sitting on high, admitting you to the world of magick when you get the correct pronunciation. Using these visual scans of the letters, and a vocalised sound, you will catch the attention of the appropriate spirit. As such, the books are Pronunciation Proof.

Q: Can you just print the traditional transliteration instead of the pronunciation guide?

A: Most people want to know how to say the words with some degree of accuracy, and transliteration is not sufficiently accurate or useful. Take a name such as El Adonai, a familiar Divine Name, which is formed with the Hebrew letters Aleph, Lamed, Aleph, Dalet, Nun and Yod. Although El Adonai is considered a transliteration of those letters, the truth is, a literal transliteration of the original Hebrew (where you substitute one letter for another), would actually give you Al Adni. Which isn’t much use to anybody. What people call transliteration is often an attempt to Anglicise a word. In other words, ‘transliteration’ is in itself a half-hearted pronunciation guide. So when you see El Adonai, for example, that’s somebody’s attempt to make it sound like English. The problem is that most people have no idea how to say El Adonai, so we write ELL-ADD-OH-NIGH, which is easier, if you take the time to sound out each syllable. It should also be noted that at least 80% of these Names and Words of Power have no traditional transliteration, as they rarely appear in English texts, so any ‘transliteration’ would have to be our own. So we may as well just provide our own pronunciation guide.

Q: Do these pronunciations only work for US speakers?

A: No. They are written mostly by people of British ancestry, but the pronunciation guides have been designed to work ideally for all US and UK speakers, but also for anybody who can read and speak English. If your native language is different, it may be more difficult for you to get relaxed with the words, but if you can read the English in the book itself, you will be able to read the pronunciation well enough to get it right.

Q: I can’t say the words of the ritual out loud, for reasons of privacy. Will it still work?

A: Yes, so long as you imagine the sound of the words clearly, and imagine that you are calling to the ends of the universe. If a ritual requires you to imagine one thing while saying another, simply perform these actions sequentially.

Q: Why are the pronunciations of the same words different in each book?

A: The pronunciations are largely consisted, but not always. Each book uses the pronunciation that was applied when that particular magick was first developed, or in some cases, the pronunciation that was found to work most effectively with that specific style of magick. If you wish to use a pronunciation from another book, or one that you consider to be more authentic, you can, but you can also be certain that what’s included in each book will work.

This page is only for questions relating to Pronunciation and Spelling.

Comments will be open from time to time. If they’re not open now, come back in a week or so.

Please read the FAQs all the way through before asking your question. It will take a while for your comment to be moderated and to appear on the site, and replies may take even longer. All questions (from late 2016 onward) are being answered by Adam Blackthorne as Damon Brand has moved on from here. If your question is too far off topic, too theoretical or too crazy, rude or weird, we may not publish it! This is just to make life easier for us. Always read the FAQs first!

9 thoughts on “Pronunciation and Spelling FAQ

    1. We consider it from time to time, but the main reason we don’t is that it will make people think that audio is essential. It just isn’t – get it nearly right by reading the book and you’ve got it exactly right. Putting out a CD would make people worry that the books are useless unless you buy audio. The review would start to say, ‘Great book, but you have to buy a CD.’ Which would be crazy!

      The only way to avoid that is to give it away free, which sounds good to me, but then we’d need to do it for all books and then we’re looking at a few hundred hours of recording, editing etc and it’s a big, expensive project. When we did a survey of readers, only 2% said they really wanted audio. But we did include audio for the Worldwide Ritual last year and it was well received. So maybe we will, sooner or later. But I’m pretty sure we’ll do it for free, if we do it at all.

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  1. Hello Damon, i was wondering if you help me with the pronunciation of the Angels of Omnipotence , not the ones you have already covered in your books but the rest of them , Bualu , Tabatlu, Tulatu, Ublisi, and Labusi . Thank you very much.

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    1. Sorry, but I’m afraid that, due to extreme time constraints (with so many questions being posted every day), we only have time to answer questions that relate to our practical magick. However, you may be able to work it out by using the pronunciations given in Wealth Magick – the rules are pretty much the same.

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  2. Hello, I am wondering how to pronounce “Hee-Naih”?

    1. Hee I wonder what the ‘e’ at the end does. Is it pronounced ‘He’ with sound extended? Or ‘He’ then a ‘e’ sound? Or something else?

    2. Naih I wonder what the ‘h’ at the end does. I am thinking “Na” then “e” then…I don’t know? Or I am completely wrong?

    Thank you.

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    1. It could just as easily be written as HE-NAY. So HE is the word ‘he’. NAY rhymes with ‘day’.

      Why the extra letters? For HEE, you are right, it suggests lengthening it slightly.

      The H at the end of NAIH suggests a slight breath on the end. In the same way that THUMB has a silent b, but there’s a hint of a b there (at least when some people say it). So it’s like saying NAY with a slight breathy sigh.

      However, you’ve probably gathered that the pronunciation does not have to be exact. HE-NAY will do fine. The small additions are not essential.

      I hope that helps.

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    1. It depends on the book. The instructions are slightly different for each. Often, you hold a thought or feeling in mind as you make the visual scan, but it’s important to read the specific instructions for reach book.

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