This is part 1 of 4 in our Bardcore Magic series.
Do you know the meaning of the word, “Abracadabra?”
It translates to, I will create as I speak.
It’s no surprise that a rabbit often comes out of a hat afterwards.
There is power in a name and in words. For many bards, these are the greatest magical secrets.
In D&D and other fantasy settings, to know the “true name” of something is to wield great power - whether to create or destroy. The “words of creation” are said to have brought the universe into being, and still today the words we speak can create a new reality for us to inhabit.
In real life, our language often creates two possibilities for us:
Our language fails us and we don’t have the words. We are speechless about our personal experience.
Our language is a limitation of our experiences. Labels and word counts leave us feeling incomplete or misunderstood.
In either case, our words can’t quite capture the magic.
The magic is in the third possibility:
The words capture our experience perfectly.
When the “right” word doesn’t exist, we need to make up new words. That is the playscape and the power of the bard as a magician of words. “Abracadabra” becomes a skillset we can master over time and create the world we want to see as we speak.
Thinking that the power of magical words doesn’t exist in real life? Here are some real life examples:
Safewords & Passwords - for security and creating trust (“Gnocchi”)
Codewords - for communication and alerts (“Threat Level: Midnight”)
Buzzwords - for generating excitement and community (“Bardcore”)
Forewords - for signaling what lessons lie ahead (that part of the book you should always read)
Keywords - for organizing our experiences and knowledge (“Tips & Tricks”)
And let’s not forget jargon - language shortcuts for complex or abstract ideas (“Synergy”).
And the most powerful words of all: puns. They have multiple meanings and trigger complex neurological processes in the brain that attempt to support the paradox reality they create. Really. Trust us. Seriously.
So how do we harness the power of words and names for ourselves?
Naming itself is a powerful mindfulness practice you can start right now.
Here’s how it works:
Think of an experience you want to buff (improve) or debuff (diminish).
Bring that experience to your mind and use all of your senses to bring it to life in a way that is safe for you.
See it in your mind’s eye, pay attention to how your body feels imagining that experience.
Note what you smell, taste, and touch.
Spend a few minutes continuing to create and notice the sensations in this experience.
Now create a name for that experience.
Is that nervousness before a big speech “The Butterfly Effect” or a feeling of “Better Fly Away”? What would quell the storm? Perhaps the feeling of calm and confidence personified as a flower for those butterflies to rest, “Flora Focus” or “Better Fly Ahead.”
Sometimes, self-doubt can be “named” as a gremlin or saboteur. Naming that self-doubt voice aloud when it comes up can be a powerful way to quiet that voice. Because you have named it, you regain some of your power - just like the bards. If you’re curious to explore how this works, we recommend working with one of our coaches.
The words we use aren’t just for magic tricks, they are a part of the stories we create for ourselves.
So what bardic magical secrets will you unlock when you speak their true name?
Autumn & Jerod