Often times when doing magical workings we focus so heavily on the words and the sayings that we lose sight of the magic that happens in the silence. This is one reason why I typically use instrumental music for my workings as opposed to chanting or rhymes. It allows for me to slip into the right space without being distracted by words. Early in my practice I tried so hard to listen to words and pay attention so that I could get it right. I would find that those leading would most often slip into a different rhythm once the chanting did its job and I would be thrown because well, we have sacred words to chant and they hold power not random babbling. This would in turn cause me to slip out of my magical head-space and into the mundane. My spirits would often chime in after and would tell me to just surrender. Of course I was a little more stubborn so I took it upon myself to truly learn the words. I felt that power within them and at that point felt that if I learned it outside the magical situation then I could allow it to flow “organically” in the working and thus create the same effect. I don’t suggest this to everyone as it can sometimes lead to it feeling theatrical and not from the heart. I felt the power and had connection to words so for me it was a little easier because I’ve always had a connection to language and words.
Keep in mind that if you wish to practice words to do so in the privacy of your own space. First reason, most of us don’t want to be stumbling over words in a crowd full of people who know words to songs and chants. Second, it allows you to move at your own pace and add music to get you into the rhythm. Also a trick to learn songs and chants is to start by simply learning the sound of it. By that I mean each song has a unique tempo and basic “hum”. Try to just do that so you get into the music of it. This allows you to hear the music and allow your mind to fill in the vocals from memory. Once you have gotten that down, try signing it all the way through. My suggestion here is to begin humming it and just sing the words as they come to you. Don’t try to nail the whole thing right off the bat. Allow the music to make it come out of you inside of dragging it out. If it’s only a few words here and there that’s totally fine. As you become more comfortable, add more lyrics and build it up.
Now let’s go back to the magic of it all.
Ritual and magic is about experience not tangible forces. Always remember that in any magical working no matter who is there, the only forces you need to be aware of and consider is your own spirit and your guides and working partners. If you are just starting out with song and chant it’s totally fine to whisper it to yourself. It’s not like you are on stage and need to project to an audience. It’s about you and your spirits. I personally know that I’m not the best singer so I usually keep my chanting low or at the very least within my ability. I don’t try to compete with a trained singer that’s for sure! It’s about triggering the magic within yourself not the people around you. Like I mentioned before, the spirits don’t care if you can sing, they respond to your spirit. It has to be in the same spirit as what you are trying to achieve. If you are caught up on words, then the magic is already lost. Everyone is entitled to make mistakes, don’t beat yourself up over missing a word or forgetting a line. Just keep the energy moving and feel it. That’s when you hear the silent magic in the space between your breath. There have been more than enough times where I have been brought to tears because I allowed myself to flow with the sound and not worry about the “noise”. I could see the music swirling around me and it was truly beautiful. All magic both in in ceremony and solitary takes practice, don’t let the words get in the way of the magic of silent music.