I'm writing about art's function of rescuing, redeeming or validating the artist's experience and suffering. Some of my sources have compared this to the functions of magical talismans and power objects, and I'd like to use magical language now and then throughout my paper as a nod to this similarity.

The problem is that I have no idea of magical jargon. When I refer to the artist's confidence that their act of creation can and will perform this redemptive role, I want to spiritualize that word choice a bit--I guess "faith" is better than "confidence," but that's definitely more religious than magical. So I was wondering--is there a particular word, used in some form of magical practice, that expresses one's degree of confidence in a magical object or action?

If there was a "Magick" stackexchange, I'd have posted this there. Sorry to ask a rather bizarre question.

  • 1
    In most of the magical stories I've read it takes skill to use magic or a magical item effectively, or in cases where the item is simply charmed or endowed with magical powers the users simply trusts or relies on that item to protect them.
    – Jim
    Nov 27, 2013 at 3:22

5 Answers 5


Faith is commonly used in your context in the wild. Some examples:


conviction: an idea that is believed to be true or valid without positive knowledge

shamanism: "A first definition of this complex phenomenon, and perhaps the least hazardous, will be: shamanism = 'technique of religious ecstasy'." Shamanism encompasses the premise that shamans are intermediaries or messengers between the human world and the spirit worlds. Shamans are said to treat ailments/illness by mending the soul. Alleviating traumas affecting the soul/spirit restores the physical body of the individual to balance and wholeness. The shaman also enters supernatural realms or dimensions to obtain solutions to problems afflicting the community. Shamans may visit other worlds/dimensions to bring guidance to misguided souls and to ameliorate illnesses of the human soul caused by foreign elements. The shaman operates primarily within the spiritual world, which in turn affects the human world. The restoration of balance results in the elimination of the ailment.


It has a fairly negative connotation, but wouldn't delusion fit the category pretty well?

Example: Their delusion that "burning a chicken"/sacrifice/prayer will heal cancer was unfounded.


I think efficacy is used as word to measure a magical tool's ability to produce results.

  • Right, exactly. But I'm looking for a word, perhaps a rather esoteric word, that expresses the magician's confidence that that efficacy does indeed exist. Not sure if the word I'm looking for really exists or not, but it would be nice for me if it did.
    – Annick
    Nov 27, 2013 at 3:18
  • Knowledge, in magic a talisman either works or it doesn't.
    – Jim
    Nov 27, 2013 at 3:26
  • So there's no special expression of "hoping" or "confidence"? Okay, I guess I'll just use ordinary words for this. Thanky.
    – Annick
    Nov 27, 2013 at 4:17

In gaming there are references to the casters mana and the tools mana.

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