This blog post was inspired by a question on Facebook. My answer is a bit more involved than can be conveniently put in a FB comment, so I will post it here.
Celina, in a question in group “Golden Dawn Universum,” asked:
My practice is coming along but I would like some feedback on the intonation of the words. I’m inhaling good n I can do the vibration fairly good to. But it is mostly when I’m using my more quiet voice. When I’m home alone I like to do it louder. Sometimes my voice cracks a bit n its not a smooth chant. What is a technique for a good deep exaltation to make it more smooth and chanty? Where should u focus ur breath on when chanting ?
Now, everyone who’s into the GD style of magick comes up against a similar situation in their own practice, to wit: “How do I know when I’m doing vibration correctly?” I.e. the correct way of chanting or pronouncing Divine (etc) names.
The basic theory of “vibration” is that when you do it correctly, the vibrations actually affect the astral plane.
However – partly as a result of my own experiences and partly as a result of talking to magicians from outside the GD tradition – I’m beginning to wonder whether “vibration” per se is actually necessary at all.
My first reason to doubt the necessity of vibration came when I first practised Enochian. I recited an Enochian call, and immediately felt its power. All I had done was (a) memorise the call in Enochian; (b) memorise its literal English meaning; and (c) speak it normally in Enochian, whilst simultaneously remembering both its meaning and the magical effect it was supposed to have. There was no vibration involved whatsoever – and yet it still worked.
The second reason to doubt the necessity of vibration was a comment passed by an elderly gentleman who said that it is only necessary for ritual to be spoken and performed with dignity. The reason being that “them upstairs” can sense the intentions of the ritualist and don’t actually need co-ercing in the form of physical, mental or psychic exertions on the human’s part. Hence, instead of bursting a blood-vessel trying to vibrate (e.g.) “Yod Heh Vav Heh,” it is merely necessary to pronounce “Yod Heh Vav Heh” in the firm belief and confidence that YHVH will indeed hear it.
This is a rather radical notion – that angels and gods or God are in fact real, and exist independently of the paltry human’s attempts to mess about with the astral plane – but it does have the advantage of coinciding with the Right Hand Path’s notions of Grace, rather than the Left Hand Path’s more antinomian leanings.