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An incantation, enchantment, magic spell, or magic charm is a set of words, spoken or unspoken, which are considered by its user to invoke some supernatural effect. An incantation may take place during a ritual, either a hymn or prayer, and may invoke or praise a deity. In magic, occultism, shamanism, and witchcraft it is used with the intention of casting a spell on an object or a person. The term derives from Latin "incantare" (tr.), meaning "to chant (a magical spell) upon," from in- "into, upon" and cantare "to sing". In medieval literature, folklore, fairy tales and modern fantasy fiction, enchantments (from the Old French "enchantement") are charms or spells. The term was loaned into English since around AD 1300. The corresponding native English term being "galdr" "song, spell". It has led to the terms "enchanter" and "enchantress", for those who use enchantments. The weakened sense "delight" (compare the same development of "charm") is modern, first attested in 1593 (OED). Any word can be an incantation as long as the words are spoken with inflection and emphasis on the words being said. The tone and rhyme of how you speak the words matter on the outcome of the magical effect. The tone, rhyme, and placement of words used in the formula matters in influencing the outcome of the magical effect. The person who is speaking magical words usually commands for the magic to be carried out. The incantation performed can bring up powerful emotions and remind one of a sense of awe in childhood. Surviving written records of historical magic spells were largely obliterated in many cultures by the success of the major monotheistic religions, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity, which label some magical activity as immoral or associated with evil.

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