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Eko Eko Azarak is the opening phrase from a Wiccan chant, assembled in its current form by Gerald Gardner, usually considered as the founder of Wicca as an organized, contemporary religion. In the form given by Gardner, it appears in the ritual for Samhain, as follows:

Eko, eko, Azarak
Eko, eko, Zomelak
Bazabi lacha bachabe
Lamac cahi achababe
Karrellyos
Lamac lamac Bachalyas
Cabahagy sabalyos
Baryolos
Lagoz atha cabyolas
Samahac atha famolas
Hurrahya![1]

Gardner also published his version of this chant in his 1954 occult novel, High Magic's Aid. Another variant of the text expands the Eko, eko opening to four lines, using these words to salute various Wiccan deities, typically Cernunnos and Aradia.[2]

Sources

There are two sources for the text Gardner used to make this chant. The opening lines, with their repeated Eko eko refrain, apparently come from an article published in a 1921 edition of the journal Form[3] by J. F. C. Fuller, on "The Black Arts", reprinted in The Occult Review in 1923. Fuller's version goes:

Eko! Eko! Azarak! Eko! Eko! Zomelak!
Zod-ru-kod e Zod-ru-koo
Zon-ru-koz e Goo-ru-mu!
Eo! Eo! Oo...Oo...Oo![4]

Fuller gives no source for this spell, but the text he gives, with its repeated zod syllables, is reminiscent of the Enochian language of John Dee and Edward Kelly.[5]

To Fuller's opening lines, Gardner has appended a variant of a text that appears first in the thirteenth century French miracle play, Le Miracle de Théophile, by the trouvère Rutebeuf. The original text from the French play is given to the character Salatin — apparently a version of Saladin — who in this play is labelled a sorcerer; Salatin uses these words to invoke the Devil:

(Ci conjure Salatins le deable.)
Bagahi laca bachahé,
Lamac cahi achabahé,
Karrelyos.
Lamac lamec bachalyos,
Cabahagi sabalyos,
Baryolas.
Lagozatha cabyolas,
Samahac et famyolas,
Harrahya.[6]

Interpretations

The meaning of the source texts is unclear. Pennethorne Hughes, in his 1952 monograph on Witchcraft, claimed that the text from Le Miracle de Théophile is a garbled version of a Basque language original.[7] Michael Harrison, in The Roots of Witchcraft, attempted to give a more specific interpretation of the entire chant in Basque; his translation has the chant speak of flying through the air, sacrifice, feasting and drinking, and then washing the dishes.[8] According to Raven Grimassi, some Wiccans believe that the chant is an invocation of the forces of the four elements.[9]

The Eko Eko Azarak chant is well enough known outside of Wicca proper to provide the title of a manga and Japanese live-action movie/TV series, Eko Eko Azarak (エコエコアザラク ?), also known by the title Wizard of Darkness. Electric Wizard, a doom metal band from England, recorded a song called "Eko Eko Azarak" on their 2004 album We Live.

References

  1. ^ Gerald Gardner, The Gardnerian Book of Shadows, 1949 redaction
  2. ^ "Lady Sheba", The Book of Shadows (Llewellyn, 1971; repr. 2002. ISBN 0-87542-075-3)
  3. ^ Form was an art magazine edited by Austin Osman Spare.
  4. ^ James W. Baker, "White Witches", in Magical Religion Then and Now, James R. Lewis, ed. (SUNY, 1996; ISBN 0-79142-890-7)
  5. ^ Cf. the expanded text of the First Key given in Michael D. Eschner, Die Henochische Magie nach Dr. John Dee (Kersken-Canbaz-Verlag, 2007), p. 18 (German)
  6. ^ Le Miracle de Théophile, online text at Indiana University, accessed Jan. 15, 2008.
  7. ^ Pennethorne Hughes, Witchraft (1952; repr. 1969, Pelican)
  8. ^ Michael Harrison, "The Language of Witchcraft", in The Roots of Witchcraft (Citadel, 1974).
  9. ^ Raven Grimassi, "Eko Eko Azarak", in Encyclopedia of Wicca and Witchcraft (Llewellyn, 2001; ISBN 1-56718-257-7).
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