Blankichisserando is a sibyl’s “word of necromancy” for opening a door into a sanctum sanctorum in Maud Howe Elliott’s Sun and Shadow in Spain (1908). The word's origin is surprisingly mundane: it is based upon the French blanchisserie, meaning “laundry.”
[He talked] such a curious, gentle, primeval cadabra that it drew her toward some violent unknown whirlpool and made her hum and shake. —Barbara Trapido, Temples of Delight (1990)
Cadabra is that flash when your mind is blown, like a hit of a powerful drug—“Sniff, cadabra,” as novelist Rachel Timms puts it. The word has an aura of necromancy to it, with its similarity to cadaver. It has all the impact of the longer word abracadabra, but without any dilly-dallying—it goes straight for the punch.
Scholar William Isaacs explains that cadabra can be broken up into two root words: “Ca translates to ‘as.’ Dabra is the first person of the verb daber, ‘to speak’” (Dialogue: The Art Of Thinking Together, 1999). So cadabra means “as I speak,” equivalent to “upon my command."
We were surprised to discover the following magic spell in a modern book of science magic tricks:
"Dust of bones and witch's attire, I command you to draw some fire."
The spell is recommended for setting a sugar cube alight with "genuine witch's dust ... made from the scraping from the bottom of her kettle after she made her brew ... The witches use it to draw fire—lightning—from the sky to start their fires." (Nathan Shalit, Science Magic Tricks, 1998).
This spell harks back to an era when science and the occult overlapped. As Henry Adams noted in his autobiography, "Science has proved that forces, sensible and occult, physical and metaphysical, simple and complex, surround, traverse, vibrate, rotate, repel, attract, without stop; that man's senses are conscious of few, and only in a partial degree; but that, from the beginning of organic existence his consciousness has been induced, expanded, trained in the lines of sensitiveness; and that the rise of his faculties from a lower power to a higher, or from a narrower to a wider field, may be due to the function of assimilating and storing outside force or forces. There is nothing unscientific in the idea that, beyond the lines of force felt by the senses, the universe may be—as it has always been—either a supersensuous chaos or a divine unity, which irresistibly attracts, and is either life or death to penetrate. Thus far, religion, philosophy, and science seem to go hand in hand."
Even more than its cousin cadabra, the Aramaic magic word kedavra is shrouded by an ominous, dark aura of necromancy. As part of a killing curse, kedavra has gained worldwide popularity via the Harry Potter series.