Ever had to sum up your goals in life with one sentence? It’s difficult. When picking a magical motto, this is essentially what you’re doing. The phrase needs to encompass where you’ve already been, where you’re going, and where you’d like to end up at the end of it all. How does one go about doing that? Oh yeah, did I mention the motto is typically in Latin or a different language? With endless possibilities, this assignment requires quite a bit of time. So, why not get started?
Unsure of where to start on this one, I went with what I knew. In this case, that’s not saying too much. After all, how many of us know Latin fluently enough to form our own phrases? But, that brings me to the one thing I did know, the phrase had to be in Latin. There were a couple options for me really as far as language, but I do gravitate toward that Greek Pantheon. Because of this, I decided Latin would probably be a language that added depth and significance to my magical motto. So, I did what any good witch does when unsure of where to start. I used Google. Here are some fun phrases I discovered, and my thoughts thus far.
Amor Vincit Omnia – Love Conquers All Things
This was the first phrase I found actually, and it’s extremely tempting to stop here. The phrase is linked heavily to Virgil, but also Chaucer. Not too surprisingly, this phrase has also been used heavily in creative works as an inspiration. Altogether this would be a nice motto for someone in the spheres of Netzach or Geburah, as there’s love, and yet, conquering. Like I said, this phrase does speak to me personally, as I do think love heals and settles many matters outright. But, I do also feel I have too much of this thinking within myself… best not to encourage it to deepen.
Semper Fidelis – Always Faithful
Alright, this is a phrase I’ve admittedly loved and known most of my life. The meaning of it is beautiful. In fact, I used a Spanish version of this phrase for myself throughout high school and college: siempre y para siempre. This translates roughly into forever and always. It was my way of following up and paying honor to those ‘always faithful’ in life. I should probably mention this too was tied into love, but not necessary focused on it. The one draw back then, with accepting Semper Fidelis as my motto is I so closely link it to the U.S. Marines. This isn’t a bad thing, I’m just not a Marine. I don’t want to be disrespectful to those that are by muddying a pool that should be clear.
Per Angusta Ad Augusta – Through Difficulties To Honors
Another phrase I’m very tempting to use, is this one. If I were to sum up my life in a phrase, this seems it. In many ways, I find this an equivalent to today’s phrase, “anything worth having is earned.” The interesting thing is in this Latin phrase, there’s the added element of having to fight for it. Honor doesn’t come easily, and so, I do love how this phrase embodies that. To me, this phrase definitely stirs up visions of Ares as ‘The Giver of Courage’. I’m not sure if I’ll use some form of this phrase or not. It would be worth noting the name Augusta would incorporate well overall in a magical motto.
Carpe Noctem – Seize The Night
Doesn’t this just seem like the perfect phrase for a witch to use? Everyone uses carpe diem, or seize the day, but never have I heard carpe noctem used before! To a witch, there’s mystery in the night. It’s worth noting, the moon reflects the sun, so the night might echo the day. This phrase is a little too simplistic for me, but it’s great for someone else I’m sure. Embodied in either version of this phrase is the idea that life is meant to be lived and lived well. That hasn’t changed for us today either.
Ex Nihilo Nihil Fit – Nothing Comes From Nothing
Yup, there’s a Latin phrase for my, “anything worth having…” saying. I should probably use it, but there’s a few issues with this version. I’m a very literal person, so I would be reminded of ‘nothing’ producing ‘nothing’ repeatedly. There’s a belief that the mind doesn’t think in negatives. We shouldn’t stress the negative to ourselves or we’ll get it. Also, there’s a debate right now about the universe being created from nothing. In other words, you could potentially get something from nothing. I’m not looking to get into that debate just because of a Latin phrase.
These are just a few of the phrases I’ve found. Working on a magical motto is actually quite a bit of fun, more fun than I thought it would be. But, I feel like this is a task that cannot be rushed. My next step is to keep researching phrases, of course, but also to look at my ‘Patron’ Deities and their epithets. Once I find those, I might be able to find a phrase that utilizes and unities the both of them. If you’ve worked on a magical motto, let me know your process! I’d be curious to see how various people do this same task.