In English, for example, a common magic term is Abracadabra. Though the term itself may not stem from English, it is nevertheless a term most native English-speakers are aware of.

Are there similar incantations associated with magic, in Chinese?

  • 1
    Wikipedia: 阿布拉卡达布拉,芝麻开门 (Open Sesame)
    – user6065
    Commented Aug 25, 2016 at 3:37
  • 2
    天灵灵,地灵灵. Or maybe not an incantation, you can say 见证奇迹的时刻. :D
    – user4072
    Commented Aug 25, 2016 at 3:42
  • search web using e.g. 神话中的咒语-> 17k.com/chapter/27971/1166808.html (might also try 童话中...)
    – user6065
    Commented Aug 25, 2016 at 3:58
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    In old Cantonese movies, when someone was performing magic, he often chanting 嘛哩嘛哩哄, which seems to have nothing to do with magic, just something borrowed from sandscript (梵文) to add the mystical feel.
    – Tang Ho
    Commented Aug 25, 2016 at 4:17
  • This is a very broad question, are you asking for a specific term?
    – Alenanno
    Commented Aug 25, 2016 at 10:24

2 Answers 2


about incantations / mantras / "咒", there's no confucian counterparts. meanwhile, there're numerous in taoism and buddhism. only those of taoism are native chinese, when relevant ones of buddhism are translations.

in taoism literatures, "急急如律令" and its deviations, are often used at the end of most mantras, that deities / daemons would follow the instructions of the speaker. here're 3 examples from 鬼谷子天髓靈文, 雲笈七籤 & 太平廣記:




in buddhism, the most common mantras are: 南無阿彌陀佛, or "喃嘸阿彌陀佛", that the speakers of this mantras "would" reborn in amitābha (阿彌陀佛)'s sukhavati (西方極樂世界) after death.

another one is 六字大明咒, "唵嘛呢叭咪吽", Om mani padme hum

this one is tibetan in origin, i would say this one is quite "popular" in taiwan & hong kong :)

  • In the TV adaptation of 《济公》, the sainted protagonist sings 唵嘛呢叭咪吽 every time he does some magic. Commented Sep 26, 2016 at 10:07

I just think of one universal Chinese incantations , that it appear on many literature and still using it.

It is

变 or 變

(transform, convert, conjuring). One can repeat it many times to emphasize it.

like 变! 变! 变! 变! 变!

  • Sun Wukong seems to like this word.
    – wks
    Commented Dec 26, 2016 at 2:55

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