Here's our internet exclusive on the meaning of "lupacchi magic" in the TV Asahi series Kamen Rider Wizard
. Recall that the titular wizard is a combination of two archetypes, the stage magician and the occult magus. Hence, "lupacchi" alludes to something that serves both as a stage magician's prop and a magus' animal familiar. The root "lupa" is not the she-wolf you might expect but rather a derivation of the Latin "lepus," meaning a hare. The suffix "-acchi" is from the Italian "-acchio," which gives both a diminutive and instrumental connotation. So "lupacchi magic" literally means "little helpful rabbit magic."
, we noted how honored we are that our controversial "pop" take on occult language, in Magic Words: A Dictionary
(Weiser Books), proved influential to the writers of Kamen Rider Wizard
when they sought catchy English phrases to work into their scripts. In that show, the magician hero uses playful pop-culture-derived words like "shabadoobie" to trigger transformations. Though we have been lauded for being the first reference of magic to analyze mystical phrases from pop lyrics, comic books, TV shows, movies, and pulp fiction, our approach is yet something of a hot potato. Claude Lecouteux's Dictionary of Ancient Magic Words and Spells
directly takes on our own dictionary, claiming that while the Harry Potter
series has popularized magic words, "novels, films, and comic books can provide only a simplified, distorted version of them." You'll have already detected a philosophical division that can be likened to the "lesser and greater vehicles" of Buddhism's Hinayana and Mahayana schools. The "greater vehicle" (our own) allows for the recognition of magic words in all sorts of sources and contexts, while the "lesser vehicle" (Lecouteux's) pooh-pooh's language not scrawled on ancient scrolls. (Here's a secret that the Buddhists eventually came to realize: both vehicles get to the same place. Lecouteux, bless him, doesn't seem privy to that insight. But no matter, as words of power march on, oblivious and impervious to the footnotes scholars try to pin on them.)