The Power Behind Words: Vowels Vs. Consonants – A musing

For those of you who follow me on my other blog which revolves around being a “mature” student returning to college, I was recently in a Linguistics class. I registered for this class because of my interest in language and the way it shapes our reality, as well as where certain words come from.

We were going to have to write a research paper revolving around the idea of Linguistics. It could be anything, as long as it had to do with language in some way. The topic I chose, in the mildest of manners (at least in my proposal) was the influence of words on a person, psychologically, metaphysically and physiologically.

Unfortunately my work load was too heavy and I was forced to drop the class, so the paper was never written (yet). However, I still look at words with this idea in mind.

I was recently in my favorite metaphysical shop down town and began chatting to a fellow that frequents there almost as much as I do. Somehow we happened upon the subject and he asked me which were more powerful, vowels or consonants?

This was an interesting idea. I began to ponder it.

Surely vowels are, as they are a continuation of breath, whereas consonants are a stopping of breath in some way. B, C, D, F, G, H, J, K, L, M, N, P, Q, S, T, U, V, X, Z – all involve the tongue touching the roof of the mouth, the teeth, or the lips, or the lips closing, or the teeth (You’ll not there are exceptions to this rule: R and W are not listed. Whereas I cannot speak for R, the W in some languages is considered a vowel, such as in Welsh).

Hilma af Klint Image found on the blog of madammeow-hollygaboriault Click on the image to view more about the artist

I brought this idea to some of my co-workers in the writing center, and one of them exclaimed – “That’s fascinating! I’ve always considered vowels to represent the feminine, and consonants to represent the masculine.”

Of course my first thought was of the womb. When I think of vowels, I think circular, and thus, considering vowels as feminine. It makes sense to me that letters would be assigned gender roles, or duality roles. After all, no word can be created without a vowel. I would go so far as to say that one would need both to create any word at all, though there’s a two words in this very sentence that contradict that. However, you could go so far as to look into myths from different religions and see the stories of immaculate births – from women (feel free to point out some that I miss that might be of men).

But then for balance to exist, and if this role assignment were accurate, or even reversed, then that means that consonants would have to be less powerful than vowels, as there are only 4-6 (for the most part, depending on the mood of Y and the background of W) and 20-22 consonants (in English, any way).

This is an ongoing thought, an idea still developing for me, a contemplation not yet come to full completion. How would this impact my daily word uses? How might I chose my sacred words differently?

**Jane is a student in Bellingham, Washington of Academics and a self-study pupil of magickal arts. She has spent time over a span of 15 years practicing meditation and attuning to the Universe, though her Will leads her along the path of the Written Word. You can read her other blog, Scribing English or her other articles on her Hubpages account, ThompsonPen 

By Nicola Thomson Posted in Jane