A chant is a phrase, usually quite short, that is spoken over and over repeatedly in order to raise energy or induce a trance-like state. A chant may include words or simply syllables and is often spoken or sung to very simple rhythm so that some chants may seem song-like. Some chants include several lines varying on a theme to form a song-like structure, but all include repetition.
To induce a trance-like state, a chant should be short and simple with a monotonous rhythm. Often these chants are composed of very few words or syllables or even just one. (Like Om) These are usually monotonous and repeated in a drown out, melodic way.
Chants used to affect the energy of the surrounding area, as those repeated by witches in a Circle or by protesters at a march are often more rhythmic than melodic and may be sung or spoken. These usually consist of short “catch” phrases designed to bring the focus of the chanters intent into very clear view and, if there are multiple chanters, to bring them into unity. For example “Make love, not war” or “Hoof and horn, hoof and horn, all that dies will be reborn.” A group chant may include a call and response with a leader, or all members of the group may chant in unison. These chants may be used to draw energy or raise energy.
When using such chants to raise energy, it is a good idea to begin quietly and gradually raise the volume of your chant. Clapping, stomping of feet, and drumming along with the chant increases the energy raising effect substantially.
There are many types of chants used in more specific ways. See also mantra, litany
Online Sources of Magical Chants
Pagan and Wiccan Songs and Chants at Sanfords.net – http://www.sanfords.net/Pagan_Humor_and_Thoughts/chants.htm
Earth Spirit Pagan Chant Library – http://www.earthspirit.com/mtongue/chtlib/chtlifr.html
Seelie Court Pagan Chant of the Month Archive – http://www.seeliecourt.net/panpipe/oldchan.html
Beth’s Pagan Chant Page – http://www.soulrebels.com/beth/chants.html
Printed Sources of Magical Chants
The Magick of Chant-O-Matics by Raymond Buckland
Chants by Lady Gianne