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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Term: sympathetic magic

DEFINITIONS

Sympathetic Magic: This may be the most practiced form of magic on earth; it is certainly the best known. The basic idea for this style of magic is the occult concept that “like attracts like.” Thus, jumping in freshly-planted fields is an attempt to bring, by magic, the same result in the crops. Since red is considered an energetic color, according to sympathetic magic burning a red candle can bring you energy.

One of the best-known forms of sympathetic magic is that of using a doll. This practice is found in most cultures around the world. The doll represents a person (yourself or someone else), and doing magic with the doll as a focus results in the magic having an effect on the person whom the doll represents.

In James Frazer’s The Golden Bough, the author suggests that there are invisible connections between all things and that sympathetic magic works through these bonds. To add to the connection, people add personal items from the person being represented to the doll. This could be anything from a lock of hair or fingernail paring to a ring or snip of clothing. Sometimes a picture of the person is used. Often, the doll is very primitive in appearance as in “Voodoo” dolls or the “poppets” of Witchcraft.Donald Michael Kraig


ARTICLES

Review of The Robin Wood Tarot
Summary: A delightful delicacy in lively, stand-out color that modernizes the Rider-Waite-Smith deck in style while keeping most of the symbolism (including the medieval context) and making the characters’ personalities really apparent. This moves ...
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Fundamental Laws of Enochian Magick
The three fundamental Laws of Enochian Magick are stated in H. P. Blavatsky’s The Secret Doctrine. These Laws pertain to everything in the universe, from subatomic particles to galaxies: 1. The Law of Duality states that an om-nipresent, eternal, ...
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Amulet
A magical device for general protection and good fortune. An amulet differs from a talisman in that talismans are made and ritually consecrated for specific tightly focused purposes, while amulets are more general, and are often not formally ...
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What Is Rune Meditation?
Before the runes can be effective for works of magic or divination, they must be understood on the intuitive level and made to come alive in the unconscious. This will occur over time simply by using them, but the process can be encouraged through ...
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Basic Instruments of Ritual
The basic framework of Western magic is made up of a few surprisingly simple instruments that function on the astral plane (another way of saying in the imagination). Usually they have their material correspondents. As the physical instrument is ...
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Review of The Quest Tarot
Summary: A brilliant, colorful, modern deck with 3D sci-fi imagery that will appeal to futurists and people looking for "something different" while keeping close enough to the Rider-Waite-Smith tradition that Tarot traditionalists will find it ...
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Oral Tradition and the Druidic Class
The ancient Druids considered it profane to record their teachings in writing. All of their teachings were handed down by spoken word in verses or stories. People at different levels taught different categories of the ancient lore. The highest in ...
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Vodou - An African Shamanic Tradition
At first sight, shamanism and Vodou - what Hollywood has introduced into the popular imagination as "voodoo" - seem to have little in common. The former seems based on peaceful co-existence with nature and the elements, while the latter, in so far ...
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Review of the Faery Wicca Tarot
Summary: A complex deck that can lead to intense readings by intermediate and advanced readers, it is also appropriate for those following Kisma’s Faery Wicca tradition. The Irish names will take dedication to master, but the usefulness of extra ...
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Review of Dame Fortune\'s Wheel Tarot
Summary: Dame Fortune’s Wheel Tarot is an elegant marriage of historical research and practicality. It celebrates the Tarot’s introduction as a divinatory tool, stripping it of modern esoteric burdens. The result is a deck that is eminently easy to ...
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Hoodoo
The traditional folk magic of African-American culture, also known as conjure magic and rootwork. (The origin of the word "hoodoo" itself is uncertain, although it may derive from a West African source.) Hoodoo is to occultism what the blues are to ...
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