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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


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Carl Llewellyn Weschcke—Father of the New Age
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Review of the Tarot of the Mystic Spiral
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Review of the Wicca Oracle Cards
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Alchemy
The word alchemy is an Arabic term comprised of the article "al" and the noun "khemi." The later word relates to "Khem" the Coptic name of Egypt. Alchemy thus means, "that which pertains to Egypt." Thus the words alchemy and chemistry are a reminder ...
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The End of Time
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Witchcraft: What is it?
Candles gleam. Incense smoke swirls. Robed figures, chanting in a long-dead language, whirl around a rustic wooden table. On it sit sacred images—a robust female wearing a crescent Moon on her forehead, a horned male holding a spear in his upraised ...
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Universal Goddess Tarot Review
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Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram
This ritual, called the LBRP for short, is designed to clear your area (and yourself) of negative energies. It is composed of four sections. The LBRP has become a standard part of the Western Mystical Tradition, and has been adapted and altered by ...
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Middle Pillar Exercise
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The Initiatory Tarot of the Golden Dawn Review
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Review of The Gilded Tarot
Summary: A spectacularly beautiful Tarot deck using modern digital art that is firmly based on the Rider-Waite-Smith model—making it easy to use for traditionalists and beginners, as well as a compliment for any book—yet significantly original so it ...
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In the Major Arcana of the Tarot, the Fool goes on a journey. This is similar to the Hero's Journey in mythology, and some view the ups and downs of the Major Arcana as the pathway the Fool takes to wisdom. Most people take the "Fool's Journey" several times during their life. If we hold the journey up as a template against our own life, it can... read this article
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