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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

Let the rituals be rightly performed with joy and beauty
In the G∴B∴G∴ this phrase is spoken as the opening of your ritual from the center of the Circle. It has the power of similar phrases like "Man your Stations" and "Let the Games Begin!" Note there are three admonitions—that ...
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Seeing and Believing
As Claude M. Bristol puts it in his famous book The Magic of Believing, "The person with a clear goal, a clear picture of his desire, or an ideal always before him, causes it, through repetition, to be buried deeply in his subconscious mind and is ...
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The Contemplative Tarot Review
Summary: The Contemplative Tarot is designed for meditation, for self-discovery, and for self-improvement. It is suitable for beginners and advanced tarot users if the user desires a tool for reflection not for learning traditional tarot usage, that ...
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Review of the Celtic Oracle
Summary: The twenty-two oversized cards of the Celtic Oracle provide both an excellent divination tool as well as an introduction to Celtic studies. It elegantly combines Celtic astrology with the Ogham (or Celtic alphabet) and tree symbolism ...
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Hebrew Language and Alphabet
Hebrew is sometimes referred to as the "sacred" language of the West and compared with Sanskrit for the East. There are no vowels per se in Hebrew, only diacritical marks over the consonants performing that function. In addition, there are no ...
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Quartz Crystals
Why use quartz crystals? What is it about them above all other stones that makes them so special? Quartz crystals have been used since ancient times as powerful healing objects and meditation tools, and to make medicinal elixirs. Wise adepts have ...
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Astrology
Astrology is a science that examines the action of celestial bodies upon all living beings, non-living objects, and earthly conditions, as well as their reactions to such influences. The study of the stars is one of the oldest sciences known to ...
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The Realms
According to ancient Celtic beliefs, three main realms co-exist: an Underworld associated with the past, an earthly realm of the middle world associated with manifested reality, and an Upperworld associated with potential reality and all possible ...
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Who Were the Druids?
To mention the word Druid is to evoke images of ancient wizards and wonder-workers from old Irish sagas, Welsh legends, Caesar’s Gallic Wars and Scottish folktales. If you have read about the Druids, you’ve probably retained one of their many images ...
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The Future of Druidism
As long as there are people who remember their Celtic heritage and its contributions to modern culture and civilization, and the legends, folk-tales and myths of the Celtic peoples, there will be those who dream about the ancient Celtic magic, about ...
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Initiation – Witch, 3rd Degree
"There is no oath, and all who have taken the second degree are qualified to work it, but ‘tis the quintessence of Magic, and it ‘tis not to be used lightly, and then only with one whom you love and are loved by, may it be done, all else ...
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For many of us, travel is the spice of life. The comfort and security of home are important, but the unfamiliar stirs the soul. Travel in the physical world offers insight, freedom, and expansion. Travel within—the journey of the spirit—provides the same, especially when exploring past lives. Think about it. Whether you travel without or... read this article
Saved By the Goddess
Esoteric Freemasonry: The Hidden Side of the Pyramid
Guided In Spirit
Empathy as a Spiritual Power: What Type of Empath Are You?
How to Capture Evidence of a Ghost

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