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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Term: sympathetic magic


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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The Numbers Eleven and Twenty Two
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What is Divination?
By stars, cards, and alphabets. These are the three most popular methods of divination that have survived into the twentieth-century. The three occult sciences governing these oracular techniques are astrology (divination by the placement of the ...
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Review of the Tarot of Jane Austen
Summary: The Tarot of Jane Austen beautifully blends Tarot and the beloved characters and stories of Jane Austen’s classic novels. The marriage of this theme with Tarot is elegantly mastered without feeling forced or contrived. Within these cards, ...
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The Meanings of the Numbers
But what good is this bit of divinatory calculation associating numbers to names and birth dates if we do not have an oracular vocabulary which can give symbolic meaning and nuance to the number series? Luckily, modern numerology has inherited from ...
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It seems strange, doesn't it? A patron saint of people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and all other sexually fluid shades in-between. Popular opinion would have us believe that, by default, a saint would be against such liberal sexuality, but then again, just because an opinion is popular doesn't mean that it's true. In my book La... read this article
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