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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

Why Do Runes Have a Bad Reputation?
Runes have always been mysterious and forbidding. The very word "rune" means a secret, a mystery. In popular folklore runes are dangerous, evil, pitiless, and destructive. But how did runes get so wicked a reputation? Part of it can be attributed ...
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Review of the Tarot of Pagan Cats
Summary The Tarot of the Pagan Cats is a true RWS-style that cleverly interweaves magick and Tarot as experienced through the eyes of cats. Natural and easy to read, this deck will delight the beginner as well as the more experienced ...
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Enochian Magic
The Enochian system originated with the ceremonial skrying of Dr. John Dee and Edward Kelly toward the end of the sixteenth century in England. Dr. Dee was one of the foremost thinkers of his time—a Hermetic philosopher/magician who was also a ...
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Magical Oaths
The two oaths taken by the GBG members can be seen to be used to describe the importance of understanding the true nature of a magical oath—which is to establish a new relationship with your Higher Self that puts meaning into life. I swear ...
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Celtic Religion
Druidism can be used synonymously with the phrases Celtic religion and Celtic magic. In order to enter into this magico-religious system, a familiarity with mythology is necessary. Celtic mythology is best represented in the Irish Book of Invasions ...
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Aleister Crowley
(Edward Alexander Crowley) English writer, occultist, Antichrist, and self-proclaimed messiah of the New Aeon, 1875-1947. Easily the most controversial figure in the recent history of Western occultism, Crowley was born into the Plymouth Brethren, a ...
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Origins of Herb Magic
Herb magic began in the distant past, when humans first began experimenting with the plants that they found growing around them. Color, form, scent and taste attracted humans to certain plants. Our ancestors eventually dis-covered many uses for ...
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Witchcraft and Voodoo
Voodoo and Witchcraft are the two most misunderstood religions in the world. Each has a public image and an inner reality. Most frequently that public image has little to do with the private, inner and real religion. Voodoo Voodoo is a mixture of ...
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Importance of Ritual Magic in Your Life
Everyone is searching for the meaning of life. Not so much life in general, but of their own life. They want to know why they exist and what they are supposed to do with existence. They want to feel productive and fulfilled. Most of all, they ...
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The Structure of the Golden Dawn
Any discussion of the Golden Dawn tradition must include a description of the various grades or levels of initiation. The Order is entirely based upon a hierarchical system in which certain information and knowledge is retained for students who have ...
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Herb Magic’s Darkest Hours
It isn’t until Christianity began to stamp out all remaining traces of pre-Christian practices that herb magic began to suffer a decline. Centuries-old practices were suddenly condemned by a Church that had grown frightened of persons with power. ...
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Because birds seem so common and exist everywhere, we often take them for granted and even consider them part of the landscape. However, these wonderful creatures can provide us with a simple yet powerful way to stay in tune with the natural world and its seasonal markers. In addition to maintaining this connection, birds can help us access... read this article
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