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see incantationincantation,
set formula, spoken or sung, for the purpose of working magic. An incantation is normally an invocation to beneficent supernatural spirits for aid, protection, or inspiration. It may also serve as a charm or spell to ward off the effects of evil spirits.
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; magicmagic,
in religion and superstition, the practice of manipulating and controlling the course of nature by preternatural means. Magic is based upon the belief that the universe is populated by unseen forces or spirits that permeate all things.
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; spellspell,
word, formula, or incantation believed to have magical powers. The spell can be used for evil or good ends; if evil, it is a technique of sorcery. Many authorities believe that the spell was the precursor of prayer.
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; witchcraftwitchcraft,
a form of sorcery, or the magical manipulation of nature for self-aggrandizement, or for the benefit or harm of a client. This manipulation often involves the use of spirit-helpers, or familiars.
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(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Sorcery is concerned with the casting of spells and the making of charms. The word comes from the French sors, meaning "spell." Rosemary Ellen Guiley points out that sorcery is "low magic," in other words, akin to folk magic. It is the magic of the Hedge Witch. It is not connected with worship of the Old Gods, although in Africa the sense of the two is reversed, with sorcery close to religion and "witchcraft" viewed as the evil working of magic.

Some anthropologists view sorcery as harmful magic, which in fact it is not. According to the Western definition of the word, sorcery is magic by manipulation of natural forces and powers to achieve a desired end that is not necessarily negative. In the Bible, Acts 8:9-11 states, "But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one: To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God. And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries." Simon was a pupil of Dositheus, a thaumaturgist, or magician.

Rossell Hope Robbins claims, "Sorcery is an attempt to control nature, to produce good or evil results, generally with the aid of evil spirits. On the other hand witchcraft embraces sorcery, but goes far beyond it." Guiley mentions that by the late Middle Ages the term "sorcerer" was applied to men of higher learning, such as alchemists, physicians, and ceremonial magicians.

In 1432 two arrests for sorcery were recorded in England within a few days of each other. Authorities seized Thomas Northfield, a Franciscan friar of Worcester, along with all his books and other materials of "conjuration." Another friar, John Ashwell, was also arrested as were his two companions: a clerk named John Virley and a woman named Margery Jourdemayn.

In fifteenth-century England, charges of sorcery were first raised against people of eminence, invariably prompted by their enemies. One celebrated case was that of the Duchess of Gloucester in the reign of Henry VI. But there had been another prominent case, that of Dame Alice Kyteler of Kilkenny, Ireland, a hundred years earlier. The Bishop of Ossory, Richard de Ledrede, became convinced that Dame Alice was not a poisoner of husbands (as had been claimed), but a sorceress. In 1324 he charged her with heretical sorcery and also charged ten accomplices with her. He indicted Dame Alice on seven counts.


Sorrow (See GRIEF.)
sorcerer’s apprentice
finds a spell that makes objects do the cleanup work. [Fr. Music: Dukas The Sorcerer’s Apprentice]


the art, practices, or spells of magic, esp black magic, by which it is sought to harness occult forces or evil spirits in order to produce preternatural effects in the world
References in classic literature ?
When he got to the village he told a tale of magic and enchantment and sorcery that made the priest look very grave.
Let me see you equal the sorcery I am about to perform.
The people are mostly pagans; their houses and towns full of idols; and their way of living wholly barbarous, except in the cities and villages near them, where they are Christians, as they call themselves, of the Greek Church: but have their religion mingled with so many relics of superstition, that it is scarce to be known in some places from mere sorcery and witchcraft.
He was free from that spell, that sorcery, that obsession!
She was dealing in sorcery and God asked me to kill her because of that.
However, a different darkness is sweeping down toward the Tower of Sorcery, leaving people and livestock dead or dying.
The Storm Dragon's Heart is a classic sword and sorcery adventure.
Manama: Kuwaiti authorities have arrested a Sudanese man for practicing sorcery and using false information to obtain a visa.
SORCERY RY R Bridges and Barnes Y Bridges and Barnes Ben Barnes is the seventh son of a seventh son, packed off to learn sorcery with Bridges's demon-slayer.
Ben Barnes is a humble farmhand who, as the seventh son of a seventh son, is packed off to learn the arts of sorcery with Bridges'demon-slayer.
Dubai Customs foils 155 bids to smuggle up to 10,000 items associated with the practice of witchcraft and sorcery.
A number of anthropologists have argued that during the colonial era, with the coming of money and the market place, sorcery was 'democratized.