Sympathetic Magic

(redirected from Imitative magic)
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Sympathetic Magic

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Sympathetic magic may also be called Imitative magic, since ritual actions imitate the real ones you wish to bring about. There are probably more forms of sympathetic magic than any other type. It is a magic that follows the rule of "like attracts like." In The Golden Bough, Sir James Frazer states that all magic is based on the Law of Sympathy—that all things are connected by invisible bonds.

Sympathetic magic can take more forms in Witchcraft, such as candle-burning, poppet or image magic, placket magic, and beating water to bring rain. In candle magic, the candles are used to represent people and things. By manipulating them, the practitioner exerts forces on those people and things. Poppets are actual cloth, wax, or clay figures made to represent specific persons and are manipulated as desired to manipulate those people. Plackets (Old English for both "pocket" and "vagina") are containers used to hold pictures, photographs, or objects associated with specific persons, again to be manipulated as desired.

Nicholas Remy, the French demonologist, claimed in his Demonolatreiae (1595) that witches had told him how they would beat pond water with a broomstick in order to bring rain. They said that the water would rise to form clouds, which could then be directed to make rain and hail.

The Witch Book: The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, Wicca, and Neo-paganism © 2002 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
That is a belief in what is also called imitative magic: things that resemble each other have similar powers.
Further, Frazer maintained that in magical practices such sympathetic actions are driven by principles of similarity (homeopathic or imitative magic) and proximity (contagious magic).
The research also revealed that replica guitars appeal to participants' belief in "imitative magic" (things that look alike are alike).