Enchantment

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magic

, in religion and superstition

magic, 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. Because these supernatural forces are thought to govern the course of natural events, control of these forces gives humans control over nature. The practice of magic is held to depend on the proper use of both the ritual and the spell. The spell, or incantation, is the core of the magical ceremony; it unlocks the full power of the ritual. The practice of magic, in seeking its desired end, may combines within its scope elements of religion and science. In alchemy, for example, the process of transmuting a base metal into gold requires precise weights and volumes of acids, bases, and catalysts as well as the reciting of holy passages and prayers.

Anthropologists often distinguish between two forms of magic, the sympathetic and the contiguous. Sympathetic magic works on the principle that like produces like. The Ojibwa of North America would make a wooden image of an enemy and then stick pins into it. Because the doll represented the enemy, harm done to the doll was believed to harm the enemy. Contiguous magic operates on the belief that things that have been in contact will continue to act on each other after the physical contact has ceased. The aborigines of Australia believe that they can lame a person by placing sharp pieces of quartz, glass, bone, or charcoal in that person's footprints. Sometimes both sympathetic and contiguous magic are used in conjunction; certain African tribespeople will build a clay effigy around nail clippings, hairs, or bits of cloth belonging to the enemy and roast the completed image slowly in a fire.

Not all magic is performed in order to harm or destroy, and for this reason a distinction is made between black magic and white magic. White magic is characterized by those rites and spells designed to produce beneficial effects for the community (see fertility rites) or for the individual, particularly in those cases where an illness is considered to be the result of evil demons or of black magic.

See also voodoo; witchcraft.

Bibliography

See J. Frazer, The Golden Bough (12 vol., 1907–15); L. Thorndike, History of Magic and Experimental Science (8 vol., 1923–58); B. Malinowski, Magic, Science, and Religion (1948); M. Bouisson, Magic: Its History and Principal Rites (tr. 1961); J. Middleton, comp., Magic, Witchcraft, and Curing (1967); M. Marwick, Witchcraft and Sorcery (1970); M. Christopher, The Illustrated History of Magic (1973).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

Enchantment

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Sometimes used to describe a spell or charm placed on someone or something. Elves and fairies were especially thought to enchant people and animals.

The Witch Book: The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, Wicca, and Neo-paganism © 2002 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.

Enchantment

See also Fantasy, Magic.
Alidoro
fairy godfather to Italian Cinderella. [Ital. Opera: Rossini, Cinderella, Westerman, 120–121]
Bottom
under spell, grows ass’s head. [Br. Lit.: A Midsummer Night’s Dream]
Cinderella
enchantment lasts only till midnight. [Fr. Fairy Tale: Cinderella]
Circe
enchantress who changes Odysseus’s men into swine. [Gk. Lit.: Odyssey; Rom. Lit.: Aeneid]
Geraldine, Lady
evil spirit who, by casting a spell, induces Christabel to bring her into her father’s castle. [Br. Lit.: S.T. Coleridge “Christabel” in Benét, 195]
Land of Oz
bewitching realm of magic and mystery. [Am. Lit.: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz]
Lorelei
water nymph of the Rhine; lured sailors to their doom with her singing. [Ger. Folklore: Leach, 645]
Maugis
enchanter; one of Charlemagne’s paladins. [Fr. Folk-lore: Harvey, 526]
Miracle, Dr.
bewitches Antonia into singing despite doctor’s orders. [Fr. Opera: Offenbach, Tales of Hoffmann, Westerman, 275–276]
Oberon
fairy king orders love charm placed on wife. [Br. Lit.: A Midsummer Night’s Dream]
Orpheus
his singing opens the gates of the underworld. [Ger. Opera: Gluck, Orpheus and Euridyce, Westerman, 72]
Pied Piper
charms children of Hamelin with music. [Children’s Lit.: “The Pied Piper of Hamelin” in Dramatic Lyrics, Fisher, 279–281]
pishogue
Irish fairy spell that distorts reality. [Irish Folklore: Briggs, 327–328]
Quixote, Don
ascribes all his misfortunes to the machinations of enchanters. [Span. Lit.: Cervantes Don Quixote]
Scheherazade
spins yams for Sultan for 1001 nights. [Arab. Lit.: Arabian Nights]
Schwanda
Czech Orpheus; bagpipe music moves even Queen Iceheart. [Czech Opera: Weinberger, Schwanda, Westerman, 412]
Sirens
with song, bird-women lure sailors to death. [Gk. Myth.: Odyssey]
Sleeping Beauty
sleeps for 100 years. [Fr. Fairy Tale, The Sleeping Beauty]
Titania
experiences spell-induced fascination over Bottom. [Br. Lit.: A Midsummer Night’s Dream]
Van Winkle, Rip
returns to village after sleep of 20 years. [Am. Lit.: The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent.]
vervain
indicates bewitching powers. [Flower Symbolism: Flora S ymbo lica, 178]
Vivian
the Lady of the Lake, enchantress and mistress of Merlin. [Br. Lit.: Barnhart, 1118]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
However, he acknowledges, "I do not say that disenchanted truths are worthless, only disenchanted voices say such things, they say that enchanted truths are untruthful, unscientific, unworthy" (243).
Lady Diana Bridgeman was the woman behind the idea of The Enchanted Glen.
The experience will debut on Enchanted Princess when the ship launches from Southampton in June 2020.
The 125,000 sq ft destination will feature a total of 13 rides and attractions, and will emulate an enchanted world with a wide range of activities spread across several distinct zones.
If your mom loves amusement park rides, then it's time to return to Enchanted Kingdom.
Critique: "The Enchanted Sonata" is author heather Dixon Wallwork's deftly and engaging version of The Nutcracker Ballet (with a dash of The Pied Piper) and is an inherently fascinating and entertaining novel from first page to last--and one that will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Fantasy Fiction collections.
Private dinner at Enchanted Island Resort, Seychelles.
With snatches of music and words in the air, quite literally in The Garden of Lost and Found Voices where we hear voices play from recorders which hang from a colourful collection of umbrellas, much of Enchanted Parks is beautiful, eerie and even disorientating as we weave around the park.
While those who always stop off during the trail for a hot drink at the Saltwell Towers cafe might well be familiar with the small traders' area tucked upstairs, they this will time find an Enchanted Gift Market with all sorts of festive treats on sale.
MADRID, Sept 27 (KUNA) --There are many famous and exciting touristic attractions in Spain and one of them is the famous "Enchanted Forest".
Enchanted Princess PREPARE TO BE ENCHANTED PRINCESS Cruises has announced that its fifth Royal-class ship will be named Enchanted Princess.