Archive for July 11th, 2013

July 11, 2013

Sympathetic Magic

Sympathetic magic, also known as ‘imitative magic,’ is a type of magic based on imitation or correspondence.

It has been said that the theory of sympathetic magic was first popularized in 1889 by Scottish anthropologist Sir James George Frazer in ‘The Golden Bough’ (a comparative study of mythology and religion); German geographer and ethnographer Richard Andree, however, anticipates Frazer, writing of ‘Sympathie-Zauber’ in his 1878 ‘Ethnographische Parallelen und Vergleiche’ (‘Ethnographic Parallels and Comparisons). Frazer further subcategorized sympathetic magic into two varieties: that relying on similarity, and that relying on contact or ‘contagion.’

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