Definition of sympathetic magic in English:

sympathetic magic


  • [mass noun] Primitive or magical ritual using objects or actions resembling or symbolically associated with the event or person over which influence is sought.

    • ‘The Mother gives birth and through sympathetic magic brings fertility to the crops and the tribe.’
    • ‘Barry Beyerstein believes that sympathetic magic is the basis for many New Age notions such as ‘resonance,’ the idea that if things can be mentally associated they can magically influence each other.’
    • ‘This 400-year project, and her work as a whole, is perhaps a form of prophecy, or an omen, or a piece of sympathetic magic.’
    • ‘Protection against such potential sources of harm was sought through sympathetic magic.’
    • ‘All such forms of divination seem to be based on sympathetic magic and cold reading.’
    • ‘The second reason has to do with the belief that through sympathetic magic, a naturalistic portrait could be transformed into a surrogate for the human body and then manipulated for positive or negative ends.’
    • ‘While modern photography has encouraged a good majority to record important events in their lives through individual and family portraits, the fear lingers that a printed image is susceptible to sympathetic magic.’
    • ‘For instance, sympathetic magic or theurgic magic could be thought of as analogous to painting and sculpture, what you do remains the same, but the materials you use and the style you adopt can differ greatly.’
    • ‘It is also possible that this practice is related to superstitions based on sympathetic magic.’
    • ‘In the laws of sympathetic magic, garnets, whose rich dark red resembles venous blood, relate to bleeding and wounds, blood bonds and disorders, and blood itself; people have used red stones to treat blood diseases.’
    • ‘Reversing the sympathetic magic of primitive beliefs like voodoo, we gamble that like repels like, that the tragic won't need to happen because it has already played out in the pit of our deepest anxiety.’
    • ‘Empty words that everyone seemed to believe would magically draw profits, sympathetic magic from chanting corporate shamans.’
    • ‘Why anyone's fate would be mysteriously contained in playing cards is a mystery; although, sympathetic magic seems to play a role.’
    • ‘In most circles, this kind of thinking is called sympathetic magic.’
    • ‘Particularly useful are the examples given of folk rituals used for curing and divination, which are not only listed but often discussed in detail in the context of the concepts of transference or sympathetic magic.’
    • ‘Ideas with little scientific backing, such as those of sympathetic magic, are popular among ‘alternative’ practitioners and their clients.’
    • ‘This merely underscores the contention that sympathetic magic is the real rationale behind graphology, for the essence of magical thinking is that causes resemble their effects and are therefore interchangeable.’
    • ‘All assignment of metaphysical properties to foods is arbitrary, but may be based on sympathetic magic.’
    • ‘When we practice sympathetic magic, the principle of ‘like attracts like’ is the foundation we build on to get results.’
    • ‘Quackery usually involves integrating metaphysics and such things as sympathetic magic or spiritualism with healing.’
    sorcery, witchcraft, wizardry, necromancy, enchantment, spellworking, incantation, the supernatural, occultism, the occult, black magic, the black arts, devilry, divination, malediction, voodoo, hoodoo, sympathetic magic, white magic, witching, witchery
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