descriptive term to explain the rationalisation behind primitive magic
; the concepts were fist extensively described by Sir James Frazier in his 'The Golden Bough
', in which he coined the term 'sympathetic magic
Basically, the formula is 'As I do this, so may this happen'. For example:
- 'As this lead is cold and useless, so may NN (convention for the named object of a curse) become cold and useless'
- 'As I stab this doll in the liver, so may NN feel pain in his liver'
- the modern Azande charm, spoken while pricking bananas with crocodile teeth, 'Just as these crocodile teeth are plentiful, so may the bananas be plentiful'.
, or our understanding of it, is that whoever is speaking wishes to create a limited analogy
(rather than a perfect
sympathetic connection) between the two objects. Thus, the Azande caster wants only to stress the numerical relationship between the teeth and bananas, and not any other physical property.