Handwriting as Sympathetic Magic

This Crooked Crown

Sympathetic magic is the umbrella term for magic spells or techniques that a person or thing can be affected through their name or an object that represents them. The most common form of this is poppet magic.

There’s two facets of this type of magic. The first is imitation, such as that of a poppet, where the object is created to imitate the target. The second is contagion or contact, where the object has been touched or comes from the target, such as hair or a shirt.

These terms originate from Sir James George Frazer of The Golden Bough fame. But sympathetic is a fairly worldwide phenomena and has been evidenced since prehistoric times. Archaeologist and anthropologists are studying modern hunter and gatherer peoples to partially inform over the actions of previous hunter /gatherer peoples. In short, there is a theory that some cave paintings are linked to sympathetic magic…

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