Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2014 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming

Folk Magic

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6086-2_243

Common to most, if not all preindustrial cultures, is a vibrant tradition of folk magic and ritual tradition closely linked to established mythology, folklore, and archetypal associations. These traditions vary enormously and are closely linked to a variety of social, historical, cultural, political, and economic factors. The many and complex networked structures of belief, ritual, and mythology that coalesce in magical traditions have long been studied and documented by anthropologists and folklorists.

From an analytical psychological perspective, one of the key ingredients of folk magical practices and rituals is that they serve as prima facie expressions of emotion. Malinowski, in his analysis of folk magic in Melanesia, argues that magical ritual is invariably constructed in patterns that evoke emotion and resonate symbolically within a culture. In this sense, emotion, and thus psychology, is at the heart of magical ritual (Malinowski 1948). The ritual serves as a symbolic...

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Bibliography

  1. Frazer, J. (1922). The golden bough: A study of magic in religion. London: Macmillan Press.Google Scholar
  2. Jung, C. G. (1938). Psychology and religion. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Jung, C. G. (1964). Man and his symbols. London: Aldus Books.Google Scholar
  4. Malinowski, B. (1948). Magic, science and other essays. New York: Beacon Free Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Social Science and the HumanitiesUniversity of BallaratBallaratAustralia