Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2020 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming

Folk Magic

  • David WaldronEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-24348-7_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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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

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