Chapter

The Tools of Magic

Ariel Glucklich

in The End of Magic

Published in print May 1997 | ISBN: 9780195108798
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199853434 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195108798.003.0016
The Tools of Magic

Show Summary Details

Preview

The voices of magicians are rich with sacred power that is renowned as mantra. Magicians accept the fact that mantra encompasses manifest and hidden divine forces and holds recoiled magical efficacies that are released by experts. Magical sounds are hardly limited to India, of course. “Abracadabra” and “hocus pocus” have become synonymous with magic itself. Just as the mantra is ubiquitous in India, spells, charms, and incantations are everywhere else around the world. The act of reciting or chanting—word meanings aside—must be explained by reference to a general theory. A reductive explanation, like James Frazer's imitative principle, must be applied to this strange, though universal, human behavior. The majority of those who practice magical healing in Banaras regard mantra as the most powerful tool in their bag. Objects used in magical rites in Banaras range from water and stones to clay and metal pots, hammers, string, amulets made of numerous types of objects, and paper.

Keywords: Banaras; magic; magicians; mantra; magical sounds; spells; magical healing; magical rites; imitative principle; chanting

Chapter.  7137 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.