Hocus Pocus Abracadabra Essay

1278 words - 5 pages

As a child the notion of magic was as simple as a magician sawing a woman in half, then piecing her back together, or the illusion of a human gravitating in mid air. Even as adults, we are still awed by such pastime entertainments of magic. On the contrary, Rebecca L. Stein and Philip L. Stein depict magic as a way of life similarly to elements of religion. In The Anthropology of Religion, Magic, and Witchcraft Stein and Stein illustrated magic as being a subcategory to religion; laws of magic; functions of magic; how it works; magic in society; and divination. In terms, of magic, what is it; and what makes it real?
WHAT IS MAGIC?
Magic refers to methods that somehow interface with the supernatural and by which people can bring about particular outcomes (Stein and Stein 136). Unlike religion, magic is geared to the satisfaction of an individual (e.g. Voodoo). Magic in contemporary societies has negative connotations affiliating magic to witchcraft or Voodoo like practices. Unlike religions rituals that tend to involve the whole of the community, magic is often centered on the needs and desires of an individual (Stein and Stein 137). However, in Western civilizations magic is the “answer” to unanswerable questions, and is the validation to which things are the way they are (dream interpretations, psychics). For instance, teenyboppers craze over horoscopes in Pop culture magazines. Readers feed into justifications to their emotions and faith, and hopes of true love. Overall, who wants to be in the world alone and lost? Therefore, horoscopes are the directions when one is confused when they are at the fork in the road. Based on that, is magic an omniscient power that can collectively derive from the supernatural? In some cases, magic has the answers to our doubts, and magic can satisfy our wants or needs (e.g. rain).
It is astonishing how people from different regions of the world utilize magic in more drastic measures than others. Westernized civilizations view methods of magic practices as means of entertainment or for sophisticated scientific purposes, and criticize rural cultures that practice the same technique as primitive or taboo. For example, contemporary cultures rely on meteorologists to forecast weather conditions. Cultures dependent on science for annual weather patterns do not have to prepare for combat for the rain Gods to nourish the land (e.g. Tigre ritual). From the optics of Western civilizations, there are no variables human can dish out to the universe to create rain, or make the sunrise; it’s Mother Nature’s natural cycle. So why does magic differ? Magic can be analyzed in several of ways why people have different views of it. In cases of Mexican traditions of the Tigre, ritual magic empowers the disenfranchised. Zach Zorich explains, in the highlands of central Mexico, villagers stage fights to provide good harvest for rain. If there is no rhyme or reason why condensation is created, it is then why people practice...

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