New PDF release: The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion
By Sir James George (O.M., F.R.S., F.B.A. ) Frazer
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Extra info for The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion
Where beliefs like these prevail as to the sympathetic connexion between friends at a distance, we need not wonder that above everything else war, with its stern yet stirring appeal to some of the deepest and tenderest of human emotions, should quicken in the anxious relations left behind adesire to turn the sympathetic bond to thp. utmost account for the benefit of the dear ones who may at any moment be fighting and dying far away. Hence, to secure an end so natural and laudable, friends at horne are apt to resort to devices which will strike us as pathetic or ludicrous, according as we consider their object or the means adopted to effect it.
The common custom of swearing upon a stone may be based partly on a belief that the strength and stability of the stone Iend confirmation to an oath. " But while a general magical efficacy may be supposed to reside in aU stones by reason of their common properties of weight and solidity, special magical virtues are attributed to particular stones, or kinds of stone, in accordance with their individual or specific qualities of shape and colour. For example, the Indians of Pern employed certain stones for the increase of maize, others for the increase of potatoes, and others again for the increase of cattle.
Oreover, all the time that the voyage lasts three or four young girls, specially chosen for the duty, are supposed to remain in sympathetic connexion with the mariners and to contribute by their behaviour to the safety and success of the voyage. On no account, except for the most necessary purpose, may they quit the room that has been assigned to them. More than that, so long as the vessel is believed to be at sea they must remain absolutely motionless, crouched on their mats with their hands clasped between their knees.
The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion by Sir James George (O.M., F.R.S., F.B.A. ) Frazer