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NounEdit

image magic (uncountable)

  1. (now chiefly historical) The use of visual or plastic representations of people, spirits etc., for magical purposes.
    • 1971, Keith Thomas, Religion and the Decline of Magic, Folio Society 2012, page 492:
      The most common maleficent technique was the use of image-magic, by making a model in wax or clay of the proposed victim and then sticking pins or bristles in the part which was to be afflicted.
    • 2008, Derek Collins, Magic in the Ancient Greek World, page 18:
      According to Michael Taussig, Frazer (in the vein of Edward Tylor before him) implies in his extensive treatment of image magic that the images are copies that represent their intended victim.
    • 2013, Frank Klaassen, The Transformations of Magic, page 33:
      In the sense that magical practices employ representations or apparent representations […] all magic is image magic.