Sympathetic Magic and Modern Lucky Charms


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Sympathetic magic is practice associated with the earliest forms of art. Essentially, the practice of sympathetic magic seeks to manifest desire and positive outcomes through focusing energy through an object which is sometimes found and/or sometimes made by the practioner. The sculpture we have studied in this unit, The Venus of Willendorf, is one example of this practice in the Paleolithic Era. We believe this sculpture may have been kept in order to bring fertility to the land and people. In our contemporary society many people keep special objects they have collected throughout their life as keepsakes and charms, and use them as sources of strength and comfort.


Photograph and object that is special to you, and upload it to the class discussion board. If you do not wish to share an object of yours, choose a fictional or media figure who uses a good luck charm instead. Write a short description of why this object is special to you.


Ruby of Desire.jpg

“The Ruby of Desire”

This is the most recent object that I have found and added to my collection of good luck charms and keepsakes. Over the summer I watched a show on Netflix called Neil Gaiman’s “The Sandman.” I am a comic book colletor and have long known the series, so I was excited to watch the show. I thought it was amazing, and it helped me work through some of my own thoughts concerning important subjects such as death, longevity, authenticity, justice, and desire.

A week after I watched the show I went to Disneyland with my ex. We stayed in the Sheraton Anaheim, which has a small cafe, sandwich and gift shop in the lobby. One evening I went down to get sandwiches and was obliged to wait ten minutes for my order. During this time, I browsed the attached gift shop to occupy my attention while I waited. I would have never perused the gift shop if I wasn’t waiting for the sandwiches. Soon after passing through a section of “Stich” and “Mickey” plushies, I found a tray of plastic gems, and this ruby.

Because I had recently watched “The Sandman” my mind immediately went to “the ruby of desire”, one of the magical objects that Morpheus, Dream of the Endless (The Sandman) uses to do his work for humanity. The ruby manifests the wishes and desires of whoever possesses it. In the show, it is stolen from him and some of his adventures hinge upon getting it back, only to destroy and absorb it’s power. I thought “could this be the ruby?”, and then quickly admonished myself “It’s just a piece of cheap plastic that costs $6.99, move on bro.” I picked up my sandwiches and left the shop.

The next day I couldn’t shake the feeling that I had left something important behind in the gift shop. I stopped in the gift shop before we left, bought the ruby, and took it home.


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