The (Im)Materiality of Everyday Magic

Cataloguing Magic

By Ceri Houlbrook

I was reading through Adam Parker’s fascinating perspective on ‘Magic in Archaeology’ and was struck by his Umbrella Paradigm. Adherence to unwritten ‘laws’ concerning what will bring you bad luck, good luck, future fortune, and so on, is prevalent in contemporary society. We make wishes on wishbones. We avoid walking under ladders. We knock on wood to avoid tempting fate. Whether or not there is any actual belief behind the adherence is hard to judge and even harder to write about, but physical adherence itself is widespread. This much can hardly be doubted.
What interests me is how these adherences leave very little trace in the material record. The material evidence of an umbrella testifies to its use as a device to protect against rainfall; it does not testify to the notion that it’s considered unlucky to open an umbrella indoors. Likewise, the material evidence of a…

View original post 355 more words


About Jack

BRIEF BIO: Jack Gunter is a writer of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and songs. He is the co-owner of Open Door Communications, a copywriter, an inventor, and a former broker and private investigator. He is a naturalist and an amateur scientist and cryptologist. He likes to compose music and to design and play games and puzzles of all types. He homeschooled his children. He lives in the Upstate of South Carolina with his beautiful wife, talented two daughters, his old friend and Great Dane Sam, and his three Viking Cats.

Posted on October 7, 2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: