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Questions tagged [magic]

For questions about supernatural powers, often possessed by deities. Magic exists in many myths; do not use this tag unless magic is the focus of the question.

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2 votes
1 answer
301 views

What was the area of Koschei's sleeping/petrification spell?

In the Russian folk tale of “Ivan Sosnovich”, it says that the evil Koschei the Deathless put an entire kingdom to sleep (or petrified) via a spell after killing two of the three beauties he heard ...
9 votes
3 answers
5k views

What are the special powers of a unicorn's horn?

The unicorn is a mythological creature similar in appearance to a horse but has a magical horn which is said to have very special powers. Can anyone mention a full list of powers of unicorn horn? I'm ...
2 votes
0 answers
97 views

Need help identifying a specific prophetic or cursed book of unknown origin

My mum recently told me about a book that her own mother (my grandmother) mentioned to her when she was a child. Neither of them actually had a physical copy of the book, but I'd like to know if ...
2 votes
3 answers
251 views

Are There Biblical References to Good Magic?

I believe in God and Christianity and have had this question for a while. Are there scriptural references to good magic outside of heavenly miracles or priesthood? I know there are many stories of (...
0 votes
1 answer
150 views

Scientific inquiries into magic & the paranormal?

Is there any way to test whether people were capable of doing things in those days that they cannot do today? One way (I'm sure there are others) to test would be to see if there are lots of reports ...
2 votes
1 answer
193 views

Prior to the 1800s are there any examples of a (preferably mortal) being described as possessing telekinetic abilities in the modern sense?

For the purposes of this question, by telekinesis I mean the generalized ability to pick up and move most objects at will, not the ability to move a particular object under specific circumstances (...
0 votes
1 answer
150 views

Was the Argo sentient and capable of conversation, or was its speech more like Siri or the USS Enterprise computer?

The Argo was built with a branch from the Dodona oak which, according to numerous sources, could speak. I’m wondering about the nature of this ability: did this “speech” make the Argo a fully ...
9 votes
3 answers
10k views

What is the origin of the myth that witches burn in water?

As per most of the stories I know, witches usually burn when they come into contact with water. Why is this so and what is the origin of this myth? Also,why do witches burn? What about wizards?
2 votes
2 answers
169 views

What would a Roman want to achieve with writing inscriptions and magical signs on bronze nails?

I was strolling through the Wikipedia page on bronze and found a picture of bronze nails from Roman times. Under the picture is a text saying Roman bronze nails with magical signs and inscriptions, ...
5 votes
0 answers
41 views

Is there any historical documentation about witches using windows for divination?

Is there any historical documentation about witches using windows for divination? I have seen some rabbinic scholars (like Alshich, Albo, Abarbanel, and Saba) ntrepret the Biblical passages concerning ...
0 votes
0 answers
105 views

Do there exist any spells or ritual things / chants in Old Norse, Old Irish, or Old English online in text format?

I have found the voluspa and other large Old Norse texts. Then there's Beowulf. I've seen several Old Irish poems as well. But what about spells and magic? Do there exist any of those online in the ...
11 votes
1 answer
1k views

Did Bedwyr (Bedivere) ever have dark magic?

A while back I found a small note (which seems to have been removed because of a lack of proper citation) on the Wikipedia article for Bedivere, speaking of his “role in Welsh tradition” and first ...
14 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why could Lleu Llaw Gyffes only be killed in a certain way?

In the fourth branch of the Mabinogion, Lleu Llaw Gyffes revealed to Blodeuedd that he can only be killed in a certain way. 'Will you, for God's sake and mine, tell me by what means you might be ...
5 votes
1 answer
2k views

Are there stories on gods turning into mortals, or losing immortality?

Besides the story in which Zeus turned Apollo and Poseidon into mortals once, are there more examples of gods losing their immortality in other mythologies as well? Not only in Greek Mythology.
1 vote
0 answers
84 views

What talismans bring good luck in different folklore? [closed]

We all know of the four-leafed clover and the horseshoe - now I wonder what other items are considered magical in various cultures - as in bringing good luck to the owner.
8 votes
1 answer
398 views

Are there any ancient myths about human body parts said to be benefical or detrimental when eaten?

Additionally, do we know why they were said to be beneficial/detrimental? I think I remember a myth in some culture believing that eating your enemy's heart would give you their strength, but I'm not ...
0 votes
1 answer
361 views

What is sympathetic magic?

What is the concept of "sympathetic magic" in mythology?
6 votes
3 answers
527 views

Do leprechauns derive their power from gold?

I am trying to use them in a book I'm writing but I can't find a lot of details regarding Leprechauns. Do they have significant power, do they grant wishes, and if so with what magic? Any answers will ...
9 votes
1 answer
1k views

Who's afraid of steel? Is iron different?

In Swedish folklore, carrying something made of steel – a knife, a pair of scissors, or anything really – is said to ward off various dark forces, anything from trolls to witches. Where does this ...
14 votes
1 answer
404 views

Where did Morgana le Fay come from?

Where did Morgana le Fay come from? From where did she get her power? As the primary antagonist of many Arthurian legends, it always seems to me that she's just there because she's always been there, ...