Love magic

Love Magic is the attempt to bind the passions of another, or to capture them as a sex object through magical means rather than through direct activity . It can be implemented in a variety of ways such as written spells, dolls, charms, or different rituals.

Love Magic in the Renaissance

During the Renaissance (14th to 17th Century), marriage developed into a central institution for public life. This is reflected in their Love Magic: While the immediate desire was the act of intercourse itself, it was most often practiced in an attempt for a permanent union such as marriage. Magic was expensive and could cause severe damage to the caster; therefore it was not taken lightly. Thus, spells were not just cast upon just anyone in the Renaissance, but on those unions that held special importance. Men and women of status and favor were more often the targets of love magic. Economic or social class restrictions would often inhibit a marriage, and love magic was seen as a way to break those barriers, leading to social advancement.

While the spells were supposed to be kept secret, very rarely were they successful in this. However, if the victim realized that a spell was being cast upon them, believing in magic themselves, they would behave differently adding effectiveness to Love Magic . This communication of ones desire is essential within the concept of love magic as it enabled a timid person to approach the unapproachable.

With the dominance of Christianity and Catholicism in Europe during the Renaissance, elements of Christianity seeped its way into the magic rituals themselves. Often clay dolls or written spell scrolls would be hidden in the altar at churches, or holy candles would be lit in the rituals. The Host from a Catholic Mass would sometimes be taken and used in rituals to gain the desired result. Thus, Love magic within the Renaissance period was both Christian and pagan .

Women in Love Magic

Love Magic was seen as drawing "...heavily upon what was perceived as quintessentially feminine: fertility, birth, menstruation (seen as closely related to both fertility and birth), and a woman's 'nature' or 'shameful parts,' that is, genitals." . This feminine attribute is reflected within the literature such as the Malleus Maleficarum, and in the trials of the Holy Office in which most of the cases brought before the council were women accused of bewitching men. This illustrates the common stereotype that men did not do magic.

Recommended Reading

- Ruggiero, Guido. Binding Passions. Oxford Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 1993


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