Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/139

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Reviews. 1 2 7

viana. In the second place, such power manifests itself pre- eminently in a Verwandlungsfdhigkeil, a capacity for metamorphosis — for ' multipresence,' to coin a word — which maintains the self- identity of the magical agency though it be there but in the shape of a nail-paring, an image, or a mere name. Mark the corollary. Animism, the theory that the essence of divinity consists in soul, must forego a large portion of its empire. What has been hitherto invariably taken for indwelling incorporeal soul is in many, nay most, cases naught else but indwelling mana, virtually incorporeal since indifferent as to the form in which it clothes itself. Thus the Mexican maize-goddess Chicome coatl is a young maiden, an old woman, the actual maize growing in the lield, the life-giving food, and so on ; bur, whether person or thing, is in all appear- ances a power. Asks Dr. Preuss: "1st zu all dem ein Geist notig?" Now I am at any rate at one with Dr. Preuss in believing («) that a " pre-animisiic " religion is to be found in active existence amongst savages, the objects of which are "powers," liable, indeed, to be more or less personified, but lacking the distinctive attribute of soul ; {b) that magic may directly generate religion. Indeed, I have already expressed in Folk-Lore similar views, to which Dr. Preuss is kind enough to refer. But can one go further, and, with Dr. Preuss, regard magic as the generating cause of all religion? I am inclined, provisionally, to follow him, revising, that is, enlarging, my conception of magic accordingly. My previous notion of magic was that it was primarily the mysterious activity exerted by the man who casts a spell on his neighbour ; whereas anything mysterious might, in my view, be an object of pre-animistic religion. Dr. Preuss, however, would apparently identify magic with any kind of mysterious activity. Now, if we may legitimately do this, magic would, I allow, become virtually coextensive with the most primitive kind of religion ; for there is good psychological ground for thinking that, in order to objectify the mysterious at all, the savage must endow it with some sort of activity, some power of holding its own, so to speak, against him. It remains to show that we may legitimately widen our idea of magic so as to embrace all kinds of mysterious activity, and still preserve some definite meaning for the word, and one allied to, and continuous with, the sense or senses it ordinarily bears.