Page:Primitive Culture Vol 1.djvu/130

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Occult Sciences — Magical powers attributed by higher to lower races — Magical processes based on Association of Ideas — Omens — Augury, &c. — Oneiromancy — Haruspication, Scapulimancy, Chiromancy, &c. — Cartomancy, &c. — Rhabdomancy, Dactyliomancy, Coscinomancy, &c. — Astrology — Intellectual conditions accounting for the persistence of Magic — Survival passes into Revival — Witchcraft, originating in savage culture, continues in barbaric civilization; its decline in early mediæval Europe followed by revival; its practices and counter-practices belong to earlier culture — Spiritualism has its source in early stages of culture, in close connexion with witchcraft — Spirit-rapping and Spirit-writing — Rising in the air — Performances of tied mediums — Practical bearing of the study of Survival.

IN examining the survival of opinions in the midst of conditions of society becoming gradually estranged from them, and tending at last to suppress them altogether, much may be learnt from the history of one of the most pernicious delusions that ever vexed mankind, the belief in Magic. Looking at Occult Science from this ethnographic point of view, I shall instance some of its branches as illustrating the course of intellectual culture. Its place in history is briefly this. It belongs in its main principle to the lowest known stages of civilization, and the lower races, who have not partaken largely of the education of the world, still maintain it in vigour. From this level it may be traced upward, much of the savage art holding its place substantially unchanged, and many new practices being in course of time developed, while both the older and newer developments have lasted on more or less among modern cultured nations. But during the ages in which progressive