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Mythology/magical tradition question

  1. Jul 19, 2010 #1
    Anybody knows some magical tradition that uses body movements synchronous with some natural phenomena?

    Something like the following example: randomly moving fire, a 'wizard' starts moving his hands to match the fire movement patterns, some time passes, fire starts moving matching the 'wizard' hands movement patterns. Along these lines... Preferably based on some real life traditions/myths, but well known fantasy would do too. That's for video game / demo trivia. Thanks!
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  3. Jul 21, 2010 #2
    I am not sure it will help but I will try. The legend of a witches' broomstick being able to make them fly around has been atributed to the practice of putting a Belladonna consentrate on to a cloth wraped around a stick. The consentrate contained many anticholinerigic compounds. The witches would strattle the stick and the soaked cloth between their legs. The chemicals would be absorbed through vaginal tissue. That is the most technical I feel like being. The anticholinergic effects of the ingredients would lead the witch to feel like she (or he ) was flying. This is the best example of a physical act having a "supernatural" consequence. I have been called a junkie for less but o whell. I hope some how this helps you on us humans starange practices.
  4. Jul 21, 2010 #3


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    I'm sure many fertility rituals were VERY evocative of the "natural phenomenon", for example, hand movements..
  5. Jul 22, 2010 #4
    Uh, that's not exactly what I'm looking for. What I'm trying to find is some folklore that exploits a kind of synchronicity concept. Specifically a kind that uses the following idea:
    1) Given: more or less random natural phenomena;
    2) Wizard: doing (or even observing) some actions in sync with the phenomena;
    3) Wizard: doing the same action to control (cause) the phenomena.

    I've given an example with fire in the previous post. Another example:
    1) Phenomena: thunderstorm/rain;
    2) Wizard: observes noise (thunder, associates it with the rain);
    3) Wizard: beats drum to cause the rain.

    Voodoo comes to mind, but it is a bit generic and have strong associations with voodoo dolls, so that's not it. I'd prefer something more associated with body movements / sounds, etc. Some eastern stuff with Tai-chi-like movements would be the best. Or some ritual magic. Any obscure folklore/fantasy with deep roots. I'm pretty sure there should be something.
  6. Jul 22, 2010 #5
    I would look into the Kung Fu and Yogi traditions.
    While not traditionally classified as 'Magical', the descriptions of what a true master it supposed to be able to do frequently fits into those catagories.

    Some of the shaman type traditions might fit also.
    Totems and such.
  7. Jul 25, 2010 #6


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  8. Jul 28, 2010 #7
    Hmm... Dance enactment? Interesting. The trouble is it wouldn't fit into the game demo implementation. I need something small, more like hand movements - gestures.

    Again, that's for a game demo trivia. To give you better idea onto what I'm trying to do - currently I have a kind of simplified game prototype: web camera as an input device and ability to learn/classify two gestures. Neat part is that gestures are not hard coded. User can make any well defined gesture, only requirement - do it in rhythm (following) a randomly displayed picture. At some point (when a certain coincidence confidence level is achieved) the gesture gets learned and the user gets control over the random process. IMHO that's pretty cool. From the nerdy perspective that is.

    Now the task is to make the game more interesting. That's why I'm searching for cool ideas in some obscure magical traditions :) Some supercool stuff like the following:
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2010
  9. Jul 28, 2010 #8


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    Do they have to be from mythology?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_gestures" [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  10. Jul 28, 2010 #9
    Yes. The reason for that is that I think it could be pretty cool to find some obscure ritual magic tradition and actually make it work in a game demo. That's sort of the whole point, aside from exploring machine learning algorithms (HMAX/HTM/HHMM/etc).
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
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