Superstition: 1. The Problem 2. Magic 3. Astrology The word “magician” comes from the Persian Magus, of unknown meaning, which was first applied to a caste or tribe of priests among the Medes (cf. the Levites) (Herodotus,
History, I, 101). From his associations with the Babylonian priesthood, the Magus was then understood as an astrologer, an interpreter of dreams and a wizard. Magic then came to mean the art of enchantment, sorcery, the mysterious power of producing marvellous effects by compelling the aid of preternatural forces. 1.
History of religion. The exact definition of magic, its distinction from religion or its place within religion, has been and still is debated. Certain actions are supposed to bring about directly, by compulsion, certain (preternatural) results. More precisely, according to A. Bertholet, they are the direct means of hastening, or bringing to a head, such results. The actions in question are simply the putting in practice of a dynamistic view of the world, and this is probably the kernel of the definition of magic (cf.