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Apotropaic

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Apotropaic

Postby Dr. Goodword » Thu Jan 09, 2014 11:25 pm

• apotropaic •


Pronunciation: æ-pê-trê-pay-ik • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: Capable of warding off evil or bad luck, protecting against misfortune.

Notes: Apotropaism is the process of dispelling evil with magic. An apotropaism is also the amulet, talisman, incantation, or spell that supposedly dispels it. Applying mysticism apotropaically should keep you evil- and misfortune-free for as long as the magic lasts. Click here for a glossary of mysical beliefs.

In Play: Some Haitians apparently consider human heads to be apotropaic: in 2006 a woman of Haitian origin was arrested by US Customs when a head was discovered in her suitcase (click here for proof). However, people who believe that voodoo or other magic can ward off evil and misfortune differ in exactly what they believe an effective apotropaism is: "Ty Kuhn considers money the best apotropaism—if you have enough of it." Meanness sometimes works in milder situations: "Phillipa Bird returned from her unsuccessful sales trip with an apotropaic scowl on her face".

Word History: Today's Good Word comes from Greek apotropaios, a word borrowed and kept alive in modern Hebrew as apitropos "guardian, trustee". The Greek original came from the verb apotrepein "to ward off", made up of apo "away from" + trepein "to turn". The noun from trepein is tropos "a turn", which turns up in English trope "metaphor", a figurative turn of word or phrase (similes, hyperboles, and the like are all tropes). Quite a few other English words are based on this borrowing. Sunflowers are heliotropic, which means that they always turn toward the sun. The tropics are determined by the turning of the Earth on its cock-eyed axis. (It is now time to turn to thanking Sara Goldman for adding to our good luck by suggesting this word for our series.)
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Re: Apotropaic

Postby LukeJavan8 » Fri Jan 10, 2014 1:19 pm

I like the fact that Doc's list of fortunetelling
words is accompanied by an advertisement
for a Psychics Readings. Good one, Doc.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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Re: Apotropaic

Postby prob60 » Tue Jan 14, 2014 9:16 pm

Your discussion of this word implies that you equate mysticism with superstition and the invocation of amulets. I don't understand that to be the case. Mysticism is the seeking/finding of psychological or spiritual union with whatever one experiences as the creative origins of existence. There's no warding off of evil necessary or implied.
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Re: Apotropaic

Postby Perry Lassiter » Fri Jan 17, 2014 8:04 pm

Welcome prob60! A valid point, except the word is used variously. Doc's use, i would guess, is a common parlance. In philosophy or religion, mysticism is indeed the seeking of a supreme moment of union with deity or the All, etc. Usually there is a way proposed to that supreme high, but never a guarantee that one would reach it. It comes as a surprise or an act of grace. Most religions have their mystics. Some even use drugs to achieve that ineffable peak.
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Re: Apotropaic

Postby Philip Hudson » Sat Jan 18, 2014 3:22 am

Welcome prob60! Post often.

Meister Eckhart was a German theologian and mystic who was supposedly a Christian. Some people seem to get high on religion. I think it is incompatible with Christianity. As in most things, mysticism should be practiced in moderation.

Re: Apotropaic - As a teenager I passed through a phase when my body was outgrowing my ability to coordinate it. My grandfather took me to a “Christian” curador to restore my coordination. The curador told me to get a lump of asafetida, put it in a little bag and hang it around my neck on a string as an apotropaism. if you have ever smelled the stuff, you know why I refused it.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
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Re: Apotropaic

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sun Jan 19, 2014 5:05 pm

I suspect it is hard to be a mystic in moderation. The experience they seek is generally ecstatic which is almost an antonym for moderate.
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Re: Apotropaic

Postby willis4 » Mon Jun 09, 2014 1:06 am

theres a whole complete listing of psychological disorders here, and thanks for this info.psychological disorders list or manic depression
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