In Joe Haldeman’s very clever, very chilling short story “Armaja Das,” found in the collection Infinite Dreams, there is a Gypsy magical method of taking a curse from one person - in this case, the curse manifests itself as an unnamed, awful, highly virulent disease - and throwing it onto someone else. It turns out that the protagonist might just as well have let it kill him.
Soul Jar doesn’t capture what I’m looking for. It implies a safe haven in which one can store things away as protection from others.
I’m looking for something more of an object in which I can cast negative aspects of myself that I don’t like. I don’t want to protect it from my enemies. Hell, they can have it. I’m trying to get rid of it.
Thank you, though, Inner Stickler. I appreciate the response.
I can’t think of anything more general than a scapegoat which traditionally only assumes guilt rather than any negative characteristic. Cultural portrayals of voodoo dolls are as part and parcel of sympathetic magic. One could do as you suggest by creating a voodoo doll of yourself and then healing the doll in a manner which would eliminate whatever characteristic you no longer wish to have. Real voodoo dolls, of course, have more complex histories and usages than the ones we see in tv shows and movies.
I guess I have to agree with this and the two post that follow. “Scapegoat” is probably the best term, even though, as Inner Stickler states, it’s mostly associated with guilt more than broad feelings in general.
So I guess voodoo doll doesn’t have an opposite in as much as it covers a broad spectrum.
Now I’m off to create an overweight voodoo doll suffering from insomnia and foot pain.
I actually have a ritual for such a thing, but it doesn’t surprise me you haven’t heard of it because it’s still not common practice for us witches to freely publish/distribute our Book of Shadows (or, these days HardDisk of Shadows).
It’s a bit long to post because there are notes and annotations for the non-Pagan. If the OP milquetoast is interested in a copy of it I’d be happy to e-mail it, just PM me with a valid e-mail address.
Of course, if anyone else is interested they can let me know, too.
Yes,there is a doll that will take on all your woes but it is no longer manufactured so you’ll have to find one on Ebay or maybe Craigs list,it’s the Chatty Cathy doll.I have one hidden in an old suitcase in the rafters and ever since I cast a spell that enabled me to to transfer all my cares unto the doll I’ve never felt better and I look as fresh as a daisy.The doll is another story,she looks like two miles of bad road.
I don’t recall any special term for the phenomenon, but I can think of two examples from fiction right off (spoilers, naturally).
[spoiler]In The Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold, Lord Arhys is a dead man kept “alive” by a sorcerous link to his half-brother, whose life sustains him. When Lord Arhys is wounded, the wound appears on his half brother instead. In his final battle, Arhys is sustained by both his half brother and his wife; each wound he takes is shared among the two so fatal wounds are only half fatal. When the link is broken the wounds vanish from the wife and half brother and return to the now-fully-dead Arhys.
In the Nightside book Just Another Judgement Day there’s an incident involving a business that is using people from an alternate universe as “voodoo dolls, but in reverse”. Basically as you say, they serve like Dorian Gray’s portrait but for everything; overindulgence in food, drinks and drugs; the negative effects of surgery; disease; it all hits the “dolls” while the clients suffer nothing. Until, that is, the protagonist breaks the link…and the clients suffer the standard fate of getting hit with all those accumulated ills at once[/spoiler]
Somewhat similarly, in Hellboy II: The Golden Army,
a murderously ambitious Elven prince and his much sweeter twin sister have joined fates. Just as the prince is on the brink of winning a battle and then destroying humanity, his sister commits suicide, killing him too, as there was no other way to stop him.