Love spell

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Magic of love , painting by the master from the Lower Rhine, 1470–80

Magic of love is a recurring motif in Western art and literature that is linked to archaic ideas and practices that have remained alive up to modern times, and in some cases up to the present day. The aim is to bind a desired person to you, for example through certain rituals .


The love spell is based on the idea that people can be induced to fall in love with another person by administering certain, mostly liquid substances (love potion, in ancient times Philtron ) or by attaching certain objects ( amulets ). The love spell is about creating a real affect in the desired person, not about increasing one's own or someone else's sexual potency or ability to enjoy, as is aimed at with the use of an aphrodisiac .

Love spells in literature and art

In literature and art the motif of the real love charm is taken up more often and made the starting point for tragic failures and entanglements. Perhaps the oldest manifestation of the subject in the Western world is the story of Heracles and Deianeira , in which the Nessos shirt soaked in poisoned blood turns out to be a deadly gift. The best-known adaptations of the theme include William Shakespeare's comedy A Midsummer Night's Dream and Richard Wagner's opera Tristan und Isolde , which in turn goes back to the epic epic Gottfried von Strasbourg . Further examples of the use of the love spell motif are Donizetti's opera L'elisir d'amore , Manuel de Falla's ballet El amor brujo (The Magic of Love) and Frank Wedekind's Schwank The Love Potion .

See also


  • Urs Benno Birchler: The role of women in lovesickness and love potions. In: Sudhoffs Archiv 59, 1975, pp. 311-320.
  • Richard Paasch: love spells and love potions. In: Archiv für Frauenkunde 12, 1926, pp. 90-101.

Web links

Individual evidence