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What is an Effigy: a Three-Dimensional Image

Updated on:


Written by: Dawn Black (Witchipedia)


Reviewed by: Tina Caro

An effigy is a three-dimensional image created to resemble a specific person or entity. They are usually created to be destroyed.

In modern times, effigies are often created in caricature of political figures and burned as a form of protest to show the peoples’ displeasure with the individual.

An effigy may be created and then destroyed as a magical act to banish an individual or entity or cause them harm.

An effigy of a dying God or another figure of heroic sacrifice may be created and burned or otherwise destroyed as part of certain rituals to commemorate the God or hero’s sacrifice.

An effigy of an unwanted entity may be created and destroyed to banish that energy or to celebrate their cyclical departure. For example, effigies of Marzanna, a Slavic Goddess of death and rebirth are drowned to celebrate the end of winter.

Other Uses

Some funerary art is referred to as effigy, especially those images of the dead that are lying down over their resting place.

The word effigy is also used to describe the portrait (face) depicted on the “head” side of a coin.

About Morningbird (Witchipedia's Founder)

I am a homesteading hearth witch who grew up along the shores of the Hudson River and has lived among the Great Lakes for the past 20 years. Together with my musical husband and youngest child, I steward a one-acre mini homestead with herb, vegetable and flower gardens, chickens, ducks, geese and rabbits, and areas reserved for native plants and wildlife. 

I have three children; two are grown, and I have been practicing magick alone and with family and friends for over 30 years.

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