{Guest Post} Michelle Lowery Combs (@miclowery77): Magic & Miracles: Genies vs. Golems

Kelsey Ketch

Lovers of fantasy may be familiar with the mythic golem of Jewish folklore. Examples of the clay figure, brought to life by Kabbalistic magic, have appeared in recent years as a Marvel Comics character, on television’s X-Files and Sleepy Hollow, and in Jonathan Stroud’s Bartemeaus children’s book series. When I began exploring the idea of a golem as antagonist for the second installment of my Genie Chronicles, Solomon’s Bell, I was captivated by the opposite yet compatible qualities of the folk figure in comparison to the series’ djinn, supernatural Arabian and later Islamic creatures of mythology and theology anglicized as genies.

According to the Quran, genies are born of a smokeless but scorching fire. They exist in their own realm, but can be called forth to interact with us. Like humans, they can be good, evil, or neutrally benevolent. In Western lore, they are shape-shifters, jokesters, and tricksters who will…

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