I found this topic to be interesting, so I wanted to post it in the coven forum as well as here in the public forums.
Sympathetic magic, also known as Imitative magic, is a type of magic in which the ritual performed imitates the real actions or results that you wish to bring about. Forms of this magic include: candle magic, poppets, and beating a broom with water to attract rain, etc.
Image magic is a form of sympathetic magic based around the belief of "like affects like." One of the earliest examples was found 25,000 years ago. Large clay sculptures of bears were found in a cave in France. They were marked with holes from spears. The ancient people would ritualistically stab the sculptures, acting out the hunt. It was believed that this act would ensure a successful hunt.
Most image magic is done to achieve negative outcomes, however it can be used for positive or beneficial outcomes as well. A positive form involves the use of poppets, and is done for healing or binding spells/rituals. Today healing and binding spells are what it is mainly used for, and at one time it was considered to be one of the most effective forms of magic.
I know it's not a lot of info on the subject, but I thought it an interesting tidbit none the less.
The Witch Book: The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, Wicca, and Neo-Paganism. - Written by Raymond Buckland.