The work with the seal strengthens my conviction that the references to ‘Cabala’ in some of the grimoires isn’t just for show, it isn’t just a word that magicians were dropping in their texts because it sounded mysterious. It seems reasonable to consider that one of the channels opened by the Kabbalistic work (and if not precisely the Kabbalistic strain, then one of its relatives) constitutes for itself the grimoiric world.
The way in which my work with the seal manifested under the contemplation of the Hebrew alphabet leads me to believe that similar work shaped the emergence of the seals in the grimoires, though in most cases the grimoires so-called have circulated outside the practical context in which they could be perceived as one permutation among many, an experiment rather than a rulebook. That doesn’t undo their potency, but it vitiates it (cf., being overrun with someone else’s words).
An account this large allows us to firmly place the Americas within this context. Even where the grimoires themselves have only begun to circulate recently (e.g., grimoires undermining mestizo shamanism in the Amazon region), there have been apocalyptic-gnostic fusions of ecstatic medicines and Christianity for centuries.
Which brings me back to the Tetragrammeton, to the movement toward Israel. The final ‘H’ is also what Philip K. Dick called Zebra, what the Gnostics called Sophia, and what many of the early Christians called simply the Holy Spirit. It is the movement of the divine that gathers us together. It may embody the gathering of all things together within creation; within our human lives, it manifests as community.
This not likely to be the universal community imagined by some strains of Christianity and Islam. We don’t live lives big enough for that. Ours is a much more limited movement that contains the possibility of greater unity mediated by fond, if somewhat abstract, feeling.
Probably best not to over-romanticize that. Oppositions between our ways of living lead us to conflict, and conflict becomes part of community. Here the Yeatsian work shows back up, with its opposing covens of people developing aspects of the same spiritual reality, just one that is too big for one community to do on its own. We do hope to assert the supremacy of mercy over severity even as we find ourselves caught up in severity’s grip (Zora Neale Hurston being instructed to read from Job in preparation for one of her hoodoo initiations, Job where we discover the destructive majesty of God).
Not exactly at odds with Gordon’s account of the grimoire tradition, but not exactly identical, either. Gordon’s account is almost too close to think meaningfully with. Maybe it’s just the difference between thinking in the land ruled by Lucifer and that ruled by Asteroth? That’s not the sort of thing I would have expected myself to say all that long ago, but maybe? I sometimes wonder if Andrew Chumbley’s work would leave me with a similar impression (not so curious that I’m looking to sink a small ransom into procuring it).
The Verum’s references to the three major spirits having ties to regions of the Earth can be connected to the angels of a people and of nations that can be found in Kabbalism. That regional attachment has also manifested for me. Hmm, speaking of spiritualism and its habits of masking spirits with national (stereo)types.
That question of masks…that may be the proper path to follow. What the Kabbalistic work does seem to facilitate is the personification of spiritual potencies, the personification being that which allows us to engage in the sort of communication which allows us to undertake the rectification of the order of creation (or, alternately, to turn creation into a playground of our pettier desires for power, wealth, sex, etc.).
I’m rambling a bit, aren’t I? Let me draw a line under this for now and leave it to simmer.