[NB] Revelation and Gnosis in Context

Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation (ἀποκαλύψει; apocalypse), or by knowledge (γνώσει; gnosis), or by prophesying (προφητείᾳ), or by doctrine (διδαχῇ; didactic knowledge or instruction)?—I Corinthians 14:6

I have mentioned Revelation a bit, but I came across this more recently and realized it provides a useful model for talking about what is going on in the text and how it might meant to be received and used. I like it, too, because it helps to flesh out what the gnosis of gnosticism is supposed to be and how it relates to other forms of knowledge and communication. There is also something to be taken here about the place of knowledge derived from ecstasies and trance, which is no small thing either.

Continue reading “[NB] Revelation and Gnosis in Context”

To the Crossroads and into the Frontier

I came across this article thanks to Warren Ellis; I see Ellis’s point clearly enough and it’s one that I have been more than a little concerned about myself, especially in the greater occulture. Kingsnorth, the Dark Mountain, and the broader halo of thinking that surrounds and informs them has significant influence on the scene. It’s a trend that extends well-beyond the greens, too. A lot of folks who are committed to ‘preserving a culture’ are edging along similar terrain, looking to join national autonomy to cultural safety.

Continue reading “To the Crossroads and into the Frontier”

Revisiting Marija Gimbutas

Being sick last week had the silver lining of getting to spend a fair bit of time with both Marija Gimbutas’s The Living Goddess and The Language of the Goddess. There is enough accumulated opinion around her work that I might not have otherwise done that had not sickness whittled my world down to a spare space around the couch, where her books, fresh from the library, sat within easy reach. That’s more than a little ridiculous, when you think about the scholarship I would otherwise tolerate from within the greater magical community.

Of course, that’s part of it, isn’t it? The magical community has garnered for itself a sense of academic credibility (at least in its own mind) in part by accepting certain fashionable academic opinions as givens, including the ones that basically suggest Gimbutas is full of it. The spirit of seriousness lures us with the promise of acceptance if only, as Michael Serres observed, we exclude this third man from our dialogue. Or, well, pace Serres, not a third man, but a woman.

Continue reading “Revisiting Marija Gimbutas”

[NB] A Diaspora of Bulls

Lately, I haven’t had much that I wanted to post here; I’m trying to decide if this is because I am winding down what I am doing here or if I may need to overhaul what I am doing here. No good answers to those questions yet, but while I have been sick these last few days, a few notebook-worthy observations have crossed my mind. Pardon the mess; I’m still feeling a little logy.

Continue reading “[NB] A Diaspora of Bulls”

[NB] Geomancy in Micronesia

I have a tendency to follow my interests all around the bend, into the curious corners and back alleys. When I was tracing what I could of the movement of geomancy around the African and European sphere, I stumbled onto a brief reference to a geomantic practice in Micronesia in William Bascom’s Ifa Divination. It turns out his colleague down the hall, William Lessa, had been doing fieldwork and turned up a system that bore some striking similarities to Ifa. I’ve tried to talk about it elsewhere, but I figured it might merit a proper blog post, too.

Continue reading “[NB] Geomancy in Micronesia”

[NB] Distaff of the Heavens

I’m just riffing off of the recent reading and household discussion of Elizabeth Wayland Barber’s Women’s Work: The First 20,000 Years. It’s a great book and part of its strength is its strength lies in its tight focus on the archaeological record. That costs her some breadth (though it is still a broad book)—for example, there is little said about Africa, Asia, or the Americas. This is generally fine given her argument that the regions she is studying serve as the cradle of string and subsequently weaving technology. Given her deep time frame, diffusion into Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia is easy enough.

Continue reading “[NB] Distaff of the Heavens”

[NB] Kingodi of Ephesus

I am just trying to pull together a little constellation of thoughts and conversations. This post spins at the crossroads of Wole Soyinka’s Myth, Literature, and the African World (ergo a little of Nietzsche’s The Birth of Tragedy by way of Soyinka’s dialogue with it), Zdenka Volavka’s Crown and Ritual, Margaret Thompson and Henry John Drewal’s Gẹlẹdẹ, some household conversations about Dionysos, a smidge of Károly Kerényi’s Dionysos, and a friend’s offhanded observation that the so-called ‘Artemis’ of Ephesus’s so-called ‘breasts’ looked a lot like the nests of bumble bees (having to use ‘so-called’ twice says something, doesn’t it?).

This may also be brought to you by the letter ‘M’ and the number 8. This isn’t intended to be a mash-up of all these elements, but deep-rooted mysteries tend to have many branches and sometimes they intertwine. This is gestural, pointing out how what is disparate in proximity might converge if we trace the outline of their trajectory.

Continue reading “[NB] Kingodi of Ephesus”

Angelic Hierarchy

Mohaveh aggressively organizes itself around the book of Baruch, to the point of reorganizing and retelling Baruch’s mythology, partially in light of previous work through my more diverse and contingent sources (sources which include: the Popol Vuh, diasporic West African cosmology, and accounts of the Sumerian underworld). Mohaveh named itself fairly early, but only recently began to provide me with a sense of its internal structure. The Kabbalistic work has been essential for that, but so, too, has this strange little heresy reported in A Refutation of All Heresies.

Continue reading “Angelic Hierarchy”

Mohaveh’s Cosmology

I’m weird about cosmologies. I constantly make use of them in the middle of things, as a way toward structuring a specific spiritual working, but I am suspicious of them and, to be honest, generally think of them as a bit twee and precious. When it comes down to it, though, in the grand scheme that is the shape of human endeavor. Our ideas make so much possible, but it is their fate to be dissolved in the labors of daily life, to be undone and remade.

And, if I am going to talk about Mohaveh, I have to accept that it comes wrapped in its own cosmology, even if it is the cosmology of a sea anemone, all ragged and hungry. So, let me get to that. The aim here is to provide a cosmology that is both complex and clear, instructive and useful.

Continue reading “Mohaveh’s Cosmology”