[Flashback] A Parliament of Vultures

I wrote this on March 3, 2014. I don’t want to throw it out and there isn’t much I want to change except to clear out some verbiage, so I’m posting it as a memory, a bit of a snapshot into a moment of time. It is taking place right on the cusp of one the turning points in the blog, from Phase II to Phase III.

{ ^ }

Yesterday, my partner and I took a nice long walk through our little town. It was a beautiful day, made more precious by imminent cold weather. As we came to the end of our walk at a stretch of revitalized storefronts, black vultures started taking off from just behind the building.

Continue reading “[Flashback] A Parliament of Vultures”

This Is Not A Story

Story’s have beginnings and endings. Even those stories that end leaving us with a sense of messiness and incompleteness, or that open in a disorienting en media res, they have a beginning and end. The sense that they continue, that they extend indefinitely beyond themselves on their own terms is a narrative illusion, trompe l’oeil, but for our sense of time.

Continue reading “This Is Not A Story”

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] 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”

America

Or every spark of friendship and love will die without a home.

When the Democratic Party realized that they should maybe, kind of, make an effort to campaign in my home state, President Obama descended upon one of the local campuses to give everyone the ra-ra-ra. Small little flags popped up, lining the walkways of campus like mushrooms, to disappear almost as suddenly afterward. Afterward, in the wake of the Democratic Party’s defeat, I came across a single little grimy flag entangled in some holly bushes, its pole broken and its fabric creased and crumpled.

Continue reading “America”

[NB] Trees In the Forest of Mystery

I picked up a copy of Frisvold’s latest, Ifá: A Forest of Mystery pretty early out of the gate. I started in my usual way, dipping in and out of the book at random or as some specific curiosity prompted me (what does he say about Ogun? What about Òbárá Meji?). That left me with a favorable impression of the text—each time I came away with a sense of having my understanding both confirmed and expanded.

Continue reading “[NB] Trees In the Forest of Mystery”

Correspondences

I have been away for the last week and have come back a little under the weather. There is one thing that I have had bouncing around in the back of my head that I want to clear out and that is the value of correspondences in magical and mystical work. Without throwing the baby out with the bathwater, this is one place that I think folks tend to get carried away on. They are absolutely essential, no doubt, because it is only through concrete and specific objects and concepts that we are able to generate an instance of the divine intelligence, but it is the relationship itself trumps all, trumps even and especially our ideas about that relationship.

Continue reading “Correspondences”