My writing head is mostly at noodle lately. I have been thinking about some bigger things, some of which I have already talked about here, others which are big and sweeping and a little scary. I don’t like to let the practice of writing here languish, so, yep, noodling it is. Let’s talk a little more about that book shrine.
I mentioned briefly that the traditional assignation of metals and planets that circulates through much of the contemporary Anglo-magic scene isn’t the only one available; we have at least two Arabic variants readily available in the archive. This afternoon on a library lunch jaunt I had one of those little library angel moments and stumbled upon a book on the planetary connections made in the Mithras cult. Opening it, I found myself looking straight at yet another variant set of metal assignments.
One of my all time favorite occult texts is Epistle 52 of the Brethren of Purity, titled simply ‘On Magic.’ It emerges from the same backdrop of Arabic occultism expressed in the Picatrix, perhaps predating and laying the basis for it. These texts not only get us out of the narrow corridor of ‘Western esotericism’ but provide us with a glimpse into ideas and practices that could have diffused along the length and breadth of the Arabic world. That is pretty crazy when you think about it–Arabic influence extended all over the Old World, from Africa to Europe, from the Middle East well into Asia and the Southeast Asian islands.