[NB] Assyria, Derrida, and a Language of the Earth

O radiance of the great gods, light of the earth
Illuminator of the world regions
Lofty judge, creator of heaven and earth
O Shamash, by your light you scan the totality of lands as if they were cuneiform signs
You never weary of divination.
—hymn from the reign of Ashurbanipal, qtd. by Derrida in of Grammatology, qtd. by Zainab Bahrani in Rituals of War (61)

I take an especial pleasure in this citation, the way this text joins other texts, like a needle and thread cinching together fabrics.

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[NB] Ten of Swords

I wind up my morning routine with a little Tarot on most days. I don’t do anything fancy just throw down some cards to point me at my day. Lately, I have been seeing a network of cards show up again and again, cards that aren’t exactly pleasant, but don’t feel like they are quite directed at me. The Ten of Swords is one of them.

Today, I sat back from the reading and popped open the internet, chewing the Ten over while I let my fingers wander. The first place I go to? Well, something says to pull up Runesoup. There, fresh from Gordon, is my Ten’s interpretation. Those cards are about the situation that my actions have to keep in mind.

So, here, let me share a little advice from my personal reading. Maybe it will help, maybe it won’t.

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Clarity and Confusion

I know I have talked about the sort of binary geomancy presumes, but I am not sure if I have said clearly enough what the practical results of that binary are for divination. Similarly, while I have talked about the triplicate structure that drives geomancy, I am not sure that I have explained how it manifests within the core binary of geomancy. So, this is that post. I’ll try to be brief.

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Noodling over Divination

Tim Powers writes a lot of fiction about magical topics but is himself a conservatively religious sort of guy. I quite respect that sort of attitude–cautious awareness of the wider spiritual world joined to a serious respect for the very humane spiritual traditions that have traditionally been kind to people qua people. Anyway, I quite like the way he portrays Tarot in his book Last Call (which seems to mirror his own personal distrust of Tarot): when you spread out the cards, the spirit world has a chance to look at you. It is something of a one-way mirror, so that while you see in the reading yourself and your situation, the spirits see you. Like a one-way mirror, you can’t always tell if there is someone on the other side, but there might be.

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[NB] Talk to Me of Destiny

Happy New Year, peoples. In the spirit of the new year, I am going to experiment a little here, posting some much rougher entries under the category ‘Notebook.’ I plan to use this on a trial basis, so I’m not sure if the category will have staying power. I see these posts serving two uses.

First, they provide me a place to share a little of what I am reading and thinking as I am doing it and have the added bonus of showing some of my conceptual work.

Second, and more importantly, they serve to anchor some concepts I plan to use in future posts, providing a kind of dictionary to which I can link.

I’ll flag them [NB] in the title, as well as assigning them a category so they are easy to pick out, either to examine or disregard.

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The Limits of Mediumship & Divination

I have mentioned this before, but one of the things I appreciate about George Yeats is her understanding of the medium’s role in mediumship. She makes clear that the quality of the medium shapes the quality of the message. The medium has to work at being a good medium and that includes developing their intellectual faculties so that spirits have easier access to concepts for communicating.

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