Preface to a Series on Geomancy: Correspondences as Assemblages

For each of the days of the coming week, you will see a post. Each post is organized around a double letter of the Sefer Yetzirah, a pair of geomantic signs, and a network of correspondences that I have derived from their interaction with each other. These posts are the fruit of a period of exploration and work on my part to introduce the two systems to each other and allow them to engage in a dialogue with each other.

This project develops a sense of mine that magical correspondences have their basis in the active operation of spiritual intelligences and that one of the best ways to develop a flexible system of correspondences is to develop a deeper relationship with the intelligences that produce them. Rather than develop a table of equivalences, the goal of this work is to develop a sensibility for the modes of manifestation for these intelligences.

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[NB] Virtual World

[This is the first of the pages being fed back into the blog. It’s a bit heady, but it has some bearing on the matter of correspondences which I will be talking about in the near future.]

I picked up the idea of the virtual from Gilles Deleuze and it is a concept that has much utility as we set out to discuss what it means to talk about the spiritual world. On this page, I am going to provide a brief introduction to the concept and its applications to occult philosophy. To get at this Deleuzian approach to the virtual I will need to do four things:

  1. distinguish this use of the term from another popular use of the term.
  2. define this term.
  3. detail the relationship between the two uses of the term which partially justifies the same word being applied to both.
  4. highlight how all of this can inform occult thinking.

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Running and Returning

The Sefer Yetzirah enjoins us to both run and return and Ari Kaplan rephrases that in a useful fashion, pointing out that to run is to swing into the mystical and visionary state while to return is to come back to our critical and analytical framework and to subject what we experienced in the visionary state to disciplined contemplation. What we extract from that disciplined contemplation is what we will use to run forth again, to push more deeply into the mystical and visionary.

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[NB] Blocks of Time

One of the tings that I wanted to gently touch on again has to do with something that I said in my last post, about the nature of the work being caught up in hunches, synchronicities, and dreams, one of the reasons that I am quite fond of the tree of life model which treats the sefirot as forms of time. Which is, namely, that it makes clear what so much ritual work is about—a way of developing relationships to time.

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[NB] Menos Macho

These last few weeks, blocks of my past keep bubbling up around my exploration of the Kabbalistic material. The brief aside about the Apocryphon of John, for example, has at its root the recollection of a short story I wrote in high school after having just discovered the Nag Hammadi Library. This is roughly contemporary with my first efforts to take a horoscope and made a tarot deck for myself with index cards, magic markers, and laminating sheets (see, memories). It seems like that is partly because these memories have a place to go, a block of becoming to which they and I both belong.

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Wading into the Depths

I am probably going to be talking about the Saadia material for a bit. I am not talking about it from a sense of expertise with the material and its context, but from the way in which it seems to provide a solid model for talking about the spiritual work I have been engaged within. Heck, being able to explore the model without diving into that context is one of the model’s virtues—it has the quality of a theorem which I can examine and apply according to its inner logic.

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By Theft and By Gift

I believe it was in Difference & Repetition that Deleuze specified that the foundation of any system of exchange was not exchange at all, but theft and gift. This fits into his broader argument in that text regarding the derivative nature of systems of equivalence and representation. Those are deep waters, beyond the scope of a blog to plumb, but I want to focus on that bit about theft and gift in regards to a discussion of spiritual syncretism and appropriation.

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