Ancestry and lineage are hot topics in magical circles these days, but in talking about these things we often fall into vague and romantic notions about how kinship is constituted and defined. Having talked about the very concrete connections between kinship and kalunga recently, Lucien Scubla’s Giving Life, Giving Death: Psychoanalysis, Anthropology, Philosophy has been a timely read. The way in which Scubla repositions kinship studies to emphasize the central fact of maternity (and highlight how it is often overlooked) resonates with much of my own thinking.
This post comes together at the crossroads of three trajectories. The first, mentioned in this post, is the potential that the Watchers are the zodiacal constellations. The second is Aryeh Kaplan’s (Sefer Yetzirah in Theory and Practice) discussion of the two serpents in Kabbalistic lore, one being Draco the constellation, the other being the ecliptic. The third is a vision I had a while ago around spirits dancing down toward the earth on the back of a great snake.
While Orlov is talking through the broader Gnostic and Hermetic horizon that the Slavonic both informs and is informed by, he makes an off-hand observation that I want to highlight here. 2 Enoch contains an account of God setting the planets that runs counter to most classical forms. Beginning with Kronos (Saturn), 2 Enoch proceeds inward to Aphrodite (Venus), Ares (Mars), the Sun, Zeus (Jupiter), Hermes (Mercury), and concludes with the Moon.
Apparently, I’m all about the library angels these last couple of posts.
While I was picking up a copy of Chesnut’s Devoted to Death for my partner, another book caught my eye. It turned out to be some existential / therapeutic examination of death, but it opened with an epigraph about Çatalhöyük, describing the centrality of the bull and the vulture to the imagery of the so-called ‘great goddess.’ I would have shrugged it off had I not turned around and come face to face with Michael Rice’s The Power of the Bull in which Çatalhöyük gets its own chapter.